The Sudden Loneliness Gift - Therapy and dreams. by Nocturnal Fandango

First fully realized experience kicks Nocturnal Fandango’s sophomore season into high gear.

Run: August 25-27, 2017
Experienced: August 27, 2017
Location: Undisclosed
Address: Echo Park, CA
Price: $100.00
Audience Size: 1
Runtime: 80 minutes
More Information: Sudden Loneliness Gift, Instagram

The first fully realized experience for The Sudden Loneliness Gift did not disappoint. I went through last year’s Therapy and Dreams as well as Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow and I can safely say I enjoyed this show more than anything I’ve seen yet from Nocturnal Fandango.

The format of the show was similar to the first Therapy and Dreams and is my favorite kind of immersive: one which you go through and experience alone. It was a non-stop tour de force of emotion: introspective, surreal, whimsical, confusing, scary, sad, and serene to name a few. What they accomplished in the space with multiple shows going on simultaneously is to be commended. The logistics of starting someone every 20 minutes was mostly flawless as I only noticed another participant traversing the compound when I realized where I was in relation to a prior scene I had been through.

There is so much that happens throughout this 80 minute journey I decided to lay it out in a pseudo stream of consciousness bullet point form below. Note this is mostly to try and convey the sheer scope of everything that happened:

  • Meadowlark
    • Keilani, sit on a stool, drink hibiscus tea in chosen cup, eat raspberry, almond, nut, mint
    • Taken to porch, Meadowlark discusses the process of his new age therapy, does a breathing exercise
    • Asked to think about something that has been worrying me
    • Go to campfire, write and talk about the worry, drop the paper in the fire to symbolize the problem going away
    • Sit on side porch to pour water on my feet (he told a story about a female shinto priest who blessed the water)
    • Go inside sit on couch in living room, look at origami animals
    • Talk about spirit animal and element (wind)
    • Breathing exercise to prepare to open dream eye (as he hovers his hand in front of my forehead to help)
    • Walk to bed, lay down, sleep
  • Chelsea/Luna Corp
    • Chelsea walks in and says ‘get up you don’t want to be late for your first day at your new job’
    • Says come and get breakfast
    • I sit at the counter as she’s cooking an egg that’s blood red
    • Asks if i want any water or OJ, said ok to OJ and she got it from the fridge to pour greenish milky substance from the OJ container
    • Talks about her dilemma re: rent to own camera equipment but afraid it might trigger some of the old theater memories with Jason and he’s still trying to get over the loss of Kevin a year later
    • She says she wishes I would tell her about the clients I talk to (at my job) but she understands I sign like 10 NDAs a day (thought I was Kevin for this moment in this dream)
    • Asked if I saw the video yet (for the job) and I said no, she shows it to me on a laptop with a binder and sunglasses
    • Video (narrated by Ernestine?) talks about Luna Corporation welcoming us generically regardless of the job, they are all important.
    • Told in video to put on the sunglasses and to look at my binder
    • Binder says I’m in Facilities Management
    • Chelsea starts to choke, falls to the ground, I try to grab her but right when she falls Red comes in
      Nocturnal Fandango
  • Red
    • Red takes me to a bathroom bathed in a red glow
    • He is super positive and enthusiastic, thanks me for helping him relax, asks if I ever relax
    • When I say not really he asks if I want to do what he does to relax.. Clean his pores. I say sure. He puts a pore strip on my nose.
    • He asks if I want to see something. I say sure. He opens up the shower curtain to reveal multiple bird nests and different sized eggs.
    • He talks about how these are his babies and he doesn’t want to let them go but he will have to someday.
    • Hands me a tiny egg saying he remembers when I was an egg just like that one and now look at me.
    • Says he thinks I am ready for something new but it won’t be easy. Asks if I’m ready. I say yes.
    • We walk through a door past the side porch and he tells me to follow the torches toward the light
  • Jason
    • Walk to a shed, two masked characters, one only grunts, the other is Bossman (played by Jason)
    • They set me on the table, blindfold me, and lift my shirt
    • Start to act like they are operating on me
    • Jason repeatedly mentions the hairball in his helpers throat, making fun of him for constantly grunting.
    • Bossman asks if I remember a childhood story (when things were truly innocent) from before I became an ugly grown up
    • At some point Jason breaks character as he says their safe word (Alamo) because the other guy (Jesse, Jason’s student) has a real screwdriver and he’s concerned for my safety
    • He is saying he’s going to call Kevin to take over for this guy since there are 5 more people to go through tonight and he’s getting tired (doesn’t want to deal with Jesse anymore)
    • Kevin’s voicemail keeps coming up he tries again
    • Guy tells Jason that Kevin is dead, has been dead
    • Jason says ‘you saw him at the dinner party right?’ I clarify which dinner party he mentions Thai food and I say no.. Jason is confused, incredulous
    • The two of them freeze when a girl comes into the shed and leads me away
      Nocturnal Fandango
  • Fox
    • Girl with tape on her mouth (Fox Baby) leads me to a bed that appears fire damaged.
    • Lays me down and just looks at me caressing my hair
    • A man in a face mask comes (Orange) and grabs my hair and speaks French (?) and I say ‘no’ as he repeated a phrase to me
    • He talks about what I’ve done, asks why I don’t help The Fox out
    • The two of them dance and send me back to the bed a couple of times
    • I am helpless as Orange aggressively dances with Fox Baby
    • I am then led to a tent
  • Kevin
    • Kevin is in the tent with lots of pages of books taped everywhere
    • He talks about how he’s been dead for awhile but just lives the same day over and over where he is laid down to rest and then ends up in the tent to read or write
    • Asks if I got his postcard (I did)
    • Tells me to tell Jason that he loves him, I tell him Jason thinks he’s still alive and if I said that it might hurt his grieving process
    • Kevin takes me to the spot where he lays down every night
    • We both lay down in a grave like wooden box with feathers underneath
    • A character from Jake is reading a kid’s poem (forgot, little boy blue?) while throwing feathers on us
    • Kevin seemingly dies and I am led out by (guy from water/fire I hadn’t met before)
  • End
    • Paul pulls me out and as we walk past the threshold of the compound he seems to snap out of it and says ‘you’ve been sleepwalking or something back there are you ok?!’
    • Distinct end of dream after leaving compound
    • He tells me about his dream where he was a crocodile that helped people cross a river
    • I told him about my dreams
    • He asked if I was ok
    • Gave me a gift box said he was told to make it and give it to me
    • Keilani walks me out asks if I’m ok as well
  • Questions I have
    • Is Chelsea my wife in the dream? Or am I Kevin and she’s playing Jason?
    • What did putting on the sunglasses signify when watching the video?
    • Why is Red pulling me out of the scene with Chelsea with such conviction?
    • Who is Red anyway?
    • Who are the dancers?
    • Why was there tape on the female dancer’s mouth?
    • Why did I get tape on my mouth?
    • Is Kevin in purgatory?