Fear View Mirror: confidence and darkness

On Thursday 16 June, 14 artists will share stories of mortification, anxiety and discomfort at Fear View Mirror. Below you’ll find a preview from 4 of our performers.

Inside My Mind – Based on True Events, by Damask Leary

Finding the value in my own comedy writing can sometimes be a little tough. When writers who are creating profound and moving pieces constantly surround you, it’s hard to take a piece about farting seriously. Sure, you want people to have a chuckle at your scripts, but you also want them to understand the subtle nuances in a scene in which a flatulent grandmother falls down eight flights of stairs.

As a student of creative writing it’s easy to be intimidated by your classmates. They share with you beautiful and raw writing as they discover their own voice, and this can make you second-guess the value of your own writing. This trap of second-guessing only worsened at the beginning of the year when the reality of creating a piece for EWF started to sink in. Real human people with real human brains would be viewing my work. I’m glad to have an opportunity to share what I write theoretically, but in actuality it’s a grim nightmare that makes me sweaty in places I never knew possible. With comedy you immediately know if you’ve connected with your audience. The pressure to make people laugh can be a little overwhelming at times, and can cause me to become catatonic. (Can it still be defined as catatonia if my hand is constantly and violently shoving Cheetos Cheese & Bacon Balls into my face?) The audience will either laugh or they won’t. It’s that easy to know whether you’ve succeeded. And if they don’t laugh at what I’ve created for the EWF event, I guess I’ll have no choice but to give up on my dreams. I don’t think my parents would mind their twenty-seven year old daughter moving back home and spending all her days crying on the couch while watching Gilmore Girls. Actually, that situation doesn’t seem so terrible.

Fear View Mirror will be an interesting evening of differing perspectives and writing styles. I look forward to seeing how my work is not only received by the public, but how it fits alongside my peer’s wonderful work. I’ll try to make the fart jokes as tasteful as possible.

Damask Leary is a writer, producer, and performer currently residing in Melbourne. Her debut web series ‘Over It’ will be released late 2016.

The artist body – a cento, by Vince Ruston

We were in the apartment.
I did not
sleep. The

weight of our bodies,
attached to both our hearts.

Colours of our
clothes, objects
on the table.

The oldest
possible memory.

Vince Ruston (21) is a writer, and Voiceworks editor based in Melbourne, studying at RMIT. When away from the desk they can be found in a library or crying over lingerie in David Jones. They have been published in Voiceworks, Scum-Mag, Writers’ Bloc, Rabbit Poetry Journal, Zo Universal and Feminartsy. You can find them on Twitter and Instagram (poetxtrees).

Nightmares, by Klara Cole

I was consumed with a fear of darkness as a child that followed me throughout my life, and was teased by my own parents for using a nightlight while still in high school. Terrified of what was watching me from the shadows in my own bedroom and the creatures that my mind created while I slept, I glued my curtains to the wall and refused to allow myself to peek outside during the night in case the horned man that I dreamt about when I was four appeared. Nightmares kept me from world outside my window, keeping me confined in my own bed, sheets pulled up to my neck, eyes wandering to the endless darkness down the hallway. I used to tiptoe into my parents room and shake my dad awake, believing he could chase away anything. As I grew older I stopped calling for my dad from my bed sheets, drenched in fear and cold sweat, even though the nightmares were never less terrifying. I learned to not fear the shadows and to accept the creatures that hid amongst them, and I learned to go back to sleep.

Klara Cole was born in Viewbank, and continues to live in Viewbank to this day. At a young age, Klara was presenting her parents and teachers with stories she had written about frogs and her cat, Tiddles. With the aspiration of being an editor or writer, she continued to pursue her dreams and is currently studying a Bachelor of Creative Writing at RMIT in Melbourne. Along the way, she has completed an internship at BusyBird Publishing, and has had her work featured in Yarra Library’s e-book, Room for Poetry in 2013.

Someone Everyone Knows, by Kyle Forward

Have you heard about Fear? You might have. I think most people have. There’s a few so I don’t know if you know the one I do. But Fear – the kid who was from one of those outer suburbs, can’t remember what one. He spelt his name with a ‘ph’ and had an accent, one of those dashes on top of letters, in his name, except it was on a letter that actually grammatically shouldn’t have a dash on the top of it. Think his family tried to make it French. Anyway yeah, well I bumped into someone the other day and they started telling me about them, telling me what he’s like, how he is these days.

Everyone always had a different story about him. I think every single person I’ve spoken to has a different way of speaking about him. No one’s ever said “oh yeah, Fear, he’s an alright guy.” They always hate him. Some people though he was really harsh, really abrasive, but there’s a few guys I know who said he’d come out of nowhere – would come out of nowhere to give you a real dull pain. It was never a punch or kick where you’d feel it straight away or come from it with blood on your collar. He’d use a skipping rope or something – tight and hard and cold at the time, but it’d sting softer but longer all day. Sometimes even into double maths the next morning. He and those related seemed to hit everyone, in a different way, and we all had different ways of fighting back – or flighting off.

Kyle Forward is a writer primarily interested in the grander and minute aspects of culture, especially music, television, sport, and architecture, and the way people interact with these elements – especially in Australia.

Fear View Mirror is on 16 June, at 7.30pm, for free at 1000 £ Bend (Gallery).

Fear View Mirror is presented in partnership with RMIT.