Sunday, 24 June 2012

Emerging and Re-emerging

On gaining one of the Emerge Mentored Commissions 2012

Life is very exciting and scary and full of possibilities at the moment. Having spent over a decade doing ‘proper jobs’ I am now making a commitment, to being a performance maker, the likes of which I have never made before.

In terms of my creative career I'm a little older than what most people think of as an emerging artist, which is why the Emerge Mentored Commission is so great. What the organisations involved are most interested in is genuinely helping artists to move to the next level and it's not restricted by any arbitrary age limit. In the last couple of years I have made work with other people. Last year I collaborated with Ellie Harrison to create and tour The Reservation, which was a site-specific piece co-commissioned by Emerge. Now with their support I am working towards my first solo show so this feels like a nice, natural progression.

The term emerging also feels appropriate for where I am in the process of making 'One', as I am very much still at the beginning. I’m making slow and steady progress and having a year-long scheme to support that process is going to be invaluable. Not to mention the access to other artists and people who are willing to help raise my profile. Already rehearsal space and support, in the shape of Dick Bonham, have been made available to me and with the work in progress showing on Wednesday 20 June* I get to try it out and get that all important audience reaction. The piece I am making is about solitude and the loneliness we all feel at times and how we cope but it is also about being present in a theatre space and the desire to connect so I need an audience to really test it out. At least, I think this is what it is about at the moment. I am open to the possibility that the creative process is rarely linear and that rich material is found in the tangents…

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

*I wrote this peice for the Leeds Inspired blog before I did my scratch performance, though it didn't get used which is why I am posting it here now.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

What Does 'Alone Time' Mean To You?

Time spent by yourself can be a precious, enjoyable and indeed necessary thing.

Some of us spend more time alone than we would like and others not enough, so what is it that we do with these snatched moments of 'me time'? What does 'alone time' mean to you?

Time to reflect
Time to recharge
Time to listen
Time to plan
Time to create
Time to cheat
Time to indulge
Time to pamper
Time to work out
Time to sweat
Time to hurt
Time to strip back
Time to be naked
Time to examine
Time to mend
Time to prepare
Time to scrub and polish 
Time to play
Time to fantasise
Time to reorganise
Time to analyse
Time to be weak
Time to break down
Time to rebuild
Time to be free
Time to just be

Sunday, 3 June 2012

24 reasons to be happy

 Yesterday I went to Contact Theatre to participate in 24 Arty People and I...

1) I met 23 amazing artists I had never met before
2) I was given open access to an extraordinary venue and the support of it's dedicated staff
3) I was given space to play, time to think and explore new ideas
4) I got to ride on an old Routemaster bus
5) I was fed and watered
6) I was never bored
7) I was constantly challenged
8) I got to play musical statues (and even better WATCH musical stratues) and pass the parcel
9) I was pushed beyond my limits
10) I got to work with three people I might not have naturally picked to create work with
11) I made some friends
12) I was given a rich theme of Wasted Hours within which to play
13) I was always treated with respect by my team of artists
14) I managed to stay awake until 11am when I had an hours sleep (incidentally 24hrs since I had got up)
15) I never felt the least bit intimidated or uncomfortable
16) I laughed alot (some of this may have been hysteria from lack of sleep)
17) I had a chance to shine
18)) I got naked and tied up in a bathroom
19) I got to play with an iPad
20) I got to see the look on Steve's face when I threw him out of our piece
21) I had fun 
22) I was genuinely proud of what we made
23) When I came home I had the best nights sleep I had had in weeks
24) I would totally do it again

Thank you to everyone for their spirit of adventure and generosity, especially @24contactmcr and Contact Theatre who made this possible.