The whole time I was at RADA, I oscillated between two moments. One would be moments of unity, togetherness, connectedness with another, a warm body against another. But so swiftly these moments would change—and I would suddenly feel like I am watching something happen behind a shop window, so far away. I disguise myself very well, with the way I speak and the sense of humor I put on. But I am and will always be an outsider, an alien. Which is why I am trying to excavate the moments of meeting, of holding hands with other strangers.
I want to create theatre that is mythical. Myths are stories that form the foundation of our lives. Myths are still true, whether they happen centuries ago or today. They present the absolute undeniable truths of our lives, which are very rare. Family, love, death—no one can deny that they happen and that they are forces in our lives. Political movements and having your opinions reflected back on you, on the other hand, are often not provable.
Theatre that is mythical is not based on styles or aesthetics (because even “pretty” is not a provable belief system, and many wars have been waged on it), but on stories.
I have been thinking about love letters. Because people can always blush and shake their head and insist they don’t know how to write poetry or essays, but you can always simply write a letter to someone you love who is far away. It is an epitome of our primal need as humans to take something that is brief and immortalize it, materialize it, into something in a space – a piece of paper with writings on it.
Here is one I wrote two years ago, and that I posted on the internet, with no address and no postage. But that was found by the man it was addressed to, months later on a lonely night.
November 6, 2018 Dear A, I was sitting in Bali in this little Villa, looking up at the stars and thinking about how much you would like this place. Don’t get me wrong, our days as lovers are over and for good reason, but I guess I just thought about how I hope the things that bring you joy: like swimming pools and boxing and good food, continue to bring you joy. I realized at that point, whether you had forgiven me or not, I had forgiven you. Because at that moment, I closed the door on any anger or hurt because –:what good was it going to do me? If I dig deep enough, I will always find you. Even as I fall in love with someone new, I will always find you. Because our souls were connected once. And when it suddenly greets me at night, like that moment, I want it to be a place of understanding, maybe solemnness, maybe even laughter. But never anger, never hurt. I hope you’re happy, and I hope your dad isn’t coughing anymore. Perhaps you are still angry with me. But even when I tried, I couldn’t close my heart to you, there will always be friendship and tenderness for you if you ever need it.
So I ask, if you have the openness and the desire, to please share with me your love letters. They can be ones you have written in the past, or ones you have received. I will keep them safe and private, of course, but I will read them carefully and learn from them. I know it is incredibly intimate, but also that there is a lot more generosity than I usually expect from people. So if you do, please email them to me here. Thank you.
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