We laughed un­til it hurt

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - LOCAL - BY WENDY ROSE

Ad­ver­tised as a “multi-dis­ci­pline, multi-cu­rated, tons of fun” event, the Vol. 3, Is­sue 8 launch of Live Mag­a­zine lived up to its slo­gan.

Cu­rated by Elling Lien, the Nov. 13 launch fea­tured five pre­sen­ta­tions by five pre­sen­ters, mak­ing a joy­ous mock­ery of Mi­crosoft’s Pow­er­point pro­gram. Spend­ing nine sec­onds on each of the 19 al­lot­ted slides, per­form­ers ex­plored a num­ber of vary­ing top­ics, com­plete with vis­ual aids.

First up was Amanda Bul­man, a lo­cal come­di­enne, who pre­sented a com­pelling piece cen­tred around her bas­sett hound, Gabby.

“Gabby: A Nexus of Com­pas­sion — Dogs and their Abil­i­ties to be Good Boys and Girls” ex­plored dogs as a con­cept. Strong points were raised, us­ing a pyra­mid graph, pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence, and hard-hit­ting ques­tions, such as, “What about cats though?”

The au­di­ence laughed through­out, and dur­ing the hi­lar­i­ous Q&A pe­riod, a trend that would con­tinue through­out the night.

In a flo­ral dress, a curly grey wig, and ex­ag­ger­ated makeup, Wal­ter Mackey de­liv­ered “Art: An Ex­plo­ration of High Art Dis­course in Con­tem­po­rary So­ci­ety.” With slides fea­tur­ing a num­ber of 1990s items and provin­cial ref­er­ences, Mackey ex­plored es­sen­tials of the lo­cal artist and arts scene, such as Costco pou­tine, Sobeys (and its liquor store), “Live Laugh Love” art, flan­nel shirts, the Domi­nos pizza tracker, and much more.

Dou­glas Lee­man fol­lowed Mackey, with a stoner-in­spired act to ac­com­pany his Pow­er­point, “For­ag­ing for Psychedelic Mush­rooms in New­found­land,” which in­vited the au­di­ence to join him on an ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence learn­ing “how to find drugs for free on the ground.”

Lee­man’s com­i­cal coach­ing worked both as a how-to guide, and as a very wonky PSA — “shrooms won’t kill ya, but some of ’em will.”

The Q&A pe­riod was highly (pun in­tended) en­ter­tain­ing.

2017 may­oral can­di­date and cer­ti­fied badass Re­nee Sharpe was next, with “Love Un­der the Pa­tri­archy.”

Al­though light­hearted and funny, this was the most se­ri­ous piece of the night, as Sharpe de­tailed fa­mil­ial strug­gles, child­hood hard­ships, find­ing a sense of be­long­ing, true friend­ships, re­defin­ing re­la­tion­ships, and more, also touch­ing on her re­cent work and po­lit­i­cal in­volve­ment in the city. Sharpe left the au­di­ence with a solid piece of ad­vice: “We all de­serve love.”

An abrupt change of pace came with Elling Lien’s pre­sen­ta­tion, “Are Your Dori­tos Try­ing To Tell You Some­thing?”

Start­ing with the his­tory of Dori­tos, Lien spec­u­lated about how Dori­tos are both good and bad, break­ing down the mys­ter­ies of the salty snack. Draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion from anti-drug cam­paigns, this per­for­mance ended with a doc­tored photo of Lien as the Pope of Dori­tos, and a bag of Na­cho Dori­tos for each au­di­ence mem­ber.

The fi­nal pre­sen­ta­tion came from An­drew Kay, who used this op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore a ques­tion he has been strug­gling with: “Am I in a Cult?”

Not­ing he had re­cently sub­scribed to a yoga regime from mys­tic Sahdguru, Kay de­scribed his yogi’s teach­ings and of­fer­ings, com­par­ing those to cult­like be­haviours.

Kay’s per­for­mance in­spired an in­tense Q&A pe­riod, which he seemed to use as a gauge to de­ter­mine whether or not he was in a cult. The an­swer was in­con­clu­sive.

Leav­ing the LSPU Hall shortly after 9 p.m., I said to my friend that my cheeks hurt from laugh­ing.

Her re­ply: “Me too. I haven’t felt that since the last time I smoked weed, in 2014.”

I can’t write a bet­ter re­view than that.


“The Dorito Pope,” part of Elling Lien’s per­for­mance at the re­cent Live Mag­a­zine Vol. 3, Is­sue 8 launch show in St. John’s.

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