Would I lie to you? Definitely.

LBrowningPhotography10

Photo: Lindsay Browning

Would I lie to you?, like previous work by RealLivePeople, is an exploration of our sense of identity and common humanity. But this time it’s all about lying: who we lie to, when do we lie most often and how we feel about it?

Rather than asking these personal questions to strangers we’ve stayed a bit closer to home: each of the dancers started the process vigilantly (and not so vigilantly) tracking his or her lies and reporting them back to the group. From there I conducted an interview with each dancer about their lying habits – the text from these interviews will form a large portion of the sound score for the piece.

What we’ve learned so far is surprising (and also not): pretty much everyone lies all the time but we feel really differently about it. Some dancers believe that their lives would be better if they never lied while others believe that lying is a necessary part of many of their relationships and interactions – it keeps thing cordial. Along with the moral pondering there are also discussions about cheating, familial patterning, text/email deceit, chronic exaggeration and long term self delusion. It’s kind of juicy.

Oh, and there’s dancing:

lie rehearsal video screenshot

Meet Molly! She is ready to teleport.

As a company we spend endless hours rehearsing, giggling and sharing our lives and we wanted to share a bit of ourselves with you. Rather than posting tired bios with stats and degrees, each company member created questions for another.

Molly fish face

Photo Credit Lindsay Browning

Interviewer: David Konyk

Interviewee: Molly Jackson

1. Do you feel any connection to the Jackson 5?

I don’t know if it is the last name connection, the initials connection (MJ ❤ MJ), or the sweet dance moves connection, but yes….yes I do. One of the first CD’s that I became obsessed with as a young kid was “Kid Rock”. It featured classic hits such as “Rockin’ Robin”, “Who Put The Bop in the Bop Shoo Bop”, “Chantilly Lace”, “Red Rubber Ball” and or course “ABC” by the Jackson 5. I listened to this album until it was so worn in that it would barely play anymore. To this day, every time I hear the Jackson 5, I feel like I’m 5 years old again. ABC, easy as 123! These songs completely formed me into the young lady I grew up to be. A 60’s baby at heart.

2. Without thinking about it, what is the first song to pop into your head right now?

Well, I’m listening to music right now, so I’m not sure that I can answer this question honestly. I had a gig dancing at Sister’s Nightclub last night, so I suppose my brain is on pop song overload right now. I’m cleansing myself with some Velvet Underground radio of Spotify. It is an absolutely amazing station…you should give it a try.

3. Was the answer to question 2 by the Jackson 5?

Now that you mention it, I think I’m sensing an awkward and slightly terrible mix of “ABC” and my current song “Waving Flags” by British Sea Power, happening in my head right now. I hope the rest of these questions aren’t about the Jackson 5, because I’d like to forget about this terrible mix of songs and focus on cleansing my mind of the pop song overload called Sister’s Nightclub.

4. Do you make your bed in the morning?

I’m still sitting in bed right now, actually. I don’t plan on getting out of it anytime soon. I got home from work at 2:30 am and it’s 10:30 right now, so I see going back to sleep for a little while in my foreseeable future. However, on days when I am not still sitting in my bed, yes, I am an avid bed maker. I have trained myself (and my boyfriend, Ryan, for that matter) to not leave the house in the morning without making the bed. It makes me feel calmer. Ryan and I share a moderately small room in a house with 4 other roommates, so it can easily get cluttered and crazy with all of our stuff occupying a small area. Walking into a wild room and seeing an organized bed helps me not feel like I’m going insane.

5. Do you get nervous before going on stage, (performing)? If yes, what things do you do to reassure yourself?

It depends on what I am going on stage to perform. If I feel confident and comfortable with the movement and setting, I would say that I’m less nervous and more so focused and excited. If I am feeling a little uneasy and unsure that I’ve had enough rehearsal, I visualize what I am about to do and steady my breath. I find that if I can see the movement in my mind, then it is a good indication of knowing it in my body. If I am feeling confident about the performance, I shake out my nerves, try to get myself in an excited and positive place, and then focus on coming to a calm state of mind and relaxing my body so that my energy is focused into the ground and not up in my shoulders or in an unstable place.

6. If you had to give up, (lose), one of your five senses completely, (sight, hearing, smell, taste, feeling), which do you think you could live without?

This is a scary question. I’ve thought about it before, and it makes me so sad to think of life without all of these senses.

I am an incredibly visual person. I can’t imagine living without color, texture, visual art, being able to see human emotion and movement.

