Goodbye AVFMW!

We would love to thank all of those who contributed to the A View From Moving Windows blog. We really appreciate the time and effort you put into writing such beautiful stories and memories.

Thanks to all of those who contributed to the blog:

Jessica Bellamy, Pollyanna Kasia Nowicki, Wayne Tunks, Patrick Lenton, Nick Parsons, Noelle Janaczewska, Erica J Brennan, Emrys Quin, Marnya Roth, John AD Fraser, Marcelle Schmitz, Sarah Carradine, Gavin Roach, Luke Carson, Jessica Chapnik Kahn and Nadav Kahn, Katie Pollock, Jodi McAlister, Melita Rowston, Miles Merrill, Teik Kim Pok, Sam Atom Stewart, Pip Smith, Melissa Werry, Alison Rooke, Ildiko Susany, Bronte Kelso-Marsh, Shauntelle Benjamin, Helen O’Leary, Eileen McIlwain and Lib Campbell.

And lastly, we’d like to thank Augusta for the opportunity to do help out with the ‘A View From Moving Windows’ and to the whole Crew, Cast and Writers for being so incredibly welcoming and wonderful. Below is a second longer tribute to the A View From Moving Windows process.

The video was created by Felicity Pickering and the song used is ‘Precious’ by the amazing Appleonia (Jessica Chapnik Kahn).

 

A View From Moving Windows Video

Music by Jeremy Silver. Video created by Felicity Pickering.

Pictures from Closing Night!

All pictures are by Felicity Pickering (except for the ones she’s in).

Helen O’Leary

A View From Moving Windows actor Helen O’Leary has written a beautiful poem for the blog! 

death train poem – The 21-10-6 – [ by helen o'leary  21 oct 2012].

the 21-10-6

my brother died when i was 6

another when i was 10
a sister died as i turned 21
so for me
not catching the 8-5-3
i am on the 21-10-6
stuck in transit with…
each …
passing…
stop…
21
10
6
the stations of my cross to bare
no fair this fare
the price i pay
cut
from adult
to student
to child
concession ?
21
10
6
in waiting station limbo
the train’s delayed
due to depart
6
10
21
discount ticket ?
21
10
6
no concession

Shauntelle Benjamin

A View From Moving Windows actor and all around wonderful person Shauntelle Benjamin has written us a blog post!!

Woodford next stop. Passengers please remember that the last carriage and the first carriage is gunna be a quiet carriage. Please leave the other passengers in peace…

I live in the Blue Mountains. I work in Sydney’s CBD. I perform and create art everywhere, and I’m studying Psychology as a distance student.

All photos by: Shauntelle Benjamin

When I say I live in the Blue Mountains, I mean I live in trains. At least for now. With A View From Moving Windows and work, I’m on the train roughly 25 hours a week. That’s 25 hours of watching the day go past, of seeing dogs being walked, children going to school, romances being formed, cars zipping along a highway, clouds swirling and people playing on their phones. Phones that cut out EXACTLY when you need to remind your boyfriend to take the laundry out of the washer and hang it out to dry.

So I see a lot. I hear a lot. Sitting in the quiet carriage to write this, I hear a man behind me tap on his keyboard, a phone unexpectedly ring and a passenger dive for it, the train chug over tracks and toot to remind people not to use the crossing while the train goes past. I hear that high-powered whine that comes with fast movement, the vibration underfoot, underbum that comes with any movement. 

And I see. As I travel, I see through moving windows. If you’ve ever been in an airplane flying across Australia to get to your destination, and you’ve had a window seat, you’ll understand the view I get. Crossing the country by plane you see Sydney city, beautiful bushland, red desert, glowing rainforests and weaving beaches. I go from a rural location to a city one every day – the green of the mid mountains, the cut out crevices of the gorges to get the train through (reds, yellows, greens) the plains and their houses spread out before me, the city, so far away, then the concrete jungle of Parramatta and Sydney city, sucking me in, making me feel small.

Bless you. Need a tissue?

Snot.

There’s a lot to be said for traveling for two hours to get somewhere. You have time to contemplate life, the world, everything. Time to listen to music and observe humans. Time to be still, which in this day and age is very difficult. We seem to have a NEED to be moving, and if we’re not moving, our sense of self worth is somehow damaged because everyone else is moving. We rush here and there and we never stop and breathe. Our head to the ground, just getting where we’re going, because we’re late. I never used to be running late when I was a kid. I’m sure of it. I used to count the cracks in the ground, jump over them, look at cars and get jostled by trains while I stood.

It’s like someone’s put a music track on, then leaned on it by mistake and pressed fast forward.

I’m very guilty of studying on the train, of watching tv and listening to music and ignoring everyone and everything until I get to my destination. I think that’s fine. Sometimes we do want our own little bubble of space, like the woman sitting across from me now with her headphones in and eyes closed. She’s not asleep, and she looks stressed, which isn’t good on a Monday morning. I fantasize about sitting beside her, asking if she’s ok, if she would like to move away from the first carriage and talk. Is there a call for that? A train psychologist that sits with you and just listens. Maybe so. If we all just sat and listened, would we hear a group mind? Would we hear people freaking out and sobbing or raging or loving or lusting or just being?

Glenbrook is the next stop, Glenbrook.

Is that perhaps why we all sit apart, because to sit close together would mean that we can hear and feel everything everyone feels? Are we all empathic? I know we take on each other’s emotional states. It’s why we come together to celebrate, or grieve. It’s easier when you know someone’s with you. Maybe we need to split carriages, not into quiet and sonic, but into

Bless you. Hay fever? Yeah. It’s a bit like that.

But into emotional states. The excited carriage can be as loud as they want. The exhausted carriage can sleep, the entertained carriage can play games and music and maybe the heartbroken carriage can find new love.

