opinions about life, work, and spirituality

All is Well(s)

June 19th, 2008

This past weekend I took a trip to Wells, BC. One of my directors, Dirk VanStralen, is working there for the summer as an actor in historic gold-rush-borne-Barkerville, so I travelled 10 hours by bus to recieve his guidance. (Now that’s loyalty, huh?)

The vistas on the way up to Wells were spectacular. The Fraser Canyon in the Cariboo is amazing: tall rock-sand mountains, colour of burnt umber and caramel, wear tufts of light sagebrush. A rushing slate hued river bubbles and spits and heaves across rocks at the mountains’ base, while a rust train snakes its way in between threatening landslides and violent water.

Wells is quite the town. 200 inhabitants. A one room schoolhouse with 14 students of various ages. While there, I noted two blonde ringleted children smashing through puddles half naked, in temperatures that floated around 10 degrees celcius. I never saw them wearing shoes. The houses are clapboard and worn like grandfather’s old leather slippers. Wells possesses the prettiest bog I’ve ever seen – a feathery, light thing that looks like its made of clouds. Dirk and I rehearsed in an old wooden church, a scent like sauna, heavy pews, bulky pulpit, walls and floors the warm toffee colour of ancient evergreen.

The night before I returned to the city, we gave a (very rough) showing of THE SADDEST GIRL IN THE WORLD. People hooted and chortled the whole way through, which I attribute partly to the isolation of Wells, but mostly to the great direction I’ve received so far. Everyone had positive things to say. Here is some of the feedback: “It woke me up. I feel priveleged to have seen it,” “I loved watching you up there; you are such a joy to watch,” “The character work is terrific,” “The characters are so great and it’s always clear exactly who you are,” “I love Ava!,” “I love Natya!,” “It’s such a beautiful story.”