Drek Daa as the fishing fool Dorko (Ryszard Hunka)
Dr. Dawda is a psychotherapist; he sits, and listens, and heals his patients.
Outside of his practice he is Drek Daa, the performance artist who is a whole different animal.
It's a Jekyll and Hyde thing, only in clown form and much more poetic.
On stage Drek Daa -- and his subsequent characters, fisherman Dorko and professor Dark -- reveal man's folly through poetry and music in a performance that will shake you to your cerebral cortex.
SCENE put Drek on the virtual couch to discuss how he alters between psychologist and performance artist.
Did you choose poetry, or did poetry choose you?
Chicken! :) No, really, both! Me and words, we've been having a consensual fling.
How does your work as a psychologist feed your work as a poet/writer?
My work as a psychologists "feeds" me in a literal sense to start with. Getting to know intimately so many diverse individuals must have an effect on my literary practice as well I am sure, but I don't spend much time analyzing these influences.
What I know is that when I am at my clinic, I am in a different mode than outside my clinic. At work, I am there with and for the people I am helping, and all my creativity is put to that end. Even though I am sure my clients influence me, I do not use their stories in my art. When I am cut loose from the responsibility of caring for others, I attend to my own creative juices more.
In monetary terms, is there such thing as a full time poet in Canada?
These are rare specimen.
You can only be one, a poet or a psychologist, what would you choose?
Poet. More specifically, I would be a performance artist.
If you could make a living at the art, would you still work as a psychologist?
No. I would cut myself loose, like wind always cuts itself lose, and live part time on the top of a sky-high old-growth fir, where I can converse intimately with the moon, and part time in my circus caravan. Another part of me dreams of creating a utopian art and wellness center in the woods, on the rocks, by an ocean, which is something that will actually happen.
Why not main-stream psychologist? There is one problem with being a main-stream psychotherapist: I have to sit on my ass all day, indoors. I love moving, and being outdoors.
Have you ever come across a poet who said, "Oh, I'm just in this for the money?"
No. But I am sure quite a few have fantasies about becoming famous and making a living. Hey, this is the second money question you ask.
Check out a brief preview of Daa's "It's Yes", in its infancy, without costume, from Poetry Slam Vancouver. And be sure to check out "It's Yes" at the Winnipeg Fringe Fest this summer.