Photos from the first workshop of FULL DARK in March 2013 taken by Gavin Hope.
There is a darkness.
This phrase has been running around and around my head for days…since I began workshop rehearsals on this last phase of FULL DARK… I dream these words…they just occur to me at odd times…I find myself mouthing the phrase to myself on the subway….the subway…now, let us talk about darkness…personal grooming on the subway?…when the fuck did THAT start happening?…was it always happening when I actually lived in town?…AH but as usual, I digress….THERE IS A DARKNESS…now, in the past, there usually is an ellipsis at the end…like this….
There is a darkness….
But today, I put a period at the end.
There is a darkness.
Because it seems like the right thing to do.
Because… there just is.
Oh, don’t be afraid everyone…calm your jets…and cool your heels…and don’t start messaging and emailing me…stop freaking…There is ALSO a lightness.
BUT…by choice… I have been wrestling with that first phrase and concept for the last few years in this piece that is part of my amazing residency at Buddies. 
I realized, with a bit of shock, that as of next week I have been committed to this piece for two years…BUT I have also been working on it since I wrote “SNAP” in 1998 (my first solo show ever…) and also since 10 days before I turned two years old in 1970…to help you figure THAT shit out you actually have to come to the workshop showing…it makes sense, really.
The most amazing thing is how quickly and honestly I gravitated towards the light in this life and in the work that I was attracted to doing…and seeing…and that the DARK was just always there…waiting…sometimes quietly…sometimes not at ALL quiet…waiting for me to  acknowledge it’s presence. 
“Don’t worry…” the Darkness said, “we have got all the time in the world…”
Sometimes…it is sultry…and attractive…and dreamy…and sometimes?…it is terrifying…and freezing…and life altering…and day ending.
When I began work on this show? 
I had no idea what it would end up being…and now? It is all clearer…more will reveal as I put it again in front of people…one of the most important elements of cabaret….this is different than anything I have ever done…and yet it is cabaret and therefore it is in my heart…it is alive and changing…but it is a practice…that is what Andrew calls it…and THAT feels right and good and solid.
Working with Andrew Kushnir has been a thrill…and it feels like I have my hand held for some of the way…and then a witness and helper on the rest of the way… when I have to continue on my own.
And then there is Steve Thomas at the piano, and with arrangement…who gets what I do so completely…and encourages me when I need it…and bows his head when I don’t… and leads the players with a cabaret/theatrical strength that is calming.
The team, as I have said in many Facebook posts, is stellar…with Michael Hughes, not dropping any balls and making sure the production side keeps floating along…and with Jason Chesworth BACK on strings…and the sensitive and wonderful Bob DiSalle…who came and joined us at a minutes notice on drums…when Jason found out Bob played for Bruce Cockburn for years, he plotzed. : ) And, when we get to performance, Wayne Gwillim with take the piano, as Steve goes off to other work…and Wayne…well, he gets it too…and has been around the world with me.
How thrilled can a gal be…to have all these people standing with her at the entrance to the forest…this girl is excited, nervous, scared…filled with many many many feelings and thoughts…as one does in a process like this…
I know this sounds all serious…and maybe fancy…maybe not…but this is truly something…something that I have been moving forward with for years…and it is strong…and it is chaotic…and it is cabaret. AND it is evolution!
I think it would be so interesting to have you come and be a part of this practice…what do you say? 
Feb 18th, 19th and 20th at…wait for it…10:00pm…so late. BUT I love it.
Get your tickets…come and take a ride….or a walk with me…and my wonderful
team. 

I am very thankful to Mel and Cole for being included in the amazing 35th year of this groundbreaking festival. THE RHUBARB FESTIVAL!! It only took me 46 years. Better late than never!
Here, just for shits and giggles, are some of the things that have occurred to me since I began this WHOLE process:
Sometimes, people’s feelings about cabaret (positive or negative) really influence my spirit…and sometimes, people’s misunderstanding or disdain of the art form makes them put out to the world that it is not enough…or not serious art. NOW! Maybe I am projecting…I am working in a very sensitive and close place to my heart right now…so one can become paranoid….and one can let that effect them and their work. (Though, after you have done many hours of cabaret work in rooms with very drunken people, you learn to steer your own ship and find your own peace.) 
OR…HOW ABOUT THIS GOAL? I strive to see it…whatever their words or actions are saying…ask myself ‘does it concern what I am doing right now’…and move on with your work, Sharron. 
Move on with the practice. (It really is the perfect word)
BUT (most important) DO NOT let that distance you from the audience, the world you are working in and the rooms…just let the “shit that mars” roll over you like a river….not a fast river…a slow and lazy one.
Cabaret is so connected to the people you are working with (in the audience…and cabaret artists are working WITH you…that is how the show can change so drastically every night) that sometimes the negative…or perceived negative can cut you to the quick.
Use that. And move on.
LORD!! SO FANCY!!
POSSIBLE CRASS SHORTFORM OF ABOVE: Sometimes audience members just have “resting bitch face”…it really can mean nothing….move on. (I learned this in Scotland and Mexico…oh, and everywhere else…) And if it does mean something…fuck it…use it…

Mini Eggs can really make a day better.
There are SO many wonderful supporters out there. People you know and a great many you don’t. Support, help, joy, and positivity comes from a lot of different places and directions. BE OPEN to the positivity. Listen AND hear. And stop for a moment and be thankful for these times and people. 
People can judge romance novels all they want…but, especially during a process like this…I LOVE THAT SHIT. (I feel that I need to say I love other books too…)
  
When people place themselves above others in arts (and in the world), whether through good fortune, lucky breaks or hard work, creation and independence dies a little. #BeKind (I twittered that late last night…I really believed it needed another look.)
The TTC really is the better way…except the grooming…the rushing… and the meanness that occurrs sometimes.
I love cabaret. I love art…and I feel that it saved my life…many times.
HERE are a couple of videos from the first workshop of FULL DARK in March of 2013.
The wonderful Chris Tsujiuchi was on keys, the handsome and talented Jamie Drake was on percussion and the foxy Jason Chesworth rocked it out on guitar and mandolin.
I am so thankful to ALL the musicians I have worked with on this project…Matt Marccocia, Michael Doherty included!
THESE Two songs are not in the show…but give them a listen and have good days ALL!!
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