The Soft Opening: the Invoc8 Trilogy

As we move towards staging our Invocation, Laurie and I decided to test out the waters with a smaller version. Our friends at Jump-Start Performance Co. (a theatre company of which we both have been members) were presenting one of their 8 x 8 shows, and we were asked to contribute.

The 8 x 8 was created as an easy way to initiate programing during Jump-Start’s challenging and rather disruptive move from a large venue to a much smaller and less performance-ready space. Members of the organization and their friends were asked to create small, easy-to-stage works. For a run of eight (nonconsecutive) evenings, eight 8-minutes works were performed on a stage measuring eight feet by eight feet. The shows would start at 8pm, and cost 8 dollars per person. Each night would be a different show.

It was wonderful, diverse, and filled with surprises. The acts ranged from theatrical scenes, monologues, poetry, music, dance, film, and the more irksome to categorize pieces which often just get lumped in as performance art.

This time around, the Spring of 2016, 8 x 8 was titled “8 x 8: Cabaret du Jump.” Instead of a slightly raised 8′ x 8′ stage, there was now an eight foot cube fashioned from PVC pipe to perform within.

When we were invited, Laurie and I decided to each do a solo piece, and we would also perform a piece together (since, really, we’ve amassed all this gear for the upcoming Invocation: projector, PA, speaker stands, microphones, music stands (with dual gooseneck LED lights), et cetera). It was Laurie’s idea to titled our two-person presentation “Invoc8tion.” We came up with a plan to go on a road trip, and let those experiences inform, not just Invoc8tion, but our solo pieces as well.

Armed with cameras, notebooks, and audio recording equipment, we headed out on Highway 16 deep into the Texas Hill Country.

What we returned with was:

  • A film (mine), Up the 98th Meridian West: 8 Destinations.
  • A monologue (Laurie’s), 8 Prayers in Passing: Road Trip Musings.
  • A multimedia performance piece (the both of us), Invoc8tion.

Last night (Friday, April 1st) we each shared the stage with some extraordinary artists, and we presented our solo pieces to a packed house. Tonight, we perform Invoc8tion, our miniature foray into enhanced storytelling, merging spoken word, projected animated images, and a slowly building soundscape. I can’t wait!

From Friday’s show, here’s an Instagram of Laurie.


And here’s my film.

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