As I get ready to travel to Vancouver where I currently live, I think to myself "My God...we did it!". Within ten days, a team of talented performers, one crafty stage-manger, lead by a compassionate and wise director - brought Busted Up: A Yukon Story to life. With thirty different voices all reflecting on the majesty of the Yukon.....can I say the Yukon? Or is it just Yukon?
Anywho, what a wonderful journey to take with Open Pit Theatre, to be able to travel to Dawson City. Thank you Air North for the tickets! I hadn't been to Dawson City since I was seven years old and it's way more fun to go as an adult. Connecting with the community, doing a little jig or in my case a reallllllllly long jig as I jumped into the talent contest with a local fiddler and that second song was a gooder. We came third. After Dawson City and a few days rest, we got to perform against the back drop of the mountains in Carcross. Our team was like a well oiled machine packing up the set and setting up within thirty minutes. Dang, we're good.
The second best part of these travels and adventures was sharing it with the cast. A cast that loves to share their own stories, songs and dance freely. We had long fun conversations, mini dance parties and laughed quite a bit. I was worried at first at being able to memorize all my roles for the show though with the support of Jessica Hickman (director extraordinaire) and the rest of the cast, it all came together. And "Voila!"
The best, best part of this play was that I got to work in my second home, see I have family that live in Whitehorse, Watson Lake and all over the Yukon. "I wasn't born here sadly" born in raised in Ottawa, On though moved to Whitehorse in 1999 to live with my Dad and I then graduated from the old F.H Collins High-school in 2001. I was part of the Music, Arts and Drama program so I was having a few flashbacks to my high-school days while we rehearsed Busted Up at the Yukon Arts Centre. As we performed Busted Up last night on the Yukon Art Centre stage, it occurred to me that the last time I had performed on that stage was in 2001. Seventeen years later to come full circle.
I've always felt a connection, as my family being here and many memories. The land, or shall I say the spirit of the land gets into your bones. So it's been an absolute pleasure to come and work here, to be able to fulfill a personal promise of sharing stories from Yukon.
Thank you to Jessica and Genevieve for putting this show together, all your hard work and passion. To be able to perform for my family, for old friends has been so special, it's actually hard to put into the words. Thank you to the cast, Brenda, Caleb, Justin, JD, Roy, Gen for your talent and humor, frik gonna miss playing around with you all! Woosh!. Thank you to Lea for being a bright light and keeping me on track. My heart feels full after this experience, it's something special and strengthens my connection to the Yukon. It's in my bones, part of my spirit and Creator willing, I'll always get to come back to visit.
~ Nyla Carpentier (Vancouver, BC)
Busted Up: A Yukon Story 2018