How I Became Myself (By Becoming Someone Else)
- Susannah Radford
- 13 August 2015
This article is from 2015
Confessional monologue about creating a new identity
How I Became Myself (By Becoming Someone Else) is an exploration of identity and an artist’s meditation on changing the self. Paula Varjack (previously Sara Quin) cites various reasons for her transformation, but an out-of-character affair sets in motion a series of life altering events. Changing her sexuality, her city and job, she then starts a journey towards changing her name.
Varjack documents the process using monologue, filmed footage of her friends and family, video interview and spoken word. ‘Paula Varjack’ was first created in response to an invitation to perform; now she is Paula Varjack. Her mother reminds her that her younger self enjoyed being on stage. A friend likens her name change to the shedding of skin.
The conflict inherent in identity change is for the most part discussed rather than dramatised meaning that the pacing is quite measured. At times it feels presentational, though for all the multi-media her dramatic transformation into Paula is endearingly low-tech.
Interestingly, it’s when she steps into the pink high heels of the spandex-wearing extroverted Paula that this production really finds its theatrical feet. Filmed footage of her spoken word poem ‘Dear Straight Girl’ is punchy and engaging.
Cowgatehead, 226 0000, until 30 Aug (not 18, 28), 12.30pm, free