Saturday, 10 July 2010

Nine weeks to go...

Emerge festival came and went. The response to Elephant in the Room was really fantastic. 

To prepare Harriet for the Emerge performance (Harriet was replacing Tanja who couldn't perform on the Emerge date due to being in Glastonbury) we all revisited the psychology of the piece. In doing so we reinterpreted it and improved certain parts that weren't working as well as they could have done. Rehearsals were relaxed and felt productive. All of this was reflected in the presentation at Emerge.

The work was seen by Dick Bonham, Rod Dixon, Stephanie Upsall and a lady called Emma from Arts Council (i really need to find out exactly who she is/was) who were the panel of experts for the evening. We received encouraging and enthusiastic feedback from them with some suggestions for improvement and ideas for development.

It was great to get a response like this and I was pleased that our hard work was seen by the people in the region who matter. Along with the panel of experts were numerous theatre practitioners, writers, performers etc who's work I respect. Many of these people were forthcoming with feedback and ideas after the performance. 

And now it's back the masters degree that i'm doing.

I've wrangled with the MA since March. The reality of putting together an extended piece of writing has proved seriously challenging. I knew I would have to complete a full length play as part of the MA but I have had a kind of numb denial block about it.  I've had to process a lot of fear and negative bottom line beliefs about myself to get myself into a position where I could write anything at all. It has been very very strange but also very familiar. I think I have been doubly challenged because the model I was being forced to adopt clashed with my working style. I have felt like a square peg in a round hole and very, very inadequate. There have been times where I have questioned if I will ever be able to write anything at all and if I'll ever write anything again. Honestly, the jury remains out on these questions.

While I've been going through all this time has marched forward and I have somehow managed to jump excruciatingly through the necessary hoops. Now I have only nine weeks left to finish the final project that will get me an MA. 

The light at the end of the tunnel is motivating me and I have been chanting a lot which is keeping me positive. 

As I have become more optimistic my creative ideas have started to form in a way that I am comfortable with. I hope that in the future I will trust myself more and have more confidence in what I am starting to realise is my 'process'. When I was working on Elephant in the Room I had a 'eureka' moment in the bath. I had a vision that I knew would work. And it did!

With my research project I have worried profusely because I didn't have an idea that stuck. I knew that what I was coming up with wasn't good enough, that it didn't have 'legs', that it just plain wouldn't work. I was being encouraged to follow through with the ideas I wasn't fully comfortable with but when I sat down and tried to write them I just became blocked and disheartened. I have had some terrible weekends of sitting blankly in front of my lap top feeling very disappointed when the words declined to show up on the page.

I was having to go into Uni and give big presentations about these ideas - ideas that I didn't believe in at all. It was awful! I would then have to sit through hours of other people's presentations for their projects that were coherent and on track. I have realised that I do not thrive in an environment where I compare myself to others.

Thankfully I don't have to go through any more of these presentations. I felt very relieved when the last one was over. I hadn't realised how much the presentations had been bothering me.

My first deadline is Monday. It is both surprising and not surprising that I have had something similar to the 'eureka' moment I had before. An idea came (well it was more like a solution to various problems I'd been thinking through from a previous idea) that felt 'right'. And since then it hasn't changed or caused me to fret. A sign that I'm on the right track. 

And so, now I have to write it. 

I may write more about the writing process, or I may not have time. 


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