911 POSTER
(Poster design by Hamilton based Artist Donna Akrey-http://www.donnaakrey.com/)

HUMANZOO returns to the Hamilton Fringe Festival, hot off the tail of last years Critics Choice Award winning
production Normal, this time with 911, a hilarious and sinister new play written by Jakob Ehman.
911 tells the story of two best buds who get in over their heads trying to investigate and solve a mystery after their car is hit by a cell phone that was thrown off a balcony of their 125 Wellington apartment building. The miraculously intact phone has no information on it except for the cold fact that the last number dialled was 911.

911 is an exploration into what it means to ask questions, to try and know the unknown, to search for meaning amidst chaos and in the end, the devastating ripple effect that an answer can have on the world around us.

HUMANZOO’s mandate could be described as an anti-mandate– a mandate to evolve along with the world it inhabits, to never limit what type of art we want to create. What always remains the same is our insatiable curiosity to investigate the human brain and the meaning of life.
At the helm of HUMANZOO is multidisciplinary artist 
Jakob Ehman, Director and Sound Designer of 2013’s Normal and now two-time 2014 Dora nominated Actor, he returns as the Director/Sound Designer and debuts his first original work as a Playwright. The stars of NormalJustin Goodhand and Edward Charette return in the cast of 911, along side well known Toronto Theatre Actors/Creators, Claire Burns, Brandon Crone and G. Kyle Shields.

image

911 is a modern take on the classic murder mystery genre, a whodunit or rather…whodunwhat? The investigation oscillates between a blissful silliness, and the devastating and bleak reality of crime.
It plays at the Theatre Aquarius Studio Theatre from July 17th-27th.

911 at the Hamilton Fringe Festival

Written & Directed by Jakob Ehman

Stage Managed by Thalia Leonard

Featuring: Claire Burns, Edward Charette, Brandon Crone, Justin Goodhand & G. Kyle Shields

Theatre Aquarius Studio Theatre – 190 King William St, Hamilton, ON

Thursday July 17– 9PM

Saturday, July 19 – 730PM

Sunday, July 20 – 6PM

Monday, July 21 – 730PM

Wednesday, July 23 – 6PM

Saturday, July 26 – 10:30PM

Sunday, July 27 – 6PM

Tickets: $10.00 (with a $4.00 Fringe Backer button required)

For Advance Online Tickets: http://www.hamiltonfringe.ca/tickets

Approximately 90 minutes

(Come early for live music courtesy of Hamilton Musician Flowelles)

LATECOMERS WILL NOT BE ADMITTED

interview with garry 5
The following was a special interview we conducted in preparation for the Hamilton Fundraiser Event, to test out our interview questions on a friend of HUMANZOO. The interview took place at Jakob and Edward’s apartment in Toronto over a few glasses of wine, and though it was not their intention, Jakob and Edward couldn’t help but get involved with this particular interview, which lasted nearly an hour. Thus it has been separated into four parts. This is part 3.

/ indicates an overlapping of text

… indicates a pause or hesitation.

GARRY:
Have you ever suspected someone that you know of having committed a very serious crime?

HUMAN:
The first thing that comes to mind is just a DUI.

GARRY:
But we’re talking serious crime, first-degree murder or aggravated assault, rape.

HUMAN:
No..no. Ohhhh you guys don’t know this, but uh, this is weird that it’s on the record. Shit. I don’t know if I should tell you.

JAKOB:
It’s all anonymous.

GARRY:
It’s anonymous. No one will–

HUMAN:
It’s me, it’s me… but it’s okay it’s all already been said and it’s been in the papers and that shit. Uhh. My stepdad, who was my moms I guess like husband, he wasn’t really married really. He was caught with child pornography on his computers and they busted in the house, fuckin took his computers and took him. Boom, my moms like fuck you, were done. That… that just happened. So. I was so shocked I was like what the fuck?

GARRY:
Did you believe it at first?

HUMAN:
Uhh at first I was like oh my god like, I’m gonna be fucked, like everyone is gonna know about this, but then no, cause he doesn’t have the same last name as me and shit so. I was thinking about my own, I was thinking about myself at first. He’s going to jail. At first I thought…if we, if any of us went off and had sex with someone who was 17… that’s illegal. But sometimes, okay this is so weird, but sometimes these 17 year olds like look like they’re 20, 21, so how do you know sometimes? But in his case, it was like, I don’t know exactly what he was looking at, but I can imagine and it wasn’t exactly….
JAKOB:
Did you ever suspect him of anything before you found out?

HUMAN:
No, no I thought he was just a quiet guy that was really nice, yeah I actually liked him a lot. And like that law? When did that law come in, where you weren’t allowed to look at child pornography?

GARRY:
Hmm, that’s actually a really good question.

JAKOB:
I think it’s been frowned upon since the beginning.

GARRY:
The beginning.  Do you think if someone that you loved, was convicted of a serious crime, like we’ve just discussed, could you still love them?

HUMAN:
Like my dad or something…murder…rape murder…depends, depends on the case, it depends. The law is so…but if it was like, just say my dad was like full out cold-blooded murdered someone, I’d be like what the fuck is wrong with you, like you’re an asshole.

GARRY:
Would you still love him?

HUMAN:
No.

GARRY:
Do you trust the legal system? Our legal system?

HUMAN:
No. No.

GARRY:
What does the word evil mean to you?

HUMAN:
Uhh…  eevil, uhh you’re so intense, these are such intense questions. Evil is…fuck I don’t know, doing horrid wrong things to people that you know, not even that you know, that are just, it’s like the bible, if…would you want that done to you? Evil is such a contrived…it’s subjective.

JAKOB:
But was does it mean to you? Subjectively. That’s what the question is.

HUMAN:
I think evil is…oh my god it’s so hard…there are so many things that are subjective, I mean like that are…I’m just on the line with a lot of things. Cause some evils might be blessings…like if you murder Hitler, is that evil? Cause it’s a murder.

JAKOB:
So then that goes back to that question, do you think you can justify murder.

HUMAN:
Eye for an eyyee.

GARRY:
If you can justify anything, does evil really exist?

HUMAN:
I think that..ohh man, it depends, see when someone gets, when people get emotionally involved. You just, things get lost so, as a reason and… ahhh I don’t know man, just say someone came in and murdered my whole family, I’d like, I’m gonna fuckin string their throat cords up

JAKOB:
Is that what you’d want to do? Or would you want justice? You’d rather kill them and deal with the consequences?

HUMAN:
Killing.. at the same time, I think killing is just too easy. I want to torture them, I wanna make them suffer, I wanna watch their eyeballs dissolve in their heads if that ever happened, you know? But that’s uhh…that’s wrong as well…why? Why is that wrong? If that, you’re entire family was murdered by this person and their reason was just… because. It’s like what? That’s a sickness, that’s a sickness, this person is sick.

JAKOB:
So then they’re not evil, they’re sick.

HUMAN:
Yeah…yeah I’ll say that, yeah they’re sick.

EDWARD:
So a person can only be evil, if they’re not sick?

JAKOB:
Do you think evil then, is a sickness? To be evil, something has to be wrong with you. That is not something that is natural.

