I got thinking recently about why I embarked on this journey to launch my first solo show. Jewnique has taken up an enormous amount of my time and energy, so much so I've had to scale back on some money-making gigs. So if this solo show isn't going to put food on my table or pay my rent, why did I dive yarmulke-first into the show?
It's simple: I'm not motivated by money. I'm motivated by stretching my creativity.
One of the reasons I went freelance after 12 years in a full-time job was to pursue creative projects that would fulfill me. It's not hard to make money as a journalist; what's difficult is finding an opportunity that would invigorate my passion for spoken word, while also teaching me something new about who I am as an artist.
I've done the touring thing, I've done the poetry slam-producing thing, and I've published a book of poetry. What I have never done is written and performed a 40-minute show, threaded with a consistent theme. What I have never done is write so introspectively about my relationship with Judaism. What I never thought of doing until recently is blending my journalistic experience with my spoken word talent.
Jewnique is more than just a one-night-only performance. It's the beginning of a journey to welcome initiatives that connect me to what's been missing in my life, whether that means analyzing what I've stiff-armed Judaism my entire life, or learning more about myself as a theatre artist.
I'm not one for hyperbole but I can say with the utmost conviction that Jewnique is one of the most difficult projects I've ever tackled. As challenging as it is, mining my own thoughts and frustrations with my faith has been enormously cathartic, and I've undoubtedly discovered more about myself with these poems than other pieces I've written in the past decade.
So I hope you can be witness to this journey I took. If you're in Toronto on May 10, head to Al Green Theatre (750 Spadina) for 730pm with the show beginning at 8pm. $10 cover and it's all ages. See you there!
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