Putting yourself out there and talking about a painful moment in life can be a hard thing to do. Moments when you felt vulnerable and even when you felt at your best, putting them into words and presenting them to a room full of people can be a powerful thing. And a hard thing to do. And perhaps stories of finding love and then losing that love can be the most daunting thing to do. How do you put into words how you felt in the darkest of times, or how can you really convey how light and airy it felt when you were being lifted on the shoulders of life without a care in the world?
Johnny Salib approaches the tale of how he found what he thought was his oasis love, the man who was his drop of water in the hottest desert, with both passion and heart. Recreating the moments when he first met who would become the love of his life and the ensuing high and low moments, we are pulled into his journey.
The one man performance is a journey infused with music, with Salib performing renditions of popular love songs as he remembers and tells the tale of this lost love. Salib is charming and has an energetic and engaging personality which holds on to the audience’s attention with every word.
He perfectly describes every detail in the memories he recounts, so while you may be sitting in the audience watching his performance, it feels like you were there in that moment as it happened.
You can visualize the places, smell the smells, and feel the tensions he felt as they happened. Be it coming out multiple times to a mother that doesn’t really believe you, or living with a boyfriend who won’t admit to his parents who you are, you can see the pain and feel the emotion that Salib must have felt in each of those moments.
Oasis Love is a slice of life story. It’s not the whole story, without a beginning or an end. It’s a series of moments; powerful moments of momentous joys and a dire heartbreaks. But it’s not the heartbreaks that define a story. No, it’s the healing and growth that comes from those heartbreaks that puts pen to paper and pushes us forward.
In Johnny Salib’s notes from the creator in the program he says, “We all fall for the wrong person. I’m not special. But I needed to share my story. So thank you for letting me take the space and time to share.” I would like to thank Johnny for sharing his story.
He may not feel special, but this show was pretty special.