Four lives forever linked by the click of a button.On September 2, 2020 by Jeremy Jagusch
By Jeremy Jagusch
For this blog entry, I wanted to talk about the photo above. Specifically, I wanted to talk about the story behind it. I wrote briefly about our first show and that photo in a previous blog entry, which you are welcome to read here. But as we at Live History dive into…well, history I thought it would be fun to dive into a bit of our history. They say a photo is worth 1000 words, after all.
On May 2nd, 2015 in Prince Edward County Ontario something amazing happened. That was the day that Live History performed our first ever show. Our team had worked together on various projects in various combinations for years before hand, but this was the year we all came together to be “Live History” and work on what would be our long term future. Years of film school, writing workshops, theatre school, so many plays, films, game designs and commercials between us….brought us here, to this moment. At first, it felt like we weren’t really doing something new. We had done this before, in some ways, and we knew each other so well…and yet, the moment we got on site, we knew…this was different. There was something in the air that spoke of change…we all knew this was a day we would never forget. Jasmine once said that every moment in her life; every costume; every script; every idea; every childhood weekend at a museum…had led to this. And when we got there, I believed her.
We were lucky enough to debut our first show Mary’s Odyssey at Macaulay Heritage Park, in Picton Ontario. That was the day the photo above was taken. In that photo are our first two lead actors, Jasmine Bowen as Mary the Maid, and Jeff Skelton who played Reverend Macaulay (who was the master of the house at the time of our show). They are photo a little shell shocked and no doubt very tired in this photo, but as the smiles say: very happy.
If memory serves those photos were taken in between our second and third shows of the day. We may have been on a lunch break. It might have been myself or our show designer Joshua who got the call. A reporter from the local paper wanted to come and do a story on us. Specifically, she wanted to talk about the event happening at Macaulay Heritage Park.
The reporter who came out was very nice, clearly experienced at her job as she knew exactly what she was looking for. She suggested she take a photo at the entrance of the house. While our leads were getting ready for their picture, the idea of taking a photo myself sprung to mind. I happen to be taking photos with my own camera that day. The classic story of the right place and right time.
It was a little surreal having the local paper at our show. What I mean is for everything that went into getting that day to even happen… it was a feeling of “wow we’re being noticed”. Often times in independent theatre, the only people that really know or come to your first show are your family and friends. (Including the friends that travel 6 hours to be there in case the lead actor dropped out…happened to me once, long ago, and not with Live History…but it made me ready for anything). When I clicked the button on my camera, history was captured. Forevermore the four people involved in that photo are linked in history. We’re linked in each other’s professional history. We’re also linked to the history of Macaulay Heritage Park. That in itself is a pretty amazing thing. Macaulay Heritage has stood since 1830 and has seen a lot of history between then and our arrival in 2015. Four people were living the dream. (Five if you count the reporter. I’d like to think that day was a professional highlight for the reporter as well…) The foundation of everything we are as a company and what we would become was laid that day… as actors, as a show designer, as a show manager. That was the day all really became real for the first time. From what I remember it wasn’t too long after that our next batch of guests had arrived. Looking at that photo and thinking of that day, it’s remarkable to see how much we’ve grown as a company and individuals. This was it. Jasmine’s middle of winter random phone call to me. 3am scribblings of ideas. Sleepless nights and 3:50am wake up calls. A bunch of people who just smiled and nodded when we tried to explain to them what we wanted to do and how we were going to do it.
We didn’t know what we were dreaming of. We just knew that we wanted to do THIS, for the rest of our lives, whatever this happened to be. The venues, the honour of telling the stories, and the honour of being invited to these places…this was what we wanted. We couldn’t imagine that photographer even coming when we first started, and now those things are common to us…and yet, each venue, each booking, each show and each article, is a celebration!
Each of us has been asked at times “what is your favorite venue?” On any day in my case, that answer can change for a variety of reasons. We’ve been to so many amazing places that it’s almost impossible to answer. But honestly in my case at this moment that spot belongs to Macaulay Heritage Park
Macaulay Heritage Park where Macaulay House is located took a chance on us. As much as anyone within Live History, they are as responsible for Live History being a reality. If you’ve never been there I highly recommend a visit. The house was named after Reverend Macaulay who in turn was instrumental in giving the Town of Picton its name. I know I don’t just speak for myself when I say that I am forever grateful for our experiences that day. Memories fade as we get older. Moments that we think we’ll never be able to forget transform into moments we wish we desperately wish we could remember more clearly. I am grateful for being able to work with such amazing people. I’m also glad I had my camera on hand that day.
6 years later, things are very different. We’re older, maybe wiser, our team is bigger than we ever could have thought…our venues are plentiful, and every year, we say “This is going to be the best year yet!”…And then we make it so. All because there was a dream and the drive to make it happen, by a woman who drank far too much coffee and made sure everyone around her could smile.
Speaking of which, below are two photos that no one has ever publicly seen before. Since this trip down memory lane has brought back some old memories I thought it would be fun to close out this blog with those never before seen photos. Thanks so much for reading. We’ll see you in the past.