Dear theatre audience,

This is it. I am standing backstage. Between me and you
is a door, slightly ajar. When I hear my name announced I
will walk through this door, across the stage and into the
spotlight. I will strut and I will pose (as best as I can).
I will meet your gaze and make you complicit in this product
of fiction.

I have just extinguished my final cigarette. I think
I could have timed it a little better as there are still
a couple of moments before I am introduced and I am
without a ritual to regulate myself. It only takes a
moment for my fears to be incensed as to how silly this
is and how it could all go so horribly wrong. To comfort
this fear I pace back and forth in a straight line and
sing a song under my breath, The Advertʼs One Chord Wonders.
I take shelter in these actions and orient myself with them.

I wonder what we’ll play for you tonight.
Something heavy or something light.
Something to set your soul alight.
I wonder how we’ll answer when you say.
“We don’t like you – go away”
“Come back when you’ve learned to play”

I wonder what we’ll do when things go wrong.
When we look up and the audience has gone.
Will we feel a little bit obscure.
Think “we’re not needed here”

The song helps. But I have just have just heard my name
and your applause. The circle which the song drew around me
has now opened and exposed its fragile centre. Me. I am to
go out there. Where you are now. If this does go wrong and
it comes down to a fight, my colleagues and I donʼt stand
a chance. You out number us about thirty-to-one. Frank
could probably hold his own for a bit. Natalie too. Sime
and Dara though can hide under the cloaks of their
dramaturgical and design roles and avoid implication.
Their work is done. As was ours, until this moment. Now
a new job begins: the opening up of that same circle that
these theatre rituals assemble and bring you into the work.
For you are important to us. It is for you. All of it.

This will not be virtuous or pedagogical. This is about
opening up spaces. It will expose the fragile centre of this
moment. Where territories, identities and narratives collide.
It could fail miserably. It could be awkward. But wont it be
exciting finding out?

This is not an investigation of x, an exploration of y or a
fucking with of z. It is not about a subject. It is the subject.
It is a form and a structure first. It is an event. Do not look
for its meaning. Look for its function.

Let us let go of virtuosity, stability and our compulsive modernity
and just be together. For who we really are. Players of a game
where we can all take control. We will let you know the rules. But
feel free to break them. There will be no winners or losers in this
game. Just players.

Here I go. This is it.

See you out there. Not from the stage, but on the stage.

Much love, peace and understanding,

Malcolm. x

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Dear audience, a short treatise on the Team MESS work
This Is It, was first published on Das 500and later re-published
on the Live Art List Australia