World Shorts

BEFORE

I was sitting in the café at Town Hall Theatre until I got hungry.

That Dawes song, with the lyrics that I wrote down, was a weight:

When I was younger, I was serious, now everything’s a joke,
But my friends detect a sadness, at the end of every laugh  

It’s raining, for the second time in four weeks. This is the Ireland that everyone talks about.

The line of market-goers creeps slowly between the stalls. The rain hasn’t thinned out the crowd.

The guy who sold me the caramel slice had fewer teeth than I expected.

I bite into the slice; I’m not surprised anymore. I alternate bites of caramel with bites of apple. I get a little too close to the core. My high school music teacher eats the core—I wish I was that wild.

It took me three laps to decide what to eat. It’s frustrating that I didn’t pack my lunch. Why do I care? I might be running on fumes.

I’m almost late for the International Shorts program; too many laps.

What changes in my life might make me exhale?

Andrew Scott talked about that this morning. I see more than Moriarty now. He looked comfy in that grey sweatshirt.

What does it actually mean to be yourself, to be myself, to put my voice out there, fearlessly and with humility?

He gave such simple answer—to the girl who asked about changing her name and the one who asked about racism.

Imagine knowing yourself well enough to give simple answers about what you believe.

I like his approach, “Who would I be if I was a bin man, priest, villain, etc.”

He isn’t carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

I said that I was an actor this morning. I believed it too. Maybe that’s why I went to the Masterclass? To live in the label, just for a bit.

I’m sad. Actors get sad. Sometimes they even talk about it.

I’m walking up the steps of Pálás and the rain is drifting into the open-air lobby. I mean, of course it’s drifting in, it’s an open-air lobby.

I’m not sure what the line is for, so I pause, for a moment, and talk with the guy in the Blue Jays sweater. His girlfriend got it for him when she was in Vancouver; they were out of Canucks jerseys. He’s from a town in Ireland, I forget where, but they’re famous for a music festival and a high security jail. The security kept increasing and the IRA guys kept getting better at escaping.

I don’t need to wait in line, so I move up the stairs, out of the rain, and into the back right of the theatre.

In front of me a glowing phone flashes across a seatback, followed by, “See what Tom said?” It reminds me of those Bell commercials, at TIFF—text message cliff-hangers.

To my right, there’s a guy wearing quite a hat and eating quite a meal. I’m glad he’s enjoying himself.

The programmer, who chose the films, tells us to enjoy ourselves. The lights stay up for a second longer than they need to.

It’s enough time to wonder, “What is my work? What am I going to create that I could show somebody?” and think, “Focus on what you’re going to say before you obsess about who you’re going to say it to.”

I needed what Andrew said this morning, or at least how he said it; definitely both.

AFTER

I’m awake now, but I was fighting, like I did in some of those too-hot classes in university. My mind is blank, exhausted, frustrated.

I turn around, a complete circle, just outside of the theatre. I’ve forgotten my phone. Deep sigh—I’ll go back. I check the floor, by my seat.

It’s in my backpack. Yup, there it is.

Deep sigh—let’s get out of here.

I walk out into the rain. I feel like I’ve been up all night.

I give up on seeing another film and pack it in, mentally. Giving up feels good.

How tired am I? I kept nodding off during that film about the…I can’t really remember what it was about actually.

I’m spending a lot of money on this trip. Is it a trip? It’s indulgence, all of this, right?

What am I going to do for the rest of the night?

I’m getting closer to come home. I’m not staying here. I get anxious when I can’t see a future.

I really wanted to like the shorts. I can’t tell if I did.

That means that I didn’t, but I want to.

I’m going to remember the one about the three women; three women disrupting the social order, with glee. That one was good. Careful How You Go — that’s what it’s called.

The shorts remind me of Cofield, when I said things like, “I want to make music that people actually want to listen to.”

I still feel that way.

I’m going to the grocery store. I like it there. I can take as long as I want.

Making dinner always helps.

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