A note to holdover the writing project as a daily endeavor. Today was dominated by three and a half hours on the Long Island Railroad in and out of an insanely hot New York. All worth it though, for the pleasure of working with great actors and engaging with a generous audience who braved the hottest day I can remember to fill the little space for our second and final performance of “Yours In Debt!”
Yesterday we were playing to a largely Occupy-friendly audience, meaning a group of people involved in Occupy and others familiar with its process. So when we called out for audience questions, comments and sharing, they knew exactly what we meant. Tonight was an audience drawn more from theatre, with the exception of my OWS affinity group on Politics and Visual Culture. Collectively, then, this audience wanted more from us in a way but also allowed us to perform a little more, which the real actors in the group appreciated. They were less responsive in the discussion although that was certainly also heat-related.
I’m still not quite sure what to make of a curtain call for a performative lecture on debt, except to thank people for their generosity. I am left with a sense that orchestrating the Occupy project around debt does allow us to reach people in a different way and to reach different people. It most certainly will not be a simple process and it is unlikely to be fast. But on a day when Gayatri Spivak sat out in Washington Square Park and discussed debt with a crowd of Summer Disobedience School students and we worked with a crowd of Eastern European theatre people, perhaps you get that little Occupy shiver, when you do think that another world is possible.
Many years ago I had ambitions to be an actor, only for the realities of trying it to prove very clearly that this was not a path open to me. It’s one of the odder aspects of Occupy’s culture of mutual aid to offer people a second chance like this, but it’s a memory I will be grateful for. I’ll actually describe what was said and performed later today but for now that’s all folks.