I used my previous video piece as inspiration for a performance. I decided I wanted to go to Pizza Paradise in town, a dine-in/takeaway near the Cowgate thats open until 4am, and howl like a wolf inside where people were eating after a night out. I chose Pizza Paradise because it’s of a similar chaotic vibe to smoking areas.
When it came to doing it, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it sober, which isn’t totally dissimilar to how people often have to be drunk or on drugs, without inhibition, in order to be reaching out for connection, affection or attention. I drank until I felt I could ignore the humiliation I would feel and went into Pizza Paradise with Beth and Nicole, who were both going to be filming the performance as I wanted to make sure I had good documentation.
The dine-in area was too empty and so we went somewhere else in the mean time and ended up performing in numerous locations across town on a Saturday night. I howled in McDonalds, where I was practically ignored other than being vaguely acknowledged by two drunk lads eating on the floor talking.
”Must be some art student wank shit.”
I then did it again next door in KFC, until security came over and told me to get out, but as I was leaving a group of lads all starting howling back in response.
I then howled in front of a small corner shop where people often go to buy fags and snacks after being out, a small group of people just a bit older than me were stood outside. One of the guys in the group weren’t impressed and shouted at me.
”Get a fucking group, you’re no a wolf.”
After, one of his friends came up to me and spoke to me, he asked if I was okay or if I wanted any help. His concern felt sincere but not patronising, he put his hand on my shoulder as her spoke to me.
”Are you okay? Like, I don’t think you’re weird but, some people will definitely think you’re weird. Are you trying to get a taxi? I can get you a taxi.”
When he spoke to me I stopped as I hadn’t really considered what I’d do if someone interacts with me, so I just told him I was fine and didn’t want a taxi, I pointed over to where Nicole and Beth were filming and he understood it was for some kind of project.
By this point Pizza Paradise was much busier, but mainly outside the shop. I stood outside where most of the people where and began howling. For a while, people ignored me, until I started to attract the attention from a group of older adults in their mid to late 40’s who thought of me as a freak show providing amusement. They got out their phones and began recording me and laughing, pointing me out to other people. One of the older men came up to me and put his hand on my shoulder, looking at me condescendingly, and asked:
”Is that a phone number?”
I ignored what he said and continued to howl in his face.
Around this time, clubs were closing as people were getting moved out onto the street, so I headed down toward Hive where the streets were packed. I performed while slowly walking down the street, the majority of people ignored me, apart from a group of people my age who joined in and jumped in front of the cameras, howling with me before running off. Some people responded with howls while walking past.
A group of 3 slightly older men surrounded me and I stopped walking but continued to howl. It was instantly clear they heard this as some weird mating call, one of them reached out while howling and touched my face with his hand. I frowned and pulled back but continued. Two of them took my refusal and walked off, one of them stayed next to me while his friends attempted to get him to leave.
”Come on! Leave her alone, she’s a wolf!”
(video to be added)