Hearing is a lifeline for me. Without it, music would cease to exist in my life. Hearing a song and allowing my body to soak it in and respond to all the layers and textures of the beats and vocals. Yes, I”d also miss hearing voices and sounds in the world….but music is what I don’t know if I could live without.

Feeling I also don’t think I could give up. I tend to get anxious if I go for a while without feeling human to human contact. Really feeling and responding to a hug, holding someone’s hand, or feeling a hand rub my head or back. And a life without getting the full enjoyment out of sex….don’t get me started.

Smell. Hmm….living in the city, sometimes I wish that I didn’t have the sense of smell. Is it true that if you lose the sense of smell, you also lose the sense of taste? I think it comes down to either smell or taste. I have always said that although I appreciate and fully enjoy and LOVE tasting a delicious milkshake or bowl of mac n’ cheese, I am a very texture based person when I’m eating or drinking something. If something tastes good but has a creepy texture, I can’t eat it. And vise versa, if something is bland or sort of foul, I’ll eat it if it feels interesting in my mouth. So, as long as I could still feel food, then maybe life wouldn’t be absolutely terrible….and maybe I wouldn’t want to have that 8th serving of cake.

7. If you could have one special ability, what would it be?

One special ability. Of course my go-to answer is the ability to fly. It would be amazing to soar in the sky and feel completely weightless. However, I think that it would still be hard to get to places long distances away….and would I be able to carry any bags with me? Questions questions. Probably not. I would like the able to teleport and have the ability to teleport anyone who I was touching. I want to travel to every inch of the world, but it’s hard to do things like that living on the salary of a barista/dancer and when your schedule is full of rehearsals, gigs and work. If I wanted to grab lunch, I could teleport to a cafe in the South of France. If I had a day off and was sick of gloomy weather, I could suddenly be lounging on a beach in Brazil with a few friends. Or if I simply missed my family, I could zip to Boston and take a yoga class with my mom and dad.

Meet Hedy! She is probably wearing black underwear.

As a company we spend endless hours rehearsing, giggling and sharing our lives and we wanted to share a bit of ourselves with you. Rather than posting tired bios with stats and degrees, each company member created questions for another.

hedy growling

Interviewer: Adams Berzins

Interviewee: Hedy Wyland

1. If you could change someone else’s life, who would it be and how would you change it?

I wouldn’t necessarily change anyone’s life because its not my place but I would have made my moms life easier as a single mom with three kids.

2. What is your favorite color underwear?

Black, because I’m really pale and I like the way they contrast my skin tone. On someone else: any color, I like to see people in their undies.

3. What would you do, if you couldn’t dance anymore?

If I couldn’t dance anymore that would mean that I was really old or lost my legs so I would probably become a talk show host. The show would be called, “Hed from the bed” and I would broadcast from my bedroom. Guest would have breakfast with me in bed and we would discuss inappropriate topics.

4. Why do you hate cilantro?

You know it’s funny, if you had asked me this question five years ago I would have said that it tasted like dish soap. Recently I have been eating it in soups or dips and I’m slowly becoming a cilantro fan…sort of.

5.  What 3 people, alive or dead, would you like to have dinner with?

At this moment I would have to say my grandma Peggy, Marilyn Monroe and Mick Jagger

6. What’s so great about Pittsburgh, anyway?

Pittsburgh is so great because its where I’m from and where my family lives still. People are super friendly and humble. We have the best football team in the U.S and we make a mean sandwich.

Meet Adams! According to him the egg came first.

As a company we spend endless hours rehearsing, giggling and sharing our
lives and we wanted to share a bit of ourselves with you. Rather than posting
tired bios with stats and degrees, each company member created questions for another.

adams jumpingInterviewer: Sara Nye

Interviewee: Adams Berzins

What would you do if you got laid off tomorrow?

Get another job as quickly as possible and start determining what assets I have that could be liquified.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

The Egg. The fallacy is that a chicken would be a required to lay an egg that would produce another chicken, however, a chicken could be born from an egg laid by an organism that, genetically speaking, would not be considered a chicken. Evolution at work. The conundrum comes when needing to determine how that chicken would then be able to create more chickens without a similar mutation occurring in another egg that created a genetically similar organism that could procreate and beget more eggs and similar chickens.

What keeps you dancing, despite how busy you are?

Social interaction that detaches me from my 9-5 life. The opportunity to be creative in an embodied way that I’m not afforded in my day to day life.

What is a moral/ethical question with which you struggle?

