Part three of an interview with: Ren

I love how you got the audience involved and having them take risks with you. Does that feel like a risk? What do you feel is a risk to you when you’re doing that performance? When you’re doing that show?


Well...telling the information is always a risk, but it’s not as big of a risk as I thought it was. It felt when I was first doing the show like a huge info dump. As time went by, I realised how much that information was necessary to give context to who I am. And the whole show exists because I was so tired of explaining myself. And it takes a good long time to explain who I am in the context I’ve come form, and even an hour is probably not really sufficient. But I feel like I’ve said everything that I need to say at least once in it, that somebody who is really paying attention and has a little bit of an idea when they come in there could possibly see me by the end of that for who I am. So that’s the info,...just handing over the info is a bit of a risk. There have been times where I have been scared for myself after a show because someone came in who didn’t realise what it was about and was clearly very homophobic, or transphobic, or whatever. And really did not enjoy themselves or the show. But fortunately, I haven’t felt like I have been in any danger. In terms of taking risks with the audience, I am sort of tricking them to out themselves a little bit in the musical part because I’m getting them to play with me. But most people have a block when it comes to saying revealing words about themselves that if transmuted to another form they’re okay with. Like if you ask someone to do...somebody who is completely drunk in a bar to do a thirty second interpretive dance of the very first time they encountered pornography, or do these things! They do. Especially in a performative theatre-like setting, some people are really afraid of audience participation. But I think people also like to feel they were with it. Especially in a city like Vancouver. They’re sort of progressive, and they want to be with it. So getting them to play an instrument or sing a note is easier than saying the words because a sound feels more flexible than a finite word. And it’s really fun to see people do that.


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