I’m in Ottawa now, which makes me a bit sad, but only because I REALLY love Montreal, and I have several hundred pictures to prove it. I’ll have to catch up real soon and post some here. I am excited to be switching gears, though, going from doing “American Squatter” to “Jesus In Montana.” And the Ottawa Fringe people have been incredibly wonderful to me so far.
In fact, this is a day that I’ve been looking forward to for a while. This is the day that I do a show tonight, having just done a different show last night.
It’s a first for me, and I look forward to seeing how it goes. Alas, it will be going at 11:00 tonight, on a Sunday, which doesn’t strike me as the best of all opening times, but we’ll see.
I met someone yesterday who told me that they read my blog about my opening show having a small, non-appreciative audience and it almost dissuaded him from coming. But he did, so from now on I will keep this in mind.
So, tonight I will do an awesome show. If you are thinking about seeing it, then do. Or, better yet, do it without thinking about it.
The other day I was really looking forward to was last Tuesday – that was the day when I had to drive to from Montreal to Ottawa on my day off from the “Squatter” run to do a tech rehearsal of “Jesus” in Ottawa, then drive back that night and continue the run. I don’t know why, but this just seemed so on-the-roady.
Riding along with me was Cara, who is doing a show called Bye Bye Bombay. Here she is navigating, sorta…
And Julie and Ricardo, who have a show called Flamenco Con Fusion. The were up until 5 the night before, so they aren’t even pretending to navigate.
About 15 minutes into our trip I felt I should tell them about my van’s little quirk – that it occasionally, and without warning or provocation, stops running. Just stops. You’ll be cruising down the highway at 65, then press on the gas and…nothing. The engine is dead. No more.
I felt I should warn them of this so in case I suddenly yelled GODDAMMIT and started coasting to the shoulder in busy traffic, they’d know what was up. I also hoped that by telling them it would somehow magically keep it from happening.
It worked exactly opposite of what I’d hoped. Less than 10 minutes later…GODDAMMIT!
I coasted to the inside lane. We were going uphill on the highway, not quite all the way out of Montreal yet, so I had to pull over fast. There wasn’t actually a shoulder, though – sort of a half-shoulder. I wedged in there, put the flashers on, and the horns began to blow and the traffic started to knot up.
The thing is, the van always starts again. You just have to wait a few minutes, that’s all. I waited a few minutes. It didn’t. A few more, and it still didn’t. A stalled van in the fast lane of a highway is not the most relaxing environment, but we made the most of it. Given the collective lack of automotive skills, (hey, we’re artists…) the other passengers decided that the reason the van was stalled was because I had yet to give it a name. They settled on Constance. Fair enough. But Constance still refused to budge.
The cops came. It took them a lot longer than I thought it would. They called a tow truck and threw down some road flares, then drove away.
Soon the guy driving the big flashing arrow truck arrived and parked behind the flares. He told me that the two truck was two minutes away. I ran to the van to tell the others and, just for kicks, turned the key.
I ran back to the arrow truck guy, told him it was running and that I was leaving. He replied (I’m not going to type it out this way, but this needs to be read with a thick French accent), “How do you know she will not die again just over the hill?”
He had both an accent and a point. I contemplated asking him to follow me for a while in his arrow truck – like to Ottawa, maybe – but ran away instead. There was no way Constance was going on a tow truck while she was running. I jumped in, put it in gear and took off. The lane was clear in front of me for a good long way.
We drove to Ottawa, did our technical rehearsals, drove back to Montreal (here we are at the end of our day)…
…performed for the rest of the week, then drove back to Ottawa, all without incident, and Ottawa is where I now sit, biding my time until my (awesome) 11pm show.