I am so happy that Charlie has an opportunity to be performed here. Otherwise I would never have known that I could actually be Charlie.
I accidentally taught Charlie alphabets, despite knowing that Charlie doesn’t know alphabets from the interview we did with Victoria Chen. But I wanted to write her name on a building she drew on paper, and the concept of alphabets just slipped out unconsciously.
At first, I entered the room to see if Charlie could share with me more about her world, but I accidentally shared more of mine instead. I thought I was expected to go in to challenge her (both Charlie and Victoria), or to egg her on to step outside her room, or answer her possibly endless questions about the outside world, or to give a perfect answer to the question of what the world is like.
But there is none of that. All we did was talk. I didn’t expect her to become my mirror. It seems like what feelings one brings into the room subconsciously become amplified and Charlie serves it back to you, maybe unintentionally, but the ball lands back in my court and hits me hard.
It got me into thinking about my (bed)room, also the room I return to every night, about my professor who are the various teachers who entered my life to teach me about the things I now know, including the alphabets. She got me to remember that I am afraid to be alone in my room. She got me to think about what is safe, and do I want to be safe? Is my room safe? Is my world safe? So what if it is safe? Does one wish to always stay on the safe side?
I am just glad she didn’t ask me to describe to her the world outside. I have absolutely no idea what to say. But I guess bringing my self into the room to meet Charlie, is already considered bringing a figment of the world to her, a refraction of the world through me. I didn’t need to worry about having no answer to that big question at all.
Now I wish in real life, Victoria could sometimes turn into Charlie, so that I would always have a friend to talk to, someone who doesn’t judge; it felt so safe and warm and loved.
When my time was up, she said oh you have to go back to your room now, I think about my bedroom and the four walls, and I thought sadly, ya. I said good bye, and she called my name again just as I was about to step out, and I thought thank you. I know this is a performance, but still, it was nice to have carved a little safe space to have a conversation that went nowhere.
by Bhumi Collective
Date: 22 Nov 2018
Venue: Goodman Arts Centre Music Studio