The beginning steps

Tuesday January 8

Monday evening was the first read through of the script. Once we reached the end all I could think about was how tired my voice was. I was so thirsty! (part of that is due to another factor I’ll discuss later) Reading through the script out loud to another person made me realize that this performance was actually going to happen. Now that was nerve-wracking. I realized that I am going to be up on stage, alone, talking for an hour and thirty minutes. Sometimes I think I’m a little crazy coming up with these great ideas and then actually going through with them. Who does that? I do. But then in the midst of the lines and memorization I remembered that this isn’t about how many pages I have to memorize. It is about Rachel Corrie and peace and the stories she had to share. Rachel Corrie is a real person, with real stories. Realizing that I am doing this crazy project for her and for the people wanting peace in Israel/Palestine brings me back to why I had this crazy idea in the first place. To talk about peace. To share stories about real people. To plant seeds of hope and passion in finding a solution. Together we can make a difference.

Many of the problems that Palestinians face in Israel/Palestine comes from the water restrictions set by the Israeli government. To try and save water the Israeli government shuts down water-lines or water-wells in certain parts of the country. It just so happens that the majority of these water shutdowns take place in Palestinian homes. Without warning. Without knowledge of when water will be made available again. When I was in Jerusalem two years ago, I was impacted by the amount of black plastic tanks I saw on roofs. I was told that these were water tanks, to be used for when the water was shut-off. They were full of water so that when the water was shut-off a water reserve could be used. Thinking that water could be shut-off at any minute made me sick to my stomach. I love water. I carry a water-bottle around with me everywhere I go. I have a daily goal to pee clear before lunch. Water is part of my lifestyle and I take it for granted. Every. Single. Day. Seeing those water tanks made me want to try and restrict my water. That is how I came up with the gallon-a-day project.

In the gallon-a-day project I restricted myself to one gallon of water a day. Used to bathe, drink, and whatever else I need water for. I planned to do this project for a meager five days to get a little insight on how Palestinians live with water restriction. I started on Sunday and am now on day 3. I did not realize how often I use water and how much of it. Living in a dorm and having my meals prepared for me in the caf have made keeping to a strict gallon-a-day very difficult. Out of respect for my fellow roommates I flush the toilet. There went one gallon of water. My food and dishes are washed in the caf with who knows how much water. There goes another gallon. So I’m stuck with measuring out my drinking water and bathing water. Even that has proven to be quite difficult. On Sunday I went to wash my hands and used the faucet rather than my carefully measured gallon of water. As far as drinking and minimal bathing are concerned a gallon-a-day is quite reasonable. As long as you don’t exercise or do any sort of activity that makes you sweat. So once again I feel like I am cheating because in the middle of summer in Israel/Palestine you can sit in a chair and sweat. I would be interested to try this project again when I am able to cook for myself so that I am able keep to a strict one gallon of water. In the meantime my biggest concern for myself is how greasy my hair is getting…it’s only been three days! I am a sheltered human being.

This morning Megan and I blocked out the first several pages of the script. Adding actions and intentions to the words helped to make Rachel’s character come to life. I realized this morning that this script isn’t solemn and sad the entire time. It is fun and shows who Rachel really was as a person. Someone who had passion and drive and a crazy-fun attitude. This rehearsal also made me remember that this experience is going to be fun. Bringing someone’s story off the page is something that can really make an impact on people. I am doing this show for a reason. To tell a story.

Tomorrow is another day. But what I did today made a difference.



One thought on “The beginning steps

  1. Renee. You are a strong woman. Instead of shaking your head at the atrocity of the situation and resuming your life, you are spreading the word of what you have seen. I admire your confidence, drive, dedication, and passion. Bless you in your journey.


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