I’ve been a hypocrite. Until now I haven’t really tried to imagine myself at 95. It’s very hard. In a video I talk about my role models, while Ursula the cat undermines my dignity.
As background research for my play, The Secret Lives of Extremely Old People, I asked dozens of random pedestrians, “Imagine yourself at 95.” Nearly everyone gave me thoughtful and surprising answers. For example, here is just one, in the image below. This answer came from a strong, athletic woman, and will very likely come true.
I couldn’t answer my own question
Someone turned the tables and asked me how I imagined myself at 95. I was so embarrassed to realise that I didn’t have an answer. So I thought about it, and made a little video. Ursula the cat makes a mockery of my earnest attempt.
My 2 role models and 5 possible future selves
In the video I tell you who my role models are (I’m lucky there). But after delving deep into the lives of multiple nonagenarians, I’ve constructed five imaginary characters for my new play. It’s called The Secret Lives of Extremely Old People, and uses a technique that Australian playwright Alana Valentine calls ‘close work’ writing. I’ve mixed and massaged the exact words of multiple people in their 90s. Then I constructed characters that are not “real”, but have their own authenticity.
See the play at Circa Theatre, Wellington, New Zealand from 25 Nov-17 Dec.
BOOK NOW: circa.co.nz or (04) 801 7992