Friday, June 19, 2009

Following Junk @ Westlake Center

Following Junk
Westlake Center
Friday 19 June 2009
It was a whimsical performance that wanted telling bad enough.... it got told. It was a rowboat on wheels. A boat filled with gold. Or was it candy? Hey, that's Frank Junk -- isn't it? Or is it a magical musician? Whover he is, he's making eerie music with his metal dishes, and that's making eerie weather, which is causing eerie things to happen. He's plucking and bowing and plinking and stretching his notes up into the trees.
He's drawing lines of children. They're rolling through the park and the forest and floating down rivers. They're popping out at the sea and struggling back up into the country.
They weathered a storm. They came to a rest in a golden field, a trail appeared behind them. Where had they gone? What will happen to them now?

Our Very Own Private Author

Olympia poet, Elizabeth She, kindly accepted the offer to come view our performance and write a story about it. Her story will be posted here this Monday, with her permission, after it is read aloud at the Fremont Solstice Parade on Staurday. Check back! Elizabeth wrote a beautiful story about a heavy boat being hauled through the forest by a girl named Mimi. Her friend Frank was traveling with her. Nomads. Far from the sea. Frank plays sweet and spicy music. Mimi pulls their burdens around. They meet a greedy monkey. They are followed by a rat and a talking horse. After the performance, Elizabeth shared her story with us. The intention of this project was to urge onlookers to follow a visual story with their imagination, to suck it back onto the page....schuuuLP.

Following Junk
by Elizabeth Shé (pronounced Shay)

written Juneteenth 2009 in response to a moving performance by Mimi Allin and Frank Junk

Once upon a time, there was a magic musician named Frank Junk. He loved to play instruments of any and every kind.

Frank was followed by mysterious creatures: some shiny, some black, some tall, some pink.

Frank had a friend named Mimi, a gorilla of brilliant hue.

Mimi and Frank were nomads – they traveled from place to place, pulling a boat filled with golden objects. Some folks thought the gold was money, and stole it when Mimi and Frank weren’t looking.

Some people said it was magical, gold-covered candy. If you ate it, strange things would happen to you, depending on your state of mind:
If you were a peaceful person, the candy brought sweet dreams and bliss.
If you were an angry person, perhaps your head exploded.
If you were sad, perhaps the candy took all your cares away.

One day, a monkey fell from a tree into the boat as it was passing below. The monkey screamed and grabbed handfuls of the golden pieces.

Mimi stopped in her tracks, but Frank kept playing. His song was sad and sweet and spicy and silly, all at the same time.

The monkey looked at Frank, then looked at Mimi, then looked at the gold in his hand. He jumped out of the boat and climbed back up his tree… or he tried to. He quickly realized he couldn’t climb while holding the gold. He had to make a decision.

Frank kept playing the sad, sweet, spicy, silly music, and looked at the monkey, who looked at him.

Mimi sat in the road. She was tired of pulling the boat.

“Monkey see, monkey do,” said Frank, over the sad, sweet, spicy, silly music.

BANG! the monkey threw the gold back in the boat, and scampered up the tree.

Mimi jumped up and clapped her hands.

Frank laughed and played his sad, sweet, spicy, silly music.

Mimi reached into the boat, grabbed a piece of gold, and threw it up to the monkey in the tree.

Did the monkey catch it?
Was it money or was it food?
Did the monkey’s head explode, or were all his cares washed away?
What do you think happened?

Meanwhile, at the same time, down the road apiece, walked a horse, a girl, and a very hungry rat.

“I’m starving!” grumbled the rat. “It’s been 45 minutes since my last meal!”

“Hush, Ratty,” said the horse. “Can’t you hear the music?”

What did they hear?

Sad and sweet, spicy and silly… MUSIC!… coming from down the road.

“Pick me up,” said Ratty, so the girl set him on her shoulder. “I can’t see,” he said, and climbed up her hair to the top of her head.

As the horse, the girl, and the very hungry rat drew closer, the music got louder: sad, then sweet, spicy, then silly.

Soon they saw a tall tree by the side of the road.
They saw Mimi dancing and clapping her hands.
They saw a boat.

“Is that a boat?” asked the horse.

“Yes,” said the girl, “ so far, so far from sea.”

Soon the horse, the girl, and the rat on her head were close enough to see a glimmer of gold.

Was it money or was it food?
Where was the monkey?
Who were the mysterious creatures a little bit behind the boat, some shiny, some black, some tall, some pink?

What do you think?

The horse stuck her head down into the boat. “Smells like hay,” she said.

“Looks like gold,” sniffed Ratty. “Not very good to eat.”
Frank laughed. Mimi laughed. The monkey, up in the tree, hidden behind leaves and branches, laughed.

Mimi grabbed handfuls of the golden objects and threw them up in the air.

Was it money or was it food?
Did the girl’s head explode or were her cares washed away?
Who were those mysterious creatures, some shiny, some black, some tall, some pink?

What do you think happened?
You tell me, if you please.
My belly is full of golden candy.
Do you think my head will explode?


Thank You
To my collaborators Frank Junk (music composition & performance) and Mylinda Sneed (puppet direction). Thanks to Ingrid Lahti for asking me to present a few performances at Westlake. Thanks to Elizabeth She for writing and sharing her beautiful words with us. Thanks to Shin Yu Pai for attending and supporting. Thanks to the Fremont Arts Council and to Artsparks for material funding and support.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks mimi, two days of fun a beautiful adventure I'm really glad
to have been a part of. watch out for those monkeys. Frank

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank YOU! Mimi! What a fun & fabulous collaboration! What's next? ~Mylinda

1:41 AM  

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