Pssst, local secrets to get an airing in Carbondale |

Pssst, local secrets to get an airing in Carbondale

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Janet Urquhart The Aspen Times

CARBONDALE – Fantasies, longings, painful memories and amusing revelations – blush-worthy secrets of all sorts – will be laid bare in Carbondale on Thursday.

Aspiring actress Ellie Davis has once again mined the Roaring Fork Valley for true confessions, which she’ll reveal in an on-stage performance piece at The Gathering Place in the Church at Carbondale, hosted by the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities.

Accompanied by violinist Ann Federowicz and multi-instrumentalist Steve Cook, Davis will recite roughly 100 secrets that were deposited anonymously in submission boxes placed up and down the valley, including two in Aspen – at the Pitkin County jail and the Cheese Shop.

The performance is a sequel to Davis’ first such performance, five years ago in Aspen. She moved to California shortly afterward to seek opportunities in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but returned to the Roaring Fork Valley about a year ago, working her main gig as a massage therapist and pursuing theatrical interests.

Locals recalled her original secrets performance and urged a reprise, but it was a similar undertaking at Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles during Davis’ stint in California that really inspired revival of the concept.

The cynical, L.A. youths, incarcerated at a detention facility, shared revealing secrets and were clearly touched by their airing, according to Davis. Wrote one kid, simply: “I’m smart” – a testament to growing up in an environment where intelligence is best hidden from one’s contemporaries.

“I just thought, you know, I want to do more of this,” said Davis, who envisions taking the idea on the road, collecting and performing secrets at various locales.

Five years ago, Davis said she was “pretty blown away” by what Roaring Fork Valley residents chose to share. For this go-around, the results were again surprising.

“I think people were a little bit more emotionally honest this time,” she said. “Without giving any secrets away, yet, this time there were a lot more people who were willing to share painful happenings.”

At the Pitkin County jail, inmates were instructed not to incriminate themselves or others, but they still managed to share insightful secrets.

“The jail produced some really beautiful ones,” Davis said.

The material, by the way, is adult-oriented. Parents who bring their children will have some explaining to do afterward, Davis cautioned.

Unlike her first secrets performance, Davis is memorizing the material this time – no easy task, as the writers weren’t thinking in terms of a script as they put their intimate revelations to paper.

“My dreams have gotten really strange,” she confessed.

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