The questions and puzzled looks continue to mount each day.
“Do I really have to go alone?”
“If I don’t like it, can I walk out?”
“Are they really in India? Do I call them or do they call me?”
“So what makes this a performance?”
Our presentation of Call Cutta in Box in January has people intrigued and perhaps a bit anxious. Allow me to allay some fears. I caught the work last January in NYC but before I made my appointment, I waffled through my own slight suspicions … this sounds so odd - how could this be entertaining? … there’s a real chance it could be dull or simply intrusive … maybe I’m not wanting to give anything of myself today. I chose to ignore my instincts and take the plunge. It proved to be one of the most memorable performance experiences I have had, and believe me, I’ve had a few.
Maybe it was the anonymity (if I felt inclined, I could tell this person anything I wanted, we would probably never meet), or being alone in a strange office, or perhaps it was the thousands of miles between us. Whatever it was, I was completely engaged in this piece and found it absorbing, subtly mysterious, and utterly charming. My call center agent, Alakananda, elegantly guided me along our increasingly interactive (and surprise-filled) conversation, and we freely exchanged ideas on geography, work, religion, art, family – not exactly soul-searching metaphysical stuff, but I felt that there was a deeper connection, like she was an old dear friend that I had just met.
As this “phone play” is a connection between two people that shadows in and out between performance and real life, no two interactions will be exactly alike. So I’d suggest you make an appointment with a friend (we have set up the piece so that it runs in two offices simultaneously), then grab a pint or some palak paneer after the experience and talk it all over. Take a 60-minute chance – it may change the way you think about our weird wired world, who we are, and why on earth are we in Minnesota in January. This memorable experience (with great views from the IDS Tower!) is certain to spark contemplative smiles and a fresh set of questions.