Six years ago I was asked to play at a benefit for Japan following the earthquake and tsunami and later asked if I would accompany Margaret Atwood reading a poem. I’ve been to a zillion open stages and many poets have asked me to accompany them. I don’t think it works well, I don’t like poetry readings in general if I miss one word or phrase I’ve lost the whole thread. So I said sure I’d be glad to.
We walked down the dark aisle out of sight of the audience, up to waiting chairs before being announced. She pulled out a small pocket mirror and checked make up or did her lipstick, I forget which. It was a unique moment. Later on stage it was easy to play with her. She’s a pro. I was pleased with myself for not bugging her about The Blind Assassin, Alias Grace or The Robber Bride. I had questions I really wanted to ask but so many other people kept gushing around her I thought better for confidence she not know the piano player also is a crazy fan.
Jian Ghomeshi was there. I don’t think he liked me and I never liked him either. Had an imaginary electric buzzer in my hand waiting but he never shook it. Adrienne Clarkson wore a very cool delicately made batique jacket or dress, very folk art. Michael Ondaatje was there too. He liked my film for the song Separated, made me feel like I had made the right job choice in life.