HUMAN:
No, I think to be anything, anything on this planet is natural. We spring from nature so, if there was a person, that was all of a sudden was like I wanna fuckin go murder… [HUMAN’S] entire family..well that’s a natural thing that happened, he did that. But it’s not, no person, a lot of other people would not do that like…most people. Hard to say, I’d say. Point point point point zero zero zero one percent that did that, one person. That’s just something that’s a little off…I don’t think there is evil though. I think there is just, shit happens, there is chaos. This persons mind was wired different because all of sudden.. something happened in their process of being made like their lineage. Maybe it took a long time, you know like, if someone’s born, they’ve survived since the beginning of whenever our ancestors began, but then something went wrong in the process and he starts turning on…

GARRY:
So you believe that that kind of mm, for lack of a better word, glitch or malfunction genetically is a result of genetics or… again Nature vs Nurture. Nurture.

HUMAN:
I don’t think people are evil. I don’t like, I don’t like the word evil.

GARRY:
Would you have a different word?

HUMAN:
I would say there is an error or something but…that’s very heady. Now we’re getting all into my head.

GARRY:
Do you believe in Karma?

HUMAN:
Karma? Nahhhh. Just Chaos.

GARRY:
Close your eyes, after you take that drink. I’m gonna say a word and I just want you to tell me whatever the first image is that comes to mind. Normal.

HUMAN:
White. OHH MY GOD..that’s so…I’m sorry. That’s boring.

GARRY:
You can open your eyes now.

HUMAN:
That’s it?! Shit. Well…I guess I am a white man.

GARRY:
What are you afraid of?

HUMAN:
It’s not over yet?

GARRY:
No.

HUMAN:
Shit. I’m afraid of myself.

GARRY:
How would you explain your basic life philosophy or, to word that differently, do you have words that you live by? Do you have a mantra?

HUMAN:
Uhh yeah I always come up with, do your work and go home.

GARRY:
Cool. Do you have any secrets you’d like to maybe get off your chest?

HUMAN:
Secrets? Uhh well that child porn one came out pretty quick…secrets?

GARRY:
Do you have any addictions?

HUMAN:
Porn maybe? I don’t know… I don’t need it. Air. Water.

(Clapping in the background)

GARRY:
What would you say you think about more than anything else?

HUMAN:
Myself. Uhh fuck. Yeah…horrible. I wish I didn’t, shit. That’s why I think I should start believing in God, fuckin forget about myself, you know what I mean?

GARRY:
What do you think so far of the questions I’ve been asking you?

HUMAN:
Longgg. I’ve been speaking too much.

interview with garry 4 

On June 15th 2013, we at HUMANZOO hosted a fundraiser for our Production of Normal by Anthony Neilson. During the party, in a small room upstairs Garry conducted a series of interviews which were audio recorded. The recordings were then transcribed word for word.

This was one of the interviews.

/ indicates an overlapping of text

… indicates a pause or hesitation.

[NAME] indicates a name mentioned that has been censored for anonymity


GARRY:

To start out I would love it if you could describe whatever your current emotional state is.

HUMAN:
Uh, probably a little anxious,uhh, a little disappointed and a little… um…. nostalgic.

GARRY:
Nostalgic. Great, that’s a good one. Uhm, and are you male or female?

HUMAN:
Female!

GARRY:
Do you have any siblings?

HUMAN:
I do.

GARRY:
How many?

Human:
One.

GARRY:
One sibling. Male or female?

HUMAN:
Female.

GARRY:
Are your parents still alive?

HUMAN:
Yes.

GARRY:
Are they still together?

HUMAN:
Yes.

GARRY:
Do you um, do you identify with the idea or the phrase an “eye for an eye”?

HUMAN:
No.

GARRY:
No. not at all under any /circumstances?

HUMAN:
/No. no.

GARRY:
What is your blood type?

HUMAN:
My blood type is.. B positive.

GARRY:
B positive? Do you ever give blood?

HUMAN:
I’m not allowed. /I’m anaemic.

GARRY:
/ You’re not allowed. Ahh. Um, what does the word normal mean to you?

HUMAN:
(slowly, deliberate) Absolutely nothing.

GARRY:
Nothing at all.

HUMAN:
Nothing!

GARRY:
So you would never describe yourself as normal?

HUMAN:
Dear god no.

(We both laugh loudly)

GARRY:
Um, do you think that it’s possible to justify Murder?

HUMAN:
Yes.

GARRY:
Yes. Under only extreme circumstances or…?

HUMAN:
Uhm… No I don’t think the circumstance need to be extreme, but I think its possible to justify it.

GARRY:
What scares you most about life?

HUMAN:
Oh god… uhm. What scares me most about life…?

GARRY:
Or maybe not most, but what scares you a lot about life?

HUMAN:
It ending.

GARRY:
It ending.

HUMAN:
Yeah.

GARRY:
Do you believe in an afterlife?

HUMAN:
Sort of. I think that, you know, we’re all made up of.. the same thing the universe is made up of so I think that there’s some level of living again, but not necessarily as a person you know, maybe, maybe as a person, maybe as stardust, maybe as… dirt. I don’t know.

GARRY:
Um, If you were going to write a book, what would it be about?

HUMAN:
(chuckles) Well. I guess my initial response is Koala bears.

GARRY:
Koala bears?

HUMAN:
Yeah.

GARRY:
Would it be a coffee table book?

HUMAN:
No!

GARRY:
No.

HUMAN:
No! I think it would be like about the life of a koala bear like staring at the world, you know. Cause that’s what they do, they just sit, and they eat..eucalyptus, and they stare…at the jungle. I can only imagine what they see, high up in the trees.

GARRY:
Do you have a favourite or lucky number?

HUMAN:
Three.

GARRY:
How long have you had that lucky number for?

HUMAN:
As long as I can remember.

GARRY:
Do you think you have control over your own destiny?

HUMAN:
No.

GARRY:
Do you think that destiny exists?

HUMAN:
I do.

GARRY:
Mm. What about a higher being, or god. Does god exist?

HUMAN:
Not as one full form… no. I think god is… more like the cosmos the idea of the universe having.. pretty much the ultimate control, being that it is bigger than we can possibly fathom…over our lives and where we’re going and what we’re here for.

GARRY:
Again, non-judgemental anonymous, have you ever paid for sex?

HUMAN:
No.

GARRY:
Would you ever?

HUMAN:
Probably not cause its not that hard. (she laughs) I guess if there was something that I really wanted to experience but wanted it to be an anonymous thing like someone I didn’t know, I would consider it. I certainly don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.

GARRY:
Does talking about sex make you uncomfortable at all?

HUMAN:
No.

GARRY:
Why do you think that is?

HUMAN:
I grew up in a household where we talked about everything and my parents were always really open about their sex lives, what sex is, sexuality, all that kind of stuff, they were never closed off, they never said no to answering a question or.. used weird names for body parts or anything like that. They were very honest.

GARRY:
They were able to say the word penis?

HUMAN:
(chuckle) Yes.

GARRY:
Do you think that ignorance is bliss?

HUMAN:
Uh… In some ways, yeah? I think if you know nothing, you don’t know the bad, but in some ways no because if  you if you don’t really know the bad then I don’t think you can know the good on the same level, you know? The worse it is, the more you appreciate when it’s beautiful.

GARRY:
Have you-do you have dreams that have recurred throughout your life?

HUMAN:
Yeah.

GARRY:
What are they?

HUMAN:
It’s just really one dream, I have this dream of this secret library inside this house and… there’s like a really convoluted way of getting to it and I only know the way.. and it’s happened since, I think the earliest that I can remember it is about eight. But it’s always the same and the passage is always the same.

GARRY:
Do you always find the library?

HUMAN:
 I always find the library, but I’ve never been able to take someone else there.

