Stories don’t live in the past…They live in the telling

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August 6, 2012 by Paula Reed Nancarrow

Review of Urban Hermit by BardLive Productions

Theater in the Round

Rachel is wonderfully physical for a storyteller; often we don’t know what to do with our bodies when we’re up there. She’s had the advantage of training with Kari Margolis, and a good director from the same school, Beth Brooks, who has brought that physicality out in new ways. Add to that the delight of her music. Rachel has been exploring difficult personal material for a year or two, and I’ve had the privilege of watching that unfold. It is risky on so many levels to do so, and many of us fear being labelled self-indulgent, self-important,  “too full of ourselves.”  Rachel acknowledges this fear, but she’s moved way beyond worrying about it, at least in this piece.  In fact I sometimes thought that she might not have been self-indulgent enough – that she might have rushed a little too quickly into making this a story that gives young people hope.  Ironically, it was in the various description of failed connections that I most connected with Rachel and her story. What she gave me, as an artist, was the courage to fail – not because she did, but because I had, and quite recently.  There are times when we will not make that connection we are trying to make, when the art will be less than perfect.  Yet we take that risk, because what we learn in the missed connection, in the messy imperfection, is just as important.  “Stories don’t live in the past…they live in the telling.” It just so happened that this Sunday, that was exactly what I needed to hear. On top of that, it is an engaging performance by a talented artist. Enjoy!

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