The Unfamiliar Everything – Research/Development Phase March 2019
I just completed 2 weeks of process work in Toronto with Stewart Legere and Cris Derksen (artistic collaborator), joined by Rae Spoon, Stephen Jackman-Torkoff and Christian Barry (facilitating directions). The project was initiated by Stewart Legere of The Accidental Mechanics Group, and inspired by the idea of loneliness experienced by queers in Canada.
On the first day of the process (also the first day I met Stewart), the density of this project was clear. Not only does it fulfill my expectations of a good project: amazing people, inspiring project and fair pay— it’s a project that dives deep into your heart and soul. I realized that I had waited 17 years for an experience of this magnitude.
During the winter of 2002, I spent my X’mas alone in an empty apartment in Halifax. Turns out that Stewart was across the street from me at that time (he could see my building from my room), and we were going through a similar kind of loneliness, yearning to connect with the world in our own way. Coincidentally, our bond began 17 years ago before we’d even met. Patience, time and trust in the Universe brought us together in Toronto.
Our stories are connected so deeply: tremendous memories, emotions and untold stories were unfettering at lighting speed. It was clear that I was meant to be a part of this project. I was called to to revisit my past (when I first arrived in Canada) and the trauma of my experiences with racist, white supremacists and patriarchal/toxic masculinity. I revisited these memories and empowered myself to grow even further.
This project is personal, political, cosmological and spiritual. It’s a rare opportunity to be able to investigate one’s story, empowered by deep feelings of loneliness from the past. Fortunately, I was embraced and blessed by an amazing group of queered-identified artists. So much of this unique, creative energy goes unspoken–it just is–carried through songs, energy and vibration. Not only did I get to create something new and exciting with little stress from production, but I got to meet a whole new, Canadian-wide, queer family.
Thank you Stewart for (unfamiliar) everything!
Thank you for inviting me to work on this project and introducing me to your inspiring circle. Thank you to Milton Lim for connecting us a few years ago. And thank you Universe for giving me the patience, trust and time to let my fate unfold in the way that it has.
Here is a raw glimpse of the process: