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).

Melita Rowston

Melita Rowston is a playwright, writer and a director. She used to be a painter in Melbourne. She is about to catch a variety of trains through New York, Paris, Budapest and her most anticipated journey – from Dublin to Galway, to haunt a hundred year old stone hut on the Aran Islands and write a play about ships and love. She plans to make a website about herself when she gets back. Melita recently had her play Crushed on as part of New Theatre’s Spare Room Season.

The Experiment

He jerks me into his wet chest, slides his face across mine and kisses me. There’s the smell of his raw leather jacket, weed, beer and the taste of something chemical. Through the tangle of his hair, I can see the red headlights of the traffic on repeat as they plunge down Flinders Street. He pushes me away. The traffic revs its collective engine impatient for the lights to go green. He’s staggering like a rock star, the intersection his stage, but there’s nothing impressive about this performance. I glance at the station clock – nearly midnight.

‘We’re going to miss the last train!’

The chains of his biker boots jangle on the bitumen as he struts before the beast that is the restless traffic. The driver nearest us flashes his headlights. We could be at a disco. He lunges at the windscreen. The driver sticks his head out the window, his face an angry shadow under his baseball cap. Then the lights go green. And that’s when it really starts to get messy.

I try to drag him across the road. He pulls me back into him and growls into my neck, ‘Let’s get knocked up by the traffic. Let’s end it all now in a blaze of glory!’

The try-hard Goths watch us from the shadows of the Burke and Wills statue while Burke studies the map that failed him. The hands of the station clock hit midnight.

The experiment is failing.

We met on the last train to Frankston, as it hurtled past a string of stations from which girls my age had recently been abducted. I was cradling my dog-eared copy of The Female Eunuch and becoming appropriately angry at The Patriarchy. He was slugging bourbon from a Smurfs thermos and staring at the boobs on the front cover. We were both ignoring the guy behind us vomiting into a box of BBQ Shapes. Our knees rubbed against each other as the carriage took the difficult turns. When the train plunged into the darkness of a depression era tunnel, he put his hand on my thigh and said,

‘What’s a eunuch?’

I laughed. Because I thought he was being ironic.

I have a rule about trains. If someone talks to me, I pretend I can’t hear. I don’t talk back. I do everything I can to dissuade a chat. Trust me. On trains, the talking thing always ends badly.

He rolled up the sleeve of my flannel and traced his phone number along my arm until I knew it by heart. Surprisingly, I let him. When we came to his stop, I walked him to the door. He stood on the platform and stared right into me. As the train tried to leave, he held the doors open, looking like Axl Rose – but with Slash’s hair. Over the beeping and the shouts from passengers, he pushed a wet five dollar note into my stomach,

‘Here’s your winnings. ‘Cos I bet you won’t call me.’ Large eyes like storm water drains.

As the train pulled out of the station, I watched him walk into a cyclone fence and search for a handle as if it were a door.

A few days later I called him.

It was an experiment, see. I usually spend summer with the blinds drawn. Emerging at dusk when the garage door becomes cool to touch, I paint til dawn or when the Nescafe shakes set in. But the night heat was turning my oils to shit. So I’d taken to the trains on the air-conditioned lines, circling passages of The Female Eunuch with my red pen. ‘Women have very little idea how much men hate them,’ it swam in bleeding ink as he put his hand on my thigh. Yet there was something about those quietly desperate eyes…

I hate Top 10 Summer Anthems. I hate empty summer streets. I hate the way my dark clothes absorb the heat. I hate beach towels slung over balconies and front yards full of cars. I hate waking up on someone’s rumpus room floor listening to heated fumbling from Matt and Sarah or David and Kate. I hate this city in summer. Summer is when psychopaths get restless. I should know, I’ve ended up in the middle of Flinders Street with one.

‘You promised me a beer and a bit of Def Metal, not eternal damnation!’ I scream in his ear. So he collar ties me. And as the yellow clocks tick twelve ‘o’ five, the last train to Frankston pulls out of the station and the police arrive. I wonder if we’ll make the news.

Sometimes when a guy bellows ‘Boobies!’ at The Female Eunuch, I think of him and his dance of death in the disco that was the traffic. He’s there to remind me that I’m no scientist. And I should never ever experiment with talking to boys on trains again.

Luke Carson

Luke is currently filming his hardcore rap video “East Suburbia Gangstas” for the Hugo Posse Bosse which he wrote & produced. Luke is currently working on the final draft of his first full length play “Second Time Around” Dramaturged by Augusta Supple. This is his hilarious train story… 

A View From (not so) Moving Windows. – A true story by Luke Carson

9:45pm I catch a train at Newcastle to Central.

As I take my seat on the train I remind myself that I need to feed Mingo, the French bulldog I’m puppy sitting. With two hours before my change over at Gosford the humming of “the last train to Sydney” sends me off to sleep.

