It's 9:03 am, the day her show opens, but Georgina Beaty is wide awake: cheerful and full of energy.
She's starring in Cliff Cardinal's STITCH, playing a Sasha Grey-like, 25 year old, girl next door, porn star. Like Grey, her character, Kylie Grandview, is hoping to make the transition from the adult film industry to "straight" acting.
Beaty also plays the eleven other characters in the show.
"A friend from the National Theatre School told me Native Earth was looking for someone to do the role, and I sent in a tape. They chose me."
It's a challenging job, but Beaty is up for it. She's a graduate of both The University of Alberta and Vancouver's prestigous Studio 58. After we chat, she tells me she's hitting the gym. This woman is not afraid of hard work.
Nor is STITCH Beaty's first go at a demanding solo show.
"I did Joan McLeod's THE SHAPE OF A GIRL for Green Thumb, while I was living in Vancouver. The play was about the Rena Virk case. Virk was bullied, and murdered by a group of peers. We toured the US and B.C."
How is this different?
"Kylie has different challenges. She's a drug addict. She has an agent who doesn't want her to leave the porn business. She has an 8 year-old daughter she loves, who she is trying to parent. She has a mother who hates her, and judges her without mercy. She has a walking, talking yeast infection."
"It's a serious play, but it has a lot of humour: like the talking yeast infection. Solo shows can be hard for an audience to handle. Humour is key to making the challenging aspects of the material accesible to the audience."
She continues. "Kylie is alone. She has no agency, no supports. She's working in a system that pretends to be helpful: lawyers, police, social workers, agents, but it isn't. As Kylie's limited control over her world slips away, what is demanded of her, personally and professionally escalates. She takes more extreme measures, to try and regain control. She makes terrible, self-destructive choices that send her into a downward spiral."
Is Grandview's race an issue?
"No. Cliff (Cardinal, the playwright) doesn't specify the character's race. She's a kind of everywoman; she wants respect, she wants agency, she wants to be a good parent to her kid."
Later that night, I saw Beaty play those twelve characters. The show is terrifying, deeply disturbing, challenging and yes, at times, very funny. Beaty brings the same great charm, warmth, passion, and work ethic to the stage she brought to our 9:00 am interview. The play is dark, but her talent shines.
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