Rachel Jendrzejewski remembers Megan Mayer’s This is supposed to be my fertile window

 

people are still finding their seats
I am standing in the aisle
listening to a friend describe an existential realization

(he said, with clarity,
“We are all God”)

and then, in our peripheral vision:
something has started
three people have
quietly, casually, comfortably
appeared on the stage
and they are dancing
fun social dancing
friends messing around dancing
dipping in and out of exactitude

smiling, inaudible conversation,
but sometimes we hear little snatches
like, “Try it!”
and someone tries a step

but also
these blips of expansion
lingering in a movement or pose
dipping outside time and space
and then we’re back

the piece launches with a nervous event:
stage fright

 _

the people are

Megan Mayer
in a long-sleeved brownish floral dress
black heels that remind me of
the character shoes I wore in high school show choir
I’m magnetically drawn to her eyeliner
she strikes me as mischievous

Greg Waletski
in navy blue short sleeves
colorful stripes on the ends of the sleeves
and on the bottom of the shirt
khaki pants
I have flashes of the 1950s
also sailors and golfers

matt regan
in a T-shirt that may be white
or light blue or gray, not sure in this light
navy blue shorts
is that a mink around his neck?
friendly demeanor

later we also meet Charles Campbell
bearing a blonde wig
a specific brand of authority

for awhile I forget to take notes
they are so captivating

_

here are some words I wrote
when I remembered I wanted to write:

Dusty Springfield
dizzy spells, shaking hands
underwater feeling
music on a loop
like a dream of being back in one’s 20s
only the body is older
a little more uncertain
a little more elegant
hips, tilt of the head
blue cup upside down on the floor
presentational hands
astroturf
calisthenics, leg lifts
lonely drinking
anxiety

_

Megan does this thing often
in her choreography
where she seems to begin a thought
then drops it and keeps going

(passing smile, face falls;
start of gesture, switch gears)

I don’t know why but
it resonates so strongly in me
like how I feel trying to move through the world
conditioned to be a helper
trying to understand space
drop it, keep going

on the drive home, a friend observed
“Sometimes I wish she would see those impulses through;
stay with them a little longer, see what they become”
I appreciate that desire, and yet
the thought of that start-stop going away
fills me with the same kind of sweet ache
as when friends have babies:
one specific direction
beautiful and worthwhile
also forever altering
a new distance

(oh the choices to be made
within fertile windows)

_

we listen to audio of Cecile Richards
testifying about Planned Parenthood
being interrupted constantly
by men
it is painful to hear

 (Megan is now Cecile;
smart blue business suit, skirt)

the voiceover is anxious but determined
the present body is defiant
hitching up that blue skirt
bull fighting with the jacket
steady gaze

selfie sticks

now on the gyno table
now signing paperwork
dancing with the blonde wig
screaming into a pillow

_

there are sections of video
she’s waiting listening exhausted trying pissed
brown accordion file of papers
the music says

Accept my love

booze
blips

matt looks out, childlike
herky jerky, a simple arm up

If you find love, hang on to each caress.
And never let love go.

hanging on like a porch
I am quickly recognizing
words don’t suffice in this density
and I feel great about that
immersing

 

DSC_4254_640

 

mic work
a timeless comment

 (Megan now in the blonde wig,
tight black pants, blue shirt, scarf)

 Charles instructs her how to be a
“woman” “star” “success” “symbol”
more feminine, curve, gentle hands to the face
oh Cholly Atkins
this against now
spotlight on an alluring gold metallic curtain
inaudible conversation
turning, moving through the aisle
boobs out, shoulders back

all the men shaking hands

Just a little lovin early in the morning

_

black and white video
24 Hours from Tulsa
past lives of Dusty, Megan, and all the rest
rubbing elbows with Cindy and her film stills
scarf on the head
wind, traffic
smashing cups and saucers
broken pieces, blocky heels
I think about plate-smashing rituals around the world
demonstrations of wealth, of mourning, of celebration

the same character appears in real time
now in color

_

Megan’s bio says she feels most like herself
when she is on stage being other people
and indeed
she and all these other people
are being other people
and therefore themselves
their bodies relaxed and ready,
at peace with being framed
honest in action and in unknowing

pulsing shoulders, elbows bent and back
this periodically recurring movement
I could watch it forever
it’s hilarious
and also deadly serious

_

nervous? tired? out of breath
she gets on a ladder
rigs a bar onto hooks

the space is noticeably silent now
all the carefully selected music of the night
replaced by the buzz hum of electricity

inside a hat box is
that gold metallic curtain from earlier
in fact, not one but two
she hangs them up
assuredly, but also taking her time
they are silly and lovely
the sway of gold is dance
and she knows exactly what to do

sequins
real mic now
pause-posing
expert lip sync

Oh, only one day away from your arms
I could never, never, never go home again

this person who is both Megan and Not Megan
performs someone else
is therefore herself
“the embodiment of impersonation”
a single arrival
“nervous”
but making it anyway
shining
smiling

_

Megan Mayer
This is supposed to be my fertile window
Right Here Showcase, Illusion Theater
April 8-10, 2016

Images by Sean Smuda

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