International Women’s Day Bridge Time

March 15th, 2011 Comments 0

I was on my way out for a walk, when my mum reminded me it was International Women’s Day (100th Anniversary!) and that women all over the world were congregating on bridges to symbolise peace.  Well that was easy for me as I knew I would be crossing a bridge in a few minutes time and I could congregate there by myself – how marvellous I thought.

Here are the arches of the handsome bridge,bridge arches

some speckledy lichens on bobbly branches,bridge tree

and here I am congregating on the bridge,

bridge shadow mebridge me

Further down the road I encountered another bridge – definitely the kind that Goblins live under – but probably very nice ones.  Just imagine the tinkly sound of water that makes you want to linger and you’ll be there.

bridge little

Then I went on my walk to a wonderful woods, and I’ll save those pictures for tomorrow…

How to make a solo theatre performance Part 1

March 10th, 2011 Comments 3

Hi, here’s the first in my series of ‘How to make a solo theatre performance’.  One of my favourite subjects is the creative process and the emotional process that goes along with it.  If de-mystifying my own stumbling-blocks and useful short-cuts inspires someone to start a project they’ve sat on for a while, then that would make me very happy.  And if it doesn’t then, well.. it’s all just for me!  I wrote this first one during the rehearsal process a few weeks ago.  And I now take you through a whirly vortex back in time…….

teabags

I’ve been thinking that I will do a write up of how to make a solo theatre show – looking at all the personal demons that arise to haunt you, all the best ways to get things done on your own etc.  I haven’t finished making my show yet and there’s still time for it to be a complete disaster.  But I’m midway through the process and some of my own demons have at least been semi-vanquished…
So here goes with the “Now I have Wisdom" thing.

The first problem that I faced (and continue to face) is reluctance to start rehearsing at all.  Basically it’s premature-Giving-Up.  It’s a form of procrastination that precedes procrastination even.

Right at the very beginning I avoided rehearsing, and when I did finally make myself tidy some floor space I would suddenly feel tired, lethargic and overcome with “I can’t do it”-ness.  At these times I gave myself the promise that even doing one tiny thing – however crap – was better than nothing, even if I stopped after twenty minutes.  It’s like wrangling a toddler who doesn’t want to go to bed.  Completely ridiculous.

I had a good idea of how to run my first rehearsal and I recommend this to anyone who has to start a devised theatre project on their own – or any project for that matter.  The first thing I did was a run through of every single idea I already had – I physicalised everything once through. 
The important part was this: I guaranteed myself that it would be rubbish, in fact I allowed myself to do it only if it was rubbish.  That got everything out of my head and with one tentative step towards being real.

I also stuck this sign on my mirror.  I recommend it ENORMOUSLY.  Somehow, even though I put it there myself, it works every time.

Keep Going sign

So yes!  The next step was different and I’ll talk about that in part 2.  Now I have to go back to rehearsing, because of course, I have used writing this as an excuse to procrastinate.

To sum-up:
Making something crap is better than making nothing at all…
…so make ‘this-is-going-to-be-crap’ guarantees to yourself.
Get ideas quickly out of your head and into the real world.
Stick encouraging signs in your rehearsal space.

Most importantly:

Lesson 1 is to forgive yourself your procrastinations, because they’ll never completely go away. 

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