Posts Tagged ‘jesus christ superstar’

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Proust questionnaire 5.0: jake moore, one degree of separation, repeated many times

April 11, 2014

I don’t have to go all the way up to six degrees of separation between me and jake moore. More like one degree of separation that kept multiplying: We both, though years apart, spent summers on Lake Winnipeg. As a Winnipeg punk dabbler in the early 1980s (I went by the name “Isn’t that Richard Duguay’s sister?”), I’d marveled at her fabulous, terrifying (in fairness, everything terrified me) stage presence, fronting the band Ruggedy Annes. Later, when I was writing about television at the Winnipeg Sun, I watched the birth of a TV specialty network called WTN (Women’s Television Network, RIP) and saw her host the short-film showcase Shameless Shorts. More recently and unaware of our new proximity, I was a student and she a teacher at Studio XX in Montreal, a multimedia teaching and exhibition collective. Along the way, a growing number of Winnipeg friends, including Linda English, mentioned jake to me as a fellow Winnipegger who’d decamped to Montreal, she an artist in the fine arts world of Concordia University and me hunched over a computer in the newsroom at The Gazette. Nothing happened until Linda, visiting Montreal on a business trip, put us at the same lunch table, because, “you guys would really like each other.” A shy start pretty much exploded into friendship right then and there. So I bugged jake until she did my newly tweaked Proust Questionnaire 5.0. Here she is:

Since we are conducting this interview via email, the world is ours for the inventing. If, as I some day hope, money is no object, in what city and establishment would you like this interview to be taking place?
Sel Rrose, an oyster bar in the Bowery.

Who and what would you be wearing?
In my dreams the clothes I wish for have no brand affiliation but they are beautifully made, clean lined, exceptional materials. I am obsessed by quality of materials and construction.

And, most importantly, what would we be drinking?
If it is summer, gin, Hendrick’s with Q tonic.
If it is winter, either a deep red, or Lagavulin, neat.

Okay then. What are the qualities you most admire in others?
Vision, intellectual capability, and kindness.

What do you like most about yourself?
How I see.

Least?
My fear/self loathing. Likely the same thing.

What is your greatest achievement?
Hasn’t happened yet.

What are you working on (not to be confused with What is your job/work? Although… fill yer boots on that one if you prefer)?
Articulating just what it is that I do,
Continuing to do it.

What is your more treasured possession?
This is difficult to answer for I have many treasures, but they are not of capital value.
My Opa’s handmade flour scoop.
MOMA machine exhibition catalogue 1968.
Big blue, a sweater my mom made.

What is your present state of mind?
Disappointed.

What is your first memory?
Being on the wrong side of the door to the basement in our house in [the Winnipeg neighbourhood of] Fort Garry and hearing my mother asking for me. I was exceptionally aware of the place I had gotten myself into, the kind of space – dark, slightly damp wood in humid Winnipeg summer, and the sound…. Spatialized and complex.
Her voice such comfort.

What was your worst job?
It might be my current one
As there is such a disconnect between its potential and its environment
Essentially anywhere you’re power doesn’t match your responsibilities

Your favourite colour?
Grey

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Warm light rain, mid afternoon, reading, he’s in the house but not necessarily right beside me, just in parallel, wine, (a very chilled sancerre), no plans for the evening.

Of misery?
When faced with overt cruelty.

If not yourself, who or what would you be?
A me with discipline and certainty.
I have no need to be other, just different.

If you could go back in time for one day, anyplace, but for just one day, when, where and with whom?
Paris, 1924, somehow I would know both Colette and Eileen Gray. Or maybe this is the answer to the last question – somehow I would be both Colette and Eileen Gray.

What is your favourite journey?
Summer, Manitoba, very, very, hot, midday heading to the water, either the pits or Whytewold.

What food, dish or meal takes you back to a special time?
Almost every one as I am cooking. Most things I cook are constructed from memories.

Name the person who influenced you most and how.
Overtly my mother Liz Moore/Elly Goring – she made me in so many ways.
But as far as someone changing you, Donald Lloyd McKinley.
 He was the studio master in the Furniture program at the School of Crafts and Design. He gave a 4 hour lecture on screwdrivers once that fascinated me.
Yes, screwdrivers. He talked about mechanical advantage, tools as an extension of the body, innovation, and nationhood all embodied in – or performed via – this everyday object. His ability to inform and expand on how our world has come to be changed my way of looking at every thing. He taught me to see that what is in front of us, is many things all together at once.

