“When it rains
But the sea changes colors
But the sea
Does not change
And so with the slow graceful flow
I went forth with an age old
Desire to please”
I’m not longer on the edge of seventeen… but I’m definitely on the edge of something.
I woke up this morning and found that the director of Firecrackers (I keep wanting to call her mine), Jasmin Mozzafari, had liked my latest photo. It’s incredible how I can still feel so connected to this person after only having spent a few days working together. Till Jasmin, I had been self-directed. I am still learning from the experience of trusting someone else this way…
Things I learned from Leanne:
I have collaborated with this amazing woman and her team for over a year and I’m only now starting to understand what they like about me… though I still feel like the oldest woman in the room… the strongest, frailest creature on earth.
If I’ve learned anything from playing Leanne it’s what the younger generation wants for me: Joy in emancipation.
The hardest part about getting older is accepting that it’s happening. Playing Leanne has helped me do that. If you asked Jasmin what the hardest part for me to accept about the role, it is that I would be playing the role I play in life. The role I work hard to overcome, and shed when I market myself/see myself: A middle aged woman, mother of four, who is struggling to hold on to the one thing men value in this world: Her sexuality.
A woman struggling still, so late in age, to understand her power and how to use it to HER advantage, instead of being used for it. All this for bread, there is no butter, the deck is stacked.
Firecrackers itself, the work, and the message, and the feedback, has overwhelmingly been that the time is now to embrace the TRUTH. So I embrace the truth about myself.
As an aging woman it is hard not to feel pushed out, the energy of the youthful so strong and mighty that one has to dig one’s heels in to avoid being swept away by the undertow. They feel like they can’t breathe… I feel like I’m drowning.
As if I had to learn to swim all over again, I held my breath and dove right into the experience of playing this character, surrounded by the aura of these incredible women. I trusted them, and I let them trust me, and I let them take me deeper inside myself than I ever could have explored on my own. Together, and never feeling alone, we explored the fullness of my emotions, and though I was “acting”, I was touched personally in equal measure. I didn’t just create a character, I recreated myself.
While Tamara recreated her deep trauma and desperation to portray Leanne’s experience, she got to live out her childhood bliss in her first principal role in a feature film… except for one tiny moment where I felt left behind. I realize now that this feeling of being left behind is merely the backdraft that will propel me to flight… all I have to do is spread my wings and fly.
I am excited for life and to be here where I am and promise myself that no matter what happens, I am loved, even if only in this moment, and that can last forever.
That’s what I learned from Leanne.
|Shot from the location of the “church” scene in Firecrackers, |
London, Ontario, June 2017.
Leanne’s final resting place.