Hollywood Fringe 2019
One woman’s brave escape from her past mistakes.
Austin Musick is a charismatic survivor. Her show, A Year in Dragonfly, is a survivor’s story of looking for love in all the wrong places.Through poetry, song, and direct confessional address, she tells her tale of abuse, betrayal and ultimate triumph.
It’s very raw and honest, with a heroic vulnerability that endears her to you.
All proceeds from the show are given to DomesticShelters.org and it serves as a PSA. The songs and poems are good but where Ms Musick really shines is talking honestly to the audience. It’s not a particularly slick or polished show, and is all the stronger for that, we feel that she is genuinely baring her soul and it’s not an easy striptease.
Starting with her childhood with six siblings and an abusive step-father in Tennessee, through two bad marriages, she finally finds herself and exorcises her demons.
It would be churlish and missing the point to judge the show with the same criteria you would use when watching something more artistically or commercially ambitious. This is someone who clearly wants to draw a line under their past, and head to a brighter tomorrow, and there is a magical theatricality in celebrating that.
The input of director T.M Hayes is unobtrusive and supportive. There is light and shade and some nice staging, making good use of Studio C’s two stories.
The title refers to the time a dragonfly lives in water, before it takes to the sky. It’s hard to see the young victim who is being talked about in the strong woman who is doing the talking with the benefit of hindsight. The songs and poems serve as emotional flashbacks, when we can get a better sense of how she felt.
People of all ages and abilities put up shows for lots of different reasons, and this is surely a brave and admirable one.