Blindside at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

Stéphanie Morin-Robert in Blindside. Photo credit: Thaddeus Hink

Stéphanie Morin-Robert in Blindside. Photo credit: Thaddeus Hink

Blindside by  Stéphanie Morin-Robert
August 12, 15-17, 19, 21 at the Academy at King Edward
More information: stephaniemorinrobert.com


An interview with Stéphanie Morin-Robert.

Describe your show in five words.

Personal, intimate, charming, hilarious and just-a-little-gross

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

We all have a little kid inside of us that just wants to be held, but we often create a wall to protect ourselves from feeling vulnerable and force ourselves to deal with it in a completely different way.

BLINDSIDE starts off with my 7-year-old-self having to change schools in the middle of the third grade, one of my most frightening experiences ever.

During most of the first year at this new school of mine, I didn’t tell ANYONE that I had a glass eye because I was ashamed and insecure. Insecure about something that seemed impossible to change.

Until my glass eye started to have a mind of its own by often falling out during the most unpredictable and embarrassing moments.

Until I discovered that having a glass eye was more like having an unattractive super power against all bullies and child-hating teachers.

Until I starting digging and digging deeper into my childhood memories and put together this show.

Until now.

Blindside is based on your own experiences – how did you go about choosing which moments and stories to recount when creating Blindside?

BLINDSIDE is a story that merges authentic storytelling and movement.

An honest performance involving the multiple transitions experienced while facing self-discovery.

Innocence,

denial,

expectance,

revenge,

and (almost) total control.

Over the last three years, I have been particularly interested in finding ways to re-connect with my personal experiences through childhood.  As life goes on, I’m finally starting to understand how much our upbringing has an impact on our adulthood and the people we become: an accumulation of moments overlapping each other to create something whole, like the layers of an onion.

Memories can be either very strong and vivid or blurry and disconnected. The most interesting challenges of true-life storytelling are the empty gaps we fall into when details are lost or unclear. If we really don’t remember, do we make up how we felt or how others reacted?  Do we ask for a second perspective?

One platform that has helped me to gradually revisit certain traumatic, hilarious and often ridiculous memories is Matt Goldberg’s storytelling event in Montreal: Confabulation. It’s a very warm and welcoming platform for sharing true-life stories here in Montreal. This is where my hunger for working with storytelling started.

Blindside integrates live video projection, dance and storytelling. What is the advantage of combining all of these elements to tell the story of Blindside?

As a comedian and choreographer, I use voice and projection as a tool to support a vivid storyline, but I also see it as an extension of the body. I incorporate movement and live video to allow the story to breathe, to expand, to shift and to trace through time and space. I hope this recipe allows me to make movement, video and storytelling more accessible and relatable to a larger audience, letting them choose to connect one way or the other.

What do you hope audiences take away from Blindside?

I hope the audiences feels enlightened and finds a stronger desire to allow themselves to be vulnerable when facing what makes them different from the rest of the world.

Oh, and I also hope the audience takes away some of my BLINDSIDE merch after the performance. 😉

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

What doesn’t kill you, makes you funnier.  It’s ok to feel vulnerable.

When I was 2 years old, I was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a tumour on the retina of my left eye. Not very long after the diagnosis, I had my eye removed to save my life. I don’t remember actually ever being able to see with two eyes, because I have been this way for as long as I could remember.

At the time, this was a very traumatic situation for everyone in my family…except me!  I was young and completely clueless as to how serious and life-changing this really was. I was being spoiled rotten and given a lot of love. What more can a girl ask for?

I had many insecurities that I had never dealt with, because I was so used to being surrounded by family and friends who always knew why I was different and were able to see past that…  I was protected by my own innocence. And I didn’t have a choice but to be strong at a very young age.

No matter how chaotic my family was while I was growing up, it was familiar to me and seemed normal at the time.  I never wanted or needed anything more because when something is completely absent from your life, it’s impossible to actually realize what’s missing, because it never really existed.

Paradoxically, this is a rich field for storytelling: finding out how much one’s own upbringing is a unique world with a rich cast of characters.

Oh, did I mention it’s a comedy?

After a SOLD OUT RUN at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, award winning one women comedy BLINDSIDE comes to the Edmonton Fringe Festival.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★  “Expert physical comedy and impeccable timing.” -CBC

Awarded MOST OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION at the London Fringe Festival and OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL WORK and BEST-OF-FEST at the Ottawa Fringe Festival !!!

The 35th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 11 – 21. Tickets go on sale August 3 at noon and will be available at tickets.fringetheatre.ca.

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