Wednesday, November 22, 2006
When I heard my friend Richard Burts was interested in buying and preserving the pink elephant that seems to lumber and beckon at the prominent corner of Whaley and Olympia, I got excited. I had been in the building years before to see performances and also to perform. Richard took me by there one afternoon and the sheer size of it struck me for the first time. The piles of odds and ends including a piano, rows of theater seating, art work, installations,electronic equipment, pigeons and then of course the largest hole I'd ever seen in a ceiling and second floor. All so BIG - So Much.
As we went up the old but still sturdy staircase that hundreds of men, women and children mill workers must have climbed hundreds of times, a sense of community became apparent, interesting and again beckoning. Walking through the threshold of the enormous room where movies were played every Friday night, the voices of the past and energy of previous lives stopped me in my tracks. As I caught up with Richard at the other end of that once grand space he said " You know if you're quiet you can almost hear the voices." I didn't really even have to be quiet to hear them.....
Saving the building, preserving the voices of this particular past became instantly important to me as well.
We'll see as the story progresses why this building seems to summon us.