The most intimate moment in life is death. I have written a play about that moment and the word “death” doesn’t exist in the show. And it has a happy ending! Really, no fooling!
It makes everyone who sees it cry, and yet they love it. It is filled with super-natural experiences. Real ones like out of body-experiences, seeing a life-force whoosh through the air, and sounds-smells-and-images of being in two places at the same time! And Ghosts! Really! No fooling!
So in trying to write something clever for April Fools Day I needed to put all the cards on the table, so to speak, and ask the question: Is it possible to deal with our most sacred and fearful moments in life and find in them real human moments that are light and perhaps even fun or funny? Really! No fooling!
In writing about this I find that there is data, Really, No fooling, there is DATA on the role of humor in the most difficult experiences in our lives. Check it out in -- Really, No Fooling -- Scientific American . In 2014 researchers looked at this issue and while not exactly on point for this question, it is close enough. And it might explain why it took me 12 years to be able to write so completely about nearly losing Susan to breast cancer. Now the show is NOT a comedy, and yet it has its funny and loving moments. It finds beauty and the unexpected in our worst fears and lays out a path forward.
The Actual Dance is an available experience to everyone who may lose someone they love which will help them understand the process as a sum of all of life. I am reminded as I write this of the moment with my mother who was suffering from a metastasis of breast cancer to her brain. It was very difficult for me to be there at that moment in part because we did not know what was wrong with her, she seemed delusional, and I had never been with anyone in that moment. Mom was experiencing as I sat there an event that had happened in her youth, perhaps 50 or 60 years earlier. The cancer had done something to her brain and she was re-experiencing happy moments in her youth. It scared me then, and I thought she was suffering. Today I am thankful for that moment, and others like it, and I chose to believe it made my mom happy. It was in some ways absurd, crazy and no joking matter. Yet in the passage of time I now understand it as a chance for her to relive a great moment in the past! Really! No Fooling!
So, in 1964 these two 16 year old kids, a boy and a girl, attend a youth group conference in Texarkana, Texas, and somehow remember flirting with each other, though they never actually met. Three years later they actually meet each other, fall in love and get married. On August 23, 2016 these same two people are going to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Really! No Fooling! But in 2000, there was a moment when it all almost came to an end, and I was there, and I was scared, nauseous, and perhaps even delusional. And now re-enacting that moment through theatre over and over and over again is my calling and profession. Really! No Fooling!