GARRY:
Interesting. So this dream varies whether or not you’re trying to take someone there.

HUMAN:
Yeah, sometimes its just me, sometimes I’m trying to take someone.

GARRY:
What do you do if you can’t sleep?

HUMAN:
I read, I read… yeah, that’s about it. I don’t have a lot of trouble sleeping.

GARRY:
What do you read?

HUMAN:
Everything. I love reading. Right now I’m reading Game of Thrones.

GARRY:
How far are you?

HUMAN:
I’m in the first book.

GARRY:
Okay..I heard it took a wile to get into.

HUMAN:
It did not for me. No, right away I loved it. But I read non-fiction as well. I read Carl Zimmers’ book about parasites and loved that. Uhm, yeah. I read.

GARRY:
Tell me your thoughts about aliens. Do they exist, do they not exist?

HUMAN:
Well I believe they exist, I don’t believe in little green men! I think that’s probably a little ways off. I imagine that if there’s a planet similar to earth in every galaxy that… there would be beings similar to humans..obviously they may be more advanced, less advanced, whatever, or slightly different depending on the bacteria that formed on that particular planet. I certainly think there are other beings out there.

GARRY:
Great. What does the word evil mean to you?

HUMAN:
Um… I don’t know, probably not much because I think its pretty hard to define and everyone’s evil is different depending on what your good is. I think it’s a word to me that’s up for interpretation.

GARRY:
Does that mean that you haven’t put a specific definition on it for yourself?

HUMAN:
No, because it changes for me. There are times that I’ll look at something and think that’s so evil, but then to me it also depends on what… the circumstance surrounding it was, right? I think someone who can abuse a child is evil, but what if that child was physically abused and that’s how they know love, and so therefore they show love and that you know… it gets to be so gray, so I don’t really believe in evil versus good…

GARRY:
Do you, do you think that whatever evil might be, that its something we can be born with?

HUMAN:
No, I think that people born without… empathy, which can give the impression of cruelty or evilness but I don’t really believe that babies are born evil and cruel.

GARRY:
Do you think you’ve ever met someone who was truly evil, whether or not you knew it?

HUMAN:
No. No.

GARRY:
Do you believe in Karma?

HUMAN:
I do. Not in the way of like, oh, you hit someone so like someone’s gonna hit you… I think Karma depends on the lessons you’ve learned or still need to learn in your life.

GARRY:
Do you have any secrets you’d like to get off your chest in this kind of anonymous environment?

HUMAN:
Yes, I cheated on my boyfriend and.. I don’t want to tell him because he’s much younger than I am and.. I don’t really think its something he would understand and or be able to be ok with… and that’s sort of frustrating um…

GARRY:
Do you think you’re going to tell him at any point?

HUMAN:
No, because I think it would just be selfish of me. He doesn’t know, he has no way of knowing, he’ll never  find out.. it would just be to get it off my chest, it would do him no good.

GARRY:
Have you forgiven yourself?

HUMAN:
..Yeah…yeah…… yeah. People are human … people make mistakes and I know he’s made mistakes… not really gonna beat myself up about it. It would be nice to be able to have a conversation about it and not feel like.. there was.. going to be a great rift.

GARRY:
Or that you’d be pushing him away?

HUMAN:
Yeah.

GARRY:
Do you have any addictions?

HUMAN:
Mmm. I did. Uh I was a very heavy smoker for a great many years. I was also a cutter for a great many years. Uhm… But currently? Other than Game of Thrones, no, I do not have any addictions.

GARRY:
What do you think about more than anything else?

HUMAN:
Probably.. [ FIRST NAME].

GARRY:
That’s your boyfriend?

HUMAN:
..No.

GARRY:
[FIRST NAME]…?

HUMAN:
[LAST NAME]

GARRY:
Ah. Why do you think I’m asking you these questions… which is not a rhetorical question. I would legitimately like to know what your impression is.

HUMAN:
Well…I think obviously, I believe it has something to do with theatre and art and the exploration of the human mind and… I guess maybe our morality, because in the world as it stands there’s very littllllllle moralllity and humanity. Um, and so I think its maybe its an attempt to understand or explore the truth that people have when there’s no one listening? You know?

GARRY:
Mm, yeah, that… yeah. Um, I have an ultimatum for you. Would you rather lose all your previous memories or never be able to form new ones?

HUMAN:
Oo, that’s a rough one. I hate ultimatums, generally speaking, I usually refuse to answer but in this case I will answer, I suppose… Um..well… I think I would rather… dang that’s hard… Well I feel like if you lost all your memories, you would cease to be who you are. And I am rather fond of who I am so.. I think um, I would probably not be able to make new memories but… yeah, because I think that there are sort of… ways around that, you still have people in your life who love you, they’re able to inform you each day of the things you may not remember.. “50 First Dates” style.

GARRY:
Yes. Exactly, if you could have any superpower what would it be? Anything at all.

HUMAN:
Ooo! Anything at all!?

GARRY:
Anything you want.

HUMAN:
Well….probably to control the weather.

GARRY:
To control the weather, Oo like storm.

HUMAN:
To control the weather. I just feel like that’s such a badass superpower, and there’s so much you could do with it.

GARRY:
Its rather dramatic.

HUMAN:
I’m a dramatic human so.

GARRY:

Yeah, and it also contains a certain dramatic, not for the sake of dramatic, but for beauty’s sake.

HUMAN:
Yeah. Exactly.

GARRY:
Um, do you remember your first kiss?

HUMAN:
I do.

GARRY:
What was it like?

HUMAN:
Um, it was lovely

GARRY:
It was lovely.

HUMAN:
Yup. I was 15… it was very sweet, I was very in love.

GARRY:
Great, just a few more… what do you think Victoria’s Secret is?

HUMAN:
(pause, then chuckle)
What? Like the actual secret, cause like its lingerie.

GARRY:
Like what’s her secret?

HUMAN:
Her secret is… starving her models? And giving them lots of plastic surgery so that they don’t look like humans anymore.

GARRY:
Do you have a song that you listen to that makes you happy right now…what’s your current feel good tune.

HUMAN:
The Drums-Down By the Water.

GARRY:
The drums down by the water. By who?

HUMAN:
It’s..wel- it’s.. The Drums.

GARRY:
The Drums.

HUMAN:
Yup… The song is Down By the Water.

GARRY:
Ohhh, okay. Do you think you’ll actually go and see the HUMANZOO performance of normal?

HUMAN:
Yes.

GARRY:
Yeah, and this is again like pure research, not because I’m trying to convince you to go.

HUMAN:
Yeah, I will probably go probably more than once.

GARRY:
Great. Do you think that funding the arts is important?

HUMAN:
Yes I do.

GARRY:
And what would you gauge to be the budget of this show?

HUMAN:
Well it’s a fringe show.

GARRY:
Yeah.

HUMAN:
So what would I like assume the budget might be?

GARRY:
Yeah.

HUMAN:
Uuuhh maybe a couple thousand… if you guys are really lucky?

GARRY:
Describe your current emotional state.

HUMAN:
I’m a little happier, a little more at ease, uhh yeah, still nostalgic, and intrigued.

GARRY:
Great. May I hug you?

HUMAN:
Yeah!! Yeah, I love a good hug.

GARRY:
Thank you very very much.

HUMAN:
Hey no problem.

The following was a special interview we conducted in preparation for the Hamilton Fundraiser Event, to test out our interview questions on a friend of HUMANZOO. The interview took place at Jakob and Edward’s apartment in Toronto over a few glasses of wine, and though it was not their intention, Jakob and Edward couldn’t help but get involved with this particular interview, which lasted nearly an hour. Thus it has been separated into four parts. This is part 2.

