"If I invent it, it exists":
Me Talking to Myself in the Future
by Drew Rowsome
Photos by Joanna Akyol
Marie Brassard is an absolutely hypnotic performer and a masterful storyteller. At the beginning of Me Talking to Myself in the Future, she evokes the memory of the childhood creation of a haunted house and of telling the visitors, and by extension the current audience, "Follow me. Take my hand. I'll be your eyes. Don't be afraid."
Those who surrendered and trusted her guidance were transported into the mysterious world of Brassard's thought process.
More performance art than theatre, Me Talking to Myself in the Future moves slowly and, despite the massive video screen and special effects, is very static with the focus firmly on Brassard and her carefully measured words. The haunted house story is eerie and achieves a compelling tone. Then the tone changes, we slide into an underwater world, and Brassard conjures the story of "how music was born," an alternate theory of evolution - "evolution is imagination" - that is utterly magical. For a few brief moments Brassard lets some sly humour peek through and her conspiratorial smile is a delight. Then she winks and ruefully notes that, "I'm telling a story that makes no sense. My own personal creation myth," and veers in another direction.
Brassard references rock n' roll but the blood and knocked over mike stand are more moody Laurie Anderson than Courtney Love (even at her most heroin-like mellow) or even Bjork. It all depends on one's tolerance for mild but irritating electronic sound effects/music played live by two musicians glued to laptops. Brassard's story continues and everything is eventually tied together in an evocative but non-linear manner when the thematic threads dovetail with the haunting blindfolded ballerina in red taking our hand and reassuring us that, "If I invent it, it exists."
Using the logic of dreams or the subconscious is a difficult task, what is obviously deeply important to Brassard doesn't quite come across to the audience, and while we are invited into her vivid and druggy world, she doesn't necessarily reach into our individual brains or collective psyche. Me Talking to Myself in the Future is an experience that leaves gently nagging images and ideas lodged in the brain, but doesn't quite manage to deliver a contact high.
Me Talking to Myself in the Future continues until Sun, April 6 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St. buddiesinbadtimes.com