11:45pm I wake from my slumber, the train has stopped, probably waiting for a signal. I drift back to sleep.

11:55pm I wake again with a jolt, the train is still. I look out the window onto an empty car park protected by a metal spiked fence.

I look around but I don’t see anyone. I go from carriage to carriage trying to find the platform. I’m sure Gosford isn’t a short platform. A door is open and I can see there is no platform either way. I bang on the security door, nothing. I run through every carriage pressing THAT red button, I always thought it would be a thrill. It wasn’t. No alarm, no bells, no computerised voices.

I lean out the open doors. I look out – car park, I look down – train tracks, I look to my right and see my fate for the night. A stationed train.

“What the fuck” I yell at it.

Okay breath, first things first. Work.

“Hey dude, I can’t come in I’m stuck on a train.”

“What, Where are you?”

“I don’t know”

“That’s really inconvenient.”

Yes, yes it is. I call my mum.

“Mum, I’m stuck on a train” “What do mean you’re stuck on the train.” “I’m stuck on a train they didn’t do a walk through and wake me up” “It’s hardly their responsibility to wake you up.” “What do I do.” “I don’t know Luke. Should I call the police?”

My phone beeps 10% battery WTF!

“I got to go. I’ll call security.” “I’ll wake your father”

Father’s day. Shit!

I call the security hotline. They say the will send out a team. I imagine a pack of burly men with Pit bulls fighting through electrical wire to save me.

Fifteen minutes later a stocky woman in her 20’s yells from across the tracks.

“You alright mate?” “Not really. I’m stuck on the fucking train.” “You’re the third one tonight. I’ll go get my toey.”

The second in charge arrives and opens up the driver’s compartment. I exit via the train stairs and am back to civilisation.

He explains that he had to put his dog away that’s why he took so long. I tell him about Mingo. He points to a gate.

“Through there”

“Thank you.”

12:45am A man brown eyes me twice and asks what I’m looking at.

1:00am I catch the security guard talking to himself.

1:20am someone starts to kick the bus shelter outside the train station.

The Security guard is mid argument with himself.

1:52am Dad picks me up 3:45am I arrive in Newcastle 6 hours after I left for Sydney

If Mingo could talk I’m sure she would say. “What the fuck.”

Photo Credit: Luke Carson

Photo Credit: Luke Carson

Sarah Carradine

Playwright, director and wicked bridge player Sarah Carradine has written us an awesome blog post. For more of her writing check out her blog: The Cheese Sandwich Follies.

Photo Credit: Felicity Pickering

Taking The Train

At night, rave near the guard’s compartment, naked with a blue light.

Train travel is the best. Grace Cottington tells us to always stay awake in the limo. There’s some pretty great stuff happening inside the carriage as well.

We’ve been given an opportunity and we have to grab it with two teeth and run with it.

There are prizes to be had Wynyard to St Leonards. Sit on the top deck. Look at the buildings. If you wear earbuds on the train, you might miss something.

You were told not to run on the road and that’s the beginning and the end of it.

People on trains are unguarded. As writers we look at them, to see them, to hear them. We have notebooks. Its not enough to carry them in our pockets. They must be used. They suffocate in shrinkwrap.

The world is your oyster. It just depends on what you think an oyster is.

I like trains. I like the motion. I like feeling the traveling happening. Everyone has a train story from a city not their own. But St James to Erskineville has its charms. Get in the last carriage so you will be closest to the steps when you arrive at the station.

Please do not return this to me as I do not want it back.

Milan to Florence, they bring you a cup of tea. Two loud and soft Italian ladies talk to you and your elderly aunt, showing photos, telling stories. So what you have no language in common.

It was exhuberating.

You can do that Glanville to Woodville Park, you know.

Not only that but listen to this what happened.

Sydney to Adelaide on the Indian Pacific. Darkness outside. The motion of the train. Do you know they pull a shelf down from the wall and it becomes your bed and you lie on it? The landscape painted by night travels past and you are rocked.

Come day go day.

I wish we were children again.

On a train at night a man put my hand on his penis. Finish what you’ve started. I was seventeen. Trains aren’t scary. Some of the people on the train might be. His breath smelt of green onions.

I was in sticky water.

On New York’s subway system they work hard for coins. They tell stories; their lives, their lies. They sing. Sometimes they dance. Once a blind saxophone player looked me in the eye as he accurately grasped the dollar bill I held out. We gave each other a nod.

Something that you wear under the clothes for the breasts.

I had to bite my pride.

Imagine if Ascot Vale to Footscray was a performance. Imagine. Well it is. If I curl up on myself, shutting out the world, I miss the show.

Grasp the nettle by the horns.

He will tear the house upside down.

Plain Jane on a high horse.

