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Beginnings Pt7

Updated: Jan 13


We got right down to work on The Insects for the rest of that Summer right up to November. It started with the four of us, Berti, Toby, Edward, and myself meeting on average three times per week, and working out the choreography in the Edward Clark style. Edward had some unused music from previous shows by the artists Lagoon West and B. J. Cole that he decided to use, as it worked with the story and feel of The Insects. Julia Horn wasn’t able to attend rehearsals or be involved in the creation of the choreography because at that time she was living in the US. and wasn’t able to obtain a UK. work visa. Travelling on a her tourist visa resulted in not only limited, but also carefully scheduled visits to the UK, so as not to arouse suspicion. Believe it or not, she was one of triyoga’s regular guest workshop teachers. This created a problem when working out the choreography for her character. We needed a body. What ended up happening, was after about two weeks into rehearsals, Edward surreptitiously invited another regular non-performing practitioner, Valentina Candiani who just happened to be there the day we needed a person to stand in for Julia, to stay after the practice and work on choreography. It was presented as a one-off situation. To Edwards luck, she agreed. We were fortunate because, not only did Valentina have a good practice, she was also artistically inclined with her background in circus. Although none of us were paid for our time in rehearsals, we were all very committed to the show, and I think this group energy is what kept Valentina coming back to help out. She quickly became a part of our group. In hindsight, I can see that she was greatly taken advantage of, because although the initial invite was proposed as an opportunity to occasionally help with choreography, Edward continued to use her on a daily basis and include her in the rehearsal schedule. This then lead to her believing that she was actually apart of the show. I never heard Edward explicitly tell her one way or the other. This obscurity left her and the rest of us slightly unsure about her role. It was only when after rehearsing for a whole month that I directly asked Edward if Valentina was actually going to be in the show. My concern was the creation of a new character for either her or Julia. See, I was of a mind to let go of Julia and keep Valentina, which seemed an obvious choice, although I didn’t know what or if promises were made and hands were shaken. When Edward answered, “No”, I asked, “Does she know that?” . To which he replied, “It’s a problem I will have to work out before Julia arrives.” After that conversation, I began to feel bad for Valentina, but not enough to tell her the truth. My excuse was that it wasn’t my place, it was Edwards. So, during rehearsals it was all fun and games until Valentina would occasionally ask a pertinent question about when the proposed dates of the performances were, due to her having to fit it into her work schedule. Edward would continuously give her non-committal answers, while the rest of us would stand there in awkward silence not making eye contact, pretending we didn’t hear her question. I remember walking to the underground station with Berti and Toby one day after rehearsals and discussing the Valentina situation with them. We all felt is was wrong and sorry for her, but none of us wanted to tell her, and were left wondering how the problem would be solved.

All through that late summer and into mid fall we kept on working hard on The Insects. And then Edward announced one day in the latter part of October that Julia Horn was scheduled to arrive back in the UK to learn her part. I didn’t completely forget about Julia’s arrival, I always knew it was coming, but with the five of us working so diligently, I guess I was half expecting it to fall through. So when Edward announced her eminent arrival, I felt annoyed. Especially as Edward began to make remarks about how amazing she was, like the rest of us and our three months of work was below par, and her participation was all that was needed to elevate us to the gold standard. He began to say things like “ She’s a professional Nikki, you’ll notice the difference working her.” All sympathy and understanding for her visa situation went out the window. Who the fuck was this bitch to swan in and take the lead spot after all the hard work was done. Having never met Julia, I got very defensive against her. And the idea of cutting Valentina out after three months of unpaid hard work made me irate. As an avenue to vent my growing jealousy and frustration, I decided to go to war for Valentina, as there was nothing else to legitimately go to war for. I was determined to not let Valentina get pushed out. So I stayed behind after rehearsals to discuss this with Edward the day before Julia was due to show up at the studio. I told him that we have to keep Valentina on. She had been grossly miss-lead. And, it is the right thing to do. I remembered Edward was vehemently against it, and he asked me to break the news to her that she was out. I think his mental process was it would be a softer blow coming from me, as we had spent so much time together in rehearsals. Because of our multiple duets, we had build up a working friendship. However, I refused, stating it was not my place, but his, as he was the one who asked her to help out in the first place. After much debate, Edward acquiesce, and I’m not sure if it was because he saw the logic and fairness of my argument, or it was just the easiest way out of the horrible situation that he had created. Since I was the one who pushed for Valentina to stay, Edward then laid the burden of creating another role for her on me. So that evening I went home and worked it out in my head. The next day, with Julia Horn in rehearsals for the first time, an awkward discussion took place between Valentina and Edward in his office before we started. I must say she took it very well, although she did look hurt and confused and I think that is the reason why Julia and her never became friends and remained distant form each other. I didn’t care, though because, I felt like I had finally done the right thing by her. To be fair, I never became friends with Julia either, but my reasons were different. When she arrived she became Queen Tripsichore with all the men half in love with her. Two things I will give her. One; she did have an amazingly strong practice with a flexibility range that bordered on contortion. Two; she was very pretty, charming and vivacious. But beyond that, she was a Cunt! But then again, aren’t we all from time to time.


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