When I Left The House It Was Still Dark, 2013
for Rick Moody
Between the months of July and September 2013, Odyssey Works created a performance for Rick Moody, an author living in New York City. It began one evening when Rick's priest gave him a children’s book titled "The Secret Room," to read to his daughter. This book, which appeared to have been written in the fifties, was actually a creation by Odyssey Works.
Shortly after this, Rick was given an invitation to visit Sid’s, a vacant hardware store in downtown Brooklyn. The store became his own secret room, and he continued to visit it weekly for the rest of the summer. In the space, he encountered a variety of objects foreshadowing moments to come in his Odyssey. Among these was a notebook detailing the story of a man searching for a cellist whose music deeply moved him, a recording of string music, and a photograph of a prairie. One day after visiting Sid’s, Rick was brought to the airport and given a plane ticket to Saskatchewan, Canada. When he arrived, he was driven to the prairie in the picture where he found the cellist from the story performing a variation of the music he had been listening to for weeks.
After this, other aspects of the performance began to manifest in Rick’s everyday life. Dancers in red appeared in the streets, on the subways, on the Brooklyn Bridge. A review of the story about the cellist appeared on NYTimesBooks.com. When meeting new people, it became increasingly hard for Rick to distinguish whether they were performers or just people. The border between the quotidian and the performative became inapparent. Rick found his life completely overtaken by Odyssey Works' actors, dancers, musicians, and set designers.
In the culminating days of the performance, actors guided Rick between locations in Brooklyn, an experience that allowed him to meditate on the symbology of home. On the final day of his Odyssey, he awoke in New Jersey and a chain of his family and friends led him back to Brooklyn.
Saskatchewan, Canada: Straw Bale Observatory (created by Dennis Evans), Regina; New Jersey: Sandy Hook; New York City: Sid's Hardware, Brooklyn Bridge, a string of stops along NJ transit, and various private homes in Brooklyn. Public Scene: Metrotech Plaza, Brooklyn.
Director: Abraham Burickson; Formal Structure Team: Abraham Burickson; Ayden LeRoux, Jen Harmon, Ariel Abrahams; Director of Acting: Jen Harmon; Site Manager, Volunteer Coordinator: Ariel Abrahams; Director of Documentation: Ayden LeRoux; Production Assistants: Xandra Clark, Jessica Ferris; Field Operations: Nell Waters; Composition: Travis Weller; Designers: Danielle Baskin, Sasha Wizansky; Head of Musicians: Laurie Ewer; Web Designer: Carl Collins; Marketing: David Wishart; Actors: Neil Donohue, Xandra Clark, Mateo Pendergrast, Mike Sadler; Wood Props: Charles Cali; Musicians: Hannah Marcus, Travis Weller, Leanne Zacharias, Erich Schoen-Rene, Xandra Clark, Jonathan Chang; Choreographer: Jen Harmon; Dancers: Maya Orchin, Kristin Swiat, Jessica Myers, Lydia Chrisman, Annie Saeugling, Giovanna Gamna; Production Crew: Charlie Maciejewski, Eulani Labay, Kelly Tierney; Bridge Actors: Jonathan Tarleton, Laurie Ewer, Eulani Labay, Kelley Tierney; Dream Analysis: Irving Slesar; Written Material: Abraham Burickson, Amy Hempel, Ayden LeRoux; Food: Laura Miller, Neil Donohue. Special thanks to Stephen Shelley and the BEAT Festival.