I MET Viborg at Vitalstatistix

The findings of a month of interviews in the Danish mini-city of Viborg is now going to be shown in Australia- at Vitalstatistix theatre festival, ADHOCRACY, for a once only showing.  Saturday, June 9 at 9pm, I MET VIBORG will be shown in all it’s fascinating glory, re-counting the many and varied answers to the Bureaus signature question.

What does make the people of Viborg’s days worth it?  And how does this reflect on Denmark as a whole?  And how does this contrast with the findings so far in Australia?  All will be revealed, so come on down for what will be a great weekend of showings of some of the newest and bestest new-performance works in Australia.

Emma, I have found the answer!

A woman came up to me at a class last night.  Lets call her B.  B  came to see the last progress showing done here at Carte Blanche, and B said, ‘Emma!  I have found the answer!’.

This is the third time this has happened- someone who knows the project, and my connection with it, approaches me out of the blue, to tell me their answer or about their search to find it.  Clearly the Bureau is delighted about this sort of happening.

“It’s making other people happy, ” B went on, “That’s what it is.  When I thought of what makes my day worth it, the question, it was all about me.  And when I searched long enough inside I realised that it left something empty in me, that me-ness.  I thought about the weekend.  How I built a blog for my sisters business, without her knowing.  Then I rang and told her to check out this site, she did, saw it was her site, and cried.  She was so happy I had made this for her.  And I spent the rest of the day so up, I was high, I was energised.  I had done this for her because I wanted her to be happy. ”

Then someone else in the class chimed in, “Which is different from helping- sometimes we help others to really help ourselves.”

B said, “… and this was something I did just for her pleasure. So, there it is Emma.  That’s the answer.”

Why did you answer this question?

I was at Cafe Morville talking with a young woman from Romania, who is currently living in Viborg.  A journalist from the local paper visited while we were talking, and asked the young woman why she would come and talk to a stranger about her ideas on worth?  Here is her very clear and succinct answer.

After I met Carl

After I met Carl, an older man I spoke to in a cafe in Viborg, I came back to the theatre and told Sarah John the story. Here is what I said.

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/38311932 w=400&h=300]

Emma meets Carl from Emma Beech on Vimeo.

A Danish Man looking at a Noticeboard

Emma nervously asks a Danish man at a University Campus WHAT MAKES YOUR DAY WORTH IT?  I waffle, he’s succinct and clear.  I used his voice in the end, I hope he’s ok with that. . . .


Bureau Member Emma Beech is in Viborg, Denmark, asking people here ‘What makes your day worth it?’

There has been much talk amongst the Carte Blanche staff about how the question translates into Danish- it translates as ‘What gives your day value?’.   I am now armed with small fliers which have the question WHAT MAKES YOUR DAY WORTH IT? written in Danish.  Actually, this is mainly so I can speak with Soren.  Soren is one of the towns maintenance men.  We tired to talk, he knew I had a question, but he couldn’t quite understand, and we could only get so far in the conversation.  But we wanted to talk and understand each other.  I will go back to him with the question in Danish. And a Dane by my side.

Despite nerves, I have also talked with:

  • The woman in the show shop down the road.  She didn’t hesitate when I asked her the question: it was her colleagues at work, her family in her personal life. Leave your work at work, she advised.  The more intimate her responses became, the more she physically stepped away from me. She told me she’s never really thought about that question, not really, not in that way.
  • Carl- I met Carl in the Stationen cafe. Carl is retired, sitting at a table, and was drinking strong Black Coffee.  He didn’t think many people would understand the question. He felt that many people here had the baggage of Danish expectation- he felt the pressure to be happy, because he was Danish.  He felt the weight of his ancestors in his daily life.  He had very large hands, and we are meeting again next week to talk more about him and the Danish ways.
  • Alexander- a young dude, 18.  Listening to music in the Square.  It was his girl.  His girl made his day.  The photo he has of his father on his laptop desktop makes his day.  He likes to look and remember him, his father died 10 years ago.  His friends- when his friends are happy, when his friends are doing well, he’s happy for them.  He wants smiles, he doesn’t want frowns.  His answer was a gift that day- and he spoke freely and generously.

The Stationen, a public meeting house, very good looking, has generously provided me with a performance space to give back the findings to Viborg.

COMING UP Next week….

  • My second meeting with Carl, the retired man with plenty to say.
  • A series of interviews with young people in Vibrog who have responded to an email call out.
  • Results from the 2 hours I will spend in the towns most iconic cafe, Cafe Morville.