Name the film/song/book/art that influenced you most and why?
Just one? Impossible.
There have been so many and there continue to be new ones every year.
From my childhood, Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew changed my world, but did so simultaneously to the Jungle Book soundtrack and Jesus Christ Superstar. I would perform special contemporary dance routines that involved the couch for especially gymnastic rolls, the fireplace used as a barre mixed with various floor routines. Anything that had a lyric I felt I could sing, was sung into this very large, blown glass, decorative brandy snifter, the kind of which was often filled with commemorative match books or a cork collection in the 70’s. That would produce the kind of reverb and resonance that made me certain I was an awesome singer.
I would pay money to have footage of any of those performances. (and there were many). I want to see and feel that joy again.

In this or any time, which real-life figure(s) do you most admire?
Virginia Woolf, Eileen Gray, every day people that make the difficult choices to stay true to what is right.

Who is your favourite fictional hero?
Franny in John Irving’s, Hotel New Hampshire.
Almost anyone written by Alyssa York in her short story collection, Any Given Power.

What fault can you most easily forgive?
Almost anything really, if one acknowledges it as a fault.
Though inflexibility is my least favourite thing.

Not forgive?
Knowing you have a fault and not working to change it seems unforgivable, though maybe it is admirable to fully embrace oneself. Though not if it involves cruelty.

What is your motto?
“There is no try, only do.”

How would you hope to die?
Quick and clean with no witnesses.

Anything I haven’t asked about that you’d like to volunteer?
Not on paper, though feel free to ask me anything.

Deep dark secret?
Because I have told steve everything, I feel like I don’t have any secrets. No one else really needs to know.

Any last words?
Let’s do this in person soon, but you answer the questions : )

Admit it. You read those celebrity Q&As and you know you’re easily as worthy of being profiled. I know I do, but my friends are way more interesting. So, with nods to the “confession albums” of the late 1800s  made famous by the fabulous Marcel Proust’s answers, to French TV host Bernard Pivot who adapted the questionnaire, to Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton who gave it another spin and to Vanity Fair, which uses its own elegantly spun version to anchor the magazine’s back pages, I submit for your entertainment and enlightenment, my own version of the Proust Questionnaire, re-retooled for a blog age.

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Proust Q 5.0 august 2009: Gaylene Dempsey

August 11, 2009

Welcome to this month’s profile Proust Questionnaire 5.0. (What’s this? See bottom of the page.)

Gaylene and friend

Gaylene and friend

Music is one of the ways I know Gaylene Dempsey. The Tragically Hip in a Brandon hotel room (settle down), Uncle Tupelo (well, the vinyl, at least) in the front room of her Spence Street apartment in Winnipeg. Food is another way; she’s trying to talk me into briquet BBQing. Ain’t going to happen. Another way to know her is through God, or at least her conversations with God, which are a vigorous part of her life on Facebook, where we reconnected after a couple of decades. I like that God talk and what it brings out in her friends. Here’s Gaylene answering this month’s Proust Questionnaire 5.0 from Winnipeg.

Since we are conducting this interview via email, the world is ours for the inventing. In what city and establishment would you like this interview to be taking place?
There’s an Egyptian pancake house in the Midan Hussein in Cairo … that would be nice. Or, mmm, even better, the Cattlemen’s Steakhouse in the Oklahoma City Stockyards. Or what about on a boat in Lake of the Woods? Or the beach in Morro de Sao Paulo in Bahia, Brasil. My imagination runs wild…

Who and what would you be wearing?
Well if we were in LOTW or Bahia, I’d likely be in my bathing suit and a sarong. And let’s just say Tyler Perry would be draped all over me (that brother is fine).

And, most importantly, what would we be drinking?
Tonic water with lime always (although I doubt I could get that in Cairo, so I’d be drinking shai). Tonic is a habit I’ve always had (used to be with vodka, but that was oh so long ago) which got refueled in Brasil. Everyone drinks tonic water on the beach there … so refreshing.

Fave fictional hero: Underdog

Fave fictional hero: Underdog

Okay then. What are the qualities you most admire in others?
An open heart. It takes so much to leave your heart open in this big bad world. And when I meet someone with a wide open heart … it kinda makes me melt.

What do you like most about yourself?
I’ve learned – once again – that a full life has absolutely nothing to do with money. I’m currently unemployed and I’ve never had so much fun, gotten so much healing, so much insight, experienced so much freedom. It’s a beautiful thing when you realize that time is money and the things that God can do with your time…unbe-fricking-lievable.

Least?
That’s easy … my potty mouth. I got it in the music business … lost it when I left. But now that I work so closely with inmates, criminals and gang-involved youth it just creeps back in too easily.

What is your greatest achievement?
I conceptualized, applied for, received funding for and coordinated the ROUTE Program to work with 45 at-risk refugee youth from Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Afghanistan etc. The idea was to try and keep them out of trouble, gangs and criminality. Although we had mixed success (7 kids in the justice system and 2 teen pregnancies), I’m honored to have known all those kids and many of them are still in my life.

What is your present state of mind?
Bliss baby Bliss.