/ indicates an overlapping of text

… indicates a pause or hesitation.

[NAME] indicates a name mentioned that has been censored for anonymity.

GARRY:
Does talking about sex make you feel uncomfortable?

HUMAN:
Sometimes, you know what, this what I’m try- you know what, I can, I can get uncomfortable, I’m someone that can do that. Some people can just like go off and like say like, like the craziest things and just be, like no…they have no… second thought, and I wish I was more like that, I wish I could just/

GARRY:
/What’s the difference between them and you? Why, why, why aren’t you like that?

HUMAN:
I feel like I’m in a chair right now, I’m like uhh, is this what its gonna be like? It’s gonna be like sitting like, is there gonna be like one of those like psychiatrist chairs…sitting down. …so probably just Kyle, Garry, Dr. Garry…It’s uhh…analysis. Sorry what was the question?

GARRY:
Why does it make you  uncomfortable sometimes? /Talking about sex?

HUMAN:
/ Talking about sex.

GARRY:
Yeah.

HUMAN:
I don’t think it, well like talking about it, I don’t know if it makes me uncomfortable… I don’t know, maybe I’m, see this is another thing, it comes back  to this, I’m scared of myself, I’m scared what I’ll say..I’m scared about the weird things in my mind.

GARRY:
Um…Do you believe ignorance is bliss?

HUMAN:
Yep. Suure is. (He sort of had a cowboy voice here)

The laughter that followed was very loud on the tape and lasted for 11 seconds. EDWARD in particular couldn’t stop laughing. GARRY then cleared his throat.

GARRY:
Um, tell me if you have any reoccurring dreams throughout your life?

HUMAN:
Ooo did I? I don’t dream anymore, well I do, but I just don’t remember them…stopped, I’m like, what’s that hocus pocus… forget about it.

GARRY:
What do you do if you uh/

Garry is interrupted laughter once more, EDWARD’s is the loudest on the recording and mostly drowns out the others, it also goes on for too long… just having to let it all out.

HUMAN:
I like these questions…they’re deep, they’re thought out.

GARRY:
No dreams at all?

HUMAN:
No, I have dreamt

GARRY:
Of course.

Again so much laughter from everyone.

HUMAN:
(Through laughter) I dream, I dream every night.

GARRY:
But none that come back.

HUMAN:
Fuck…I don’t know…

JAKOB:
But a reoccurring, something that’s like…throughout your life.

HUMAN:
Oh..Oh! Swimming and breathing underwater.

GARRY:
Ahh okay. In a lake? In the ocean?

HUMAN:
Uhhh..Some body of water, I don’t know..

JAKOB:
What’s happens in the /dream?

EDWARD:
/ Yeah, are you breathing/

HUMAN:
/Uh Um, I, At first I think holy shit like, I’m gonna drown then all of a sudden I’m like wait a second (He takes a deep breath) then I’m like oh I feel good, then I’m like flying kind of but I’m in water…so it’s like…it’s really cool.

GARRY:
Do you encounter anything? What happens next?

HUMAN:
Sometimes I see rocks and stuff.

Hysterical laughing, HUMAN joins in on the laughter and through it in a laughing falsetto EDWARD repeats “he sees rocks n stuff!” and continues laughing. All the while GARRY is trying to ask the next question but the HUMAN can’t hear him over the laughter, the laughter dies and then:

HUMAN:
What’s that?

GARRY:
Is it an anxious experience?

HUMAN:
Before anything…I realize I can breath, and sometimes while I’m breathing I’m like, am I gonna die? But no I…. I’ve had some pretty scary experiences underwater, like I was snorkelling under a waterfall and uh, there’s tons of fish under waterfalls cause there’s so much oxygen/

JAKOB seems to find this pretty funny.

GARRY:
It’s true.

HUMAN:
And there’s all these cat fish, and I, I was snorkelling and there was like all these caverns kinda things so like, uhh close to the wall of the… waterfall of course, and I go under the waterfall so there’s like a lot of pressure pushing me down, but then I get like up to a more quiet area and I’m looking on these caverns and I go into this one that’s kinda like, I’m able to go into it and I’m like… coool, what’s in here? Then all of a sudden out of the darkness comes this like GIANT head of this fish and I’m just like (in some sort of robot/Steven Hawkings, inward breath voice) WHAT THE FUCK, and I like got the fuck outta there and from what I can remember from…those images of what the hell that was, it was a huge catfish with like eyes glazed over white and it was like, it was dis, it was disgusting, maybe it was dead, who fucking knows it just floated up, but…it was the scariest thing I’ve ever encountered and then I, since then, been scared of deep water…and I don’t know why I have dreams of…of being able to breath underwater. I think the most terrifying way to die would be to, you know uhh… have you guys seen the movie Aladdin? You know when he gets like shackled and then thrown into the water and he just goes like down down down down down and finally hits the bottom. Imagine that happening to you in like Marianas Trench, it’s just blackness, and then you finally get crushed by the pressure but you, I think you might drown first or pass out I don’t know..its just like that would be the most terri-fying thing, never.. ever knowing where you ended up..just..

JAKOB:
They say that drowning is peaceful

HUMAN:
That’s not true.

GARRY:
Have you not heard that before?

HUMAN:
I’ve, I’ve, I’ve heard that but I, I don’t think it’s true and I’ve also heard other people say that’s its not true as well.

JAKOB:
But they say that you get high from the lack of oxygen/

GARRY
:/before you actually die.

JAKOB:
Of course, before that process, before that happens it’s obviously awful, and you can’t breath but/

HUMAN:
Well it’ horrifying! It’s horrifying.

GARRY:
But then there’s the bliss.

EDWARD:
Yeah then you have, you breath in the air/

HUMAN:
/ I think it’s better to die being burnt because you pass out by these uhh you pass out by the fumes before uhh your demise.

EDWARD:
You’d rather be set on fire then/

GARRY:
Uhhh not set on fire but if I was caught in a fire and be, had passed out by the C02 or whatever the fuck it is that’s burning

JAKOB:
So you’d rather die like in a/

GARRY:
/ In a blaze of glory

JAKOB:
Or uhh in a garage, like from fumes, just go to sleep..

HUMAN:
Oh like from a car? Oh yeahhhh, that’d be way better. Shit. And knowing you’re gonna die like uh…seeing your doom it’s just… Pills man, I don’t know, I was just thinking like you know like, why do people fucking, you know, shoot themselves or slice their wrist n shit, just like take a bunch of fucking like overdose on heroin… that sounds awesome!

GARRY:
It just takes a lot. Right?

HUMAN:
Well yeah, I mean if you’re gonna fuckin do it then do it, right?

GARRY:
How much do you need to over D, to uh O D… Over D..

HUMAN:
Yeah its true eh? You might not. Well then you got heroin…you might not die..that might be your saviour.

GARRY:
You may run just as much of a risk by..um slitting your wrists open and bleeding out and not knowing if you’re going to bleed out or not,/ as taking a bunch of a bunch of pills and having your stomach pumped or just waking up the next day.

HUMAN:
/ oh but that’s so painful, like that’s horrible. ..You do your research I don’t know…I don’t fuckin know what suicide people think about, I’m not one of them.

GARRY:
Um, what do you do when you can’t sleep?

