Day 12 – Harrington Harbor
No roads! Everything was boardwalks and we were taken to the school, with all of our gear in tow in a motor bike with a hitch attached. This island is beautiful with a population of about 250. At the time we were the only tourists visiting and everywhere we went people knew we were with Geordie; at the post office, the store, the docks. We all enjoyed our time there, a beautiful slice of the world.
Day 14 – Tadoussac
Spent the weekend in Tadoussac on our way to Jonquiere, stayed in a youth hostel that was crawling with people from all over the world. Both nights we were there bands played after dinner and everyone hung out to listen to them, watch hockey and chat. During the day we all spent time on our own soaking up the landscape. Sun was shining and I went for a walk through the woods and along the water. Great relaxing weekend in Tadoussac, a place we all highly recommend!
Walking path through the woods
Day 16 – Driving back to Montreal
Our first leg of the trip away from home is coming to an end, we will be sleeping in our own beds tonight and that is a luxury so very welcome by all three of us.
I have found the reactions of the kids is what makes the show for us, it is the clearest indicator of what effect we are having.
Today at the performance of Derwent the kids were rowdy and excited. They laughed loudly and made comments for the room to hear. They particularly enjoyed Derwent’s little ‘freak out’ moments when he lets out exasperated sighs. One kid today mimicked the noise he made, then he giggles to himself and made the noise again. Lots of the kids also become Ramona, answering all of Derwent’s questions. The elementary school kids also love to hang around as long as they can after the show is over, everyone wants to tell Derek personally they think he is funny, and I have had a number of girls come and tell me they know someone named Hayley. All of them want to be heard and support us. They are so giving, telling us as much as they can in the couple minutes they have before they have to line up and go back to class single file.
For Shared Account there have been a few very interesting comments that have stuck with me. In the play, there is a scene when I put a pair of scissors to my arm, contemplating suicide and feeling the blade on my skin. Generally the reaction to this is silence; but in one school a boy said “do it”. At first I just moved on pretending it was nothing, knowing that people say things sometimes… And then he repeated it over and over. I began to cry. Maybe he didn’t think I could hear him, but I could. In that moment I felt like Aurora, I knew more deeply what it was to be told to kill yourself. I understood Amanda Todd in a truer sense. When I got off stage between scenes I was fuming. Angry because the boy would think to say that and sad for all the people that hear that in reality, in everyday life, unlike me who heard it removed, as an actor. But people say things… For many different reasons. The comment also made me realize how lucky I am. How far away I personally have been from bullying.
On the flip side of things we have also had comments that were remarkably kind and also very touching. In a few different schools girls have approached us personally to talk and share a bit of their life. A lot of them seem to be looking for someone to share with… Like they need to share. About a handful of them have said they have experienced something similar, one girl said she was hospitalized for something different, but similar to this. Another girl said her mother used to cut herself and that she also thought about doing it. Other girls have said that they feel Auroras words are their own. And one girl said she had been bullied a lot but now.. Now things would change. Someone brought up Facebook Angel, asking if it existed in reality and wondered if they could maybe do something like that. The play is bringing us all closer to a reality that people face in private and it is nice to be able to share that together.
At Riverside High school the energy in the room was powerful. You could hear a pin drop at times and then hisses and “so stupid” when dad is scammed. Everyone in the room is together in those moments and as actors is it a gift to be in a room full of empathy.
Today we travel to our homes and I reflect on what the show has been these past few weeks. Already I feel the impressions of something good. It is hard to know what stays once we leave the schools and towns behind. But I expect the views on Amanda Todd’s YouTube video have risen and we can only hope that we are making some kind of difference.