POST: 'Serials' - a sudden realization
What it's about
An all-out One vs. One vs One vs... Five short plays enter the stage, the audience selects their favorites. The three with the most votes are renewed for another episode. The other two are CANCELLED. All performed by the Flea's resident acting company The Bats.
I have been attending Serials @ The Flea for a long, long while now. If you scroll back through my articles, I guarantee that you will find mentions of Serials within articles of The Flea Theater, and likely more than one article about Serials itself.
I was attending this particular cycle of Serials, breaking up the two cycles of Locked Up Bitches, when I had a sudden realization.
I will never say that I have had a good time the last few years. In particular, the last few months. However, entering Serials, there was a very specific sense of calm I was able to slip into. I suddenly realized, upon entering The Flea for Serials, for who knows which time over two years, and I recognized almost everyone there. Actors, audiences, people working the tickets. People I've seen come to Serials almost every time I've come, actors who come back around for Serials every cycle, or I've seen in other Flea productions.
I don't personally know a single person who attends this show. But, there's a man who always shows up, who has stringy but luxurious silver hair with his camera in tow. Man operating the main desk is a pretty groovy looking dude, blonde hair, seen him a hell of a lot over the months, occasionally on stage. Groups of people, gathering with their PBRs, claiming the same seats as always, laughing and enjoying each other's company.
Actors mingle in the lobby area while we all wait for the house to open. Talking to friends seeing the show, maybe receiving compliments from people who enjoyed recent performances (I cannot deny being one of those folks), exchanging stories with fellow Bats who are just here to see the show tonight.
After the show, I hear talking, a lot of it the same every time. The same bars mentioned that everyone seems to be grouping towards. The same groups of people who met before the show meeting again, only this time with the rest of the actors who were busy preparing.
And, it's such a simple relief I've come to enjoy during my annual visits to Serials. This particular late night crew is this little pocket of a community I feel comfortable around. Sure, I don't interact, no other audience member really knows me, and at best the actors recognize me vaguely cause I've been to every Flea show the last three to four years, and every Cycle of Serials for at least one showing, even then, I'm not someone necessarily to remember.
But, The Flea, and particularly Serials, have made this little community feel like a safe haven. Almost another family I interact with almost as much as my real one. There's this comfortable familiarity that has been fostered here.
The next Serials is in June, according to their announcement at the show. It's weird. The first time I saw a Flea show, I had just graduated from high school. Now, the next time I return to this little comfortable pocket of a community, I'll be freshly graduated from college (assuming all goes right). It's a weird, specific feeling to focus on.
So, in preparation for that shift out of my weird school world into the actual world, I look forward gratefully to this fresh realization that I'll at least recognize this little community. I'll distantly hear conversations and find out how their months have been. And I'll get to enjoy another night of the best, annual, late-night show in this whole City.
Tell us about your experience.
In the comments below.