HUMAN:
I…usually can sleep, I don’t really have that problem. When I do have that problem its fucking horrible, but I never do. What I do on those nights? Ohhhhhh.. Shit…. I don’t know. I just like turn on a fan or something and I just… get into the covers, but sometimes I get too hot, so then I just cool down..ill be fine.

GARRY:
You say to your body “cool down”, and it cools down?/

HUMAN:
/No, no no.

GARRY:
What are you talking about?

HUMAN:
I put a fan on and I like…I usually have a fan on every night when I sleep. This is bizarre, you guys are like…getting so much information from me.

JAKOB:
So you sleep pretty well.

HUMAN:
Yeah I sleep really well.

GARRY:
Doesn’t really remember… dreams maybe…

HUMAN:
Sometimes, sometimes my thoughts keep me up but… I can usually go forget about that.

EDWARD:
Wait, wait what kind of thoughts? What thoughts?

HUMAN:
I don’t know, if I’ve had like a stressful day or something I’ve been like…or something horrible has happened…something unresolved maybe, I can, I can just think about.. you know what will really, what can keep me up is just technology, like if I’m on my phone or on my computer, that will keep me up for hours and hours, but then I just no, just close that, close your fuckin eyes and go to sleep.

EDWARD:
Now if you’re mind is running and you’ve got things on your mind uh, do you find that there’s like a technique? Like counting sheep? Some people count sheep.

HUMAN:
No I never do that. /Uhh

EDWARD:
You never count sheep?/

GARRY:
Or watch TV?

HUMAN:
I just force myself into dreams, I’m like just think of something really nice or think of something..

EDWARD:
What..you know what kind of things do you, I assume that you probably have something that you go to/

HUMAN:
/ Maybe sex, maybe/

EDWARD:
You think about sex to go sleep?

HUMAN:
Yeah, maybe/

GARRY:
That would just make me/ masturbate

EDWARD:
/Yeah that would cause me to masturbate. I don’t know

HUMAN:
Well if I just like fantasized you know like…

EDWARD:
What kind of fantasies?

HUMAN:
Shit. Whatevers….

EDWARD:
If I said to you right now, [NAME]… go to sleep.

HUMAN:
I could do that.

EDWARD erupts in laughter.

GARRY:
You could just..(laughing)…right here?

HUMAN:
I’ve had a few glasses of wine.

EDWARD still can’t stop laughing.

HUMAN:
Turn that fan on and I’m out. Like yeah put a fan on my face just like uh just have that fan just blowing on my face/

JAKOB:
So a fan, really? You’ve mentioned the fan quite a few times, that’s really/

GARRY:
/ He sleeps, you sleep with a fan every night.

JAKOB:
Is it the sound, or the feeling of the wind on you?

HUMAN:
Both.

JAKOB:
Yeah.

HUMAN:
Both.

JAKOB:
Okay

HUMAN:
And like, you know if you ever, oh my god, sometimes I’m driving and my, my uh..fans on in the car, its like blowing in my face and I’m like Oh shit, I’m gonna fall a fucking sleep while I’m driving.

GARRY:
Um is that, how long have you been sleeping with the fan for? Always?

HUMAN:
Shit. A long time. I think, cause like my mum sleeps with a fan too and I think that’s how it got passed to me. Sleeping with my mum.

EDWARD:
Now…If there wasn’t a fan..would you have more trouble falling asleep?

HUMAN:
Uhhh sometimes. I, I used to panic before, I was like shit, theres no fan like what am I gonna do? (makes snoring noise) So. Its like not that big of an issue, I just go to sleep.

GARRY:
Do you think that uh, homosexuality is something you’re born or something that you learn in life?

HUMAN:
Youre…borrrn…with..it….from what I..knoww. But I don’t…I’m not like a scientist or anything so. From what I’ve heard it’s… you’re born with it.

JAKOB:
But what do you think? Like if you had to…

HUMAN:
I’d say born with it cause… I think it’s the right answer.

GARRY:
Is it?

HUMAN:
I think so.

JAKOB:
But you don’t think it then, you don’t think it could be like, from an experience that you had as a child, that because of that, youre…you become homosexual, you identify with that…Versus I’m born..from the moment I’m born I’m always going to be gay.

HUMAN:
I don’t know…I don’t, I’m not…Talk to some gay people I don’t know. I don’t know. Sexuality’s such a gray area…I don’t know, its so gray man, like people have like fucking sex with goats. Who knows right?

GARRY:
That strikes me as more a relief thing./

HUMAN:
But if they love the goat./

EDWARD:
/People do love goats.

HUMAN:
You know like, men like putting their dicks in things.

GARRY:
Tell me your thoughts about aliens.

HUMAN:
I think…I have a theory…that since the universe is so giant and time…is so vast, that there must be aliens…but are there aliens as in can connect with us, are intelligent enough or are around the same kind of capabilities…that we dream of…probably not. K, think about us right, think about this planets history.. if you take a piano, this is what what’s his name did, uh eh Richard Dawkins showed this in one of his documentaries, he had a piano a full piano keyboard and he showed the amount of time different organisms have been on this planet. Bacteria…seriously was past the centre C, from the low key all the way past that. Then he was like here are the dinosaurs, uh dinosaurs are extinct, and they’ve got like all these different things bluhblahblahblah. US? We were like one key and its like that’s being generous. And then think about like, K that’s the scale of this planet, then think of the scale of the entire fucking universe right? It’s like…we’re a needle in the haystack. What are the chances? Maybe? I don’t know, but I’m gonna say probably not. There’s probably nothing out there that’s gonna be contacting us.

GARRY:
Right. What about uh…life on another planet?

HUMAN:
Yeah maybe, maybe there’s bacteria or something out there, maybes there’s something that’s already been… and is no longer. Like you know, stars come and go, civilizations rise and fall…from what we know, but what do we know, we’ve only been around for a little bit?

GARRY:
Do you think we’ll ever make contact with intelligent life?

HUMAN:
I’m gonna say, well I’m gonna say probably not. And if we do, woooo! Well alright!

Image

The following was a special interview we conducted in preparation for the Hamilton Fundraiser Event, to test out our interview questions on a friend of HUMANZOO. The interview took place at Jakob and Edward’s apartment in Toronto over a few glasses of wine, and though it was not their intention, Jakob and Edward couldn’t help but get involved with this particular interview, which lasted nearly an hour. Thus it has been separated into four parts.

/ indicates an overlapping of text

… indicates a pause or hesitation.

[NAME] indicates a name mentioned that has been censored for anonymity.

GARRY:
Off the top, I’m just going to get you to describe whatever your current emotional state is.

HUMAN:
Fat and sassy.

GARRY:
Are you a male or female?

HUMAN:
Male.

GARRY:
How many siblings do you have?

HUMAN:
Three. Two. Three including me.

GARRY:
Three Including you okay. So you have two siblings. Are your parents still alive?

HUMAN:
Yes.

GARRY:
Are they still married?

HUMAN:
No.

GARRY:
Do you identify with the idea an eye for an eye?

HUMAN:
Ummm. No. Well indentify…as in..

GARRY:
Does it speak to you, do you believe in it?

HUMAN:
Would I? Do I follow that practise? Eye for an eye?

GARRY:
Do you believe in it.

HUMAN:
Like..I, I believe that it exists but like, do I follow that reasoning? Is that what you mean? Is that what you’re saying? Do I follow that reasoning. Then no, I don’t. I think that people…uhhhm…revenge isn’t the answer. Or uh… justice isn’t, justice isn’t always uh found through, uh, doing what has been done to you or…in any case.

