Anita’s Eye on the Rodeo – Landline: Calgary to St. John’s – XOSecret
Landline: Calgary to St. John’s oh so gently places us in our bodies, in our environment and in a shared virtual space as an invented persona.
This is a not a show or a performance. It is a shared human experience with someone whom you cannot see and do not know — and are communicating with through the icy cold medium of text messaging. Yet, you share intimate moments that yourself prompt and develop with your “co-actor” — who just happens to be in St. John’s.
As directed, I arrived at the Big Secret Theatre box office 10 minutes ahead of “curtain time” to receive rudimentary instructions for my role in Landline: Calgary to St. John’s. I was given the text number of a fellow “actor” in St. John’s with whom I would converse via text, and an iPod with a pre-recorded soundtrack on it. Then, having been set loose to wander around the city for 40 minutes, to anywhere I wanted, I chose to circumnavigate Olympic Plaza, traipse around the Municipal Building plaza, meander along 7th Avenue and the LRT tracks, walk through the Telus Convention Centre hall and amble back to Arts Commons.
All the while the iPod prompted my St. John’s counterpart and I to notice the environment we moved through, inviting us to remember people or situations that our surroundings evoked. At times, we were prompted to build a text conversation with our counterpart and find scenes on which to build personal stories. We developed our own rhythm based on your own interests and curiosity, time and place.
Landline: Calgary to St. John’s is gentle breath of fresh air that infiltrates the channels of our brains, airing out stuffy corners, opening up windows of memory and possibility. It asks us to pay attention to our physical surroundings and to grow communication and trust with a stranger thousands of miles away. How it unfolds is all up to you — the main characters.
An insightful, unique and worthy way to visit familiar streets anew and reveal something surprising about yourself — while building rapport with another.