When Emma Peck booked the Kismet Theatre to perform her new one-woman show, she didn’t have anything written down. On opening night, she still won’t have anything written down.
That’s because Peck’s production, Leap, running from Jan. 23 to Feb. 1, is dictated by her intuition with some prompting by those in attendance. The show tells the story of the last three and a half year of Peck’s life as the Nanaimo resident transitioned from male to female and learned to embrace her intuition.
“Right from the beginning of my discovery of my femininity back in the summer of 2016 I knew that something pretty special was brewing and that I would want to share it at some point,” she said.
Peck said most encounters she’s had during that time have been filled with curiosity and openness and it’s a conversation she wants to expand.
“By being as open and willing to talk about anything just candidly, I found that people relax,” she said. “It’s like they’re so used to people being uptight about answering certain questions that people have become afraid to ask questions. They become afraid to try to understand and I’m breaking down that barrier.”
Each night the audience will get to choose how her story unfolds. Peck will have a variety of her photographs and art works on display in the venue, each with stories attached, and before show time viewers will be asked to pick out items for her to reference in her performance.
“The gender transformation is almost a subplot in this whole show,” Peck said. “Because when I changed my perspective about my physical appearance, that opened up this whole realm of, ‘Oh, what else can I change my perspective about? What assumptions and beliefs have I been holding on to or that I’m living by that don’t actually serve me anymore?’”
Peck said she discovered that she had been bullying herself all her life with the thoughts she was choosing. When she realized she could choose the thoughts she was thinking and change the words she used to speak to herself, “I have gone from being bullied to being invincible.”
“I want everybody to know that the things that are seemingly keeping them down in life, the things that are making them anxious, making them fearful, the things that are seemingly out of their control, I think there’s another way to look at it so that you don’t have to live in fear anymore, you don’t have to live with anxiety anymore and you can walk though each day being present in each moment,” she said.
WHAT’S ON … Emma Peck presents Leap at Kismet Theatre Academy, 55 Victoria Rd., from Thursday, Jan. 23 to Saturday, Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m. nightly. Tickets available by donation via phone at 250-713-1975, online and at the door. May contain coarse language, nudity and references to drug use.