GARRY:
What’s your blood type?

HUMAN:
O… I think its, O…positve I think…not O negative, O negatives the really rare one isn’t it?

GARRY:
What does Normal mean to you?

HUMAN:
Normal to me…Uhhh? Okay, let me just like, just like, throw away the mind and I’ll say normal is… ahhh just being mannerly.

GARRY:
Would you describe yourself as Normal?

HUMAN:
Sometimes.

GARRY:
What is the earliest childhood memory that you have? Or at least the first one that comes to mind.

HUMAN:
Oh my god. I…That’s funny cause memories are uhh, you’re reminded of memories, through like videos and stuff. Uhhh Let me just say this one. I remembered in my kitchen there was like a watering plant uh or a uhhh plant watering device which was like, for hanging plants which you could uh have like a water bottle to squeeze it and it would go up and in… to like the higher hanging plants, and I took that little thing that was like from the water bottles and it was like a bit of a cane and I did like a little vaudeville act…with it.. in my kitchen. And I, that’s like the first thing that came to my mind.

GARRY:
When you were a child, what was your dream profession?

HUMAN:
My uncle always tried to uhh, uhh, encouraged me to be a hockey player..

GARRY:
Was that your dream profession?

HUMAN:
I…. I don’t think I dreamt about professions…when I was a kid. But uh..


The sound of Jakob trying to suppress his laughter can be heard in the background.

But uh when I started dreaming about profession stuff, it was probably… uhh acting. Cause I, that was like, I don’t know I was like thrown on a stage as a young/

JAKOB:
[NAME}, its not neccesarly like, you didn’t have to like, have a dream about it, like you weren’t like a child and you had a dream and you woke up and were like, OHH I want to be that! What did you want to be when you grew up? Is there anything that popped out…was like?

GARRY:
I wanted to be a producer.

HUMAN:
I guess..I just.. an actor I guess, like that’s just what I remembered but you know, like I, you get introduced to stuff? How young do I go back?

GARRY:
Earliest as you can remember.

HUMAN:
Fuck I don’t know..

GARRY:
Still acting..

HUMAN:
Yeah I guess.

GARRY:
And is that your profession now?/

HUMAN:
/Making people laugh.

GARRY:
Ahh.

HUMAN:
I’m not very good at it but..

EDWARD and JAKOB laugh.

GARRY:
Is that your profession now?

HUMAN:
Me? No. I would like to. It would be nice if it was. Now it’s to make people weird-ed out…

GARRY:
When you were a child, I’m going back still/

HUMAN:
/K, yeah yeah.

GARRY:
Um. Would you say that you had a lot of friends…would you describe yourself as having been a popular kid?

HUMAN:
Yeah.

GARRY:
Are you still friends with..with any of the people form your childhood?

HUMAN:
Mhm. Mhm.

GARRY:
Do you think its possible to justify murder?

HUMAN:
….eeeeuhh to justify murder. Sure…yeah you can justify it if you want to. I think you can justify anything.

GARRY:
What scares you most about life?

HUMAN:
Uhh… mmm…shit..these are deep. What scares me most about life? I want to say life itself, but its gotta be more specific..

GARRY:
Does it?

HUMAN:
…I don’t know. …Doing stuff?

EDWARD, JAKOB and GARRY all laugh, then HUMAN starts to laugh a bit too.

Like I’m not scared of death, well I will be once I’m faced it but..

JAKOB:
Are you not faced with it now?

HUMAN:
Faced with death? Hopefully not, shit. …Are you threatening me?

JAKOB:
No no no no, I just mean like in general, death is always possible, you could get hit by/

HUMAN:
/We were born to die.

JAKOB:
/Bus, you know anything could kill you. You say death? Is that/

HUMAN:
But I don’t think about it, I just,/

JAKOB:
/But that’s the first thing you brought up when you, when someone asked you/

HUMAN:
/ Its not death, its fucking something to do with like, I can’t word it. It’s like trying to find your niche or something or trying to, its, its, what,/

JAKOB:
/Finding a purpose.

HUMAN:
I mm, I, I think Its, what’s fears…what I’m most afraid of is… is myyy..self. I think that’s what I’m most afraid of, cause that will ruin my life, I can ruin my own life… and I can ruin other peoples lives…so I just have to be, beware.

GARRY:
…the power you have..

HUMAN:
Not. Okay yeah, everyone has the power to… to, yeah to, yeah, exactly, the power I have to influence my own life and sometimes other peoples lives…but I’m just scared that I…I’m just scared of my own…will. You know.

JAKOB:
What you’re capable of?

HUMAN:
Not what I’m capable of but like..what’s….yeah I guess what I’m capable, I don’t know.

JAKOB:
Mistakes?

HUMAN:
…It’s like I, you know, everyone wants to have a good life right…but, to make a, to have a good life you need to make the right, I guess to make the right choices and…uhh…I’m scared of the, of the… the thing that will keep me down…and that will be myself, because…what else would keep me down? You know, I’m a white male..in this first class country? I have the whole…I have just like, endless possibilities in front of me. So the only that’s gonna stop me is myself… and I fear that, that’s the biggest thing I have to fear…like maybe what…If I commit murder? Shit that’s uh, that’s the worst thing I could do, because that’s gonna fuck me up. I’m not gonna do that though I’m not. I don’t know, maybe, who knows, fuck ,we’ll see what happens…
He laughs.
Woop. Oh woah, its recorded heyyy uh.

GARRY:
If the justification is there?

HUMAN:
Nahh… no. I don’know. I don’t now.

GARRY:
If you were going to write a book, what would it be about?

HUMAN:
Oh.. jesus. It would be…probably really boring.

Everyone laughs uproariously except “HUMAN”

GARRY:
But what, (still laughing) what would it be about?

HUMAN:
…some mundane topic…

Another explosion of laughter.

HUMAN:
Like, what we’re, like me being my own obstacle, like how fucking boring is that?

GARRY:
Mm.

JAKOB:
But that’s not necessarily, that’s, that’s what we were just talking about before, that’s not like… you sat down right now, and you were like/

HUMAN:
I think about that a lot though. So I might actually need to write something.

GARRY:
What your novel is going to be?

HUMAN:
Uhh well

JAKOB:
Some sort of battle with yourself?

HUMAN:
Yeah..it would probably b’ that.

GARRY:
Is that mundane?

HUMAN:
Hopefully not if I, I’m not a good writer though, so probably it would be…if I gave it to a good writer?

GARRY:
Do you have a favourite or lucky number?

HUMAN:
It’s always been three for me.

GARRY:
Do you think that you have control over your own destiny?

HUMAN:
Uhh…somewhat.

GARRY:
Do you believe in.. Destiny?

HUMAN:
I believe in chaos.  …So yeah, the question is do I believe in destiny. No.

GARRY:
Does God exist?

HUMAN:
I can’t say..cause I don’t know but…Yeah I guess that’s my answer, I don’t know.

GARRY:
Does anyone know?

HUMAN:
People like to know, would like to think to know. Does anyone know? Is that what the question was? I’m getting all screwed up.

GARRY:
Do you think that anyone knows.

HUMAN:
No.

GARRY:
Do you believe in god? Or a God?

HUMAN:
…No. Maybe I should though…it would make me… a better person.

GARRY:
Do you believe in an afterlife of any kind?

HUMAN:
No…no.

GARRY:
So life just stops at death?

HUMAN:
Mhm.