Where and when are/were you happiest?
It usually has something to do with a beach and the sounds of waves so the cottage I rent lakefront on Lake Manitoba makes me pretty darned happy. Or my room on Praia dos Santinho in Florianopolis, Brasil.

What, currently, do you most love doing?
Being a hope dealer to the dope dealers in the hood who need to know the truth.

What was your worst job?
Doing word processing for a business. I just could not master the codes for Word Perfect and I’m not the best typist. I quit after 3 days.

Your favourite colour?
Orange and its cousins (yellow, brown, burnt sienna etc).

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Renting a cottage at Laurentia Beach on Lake Manitoba. Facing west over the lake. No phone. No computer. No stores within 3 kilometres. Just me, God, an old one-speed bicycle, and the lake and all it offers (thunderstorms over Lake Manitoba are beyond compare).

Of misery?
Being stuck in any place with no ethic food and only McDonald’s. That would make me want to die.

If not yourself, who or what would you be?
Dayaaammm. It took me this long to like myself. Why be anyone else? But I do have a deep desire to be a music supervisor on films and to be an author of a book on my experiences with the African Mafia.

Where would you like to live?
Barcelona ♥ or Minneapolis ♥ are the only two cities that have captured my heart completely.

What is your favourite journey?
Turning off the highway and driving towards Lake Winnipeg on a hot summer day (and honestly even in winter). There’s something about that fuzzy horizon line of the lake melting into the sky (or vice versa) always makes my heart sing.

What is your favourite or most memorable meal and when is the last time you indulged?
Ouch. Hard questions for a foodie! Favourite is different from memorable.
FavouriteBarbecued Cowboy Steaks done on my Weber charcoal grill.
I also like African food so much I’m being taught the recipes. I make a mean doro wat (chicken in berbere sauce) and salad aswat (eggplant and peanut butter dip).
Most memorable – Hmmm would it be the steak at Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn? Or the sausage on the street in Prague? Or that Cubana torta sandwich at Manny’s tortas in Minneapolis. Nope, would have to say it was sashimi served with thinly sliced lime that I ate in Sao Paulo, Brasil … home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan.

Name the person who influenced you most and how.
Lue, who I like to call my semi-foster son. He’s a Sudanese refugee who lost his mom and who let me teach him how to keep his heart open. He also loved me back when I felt I least deserved it.

Name the film/song/book/art that influenced you most and why?
Book – I’d have to say Born Free. It opened my eyes to Africa at a very

Jesus Christ Superstar on DVD

Jesus Christ Superstar on DVD

early age.
Art – I saw an exhibit of Diane Arbus photos inside a villa on a canal in Venice and it always haunted me. She captures the oddballs and pathos of life in a way that no other artist even comes close.
Song – It’s not my favorite, but “Have a Talk with God” from Songs of the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder is the one that most INFLUENCED me as I am today.
Film – Jesus Christ Superstar by Norman Jewison. Still my favorite movie of all time…

In this or any time, which real-life figure(s) do you most admire?

Fr Greg Boyle from www.homeboy-industries.org

Fr Greg Boyle

Fr Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest who works with 1,100 gangs in East Los Angeles. I recommend listening to a speech he gave in Minneapolis that that aired on Word for Word. It literally changed my life.

Who is your favourite fictional hero?
Underdog. Go figure.

What fault can you most easily forgive?
Selfishness and running off at the mouth. Cuz those are two of my most repetitious faults.

What fault can you not forgive?
I can’t think of even one thing. I have held hands with murderers, looked them in the eyes and told them they can be forgiven. Jesus freely forgave me — and I’m known in some circles as the rock star of sinners — so who am I to not forgive anyone for anything?

What is your motto?
We are all the same people. Just with different consequences.

How would you hope to die?
Well I’m almost always in the water … so I hope that drowning would be the way for me to go. Although I managed to survive a drowning in Lake Winnipeg when I was very young…

Any last words?
Just to encourage people to stand in the margins with the marginalized. When you stand in the margins besides them…society views them differently. God has me loving (and, yes, I do really love them) crack dealers, thugz, criminals, inmates and their baby mommas and babies and it has changed MY life. You read that right: the marginalized changed ME for the better. And hopefully the other way around but that’s not really the point.

——————–

Admit it. You read those celebrity Q&As and you know you’re easily as worthy of being profiled. I know I do, but my friends are way more interesting. So, with nods to the “confession albums” of the late 1800s  made famous by the fabulous Marcel Proust’s answers, to French TV host Bernard Pivot who adapted the questionnaire, to Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton who gave it another spin and to Vanity Fair, which uses its own elegantly spun version to anchor the magazine’s back pages, I submit for your entertainment and enlightenment, my own version of the Proust Questionnaire, re-retooled for a blog age.

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