The marginalization of masculinity and manliness in popular culture and society. I’m not sure its a moral/ethical questions but it is a broader societal phenomena that I struggle with understanding and try to document it and reverse it. In the realm of moral and ethical, I struggle with the advancement of technology and the applications for privacy and health. The alternate uses of information that is gathered for beneficial purposes, such as medical data or even shopping habits being used for targeted campaigns based on sweeping demographic assumptions. And the private control of that information beyond the initial use.

If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it? What in your life would change?

I don’t think I’d change all that much. I’d make things around me better and more comfortable. A part from paying off school for Adi and other debts, paying off my house, donating $50,000-$100,000 to the Latvian for renovations and upgrades (new bar, kitchen, theater apparatuses).  If I have significant money left over, I’d start a fund to pay for arts administrators in Philadelphia. A for-profit management company that would provide administrative services to artists large and small at a subsidized rate to allow companies to grow and manage their company for maximum benefit and sustainability. That is probably about as far as a million would go. I’d hope to have enough left over to take a nice trip, like a really nice trip to the Seychelles or the Maldives.

Meet David! He has good taste in music.

As a company we spend endless hours rehearsing, giggling and sharing our
lives and we wanted to share a bit of ourselves with you. Rather than posting
tired bios with stats and degrees, each company member created questions for another.

Interviewer: Hedy Wyland (Dancer)

Interviewee: David Konyk (Dancer)

Describe your perfect day

I would wake up clear of mind, energized and be filled with purpose.  The sky would be sunny and blue.  Temperature in the low 70’s with a mild breeze softly blowing.  I would not have any worries this day and flow from place to place doing the things I wanted to do easily and without conflict.  I would be able to make all the people I interacted with laugh or at lease smile.  Someone would tell me I look handsome.  Someone else would tell me that I am really good at what I do.  I would receive a letter from and old friend and a very cute girl I never met before would give me a wink.  I would be happy to arrive wherever I went and be content wherever I was. I would be reminded often throughout the day of how lucky I am and how wonderful it is to be alive in this world.  I would focus out and find beauty in everything I saw. At night, sleep would be there when I wanted it and I would dream beautifully and restfully.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope to be putting into practice the lessons I am learning now.  I hope to have found love or a better definition of what it is.  I hope to be closer to the deaf community and have a greater understanding of their language and culture and be interpreting.  I see having many new experiences that I cannot even imagine having now.  I see myself being surprised by where my road has lead me.  Sadly, I do not see my cat being with me five years from now, and that makes me very sad. I see myself having a car. I see myself traveling very far. I see myself furthering and expanding my art making practice. I see myself still not ever being completely satisfied, and that is a good thing.

What three songs sum up your life?

Unsatisfied” by The Replacements

Alter Ego” by Tame Impala

Being Bad Feels Pretty Good” by Does It Offend You, Yeah?

 

Meet Mason! He is night blind.

As a company we spend endless hours rehearsing, giggling and sharing our lives and we wanted to share a bit of ourselves with you. Rather than posting tired bios with stats and degrees each company member created questions for another.

Interviewer: Molly Jackson

Interviewee: Mason Rosenthal

Describe your mindset as you are backstage, preparing yourself to perform.

What I am feeling is always different. Sometimes I am very nervous, sometimes confident, sometimes tired, bored, silly, irritated, ecstatic. But the practice is always the same. Preparing to perform my focus is on increasing my awareness of whatever it is that is happening. Both inside my own body as well as externally in other performers, the audience, the environment.

Describe a moment or two when you felt sublimely happy, or in general, what
makes you experience this feeling?

That performance mindset I described earlier is what makes me happy. It is a kind of
meditative practice for me. I feel very awake. Performing/rehearsing is the #1 place I
tend to experience that feeling, but being outside can trigger it too. Also traveling at
night.

If you were an animal what would you be?

My spirit animal is a Mole. A Mole has poor vision and is quite small, but a Mole is
extraordinarily strong for its size and is sensitive to vibrations. A Mole has a kind of
6th sense that gives it psychic powers.

Write a haiku describing Mason Rosenthal:

Bumping against walls.
Why can’t he see what’s right there?
Mason is night blind.

What was your first performance experience?

I was a Heffalump in a community theater performance of “Winnie the Pooh”. I think I
wore funky pants and sunglasses.

Describe your dream career

What I am doing now just with more money coming in. Creating original performance
pieces, performing in other people’s work, and teaching performance techniques.

Tell me three quirky things about yourself

1. I’m night blind. I have a genetic condition that makes it hard for my eyes to adjust
to low light.
2. I have a tattoo on my right butt cheek.
3. I had a blue tongued skink as a pet. It’s a kind of lizard with a huge blue tongue
that looks like a snake with legs.