GARRY:
Have you ever um, have you ever paid for sex?

HUMAN:
I’ve been thinking about that actually.. recently. I’ve actually been questioning…what that would be like.

GARRY:
Have you been considering it.. seriously?

HUMAN:
Seriously.

GARRY:
So you would pay for it?

HUMAN:
I sat there one day and I was like, I’m fucking horny and I went..what if I just went to Jilly’s? I know. What a bad place to go but I…it was like I just wanted to go to Jilly’s its just down the road, walked in there was like gentlemen uh..excuse me sir…can I have your.. finest…or like..give me a, give me a, like, give me some girl to give me a lapdance, and you know what, she’d probably…fuck me If I took her to like a private room…n’I know gave her some money, and they probably wouldn’t be expensive, she’d probably be riddled with disease? You know what’s a little… clap right? You know, just get some cream…

GARRY:
So why would you go to Jilly’s then?

HUMAN:
I don’t know…It was the closest thing I thought of.

GARRY:
Right.

HUMAN:
I don’t know cause like, if you go somewhere like more fancy, uh. like you go to the Brass Rail or something… Expensive. ….I can’t believe this is recorded.

END OF PART 1


On June 15th 2013, we at HUMANZOO hosted a fundraiser for our Production of Normal by Anthony Neilson. During the party, in a small room upstairs Garry conducted a series of interviews which were audio recorded. The recordings were then transcribed word for word.
This was one of the interviews.

 / indicates an overlapping of text

… indicates a pause or hesitation.

[NAME] indicates a name mentioned that has been censored for anonymity

GARRY:
Ok, I just want to get you to start off by describing your current emotional, what your current emotional state is.

Human:
Today?

GARRY:
Right now in this moment.

Human:
Um… Uh, my outlook is very positive. Uh I’m in a pretty good mood today because uh the reason I’m here is because [NAME] is showing art in a space I own and live in so we organized this art show with her and [NAME] and um three other artists. And it went really well last night and uh that was pretty exciting /so…

GARRY:
/Great. Congratulations. And she invited you here today.

Human:
Yes.

GARRY:
Great. Um, are you male or female?

Human: Male.

GARRY:
 Do you have any siblings?

Human:
Mhm.

GARRY:
 How many?

Human:
One.

GARRY:
One sibling, and are your parents still alive?

Human:
My mother is still alive.

GARRY:
Before your father passed away were they together? /Were they still married?

Human:
/Mhm, yeah.

GARRY:
Do you identify with the saying or the idea an ‘eye for an eye’?

Human:
No.

GARRY:
 Not under any circumstances?

Human:
Um, uh, maybe under some circumstances but as a general rule…

GARRY:
 Ok. Do you know your blood type?

Human:
Mmm no, I don’t think so.

GARRY:
Do you think it’s…

Human:
I think it’s type O, but I’m not sure.

GARRY:
Um, I’m wondering if you can describe what the word ‘normal’ means to you.

Human:
Uh… I guess normal means what you would expect in a given situation from a person or a thing uh and if something doesn’t correspond to your expectations then it wouldn’t be normal. In terms of, in social terms I find it a bit of a repressive term.

GARRY:
Mhm.

Human:
And I don’t gravitate to the concept of normal personally. /(Chuckles)

GARRY:
/Does that mean that you, does that mean that you wouldn’t ever describe yourself as ‘normal’?

Human:
I would (chuckles) I would never describe myself as normal.

(We share a laugh)

GARRY:
Um, what’s the earliest childhood memory or image that comes to mind?

Human:
Watching one of the moon landings on black and white on TV.

GARRY:
Do you remember how old you were?

Human:
No, and I’m not even 100% sure it’s my earliest memory, but it’s, because I thought, would I remember something from 1969? I was born in 1967, and I don’t think so. There was also one in 1971 I think and it was probably that one so I was three I guess.

GARRY:
And um, when you were a child what was your desired profession, or what did you want to be when you grew up?

Human:
I wanted to be a writer and I think everyone thought I was going to be a writer. Uh, and I still am to some extent but it’s not my dream anymore exactly.

GARRY:
What changed?

Human:
Um I don’t know, I mean I, I’m not, I don’t gravitate necessarily to doing things that people expect or want me do. That’s part of it to be honest /um and uh…

GARRY:
/mhm, mhm.

Human:
I don’t know I just discovered a lot of other things that I was interested in or had a /a talent for…

GARRY:
Right…

Human:
There are things that I didn’t think that I would be able to do professionally or in a serious, or publicly (inaudible) that I did turn out to be able to do.

GARRY:
 Would you describe yourself as defiant?

Human:
In some situations, yeah. Although not as a general rule.

GARRY:
Um, do you think it’s possible to justify murder?

Human:
Uh, well my immediate response is no. (chuckles)

GARRY:
Instinctually.

Human:
Yeah, um…

GARRY:
But rationally?

Human:
Well people justify war for example which I think could properly be seen as murder and say you know during World War II if Britain, if the allies decided not to respond to the Nazi threat then that obviously would’ve been worse (small chuckle) for the world.

GARRY:
Responding for the greater good.

Human:
Yeah. I mean certainly there are situations where people are gonna get killed that are justified but on a certain individual level I don’t.

GARRY:
What um, what scares you most about life?

Human:
Uh, mmm I don’t think I am a particularly fearful person.

GARRY:
If there’s nothing that comes to mind immediately that’s fine as well.

Human:
Um, uh well probably, huh I don’t know, yeah, (chuckles, then, to himself) what scares me most about life?

GARRY:
 If you think of it later you can come back to it if something else comes up. Um, if you were going to write a book, perhaps you already have, what would it be about?

Human:
Um, I, because I’m a writer I think about what I might write a book about. The idea I have that I might pursue uh in the foreseeable future would be to write about the indie rock scene in the middle of the last decade in Toronto, /various people I know, I wouldn’t be writing…

GARRY:
/Oh.

Human:
…a non-fiction book, it would be a /fictionalized account…

GARRY:
/Right.

Human:
…people touring in vans, being addicted to various substances.

GARRY:
Do you have any addictions?

Human:
Mmm no. Uh, well not to substances (chuckles) I’m trying to think if I’m addicted to anything else, I really like to do yoga every morning.

GARRY:
That’s a really great addiction. (We share a laugh)

Human:
I think so.

GARRY:
Um, have you ever suspected someone you know of having committing a very serious crime… such as murder, or rape, that kind of thing?

Human:
No.

GARRY:
No.

Human:
(Small chuckle)

GARRY:
Um, do you have any fetishes that you’d be willing to share or talk about?

Human:
Well, I’m not a particularly fetishy kind of guy. As these things go my ex works as the manager of the [local leather bar] in [the city], one of the managers , so it’s funny to go in there because they have puppy night and rubber night and (laughs) piss play and it’s fetish central so I’m pretty familiar with that world but…

GARRY:
But does it interest you at all?

Human:
There are certain things that interest me, bondage and stuff like that that to me is an extension of what I like, sexually speaking, I assume you’re talking about sexual fetishes.

GARRY:
I am. Or if there’s anything else that comes to mind I’m open to hearing about it.

Human:
Well nothing else comes to mind. I’m not, I’m not, I don’t tend to fetishize a lot of the conventional things, like leather doesn’t do anything for me, and other things are just things you do to have a good time, sexually, that society may see as fetishes but they don’t necessarily, though I can’t think of what I’m talking about right now. (Laughs)

GARRY:
Um, do you trust our legal system?

Human:
Not really.

