Part V Happy Travels!
by Crystle Reid
Well we’re in the home stretch now: ArtHere! is happening this Friday night. In all honesty, at this point I generally tend to feel relieved we’re almost done and this one is certainly no different. After a series of unfortunate events with the Régie (or, as I prefer call them, the liquor Vogans), we finally have a liquor license. After easily more than fifty calls we finally have event insurance for a building that isn’t technically open yet. We’ve jumped through all the hoops involved in planning an event in a found space, in both French and English. With more than a 1000 emails under our belt we’re practically bureaucratic superheroes. I’ve come to the personal realization that the character trait in myself that most explains my career path is tenacity. In the whole history of ArtHere! there has really only been one “no” I couldn’t change. Oh Redpath Museum, when will you relent?
This isn’t entirely positive: sometimes choosing a path of less resistance would be wiser, but I can’t. I want my way. I was an only child until 10 after all. At the age of seven I wouldn’t let my Mom come into my room to watch the presentation I had put together with my Barbies and My Little Ponies because she didn’t have the full cost of admission: a quarter. I wasn’t even willing to accept two dimes and a nickel. Raising me must have been such a special experience. As a grown up, my innate stubbornness has specifically equipped me to produce English Theatre in Montreal. It’s not an easy path but once I have my heart set on something I will work for it until it happens.
The evening of the event, though, all the work will be worth it. At ArtHotel! it was watching a hotel guest gawk as twenty people marched out of the room across the hall carrying apple cobbler. At ArtHouse! it was slow dancing under the orders of the Paper Bag Queen. At ArtCamp! it was watching all of the artists set up their pieces in the forest. But these really are just moments. For most of the evening I will be running around, serving drinks, getting change for the door, answering questions and dealing with problems that come up. At every ArtHere! someone on the production team will remark, “this looks like so much fun, I wish we could just attend the event!” Indeed we are all so busy with actual running of the event we have little time to really explore the event in its full breadth.
Something that makes the evening of the event itself so special is that each audience member is going to have a very different experience. They won’t only absorb it in their own way: they will actually see different sights and experience different pieces in a variety of ways, and something surprising will happen to them. It can all be a bit overwhelming for audiences that are more used to being passive: “sit here quietly, and just watch”. ArtHere! is such an adventure. It’s really thrilling for us to watch the audience try new things, let themselves be surprised and really participate in their experience. It’s that part of the event that will continue to feed my tenacity.
If you want to have a theatrical adventure of your very own this Friday between 8PM-1AM come to 1320 St. Antoine West right behind Lucien d’Allier metro. To book your tickets early click here.