What'd I experience?
I was on my way from shopping and I remembered them saying if you arrive 30 minutes before the closing time then you might not get in. My reservation slot was from 5:30-7:30pm. It was 5:30, so I was like lemme head out. I arrived at like 6:10 to the Signature Theatre. I had to walk up the stairs to a space where there was a big red box that said Theatre for One. There was a couple in front of me but they hadn't made a reservation so I automatically skipped them and I was up next.
This seemed interesting because I had no idea what to expect. Am I able to interact with the actors? Is it more than one actor, cus the box seemed pretty small? I was up next.
The "usher" briefed me saying that my chair would be to the left and that she would hold my longboard and bag. She walkie talkied the actor "standby". She opened the door and I sat in the chair. It was all red cushion, like I was in an actors dressing room. As soon as I sat down, in front of me sat a middle to older aged black woman.
She began speaking... to me... obviously, cus there was no one else in the room... "What's this feeling? I remember it just like it was yesterday. Almost like deja vu." Was this lady crazy??? Naw, she was just old. Stated that she was around 101 years old... "Do you remember the last time you voted?" Well I'm only 18... So November 8th will be that day, finally. But honestly, there is a lot of controversy is behind voting. So much so, that I feel discouraged to vote. She also spoke about the controversy as she explained that her daughter didn't see the importance in voting because she thought it was an illusion. Whoever they want to be president, will be president and my vote will never really matter. I mean we can speak about the electoral college... But she also gave me a different perspective.
She started talking about how the 2016 election was bizarre and she felt like it was deja vu. Trump or Clinton. She had to choose the lesser of the two evils but regardless she HAD to vote. She says it's her legal right as a citizen. A right that she's fought for... So she can exercise it. She remembers how back in the day she had to go to the office and register and pay to vote but there were all types of racist laws. She said she memorized the constitution front to back so she wouldn't get denied the right to vote. And after she had answered all the constitution questions right, the next question they asked put me into literal tears.
It was so intimate. I was right with her, having a convo with this new-found friend and I wasn't sure if I was allowed to cry in front of her. But, I felt as if she was a human now, no longer an actor, because she lost eye contact when I started crying. I guess she needed to stay in character and felt weird for not being able to comfort me. I felt weird for not being able to comfort her. I was honestly worried about her emotional and mental health as a human being because she was doing this monologue again and again as each new person walked into the box. Sharing someone else's story with a piece of her as well.
As soon as she got all the questions right, the man asked her, "how many marbles are in that jar?" Such a small question with so much weight. No one understands the bullshit we face as minorities. This is actually, factually real. This did not happen a thousand years ago.... This was RECENT. We still face stupid shit like this on the daily. I cried for all my brothers and sisters that had to deal with racist people and authority. I'm going to be honest you don't know how racist the world still is until you hang out with a rich white guy and he actually thinks he is better than you and you feel the need to act different or maybe lie about where you live.
She spoke about Michelle Obama in a lovely dress and how proud she was to have a black president and that she never misses an election. It made me think of myself, was I going to vote? Who was I gonna vote for? I know not Trump but at the same time Hilary's not much better.... I don't even know man. But she made me think. She ended saying what she’s feeling is not deja vu. It’s endurance. Deja vu because she feels she has been through it before but endurance because she has to keep facing discrimination and adversity. I loved it. Music started playing and I knew it was time to get up off the chair. I smiled and thanked her. It was so intimate and it’s almost if I just let her vent even though I wanted to talk to her. It would be interesting to see if you can actually have a conversation with the actors as their character.
I got out the box wanting more and, well, the guy gave me a flyer for the other different shows they are doing that week. Idk it's something def worth checking out. A whole new experience to try...
What'd you experience?
Let us know in the comments below...