If you are on the nod, it will pass you by.

Just for the luck of it.

We’ll lose the plane.

Every once and a while.

And remember: At night, rave near the guard’s compartment, naked with a blue light.

Photo Credit: Felicity Pickering

 

Erica J Brennan

For today’s blog post theatre director and performer Erica J Brennan
speaks of
 her debut into writing. 

My First Fury – Trains and Inspiration 

It was on long consistent train trips that I began my very first foray in to what I would loosely deem writing. I was a far too energetic 17 year old and I didn’t write plays. I didn’t really know then I’d end up the absolutely mad theatre practitioner I am today. Instead I wrote a completely self indulgent, uninhibited love story.

‘The Cupid Project’ was the first thing I really wrote about furiously and with complete devotion. It was a carefully imagined fantasy novel that was written only because I lived 2 hours from my high school and spent at least half of that trip on my own. I have fidgety hands and had to do something. My art and design projects couldn’t be easy constructed from a train seat so I turned to writing. It was mostly hand written with terrible spelling, but I wrote for me and thought I was rather grand. One day after I had been writing for several months a tiny friend of mine (as in very short she is a very important friend despite her height challenged nature) grabbed it out of my hands and fell in love with it. So much so she insisted I write her into it. She also demanded I type it because my spelling really was abominable. Due to her loud advocacy I soon had a small group of hungry school commuters who would greet me every morning searching for the next chapter. I was still quite the sketch artist then and I also had to produce regular drawings of character designs and illustrated scenes from the book too. It was a real delight to give them this bizarre world to enter into. Strangely for me I never finished it for them but I’m quite proud of that quarter finished novel. It represents the first time I remember really being okay with the weirdness that I am.

In 2005 I gave away the only hard copy I had of it to a fellow Blue Mountains train liner who I went to Acting School with at the now defunct Theatre Nepean. It was during a bonding exercise we had to gift people with a personal item. They heard the story attached to it and then they got to keep it forever. My friend thought the story I attached about writing it almost better than the novel but he did enjoyed my 17 year old tapings too. I haven’t even looked at it since then but my tiny friend still bugs me to finish it and quotes its catch phrases from her new Canberra home. Perhaps if the stars align and I once again find myself alone and energetically fidgety on my beloved Blue Mountains train line I will turn once more to the epic love story that crosses oceans and age gaps and finally finish ‘The Cupid Project.’ I’d be surprised if anybody except me and her would want to read it these days but that would be enough.

Wayne Tunks

 

Wayne Tunk’s play ‘His Room’ was staged as part of the Riverside Theatre’s True West season from the 13-22 of September. He took time out of his busy schedule to write us a blog post. 

It was 1993 and the moment I had long been waiting for had finally arrived, Madonna was touring Australia. I was going to Uni in Wagga and was first in line to get tickets. I had good tickets and the day was finally here. Now anyone who knows me, knows the love I feel for the Queen of Pop, this was a big day. The biggest day of the year. It was Uni holidays and I was working in a call centre in Parramatta, yes, I was that guy who interrupted your dinner. I had worked the morning shift and was heading to meet my Uni friends who were coming to Sydney just for the concert. As we left work, it started to rain. This couldn’t be happening to me, it was an outdoor gig at the SCG and I needed it to
go ahead. There was a chance I could go postal if it didn’t.

So there we were waiting at the train station (Harris Park, the station before Parramatta) and somehow convinced myself that if I could stand in the rain and not need shelter, it was only a light shower and it would stop in time for me to see the gig. My friend was hiding under the shelter, but I refused. My Madonna shirt was getting saturated and I hate water at the best of times (seriously, I don’t get swimming), but I refused to get under shelter. Of course the train was late but I stood there. Thunder, some lightening. Nope, I stayed there until the train arrived, determined it meant that night I’d see Madonna.

Picked up my friends and the rain continued to fall, but my naïve hope had me still believing the gig was going to happen. It had to, it just had to. So we hopped on the train at Blacktown, rain intermittedly falling, with thunder teasing me every few stops. Finally we arrived at Central, with loads of other Madge fans, still clinging to hope. Then it happened, a guard asked us if we were going to Madonna. I think my shirt answered the question, but I did as well. She answered quickly, “Haven’t you heard, the show’s been postponed for 2 weeks”. Devo, absolutely devo. I stood in that rain for nothing.

We turned around and hopped straight back on the train with a whole bunch of other Madonna fans, me close to a nervous breakdown. Suddenly someone in our carriage started singing, I’m pretty sure it was Like a Prayer, and we all joined in. So did several others on the train. It was like a flash mob before they were popular and then unpopular again. It made me feel better as we took the train to Parramatta in a club where a DJ played us Madonna all night.

Two weeks later I took the same trip in again, this time with success. The gig was everything I wanted and more.