Last weekend, at Midsummer Scream, I allowed ALONEinc. to drink from my face as I took a journey of self-discovery and reflection while walking around the Long Beach Convention Center, during the first part of their two part storyline made of the summer Halloween convention. This weekend, I was able to learn all about the Mushin of the Ashen Deer Clan, as I concluded the second half of the show.
Last week ended with participants suddenly alone, in the darkened space of the convention center, with no explanation as to what they just went through. ScareLA’s entry began almost as the last ended; in the dark, alone, with the same music picking up where they left off the week before.
But let’s back track a bit. ALONE remained well-hidden again this weekend. In fact, the only way to find them was to find one of many QR codes they hid around the Pasadena Convention Center, and follow the cryptic clue to the starting location. Once you did, you were asked to scan another QR code, and place headphones in your ears, as you began the next step of your journey. Before your first step, you were blindfolded, two-fold; one with a plastic wrap, which people could see into, but you could not see out of, save for blurry shapes, and two, by a black cloth, to completely restrict your vision.
Perhaps this comes from my immersion into this world as of late, but I thought of the entire 50 minute show as a sort of immersive audio drama. Amongst the music was an interesting and beautifully written narrative of a woman taking you through the steps of your journey. In what was part relaxation tape, part story-driven, you come to learn more about ALONEinc, their mysterious city where secret research is done, and more about what they are looking to do.
The “mushin” of the title refers to a state of mind, an almost feeling of nirvana, which I experienced for sure during the course of the show. Meanwhile, you were led by the hand, quite literally, to different spaces all around the Pasadena Convention Center. You laid down, and had your body moved and manipulated in many ways, in between walking around, both inside and out.
At one point, the black blindfold was removed, allowing you to see abstract shapes of people moving around and just above you through the plastic one, all the while listening to the narrative unfold in your ears.
Not to spoil what WAS said during it, but I will say it feeds into my overall theory of what ALONEinc. intends to do, especially involving the Enola Foundation, and how badly they want our bodies. This weekend was a taste of that, and ended with a body-switching procedure that was both relaxing and fairly innovative for something so simple.
Most ALONE events, I am at a loss of words to describe what happened; not just because I don’t want to spoil it, but because it is hard to put down into words. While this one was relatively low-key compared to their others, it also ranks up there as one of my favorites.
And much as they are prone to do, you are never quite sure when your experience is over. At the end of my 50 minute experience, I found myself standing in the middle of the convention’s entry way, people wondering why my hands were covered in plastic bags and a blindfold over my face.
ALONE used my body…and then left me wanting more all over again. ALONE’s innovation in trying new things and experiences, all the while staying within their story, continues to impress me. While I was lucky enough to have two weekends to experience something new from them, I am now anxiously awaiting what they have in store next.
If you did not get to experience either of these two events, you’re in luck. While writing this review, a representative of ALONEinc. called to inform me that both Midsummer Scream’s “drinksfromyourface” show and ScareLA’s “Mushin of the Ashen Deer Clan” show will be combined into an at-home, audio experience for anyone to enjoy in the coming weeks. ALONEinc. plans to release it via their website, www.thealoneexperience.com, so keep an eye out for it there. You can also expect a review from us when it goes live, as well.
In the meantime, take care of your body. You never know who will inhabit it next.