Artist Report – Leprechauns & Lies

2/24/2012 – Chad

so a week has passed since we did our little three performance workshop run of “Leprechauns & Lies” at the Lifebook Theatre and i haven’t had much time yet to even think about it. i did take the whole next day off and just sat around all day – which is extremely rare with me – but i haven’t had time to really take stock of my feelings, post-Leprechauns & Lies.

now that i’ve had a little bit of distance from last week’s shows, all i feel about them is relief. as i’ve mentioned before, i’ve been considering, mulling, working on, abandoning and dreaming about doing this show for decades … literally decades. and now that it’s written and now that i’ve actually put it up in front of an audience, i feel just this immense relief.

everybody who’s seen it (about 80 people total, perhaps two-thirds of whom are close friends of mine) – or at least those who have spoken to me or emailed me about it – has been extremely complimentary about it. of course i’m happy about that, but i don’t think i was successful at accomplishing what i was actually trying to do with the show. it was without a doubt an extremely “pie in the sky” goal, but i thought i might actually be able to pull it off – that i might actually be able to guide at least a few audience members through their own existential crisis and then out the other side to give them a new viewpoint. of course if everybody i know has already been through a sort of existential crisis of their own at some point in their life and can now see the absurdity of trying to force a kind of universal sense and meaning into the world around them, then it’d be a completely moot point, but i seriously doubt that so many of my friends have been through that miserable – but freeing – experience.

Leprechauns & Lies

i remember coming back to school after my senior year Christmas break with this ridiculous two-part “Theory about Life” (or whatever pretentious title i gave it) – an overly simplified one-page version of my own existential testimony. i remember showing it to friends and classmates, hoping that anybody – just anybody – would say to me “oh my God. you’re totally right! thank you!” the only person who did anything but tell me it was depressing as hell was my Spanish teacher. he told me i needed to start reading Sartres and Nietzsche, so i checked “Being & Nothingness” out from the library and tried to dive in.

it took me on average 15-20 minutes to get through a single page of that damn thing and i’m honestly not even certain i ever actually finished it, but in each page i found such an unbelievable wealth of concepts that i felt like i was unlocking a different chamber in my brain with each word.

i’ve been saying that “Leprechauns & Lies” is MY Being and Nothingness, but i obviously don’t really mean that. i’m not tackling anywhere near the same number of concepts which Sartres covered in that book, but i do hope to create for others the same mind-opening experience that reading that book created for me … and i don’t entirely think i was successful. it’s interesting that another icon of mine, Bertolt Brecht, was so fond of his “Alienation Effect”, particularly because he believed that constantly reminding an audience that they’re in a theatre allowed them to think more and get wrapped up the story less. i mean there’s no theatrical format less alienating than the one-man (or one-woman) show, and still!

well, perhaps my friend Laurel-Ann, who’s currently going after her doctorate in theatre – perhaps she can help me. if i get in to the New York Fringe festival, hopefully i’ll have some time to work with her and see if i can’t be a bit more successful there.

fun and interesting definitely don’t suck, but fun and intersting isn’t why i’ve been working on this thing for twenty damn years.

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