San Francisco Fringe 2022
A Scar is Born is the humorous story of one misfit’s hopeful audition. She reviews for the casting director important moments of her life and her journey from France to America. In the face of rejection, she never gives up her passion for performing the music of words and language. A cycle of songs recounting life in Marseille, Paris, New York and Florida, intertwined with sketches about the absurdity of modern existence.
Imagine we are at an audition for a non-union acting job. Lorelei Zarifian has been to a few and she shares her life story – of fascinating adventures – from this starting point of one of two different auditions to find work as an actor. Auditions have their process and are sometimes nerve wracking times for actors and through Zarifian we get an idea of what an actor goes through during those three minutes, and how it may affect their prospects.
Zarifian travels far, beginning in Marseille, France, she moves to other big cities eventually landing in New York – sometimes on a whim! In fact she is brave and motivating for anyone who wants a nudge to step out of their box!
Performing a series of monologues written by Zarifian, it is obvious from the start that she writes with a distinctive turn of phrase. Soon after Lorelei confesses that she has an addiction…for words! She plays with words, uses interesting and curious phrases and wakes up our sense of language that can color how we feel. Zarifian fell in love with words instead of becoming a jeweler, which was her father’s profession.
All of a sudden she bursts into a symphony of words and very fast vocal sounds and gymnastic syllables. She is quirky and after her initial charm she is slightly edgy, too – both in her writing and performance. Sometimes her story is spoken comedic storytelling and sometimes Zarifian sings her stories in French and English, with lyrics written by herself and beautiful music composed by Benoît Menut.
Stories retell past challenges working as a cleaner in the basement bathrooms of a Parisian train station to past loves and in between. Zarifian plays a series of brief characters by adjusting her physicality and adding a small prop. She is very expressive facially and enthusiastic to share her experiences. Zarifian is a highly skilled singer and these brief moments are a highlight. She speaks directly to the audience throughout and her eye contact to the audience could reflect this more and will no doubt even out during the run.
Zarifian tells of an interesting life, so far, and her naivete and gentle coquette style of performance, which gets progressively bold, is compelling.