How To Be a Terrorist at the Fringe Festival

After typing the title of this show into the Facebook search bar to find the event page I was sure that the NSA, CIA, FBI, CSIS, and everyone else would now be monitoring all of my internet activities. Clearly this is the kind of title that will get attention. I was very curious to see what exactly I would be learning at this show.

I envisioned the show would be somewhat of an action adventure, or a really dangerous and controversial tutorial. The show was nothing like I had imagined. This one man show, mostly about the Boy Scouts of America, was bravely written and performed by Jimmy Grzelak. With an intimate, and theatrical touch, Jimmy draws parallels between the “Boston Bombers” and every day people, showing how our current society, in the simplest of ways, can create deep rooted frustration and anger which might ultimately be expressed in the most unexpected and brutal of ways.

Jimmy tells a personal story about his experience as a frequently bullied and suppressed Boy Scout. He was subtly revealing a side of the Boy Scouts that is seldom if ever discussed. It’s a darker side that shows how human nature takes it’s course in an environment full of pubescent boys with limited supervision. Jimmy shows us how “boys will be boys”, and when put in certain circumstances, boys will be abusive. Boy Scouts start to sound a bit like the “Milgram experiment”.

Jimmy talks about his experience with a seemingly optimistic perception of what happened to him, calling it life-changing. He may have been implying that it changed his life for the worse, but the impression that I got was that he now has a tougher skin, and has become nearly fearless.

As a survivor of chronic bullying I could relate to Jimmy’s story. I think most of us can. The biggest praise I have for Jimmy is that he had the balls to get up there and be this vulnerable. Performing a one-man show is vulnerable enough, being that you are soley responsible for bringing the dialogue to life, and are at risk for being severely judged and openly criticized. Jimmy takes it far beyond that vulnerability by writing a show that puts his inner thoughts, desires, and fears out there for everyone to see.

“How To Be a Terrorist” is a show that Jimmy has not only created for the Fringe Festival, but for a tour. Montreal is currently the only Canadian city on his list. Other cities, and dates will be available on his Facebook Page.

Check out Jimmy Grzelak!

Twitter: @JimmyGrzelak #howtobeaterrorist


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