Join us on Wed. the 13th where will discover all about maps through our special round table storytelling open Mic.
This month I worked with Lynda Joy, Alexander, Bonnie Fan, and a slew of strangers to tackle the group task: Create your own Map. We built this map
This is the finished product.
How did that magnificent piece of childlike scrawl and Crayola come into being?
We took to Clark street and asked people, “If you could have any map in the whole wide world, what kind of map would you want?”
“Could I have a map to something strange and ephemeral?”
We’d tell them, “Yeah, you could have a map to an idea if you wanted. You could have a map to love, or to the heart of it all.”
As we skipped through the spring night we happened upon a gaggle of girls, looking between 1 and 50 years old. One of the girls, who’s sister proudly proclaimed that she wasn’t goth, but could understand why we might think that. She knew the kind of map she wanted. Her sister chimed in, she wants a map to the unicorns.
The little not goth girl said, “I would want to have a map to the unicorns.”
Bonnie asked her, “Do you have any guess what would be on that map?”
“Yeah, you’d have to ride a unicorn to get there.”
The youngest of the group questioned her logic, “You need a unicorn to get to unicorns?” And Bonnie agreed that didn’t sound quiet right.
“Of course, you’d need a Pegasus. And the Pegasus would need stop at gas stations along the way, It wouldn’t be a normal gas station of course. Because your Pegasus would need to fill up on cotton candy and rainbows. It’s a very long way to get to the Unicorns. And they can be dangerous too, so you’ll have to be charged up. Hence the gas stations.” The little girl had imagined a map I wanted a hand in bringing to life.
Over the week we went around collecting stories and map ideas like the one above… and I found my heart touched.
Everyone I talked to wanted to delve into their maps, they all wanted diverse and interesting thing. Many of them put dangers and perils on their maps. Any place worth getting to would have to be hard won. Or baring that, what sort of imaginary map is without risk and adventure? “Has anyone said a mountain, yet? Let’s put a mountain on the map!”
There were a couple people who wanted a map to darker places. “If you have a map to a dark place, you’ll be able to avoid it, or you’ll at least be able to navigate it, right?”
So many wanted their dogs to be on the map we put snoopy in as a catch all. Lots of people were looking for comfort, or release from anxiety. Friendship, peace, harmony, to connect with others outside their social circle, are all things that came up and we tried to translate to the best of our ability.
There was a diversity in how to get to where they wanted to go, there was always some room for error, interpretation, the refraction that happens between teller and historian and then finally artist as the map was rendered.
Bonnie kept diligent notes, and looking over the conversation we had over the unicorn paradise, I can see how off my quotes are. Still, it’s accurate to the impression that conversation left on my heart.
We encourage you to come share your stories at the live show! If you post a story about the task in the comments here, you get into the show for free.
A Month Of
Stage 773 1225 W. Belmont
Wed May 13th 7:30-10:00
$10 free with a posted story or shared dish