What we are trying to say
So, I have finally found it my turn to write and I can think of nothing to write about. Well, that isn't necessarily true. I don't have any housekeeping, or updates to bring. I could possibly wrassle up some thoughts about this process we have been going through. It feels like this is the first time I've had the opportunity to comment on the work thus far. Be warned, this may get a bit rambly.
At the beginning of this work I set out the main goal: we are looking at what this world is, who the people are in the world and how those people interact with each other. Through these discoveries we would also hopefully find the beginnings of a story. Because I knew that whatever we created in these 8 weeks I would get to touch and shape and refine at a later date I wasn't too worried about clearly defining a direction.
Shaun introduced a goal of his own: to really know what the story is. At the time I didn't realise how counter this goal was from mine. I honestly didn't care about the story because I knew I could figure that part out later; once I had all the material.
These counter goals run to the heart of the current question I'm pondering. How do you acquire the focused direction that a director brings in a collective environment? We are purposely living without a director at this point in the project: decisions are group decisions. This isn't to say that there are no leaders. We have all taken on a leadership position at some point. I wish some would step out as leaders more often and I think they will once they know their strengths within the group. But, there is a feeling, I sense, going around that we are lacking a focus, a direction, to our work.
Part of me doesn't care. The part that says: don't rush, it will come if you keep probing. We have only worked for three weeks. There is no need to define what it is we are trying to say. In fact, the more time we try to do that, the less time there is for actual body–on–body work.
The other part of me feels lost. I don't know what I am trying to accomplish with these experiments. I see the world of the play unfold in front of me, but I worry that my collective members aren't seeing it, or are seeing it differenty from me. I also don't feel like I have the right to impose what this show should be even though, in the end, Jessica and I will be the last hands to touch it before it is produced.
What is great about all of this is the timing. Ker Wells is in town teaching workshops and he has agreed to come in a work with us on our material. I've asked him to take on a leadership role while he is here to try and focus the work thus far. I'm hoping that working with Ker will launch us into another inspired period of creation with the added bonus of some directed focus.
It is difficult to feel as if you work everyday to move a rock up a hill just to see it roll back down again. It feels like wasted energy. Myself, I'm studying that roll every time. I'm looking at how it changes in speed and direction. Whether the rock bounces off the earth, or crushes smaller rocks beneath it. I am fascnitated at how this rock reaches its' final resting place and how all of this compares to every other day I've moved that rock. This to me isn't wasted energy, it is evolution. This is the way I create theatre: one experiment at a time. And when you have the time to get into those details, that is when accidental magic happens.