This play is dangerous and this warning is serious. This play can get deep under your skin as it comically explores what it is that holds us back.
As I was writing it, I realized that I was stuck in a lift. My lift was fear.
When we first had it on years ago, we used stickers for marketing. One of them I stuck on a pole near where I used to pick up my tram. I was a tram driver for eleven years. The sticker was only supposed to last for a few months but instead it held on to that pole for years, glaring at me as I knowingly remained stuck in my lift.
What I felt I needed to escape my fears was a significant win. A major publishing deal etc that I would use as a bridge to carry me from where I was to where I wanted to be. But that’s not what happened.
I own the record for going the wrong way with my tram. I’d forget which route I was driving and would turn right instead of left. In order to hold onto my job I used to cover my dash in stickers reminding me what route I was on, but this one day I had a new play in my head and my consciousness had left my body to automatically drive the tram as it explored this play looking for a way through to the end. I had gone quite a significant distance before I realized that I’d screwed up again.
I was immediately suspended and things looked grim. But while I was suspended I wrote and I loved it. I didn’t want to go back. But we needed money and at that point nothing was happening with the plays and it was taken for granted, by the entire industry, that it was simply impossible to make a living from independent theatre.
Finally, I was told by several people who cared for me that what I had to do, was go into the office wearing my full uniform and grovel. Grovel for a life I didn’t want. Grovel to remain stuck forever in my lift.
So off I went to work, and I stopped in front of this sticker, and as it glared at me I said goodbye. Then I walked into the office in my cowboy boots and theatre gear and at the age of 53, I resigned from a well-paid relatively stress-free job to try and survive off my art.
The Butterfly Club
24 – 29 Feb 2020
5 Carson Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000
Time 5.30 pm
Come straight after work and have a great uplifting laugh.
Since then I have felt like someone who has escaped a chain gang. I get up early and I try to sell my plays or write new ones. I’ve tried to start pub theatre to create a delivery system through which I can present my plays in a way I can make money from them for myself and my actors. I have located and booked theatres where, with a minimal audience I can survive. I am trying to adapt. Often, especially early in the morning, I can hear the bloodhounds barking for again they have found the scent of my fear, and I am often frightened, but I am also alive. In fact, in all my adult life I have never felt so alive for so long, but there is something else. In this one last chance to escape my fears I found someone, and being with them is all the fuel I need to keep running as long as I can . . . And that someone, is me. I don’t know how long it will last but this Michael I believe, is the Michael I was meant to be. And the only way I reached him was to break out of my lift and the catalyst for that decision was writing this play.
This is a dangerous play. This is The Indifferent Revolutionist.