A few years ago I took part in ‘The Antidote” project at the Goddard College in Vermont that Dana Heffern presented as part of her summer residency there. For myself, it was an exciting adventure as I was asked the same day of the performance by Ginger Vieira to come and take part due to a T1D (Type 1 Diabetic) participant cancelling at the last minute. So what if it’s a 4-5 hour trip across the border – to “foreign” country – mid week to boot when I was working? Pfft – no problem – when someone needs my help – and especially another T1D which Dana is (and an insulin pumper to boot) – I come a running – yes I do!! I found a place to stay thanks to Dana pointing out a few places nearby to the campus that were in my price range – and bing bang boom – I was on my way – with bells on my toes. I’m always the one for adventure!
Picture of Dana Heffern's artwork (more can be found here)
Fast forward to 2013 … Dana has recently been asked by Smith College in Northampton, MA to create a ‘gallery show’ that will include the showing of “The Antidote” once again. She’s looking for participants (I like to call ourselves “performers” – it’s the wanna-be actor in me I think) – and that’s where this blog post comes into play. Dana is looking for folks that perhaps participants that live in the area OR don’t mind perhaps staying overnight similar to what I did last time I was called up if they live a longer distance. I’ll be travelling from Montreal with my DH who will be one of the performers at the table – so we’re making this a weekend trip away from the home front – and having abit of a holiday.
Now to the nitty gritty of this blog –what are the details you need to know if you’re interested ! First - the performance is taking place on Saturday, August 10th!
There are TWO levels of participants: the dinner performers, and the audience. The performers sitting at the table will be comprised of endocrinologists (MD) as educators on the disease, nurses (RN) as aids and demonstrators for the actual medical procedures performed, diet/fitness educators, non-diabetics (T3) as learners, and Type 1 Diabetics (T1D) as advocates.
During the performance at a large dinner table the performers will be served a delicious 5 course meal designed and prepared by Dana and a local chef (licking my lips in anticipation – last time it was AWESOME). The performers will sit and eat dinner for about a 1 hour. The T3 performers (my DH will be one of these) will act as T1D, checking their blood sugar, and injecting themselves with medicine if necessary (saline will be injected – NOT insulin – since T3’s already have a functioning pancreas – lucky buggers). They will have to sit and eat alongside the Type 1’s.
Picture courtesy of Dana Heffern
The general public aka the audience can simply watch the performance, which will be roped off, as if it were a sculpture in a gallery or museum (think of the performers as being a Van Gogh painting). Now, if you, the audience member feel like sitting down with the performers, then there will be a few empty chairs at the table so you can listen in and observe (we performers are not permitted to talk to the audience OR visa versa).
This performance will be documented on video for the purpose of creating a short video essay on the project afterwards. So, everyone attending this event will be given the opportunity to be interviewed regarding their experience after the performance. A copy of the essay video will be given to each of the performers upon completion of the project. Also, after the performance we are all invited to mingle with cocktails and hors d'euvres!! Fancy schmanzy I say - I best be on my best behaviour!
As Dana wrote recently to me and I quote – “I believe a nurturing and caring environment will cultivate good communication. I hope you are interested in adding to the conversation and I look forward to hearing your story. I would be honored to have you attend the show as an audience member. I would be especially honored if you could participate in the dinner performance and sit at the table. Either way, please contact me if you are interested by July 20th. I look forward to meeting you! “
For more information - please contact Dana - [email protected]
Feel free to forward this post on - to anyone you feel might be interested !
Picture courtesy of Dana Heffern