a happening

14 May


Can we every convey the surreality of the overlapping patterns of this experience here in a body?

In the 60’s, there was a theatre form called happenings.  A professor described this movement to our class, and I was filled for a longing to see it, participate in it.  Here is how wiki defines it:  A happening is a performance, situation meant to be considered art, usually as performance art. Happenings take place anywhere, and are often multi-disciplinary, with a nonlinear narrative and the active participation of the audience. Key elements of happenings are planned, but artists sometimes retain room for improvisation. This new media art aspect to happenings eliminates the boundary between the artwork and its viewer. Henceforth, the interactions between the audience and the artwork makes the audience, in a sense, part of the art.

My professor shared that upon leaving a happening, he saw a fire truck go by, and he thought it was a part of the show, but really it was just life “happening.”

Last night’s flow was so very cinematic I want to try to capture; i do not know if i can.

Eden was auditioning for 12th Night last night, a play which we all know is ripe with gender fun, which for a 14 year old is pushing envelopes.  I was to drop her off close to the theatre and stay with the car in that she didn’t want to seem like a kid with a parent nearby, but she needed me nearby. (grin)

So I find a spot, between the action of downtown Charleston and the cool black-box space of the theatre and I stay with the car while she goes off.

The whole world is a show – the tourists, college students, downtowners getting about – fun to watch through the side mirror of my car – putting a fun twisty angle on the action.

Walking toward my car in front of me,  4 young, fit and calendar-worthy firemen make their way from the corner station together in dark uniforms toward the restaurants – wide smiles of camaraderie.  Within a few minutes, the loud radio one of them carries goes off about a fire, and all 4 men go sprinting back toward the station with their to-go boxes of food.

Down the main drag no less than 4 full firetrucks and 2 ambulances speed in my side mirror view.  The city is roaring with sirens from every direction.

A happening.

From Eden’s perspective:  she enters the audition to a room full of 10 or so guys.  They begin discussing whether or not there are any hot police or firemen in all of Charleston.  She is annoyed as she is trying to prepare for the cold reading, but says it is pretty funny to listen to them too.

When the sirens start going off, one of the men steps outside in time to see the firemen running down the street.  9 of the men at the audition run out to watch the firemen, squealing with delight as they now have proof of hot firemen in Charleston, sprinting down the street before them.  Eden is left inside with the one straight guy who looks at her drolly and says, “Well, if that is what you prefer.”

She acts out the whole scene when she enters the car, playing all the roles with hilarity.

Life is a show in the moment.  Clearing more and more of a role, an agenda, or a point of view, even,  I’m a pair of eyes and ears – and I am thoroughly entertained.

You can climb a mountain

You can swim the sea

You can jump into the fire

But you’ll never be free

You can shake me up

Or I can break you down

Whoa-o-o-o-, whoa-o-o-o-

We can make each other happy…

I would change the line from But you’ll never be free to You will always be free 🙂
I hope all is well from the fire!

6 Responses to “a happening”

  1. seeingm May 14, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    While working at the university while in graduate school in Chicago my office was housed in an old part of a hospital complex that had equally ancient wiring. From time to time this meant that spontaneously out of the blue the fire alarm for the building would go off. Rather than being annoying, secretly we looked forward to this and we could shamelessly be found lining the windows overlooking the courtyard as the firemen from house E5 on Desplaines Street in Greek Town would show up.


    All I can say is, ooh la la.

    Now all these years later, as each year I now have to practice fighting an actual fire on an aircraft for FAA certification to fly (that would be PASS – http://www.uic.edu/depts/envh/HSS/PassPoster.html), my appreciation for the men and women who work as firefighters has expanded exponentially.

    Firefighters and flight attendants as eye candy? lol Sometimes yes, but with a taste that is all about saving lives. 🙂

    Thank you for such a fun peek into your corner of the adventure. Eden is lucky to have such an observant hottie for her mom.

    • seeingm May 14, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

      Watch out, you might get what you’re after
      Cool babies, strange but not a stranger
      Here’s your ticket, pack your bags, time for jumpin’ overboard
      Transportation is here
      Close enough but not too far, maybe you know where you are
      Fightin’ fire with fire
      Shakedown, dreams walking in broad daylight
      Three hundred sixty five degrees
      My house is out of the ordinary
      That’s right, don’t want to hurt nobody
      Some things sure can sweep me off my feet
      Burning down the house

    • marga t. May 14, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

      The brave service to fellow humans factors into the appeal 😉 I imagine! Fun peek into those windows in Chicago!

  2. andelieya 安德洌雅 (official) May 14, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    Sounds like the fire department on Meeting/Wentworth, correct? Theater 99 employs the technique of ‘happening’ or improvisation. I hope Eden got the part!

    • marga t. May 14, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

      Yes, that station! I was parked on Society near King – and the theatre was Threshold. Eden got a call back 🙂 Thanks for your kind wishes! Theatre 99 is where I have been learning improv. We have probably passed each other on the street! 🙂 I love seeing the terrain around here through your wonderful lens. The Blue Heron, was it?, this week…I keep meaning to go back and ask about the color – amazing!

      • andelieya 安德洌雅 (official) May 15, 2013 at 12:20 am #

        Then you have probably also been to Jestine’s Kitchen? Their food is so good!

        Thanks for your positive feedback! So far I have remained a ‘purist’, and all of my photos are pretty ‘natural’. I have not post-processed anything in Photoshop yet. But who knows what the future will bring…..

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