Exhibitionists·Video

This mermaid asks all the questions about love and relationships that you're too scared to

Kaitlin Prest's new podcast The Shadows might make you feel a little more human and a little less alone.

Kaitlin Prest's new podcast The Shadows might make you feel a little more human and a little less alone

(Evan Aagaard)

Kaitlin Prest's new podcast The Shadows is a six-part fictional story that explores the complicated sides of love. Prest is out to ask all the difficult conversations we have in our heads about relationships. What's it like to be in a monogamous relationship but wish you could explore being polyamorous? How do you talk with your partner about it? Is it possible to have your cake and eat it too?

But for her podcast, she's created a very different type of ending: a 10-minute shadow puppet play where she performs as a mermaid. In her performance, the concept of the mermaid is a metaphorical device used to bring home the duality of being half human and half fish, and to represent the different voices that we have within us — the voices that ask honest questions that might scare us. Is eternal love with one person enough? Is the ideal of true love more complicated than what we have been taught?

Watch the video:

The fictional podcast confronts the parts of love that are difficult to talk about. 3:04

Both the shadow play and the podcast involve a fictional version of Prest. Roughly 10, years ago she was dead set on becoming a puppeteer and saw it as her calling in life. She didn't end up becoming a puppeteer — so she used this fictional story to explore the version of herself she didn't become.

In this video, we get an inside look at Prest's project as she performs "The Heartbreak Mermaid" at the Art Gallery of Ontario. And whether you're monogamous or polyamorous or thinking about expanding your horizons, Prest's work might make you feel a little more human and a little less alone.

Listen to The Shadows on CBC Podcasts.

(CBC Arts)
(CBC Arts)
(CBC Arts)

Stream CBC Arts: Exhibitionists or catch it on CBC Television Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT). Watch more videos here.

About the Author

As a young child, March Mercanti would play with his action figures for countless hours because he was obsessed with telling stories...to himself. Currently, March is a filmmaker living in Toronto, ON. He works at CBC Arts creating documentaries for artists across Canada.