So, this weekend we took Undine up to Seattle to perform at Theatre Off Jackson. We were hosted by the Satori Group, a young band of upstarts who all relocated to Seattle together in the last year and a half.
This experience was amazing in several ways:
+ I think Theatre Off Jackson may be my favorite venue in terms of performing Undine so far. The space is just the right balance of intimate and roomy. And they have a bar out in the lobby! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the show always goes better when the audience has had a few drinks. The audiences were some of the most engaged I’ve experienced, and it was really fun to perform to/for/with them. I feel like I got my Undine mojo back.
+ Theatre Off Jackson is in the heart of the international district so we got to eat delicious noodle soups and stir fried veggies all day every day, and one night we met this delightful woman whose family owns Ho Ho Seafood, where Bruce Lee worked when he lived in Seattle (and I didn’t even know he lived in Seattle). While we waited for our food she told us all about their famous rockfish and their New York Times review and Bruce Lee’s moves. She made me want to stay and chat for hours, and eat everything on their menu. It was a great lesson in the art of self-promotion. She made it look natural, charming and selfless. And totally un-sleazy.
+ The Satori Group are incredible hosts. They handled all the details (with a ton of marketing help from Mike Pham of Helsinki Syndrome) with aplomb. They have set the bar high for when we return the favor. Which we hope to do with the show they’re working on now, The Making of a Monster. We actually got to see a bit of the wild-yet-focused process they’re using to create it when we did a training exchange with Satori on Saturday, and I’m excited to see the show in June, when it premieres at Northwest New Works, along with Ms. Erin Leddy’s solo show by the way. And Mike Pham’s! Yeeeehaw!
+ Satori set up a panel after each night’s performance to discuss new work in the northwest, hosted by Brendan Kiley of The Stranger. There were so many smart, engaging theater artists on this panel, and the outcome was that after each show we got into passionate, concrete discussions about the nature of new work vs. “old” work (and what the hell that distinction even means), and how we can establish a more tangible touring network in the northwest.
+ Did I mention that I freaking love Seattle audiences? Sometimes I feel like we get a better reception in Seattle than we do in Portland (which may just be the classic “never respected in your hometown” syndrome at play. Or as Jesus put it: “a prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” Not that I’m saying we’re prophets.) Anyway. And we even got some press, like this preview written by Jeremy Barker.
In any case: I’m excited to do more performance in Seattle, to bring more groups from Seattle down here, and to work together to make a northwest scene for touring new work.
So – thank you, Seattle! Let’s make this a tradition.