GARRY:
If someone you knew and loved were committed of a very serious crime, such as murder or rape, armed robbery or assault, do you think that you could still love them.

Human:
Yeah… Mhm, yeah.

GARRY:
What does the word evil mean to you?

Human:
Sorry, let me go back and /qualify the last answer…

GARRY:
Sure, certainly, certainly.

Human:
…if it were something, to me murder, for example, to me murder and rape are not really in the same category.

GARRY:
 Sure.

Human:
If I knew somebody had committed a rape I would not want anything more to do with that, I think there are certain murders, I mean, things, killings that are qualified as murders that happen more or less accidentally, people get into a fight or whatever and somebody ends up, I can easily see that a lot of murders are not intended to happen as murders, and that would be in a different category for me.

GARRY:
Mhm.

Human:
I’ve never known of that to happen. (small chuckle)

GARRY:
/So…

Human: /(Two loud sneezes)

GARRY:
 …Bless you.

Human:
Thanks.

GARRY:
Do you think that um, let’s go back to the definition of evil, for you, does that mean anything?

Human:
Um, I’ve thought about it. And I’m not a person who tends to really, I haven’t sort of experienced evil and I don’t tend to, I’m not religious and I don’t believe in sort of black and white religious dichotomies (inaudible) the Christian, sort of, concept of good and evil. Um, I think a lot of what is called ‘evil’ is often committed in the name of good, for example with religions again and their various purges, evil, what is ‘evil’ for one group of people is just what another group of people wants.

GARRY:
Um, do you, do you think that, I guess in a more specific context, do you think that some one person can be born ‘evil,’ or be influenced by a social context within a society that deems one thing ‘evil’ and another thing ‘good’?

Human:
I tend to think not but I don’t know for a fact, it’s possible, um I think people are born with (sigh) well they may, you see they may not even be born that way I think your very early experiences with you parents or whatever can mold you like before you’re even one year old for example, I think early childhood is very important so people uh may be influenced to um or they may not get the love or whatever that they need to be sort of emotionally uh, I want to say conventional but sort of /emotionally healthy…

GARRY:
/Balanced?

Human:
Balanced yeah. Um and so I think what happens in early life is very important but also later life in terms of what people end up doing with what they’re given.

GARRY:
Right. Do you believe in karma?

Human:
(Chuckles) Uh, karma. I’ve done a lot of reading of eastern religions especially when I was younger, that’s where the yoga comes in. I think karma is a pretty good thing to keep in mind whether, the literal sort of spiritual sort of, whether it’s actually universal law or not is not something I can comment on because there’s no way to verify that but there’s plenty of evidence that karma is a good rule to live by day to day, if you do good things good things often come back to you.

GARRY:
So as a personal philosophy.

Human:
Yeah, or just as a rule of contact.

GARRY:
Yeah. That a good way of putting it. Gonna check the time… (pause) ok. I have an ultimatum for you. Would you rather lose all of your previous memories, or never be able form new memories?

Human:
I’d rather lose all my memories.

GARRY:
And still be able to form new ones. Um what about a superpower? If you could have any super power what would it be?

Human:
(Small chuckle) The first one that comes to mind is the ability to fly because that’s always so enjoyable in dreams but I don’t think it would be terribly useful. Um, I’m not sure I would really want a superpower. (More chuckling)

GARRY:
Not at all? Are you afraid of power?

Human:
Maybe I am to some extent, but I also just think that when things, when your life experience is disrupted by even, it could be something bad, it could be something good, it just could be quite difficult to deal with, like people winning the lottery…

GARRY:
Which is a blessing that people wish for for a long time.

Human:
Yeah, quite often a mixed blessing when it actually happens so I can’t yeah I can’t think besides flying, I can’t…

GARRY:
That’s fair, that’s a superpower. If you could ask ME any question right now, what would you ask me?

Human:
Um, well, what do you, what do you, what form is this project gonna take, that you’re working on gonna take?

GARRY:
Hm, and what makes you smile?

Human:
What right now?

GARRY:
Or one specific thing that makes you smile?

Human:
Things that I find absurd make me smile, like lately working on art when I do something, I created a sculpture that I decided not to put in the show because it was about the other artists and not about me and I didn’t have time to do a good job with it. I have this silver box which [NAME] has sat on.

GARRY:
Mhm.

Human:
Uh, (chuckles) which normally has a seat that moves back and forth when you flick on a switch it’s a very weird thing from like fifty years ago, and I attached a some silver ductwork to it, so it was kind of, so it makes this little rumbling sound, so I was, when I got that going for the first time for example it made me laugh because it was so absurd and ridiculous.

GARRY:
Great.

Human:
(Hearty laugh)

GARRY:
Um, do you think that you will actually go to see the HUMANZOO performance of ‘Normal’ in the Hamilton Fringe purely, not because I’m trying to convince you, but to find out what your feelings are at this point in time.

Human:
Sorry to find out, you want to know my feelings about…

GARRY:
 If you’re going to go see it.

Human:
I think I am I live [              ]. (Chuckling)

GARRY:
So it’s accessible.

Human:
It would be silly of me not to.

GARRY:
 Could you describe your current emotional state?

Human:
Yeah. I’m feeling good, I think I’m feeling better now than I was at the beginning of the interview because I like to talk about things that one doesn’t normally talk about.

GARRY:
Great.

Human:
We’re done.

GARRY:
We’re done. May I hug you?

Human:
Sure, I like hugging too.

GARRY:
Thank you very, very much.

GARRY:
Thank you, Garry.

Image
HUMANZOO started from an idea that spawned in conversation with Edward Charette, the conversation developed into a discussion about what would happen if we put a human being into a cage… or in this case an empty stage, with some sort of glass fourth wall, for a very long time, perhaps days. Someone would routinely and adequately feed them and they would have an outhouse or bathroom off stage. No props, nothing to do or interact with other than the idea that an audience is watching them.
Perhaps they would be given a character to start with, perhaps not, I imagine that character would likely crumble away in hours, but worth trying anyway. We would eventually be left with a pure human to watch. Ideally the stage would be separated with a glass, sound proof wall and the cage would be mic’d, so observers could hear the human, but would be unable to say anything to them. Eventually this would expand, and multiple exhibits could take place at simultaneously, much like a zoo. Further experiments could lead to having two humans in one cage (experimenting with different gender combinations),  or even a human and a monkey in one cage ( I’m sure we’d have some animal rights activists with a few things to say about that)  . The exhibit would have to be constant, no breaks, no limits, you could even come and watch the human sleep if you wanted to, without any judgement. 

We became intrigued by the idea so much, that it became the basis of what we believed theatre to be, or at least what we wanted to do as artists. ( I could be speaking for myself there) To reveal some magical expression of truth, some pure, universal expression of the human body and mind, stripped to its core, and to do that all for someone else to see.  
The story is the side effect of this phenomenon, the by-product of the brain. Despite this probably being the antithesis of everything I have ever learned about theatre, I don’t believe theatre to be about story telling. I’m not interested in telling stories or entertainment, I just want to try and understand why I’m (we’re) alive… what it is I’m (we’re) supposed to do. I want to investigate ideas and to experience as many points of view as possible, to ask an indefinitely open question, one without a right or wrong answer…instead, just another possibility.  
For now, it is enough just to keep looking for this meaning and that is what HUMANZOO is dedicated to, through whatever medium we believe will convey our idea at the time best, hopefully along the way creating new mediums.

So what’s next?
 

-Jakob Ehman