Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nov. 4, 2010: Lynda Barry Speaks at the International Festival of Authors

Lynda Barry. What a wonderful, inspiring, brilliant, hilarious, enthusiastic person. What a dream.

The day Lynda Barry spoke at the Harbourfront Centre for the International Festival of Authors (Oct. 30, 2010), I spent a bunch of time at the Pearson Airport. My friend Anna Leventhal was flying across the Atlantic Ocean to visit her friend Suzy who makes feminist dolls. Or at least she used to, when we were both in art school.

Anna brought me a t-shirt from her radio show, Venus, which airs on CKUT in Montreal and is over 10 years old (of which I am a big fan, and have been for years!). I was wearing a sports bra, so I just took off the shirt I was wearing and put on the Venus shirt. The man in charge of keeping that area of the airport cafe clean and orderly got really pissed off at me and told me there were families around. Families scared of sports bras!

And then I took the long bus back into Toronto and gradually realized that I didn't really know where the Harbourfront Centre was, and I wasn't sure what subway stop to get out of, and If i didn't run from where ever I got out of I was going to be late and miss the beginning of Lynda's talk! All the Sky Dome tourists really pissed me off as I ran. They walked so slow, their heads rolling around on their shoulders as they looked up at all the shiny tall buildings. I really had to pee. My friend Laura Mac was waiting for me in the lobby. There was no time to pee! We ran in and sat in the front row of the theatre.

I don't air talks on this radio show, normally. My usual format for These Things that People Make is interviews I do myself. And I don't aspire to be the Globe and Mail, or the CBC, or whatever more mainstream things exist (who are media sponsors of the Author's Festival) but Lynda Barry's work is raw and deeply sad sometimes and honest and great. And I didn't want to miss the chance to hear her and see her face, and record it to share it with you.

Me and Laura held hands as we listened to her. I fumbled with the recorder and half way through the talk a festival staff told me I wasn't allowed to record it because i didn't have a media pass around my neck (I had been given permission to record, but was only given comp tickets, no media necklace). Eventually she let me keep recording. (hooray!)

Soon I'll interview Lynda Barry for real. Sometime soon. She said she was into it, when we talked to her after the show in the book signing line up.
Until then, I have this great talk that you should listen to right now, if you haven't already. it will make you want to draw. trace you hand, and make a turkey smoking a cigarette.

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