Monday, April 20, 2009

Mimpi finally goes on the road

Here's one of my many stories from my most recent trip to HC:

Mimpi is finally going on the road to Bali

What is Mimpi, you may ask? My junior year of college, Fall 2004, I was in a Balinese dance drama called Mimpi. It was a combination of two Balinese folk tales. I played a Crane in the Greek Chorus, and Putu's grandmother. It was a challenging experience, but also rewarding in the end. What made it a little difficult is that we wrote it ourselves and created the piece as we went along. A very organic experience, but when you're used to getting a script and having more structure, it was something I don't know if the whole cast was fully prepared for.

This is also the play I was in when I fell in a gutter completely sober the night the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, and I badly sprained my ankle and was on crutches up to the show and spent the whole show with tons of ace bandages making sure I could still do it. But that's a story for another day.

So after Mimpi went up and it got rave reviews in the States (apparently people from PBS wish they knew of this show so they could tape it and air it on PBS) the seed was planted that we could bring Mimpi on the road. And not just any road, like perhaps to Boston or NYC or DC, but a further and longer road that would require passports. Yes, Lynn the director decided to take Mimpi straight to the source... Bali.

Fall of 2004 we were all very excited at the idea of moving to Bali for a few weeks, living with Balinese artists, and putting up our show. This is something we never thought could and would happen, and it was very exciting. Daunting, yes, but exciting.

Then came some road blocks. First off, it is incredibly expensive to fly a troupe of actors and all their costumes and set pieces to Bali. Each flight would have been thousands of dollars alone. It would take some serious fundraising or grants.

Another significantly bigger issue came up when we found out that we would not be insured by the college because Bali was on a list of countries academic institutions were not allowed to visit because it was considered a terrorist threat. So in 2004, it was considered risky for us to go there. These two things made our Balinese Mimpi dreams get put on a shelf.

Fast forward five years, and I heard from my friend Jen that Mimpi is FINALLY going on the road. The ban has been lifted, the funds are there, and Lynn is working with a combination of HC artists and Balinese artists. Only a few people from my production will be going (Jen and Tom) and they'll rehearse for a week and put the show on for two or three. This will be happening in June. Lynn's been traveling to Bali a lot, I hear, to work out the kinks.

This news was bittersweet for me. First off, I am so incredibly happy for Lynn to be able to fulfill this and put her show up in Bali. And I'm really happy for the HC actors who are able to go to Bali and have this amazing experience. This will be incredible on their resumes and an experience they will never forget.

It does, however, make me sad that my Bali dreams will not come to fruition. I am not at a place in my life where I can up and leave for Bali for a month, because I have bills and a job and can't up and leave. And I fear my skills and talents are not up to muster for a trip of this kind. While I support the arts, my talents are not "perform in Bali"-able. I also don't think I share the passion and excitement for Mimpi and this lifestyle that my friends who are going do. While I loved Mimpi, I could not up and move. So it was about 80% excitement that Mimpi is going on the road, 20% sadness that I am not.

If I hear more about Mimpi on the road, I will pass this information along. And again, congrats to everyone that Mimpi is finally on the road. Five yeras in the making!

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