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I-1. Introduction to Performance Making 

September 26, Prosser Studio

Yoga for relaxation and liberation from the rigidity of academia.

Mimic exercise began. We paired up and walked like our partners. I tried to imitate Kellen's walking. I became very self-conscious of my own walking. I tend to slouch with my hands in my pockets. It was also difficult to emulate Kellen's strides with a smaller body. I oriented myself with the Prosser Studio - the lighting, the space, the feeling of the floor, the smell. I did not feel comfortable walking like Kellen while Kellen himself is watching me imitate him. Would I be able to play a live person if he were watching me as an audience? What if I were to play an actress before her eyes without thinking, "She is scrutinizing me, criticizing me for not playing her right, for being wrong"?

We engaged in free writing.

I have so many scars I lose count. Scars are like Africa divided up by the Second World War, terrains of sand without borders but marked on maps, as Ondaatje wrote about. Nations, borders. Cartography. The world is scarred all over. Korea is heavily scarred, a bloody mess of a country. The term "country" itself is a designation of a scar. The scar on my butt tells me I am of Mongolian descent. I guess I'm not as messed up as a map of the world. But that's not very comforting. 

I am sensitive to smells, I smell everything distinctly, I always ask people if they farted. I am always so worried I might fart in class. I don't like perfumes because they are too strong, I like the smell of rain. I like the smell of my cat and my boyfriend. And the smell of old books. It is devastating to lose my sense of smell when I am sick or have asthma attacks. It is even more devastating when I wake up from a very vivid dream and cannot remember the smell - because, for me at least, dreams don't filter smell.

The first time I saw you I knew I could...

... take advantage of you. I knew I could manipulate you, get you down on your knees, make you suffer, dupe you, really get brutal with you. I also knew what I could do, just that first time I saw you. I never knew this side of me before. I could kill you. I could make you love me and ditch you in the gutter. I could make you beg for your life. I could do a million things just to haunt you. And I knew, I knew, I knew I could reveal the darkest secrets of your heart.

I paired up with Kellen. We each took time to tell our stories. Kellen told me about his adventure as a scout in 2007 when he graduated from college. I told my story in Brazil. I tried to tell his story to other people as much as I could, and I was allowed to write it out before I verbalized it - but still I got most of the content wrong. That did not matter, though. It was another story when it came out of my mouth. I told it like it was my story, and then it became my story. It was something that I did, not Kellen. Storytelling was far easier than walking and emulating, because I knew I did not have to be perfect. I knew this because we were given a device - i.e., narrating in first-person.

No fear, tread as you will
Don't regret what happened