Written and Performed by Natcha Ruck. Developed with David Marsh.
Part of the Whitefire Theatre’s Solofest
San Fransisco-based Natcha Ruck’s hilarious solo play “You’re Good For Nothing…I’ll Milk The Cow Myself” is a retrospective of Natcha’s life.
Beginning in France as a child living with her beloved and very much ahead of her time mother and bringing us full circle to her American life while she learns to see the world with those two opposite and often dueling perspectives.
A born storyteller, Natcha has that rare and magical ability few performers somehow have to bring us deep into the world inside their head. She becomes the people in her life with absolute ease and magically manages to give empathy to even the direst of characters.
The audience sits spellbound as Natcha takes us to her childhood in France with her irritable grandmother, dopey father, battling sister and many of those life moments we all hold dear…the ones that change us. Big and small, noticeable to others and barely perceptible to even ourselves, it is those precious and intensely held moments that make us who we are and the ones we jealously guard our entire lives.
Schoolyard bullies getting a slap by her warrior mother, stealing chocolate from her bitter grandmother, finding herself through memories of a life she never considered to be anything but average…until as an adult she realized that compared to most her life was anything but ordinary.
Natcha is fierce onstage.
Full of passion and humor and warmth, but you would absolutely want her on your side in a brawl. She has a beautiful voice, a lilting French accent and with it a comical grace. With nothing but herself and the barest of stages, her stories unfold,. We can see the houses and the cobbled streets and the schoolyard and the memories dance around her with the vodka and the music and the gorgeously evocative descriptions of food.
We sometimes think we have the best anecdotes about our lives, don’t we? We all have stories and memories and we trot out the ritualistic “remember when’s” at Christmas or Thanksgiving or birthday get-togethers. But oh to have the genius of this woman. She regales us with her painful and her loving and her poignant memories, and they remind us all what it is to be a family, to be human and to be loved.
Her mother passed away too young, Natcha loved up every last moment of her life with her and the sense of loss is palpable. So many of us have lost the people that mean the most in our lives and it is a testament to Nathcha’s mother that she is able to fill us up with her love for her.
This is a brilliant solo show written and performed by a vibrant and perceptive master storyteller. She seems to learn as she speaks, discovering the beauty in her words as we do. She is effortless and mesmerizing and I hope you get the chance to see her work.
Natcha is a founding producer of the Stanford Storytelling Project, teaches multimedia storytelling and creative nonfiction at the University of San Fransisco and is the Managing Director fo the Duolingo French podcast. Her documentary work has appeared at MoMa, the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as on National Geographic, NBC NY and Link TV. Her podcast work has appeared on National Public Radio affiliates nationally and locally.