If I can Make it There...
by Estelle Rosen
Playwright/Actor Michaela Di Cesare is the recipient of several awards including MECCA for Best Text for 8 Ways My Mother Was Conceived, and the Launchpad Award for Emerging Artists. She is currently Actor-in-Residence with Black Theatre Workshop’s Youthworks Program. She has been performing her one-woman show 8 Ways My Mother Was Conceived in Toronto and Montreal. She is currently presenting this show at the United Solo Festival in NewYork.
CHARPO: How does the experience of presenting 8 Ways My Mother Was Conceived at the United Solo Festival in New York compare with presenting it in Montreal?
DI CESARE: The first word that popped into my head was "pressure." Surprisingly, I feel less pressure performing my solo show in New York City than I ever have in Montreal. I suppose there are many reasons for this:
Let me tell you, I would scan the audience every night in case my old high school teacher (the one who tells the banana story in the play) was there so I could hide in the dressing room. She never did come to a show, but one of her colleagues did. One of my old English teachers heard about the play on CJAD, came to watch and said to me afterwards, "It's true! Ms. **** was always talking about that banana!" Honestly, this teacher is the only character (after my mother) that I didn't really fictionalize or embellish at all-- but some people refuse to believe that. Up until recently, I was STILL receiving aggressive Facebook messages about certain other characters in the show. I find that to be really hilarious because I needed to use so much of my artistic license on everyone else. And the play really isn't about any of them, is it?