I don't think there's any way this subject can come off as anything but self-serving, because it involves a stage text of mine (My First Autograce Homeography 1973-74) being produced and directed, but the real subject of this post is how moving it is to watch another director/designer, in this case Ian W. Hill, work with one of my texts.
I should begin by saying no one besides Ian has ever taken on one of my texts as a full production. Some other brave souls have directed staged readings of a couple of the plays, but this is a first. Ian is incredible, which I already knew...
But last night I had the privilege of watching him work with his cast (see here for details) at The Brick. I saw a deeply personal text, which is cut-up so that the words can resonate, I hope/d, beyond my own experience into something that could touch the deep weirdness that was 1973-74 America - turned into something of deep beauty, humor, horror, sadness and something else I cannot even explain - perhaps it's what Proust was on about. An uncanny sense of - not deja vu - but instead the nature of memory itself and time passing, having past and that lost time, as Proust called it, recaptured perhaps...
To watch someone else be able to take my words and make them into something that is both deeply personally his and yet hit the essentials of what I was getting at even though it's not spelled out in any literal way is such a gift. If I wasn't willing to let go of control of this text, this could not happen...and especially since I'm mostly writing now, I am so glad this is possible...and so grateful that Ian could find in this text enough into which to sink his formidable directing and design chops...
I will probably only see this one rehearsal. It's also very emotional watching the piece, because the time period was a traumatic one for me (not to mention the whole fucking country). Most importantly, I know it is in good hands.
If you weren't around during 1973-74, it will give you an interesting window into what was a very disturbing time (see The Ice Storm for another child's POV of this off-kilter time)...and if you were there, it'll bring you back.
But ...wait...there's more...There is...
Ian and his GeminiCollisionworks are creating something beautiful. Please come and witness it if you can.
In other news, I am doing the National Novel Writing Month thing - working every day - getting a lot of writing and editing done on the book...
and in weirder news (for anyone who knows me), I joined the evil that is Facebook, so I can finally be back in touch with my far-flung friends...and also tell people about the work I care about, such as this show. So - like - friend me (!) Ack, friend as a verb, I die a little...
Welcome to my blog..
"We struggle with dream figures and our blows fall on living faces." Maurice Merleau-Ponty
When I started this blog in 2011, I was in a time of transition in my life between many identities - that of Artistic Director of a company (Apocryphal Theatre) to independent writer/director/artist/teacher and also between family identity, as I discover a new family that my grandfather's name change at the request of his boss in WWII hid from view - a huge Hungarian-Slovak contingent I met in 2011. Please note in light of this the irony of the name of my recently-disbanded theatre company. This particular transition probably began in the one month period (Dec. 9, 2009-Jan. 7, 2010) in which I received a PhD, my 20 year old cat died on my father's birthday and then my father, who I barely knew, died too. I was with him when he died and nothing has been the same since. This blog is tracing the more conscious elements of this journey and attempt to fill in the blanks. I'm also writing a book about my grandmothers that features too. I'd be delighted if you joined me. (Please note if you are joining mid-route, that I assume knowledge of earlier posts in later posts, so it may be better to start at the beginning for the all singing, all dancing fun-fair ride.) In October 2011, I moved back NYC after living in London for 8 years and separated from my now ex-husband, which means unless you want your life upended entirely don't start a blog called Somewhere in Transition. In November 2011, I adopted a rescue cat named Ugo. He is lovely. As of January 2012, I began teaching an acting class at Hunter College, which is where one of my grandmothers received a scholarship to study acting, but her parents would not let her go. All things come round…I began to think it may be time to stop thinking of my life in transition when in June 2012 my stepfather Tom suddenly died. Now back in the U.S. for a bit, I notice, too, my writing is more overtly political, no longer concerned about being an expat opining about a country not my own. I moved to my own apartment in August 2012 and am a very happy resident of Inwood on the top tip of Manhattan where the skunks and the egrets roam in the last old growth forest on the island.
I am now transitioning into being married again with a new surname (Barclay-Morton). John is transitioning from Canada to NYC and as of June 2014 has a green card. So transition continues, but now from sad to happy, from loss to love...from a sense of alienation to a sense of being at home in the world.
As of September 2013 I started teaching writing (composition and rhetoric) as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, which I have discovered I love with an almost irrational passion. While felt blessed for the opportunity, after four years of this, the lack of pay combined with heavy work load stopped working, so have transferred this teaching passion to private workshops in my own apartment and working with writers one on one, which I adore. I will die a happy person if I never have to grade an assignment ever again.
I worked full time on the book thanks to a successful crowd-funding campaign in May 2014 and completed it at two residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Wisdom House in summer 2015. I have done some revisions and am shopping it around to agents and publishers now, along with a new book recently completed.
I am now working full-time as a freelance writer, writing workshop leader, coach, and editor. Contact me if you are interested in any of these services.
Not sure when transition ends, if it ever does. As the saying goes, the only difference between a sad ending and a happy ending is where you stop rolling the film.
For professional information, publications, etc., go to my linked in profile and website for Barclay Morton Editorial & Design. My Twitter account is @wilhelminapitfa. You can find me on Facebook under my full name Julia Lee Barclay-Morton. More about my grandmothers' book: The Amazing True Imaginary Autobiography of Dick & Jani
Recently, I started a website Our Grandmothers, Our Selves, which has stories about many people's grandmothers. Please check it out. I will be blogging there, too, now. You can also contact me through that site.