It’s breakfast time now. I had pizza (yum) someone else has banana bread and really good smelling coffee. Apparently Blacktown’s where it’s at for coffee today.  I saw my family of kangaroos today. There are a lot of them. I tried to get a picture for you, but they were quite far away. Being a Brit, hopping on a train and seeing Roos casually hanging out near a grove of trees in a relative city is pretty amazing.

Westmead next stop. In an hour I’ll be at work, a faceless, nameless drone in a city full of faceless nameless drones that scream out in protest to the forced anonymity of their existence.

It’s not that bad, but it feels that bad sometimes. So many people, some of whom I’ll never know, some I’ll see every day while commuting, some I’ll never speak to but will always wonder and some I’ll unexpectedly connect with in a brief moment of – dare I say it – passion and excitement.

Trains are pretty miraculous, when you think about it.

Doors closing. Please stand clear.

I see a lot. The Saree shop. 8076. Jacaranda trees. Living in style furniture. Same same. Total tools. Instant cash. Granville. Auburn mosque. It’s going to rain.

I hear a lot. I wish you could hear what I hear. I can at least show you some of what I see, but there’s no camera that can show you the way I see it. When I left home, everything was glittering, bright, beautiful, shining. I live above the clouds. Come down, come in. The clouds are heavy and thick and threatening. And I forgot my umbrella. Well, I remembered it, but I don’t have it. Damn. 

IIdiko Susany

Ildiko Susany is an actor and writer. A View From Moving Windows is her first Augusta Supple production. Ildiko has written, co-produced and performed in her first full-length play, The Day the Galaxy Inevitably Exploded and Died for the Sydney Fringe Festival 2012 and will be touring with Bell Shakespeare Company in 2013. She has written reviews for Artshub, will participate in Griffin Theatre’s Story Lab Program, runs a blog project Making It. and has been a guest blogger for the Griffin Theatre Artist Blog. You can view the rest of her biography here.

Photo Credit: Felicity Pickering

I’ve caught a fair few trains in my time. And buses. And trams. I must admit, I do love accepting lifts! Sometimes I’ll even get behind the wheel myself. I’ve caught trains across Queensland, Sydney, New York, Vancouver, London, Europe and Japan. Sydney is a fascinating place. It’s big, it’s bustling and it’s brimming with a most magnificent diversity of culture and art.

I remember my first train adventure in Sydney well – I decided to road trip it with two friends overnight from Brisbane to Sydney and we were on the road within two hours of our initial brainwave! We parked in a random suburb that I had never heard of before, Pymble, at about 7am, tired and excited, and then caught a train into the city. It was the first time I had ever seen a double-decker train in person. I was amazed (and easily impressed as it might seem) by what to me was such an incredible feat of transportation design! I couldn’t even imagine such a high density of commuters to requisite such a stalwart machine. In Tokyo, maybe. That was seven years ago. It was a great adventure and one I still look fondly on today. Our 24-hour whirlwind adventure!

And now? Well, for the past few weeks I have been rehearsing for A View From Moving Windows, an engaging melting pot of stories that weave together the personal, the whimsical and the very curious aspects of life through the lens of train travel. As part of my rehearsal process (and for practical reasons too) I have been catching the train to and from Parramatta for nearly every single rehearsal and performance so far. These train trips have given me the chance to learn lines and stare wistfully out of the window, to admire the buildings, the people and the landscape with nothing but the whir of the train and my own thoughts to keep me company. I have been able to observe my fellow commuters and witness some very interesting moments of human connection: the tough chick, who, whilst endeavouring to impress her friends picked on a younger girl for simply being intrigued by the ‘cool’ older kids obnoxiously lording over the train carriage; the friendly woman who helped out a visiting businessman from Newcastle; or the desperate woman at Parramatta station crying and pleading into a payphone to not let her go to jail because she had a kid, before fleeing hurriedly to the platforms. We never can tell what might happen to us in our day and how people, how humans can surprise us, enrage us or even, enlighten us. There were some very serious moments to witness, dramatic ones, humorous ones as well as the gloriously mundane. These moments have been very beautiful, interesting and revealing, and I guess, are part of what makes A View From Moving Windows feel like such a personal experience filled with something familiar, something extraordinary and something relevant to everyone!

Yet despite all of this, despite the interactions I have noticed over the past month, despite my own thoughts that have carried me from Central to Parramatta, one of the greatest and most magical parts of this wonderful, crazy, moving process has been the delightful and surprising opportunities I’ve had to bond with my fellow cast members. On the train. A friend of mine likens these sorts of situations to ‘speed dating’. You are brought into a close situation with someone that you don’t know very well and have only a short time to get to know that other person, to ask questions, learn something new and fresh and interesting and to offer something great and valuable too! It’s been a whole lot of fun! Whether it was running frantically with Helen and Min – in inappropriate shoes – for the next train back to Central or embarrassingly getting myself caught in the ticket barrier with Alex looking on, I’ve had a great chance to get to know a bunch of wonderful new people and form some really positive relationships offstage. The cast and crew on this project are absolutely delightful and it has been a great experience getting to know them all. Come see their work, it’s beautiful and thoroughly engrossing. And the writing is poignant, sweet and funny.

I have loved my train trips. I love my train buddies. And I love the chance to perform for the first time in the beautiful Riverside Theatres in the bustling, beaming and ever burgeoning cultural hub that is Parramatta! This show is about people, the little experiences, and the connections we make with those around us. As my character in John AD Fraser’s About Face says: “it’s closer to the heart…” So catch the train, grab a loved one, or heck, why not start up a conversation with the commuter nestled beside you on the peak hour train – whatever you do, make the trip to Parramatta and get some culture in ya!