What I don’t know:
- Where my show will be produced
- To what extent my original collaborator will be a part of the overall piece
- If the piece will completely retain its original structure or not
What I know:
- The show will happen in the summer
- I am submitting to fringe festivals
- I now have multiple collaborators/designers attached
- The way of working/process of collaboration will change somewhat
- How I want to refine the details and subtleties of each scene
- After this project I will not live in Boston for at least one year
Time to reevaluate.
The reasons have to do with things that are personal and fundamental, and I’m not going to get into them here in a very specific way.
As of now, the story we were setting out to tell, that of two people losing each other and asking what it takes to find each other again, having moments of connectivity and then losing them, and repeat…has been oddly mirrored outside of the rehearsal space, and though over and over I ask what does it take for us to find ourselves and each other again…the question seems to be turning into, What happens when after all of the losing and refinding, the moments of finding begin occurring less and less often? What happens when that person doesn’t show up, and despite all I give out, or all that I listen for, there is static in the transmission, and I encounter no one after all?
Some of the time, in the piece, when there’s a knock at the door, I open it, and no one is there, but then, someone does appear through a different door, maybe not exactly the person I was expecting, but still, someone present. But what happens when I expect there to be someone entering the room but I end up encountering no one, not even through another door? I try to make contact by metaxy, by forming a bridge, by leaving signs and letters and sounds and omens; maybe they are here in the same room but we just can’t see each other yet so maybe our connection has to be more ouija board style… Or is what I can connect to actually something else entirely?…
I don’t know what the future of my project will be. It’s not over… It seems to be at a standstill though. We haven’t made any drastic new decisions. I know that plans for it have to change. I feel disappointed (also concern and care rather than anger), and frustrated that our original plans and structure of the piece will not feasibly work out unless there is that drastic change. If we want to make the change necessary to continue on our original trajectory, it’s really a change that I cannot personally be in charge of making. Frustrated that I feel a bit powerless over this change.
I do have the power to make other changes but would have to really alter the course of everything in that case. It would be a painful change to make especially after all of our work together for all this time.
It may have to become something very different, so much so that it becomes really a different project with a different story being told.
Maybe though, it will just have a clearer story, maybe some of my questions are being answered; maybe this was going to be the story this whole time.
Still to be determined. Waiting.
I haven’t written in here in a while but I would like to do it more. It might even help me organize my jumble of thoughts and anxieties…well definitely more so than spending time on Facebook. I am still working on my project, albeit less than I’d actually like to be doing. It really is all I think about though. I’m in a somewhat frustrated place right now but I am searching for ways to be able to work on this closer to how much I’d really like to (aka everyday all the time). I wish that our enthusiasm in the process of training and creating was equally high all the time. It’s not, for a couple different reasons, and it frustrates me but it’s ultimately not something that will completely stop us.
As for what I can do with my upcoming schedule…Simply take the time to sit in a cafe for hours and read and write, look into a possible alternate space to individually work (and maybe perform?), and in time, actually rehearsing more often than we are. Also, hopefully hopefully being able to work in the context of a larger group, some of the time.
Then maybe, we will have something to share in the spring.
More later, but for now here’s a poem by Simone Weil that we’ve been thinking about. It seems particularly relevant to what we are making.
A year ago I went on a run at night with my friend Joanna Caplan. It was my last day at Double Edge after spending 4 months there. After spending this time when everything I did revolved around art and doing what was required to sustain the environment that could support it. A time when I was surrounded by people who were just as hungry and passionate as I was. It was also right after we had finished our work with Rena Mirecka.
It wasn’t a very long run, just around Ashfield Lake, but as we ran we soon realized we were running into pitch blackness…down the dirt road around the lake, we were running into nothingness. And never had I felt so clear, mentally and physically. There was nothing in my body that felt heavy or painful, nothing in my mind that was fighting against my physical efforts or weighing me down, and in the darkness there was no future destination to anticipate. I was just freely running into the unknown, with only the present moment to experience. If anything, what lied ahead was whatever my mind’s eye could create. At points I felt I was running faster than I ever had. It was a combination of everything experienced and learned in the previous four months, and it was also a moment of embodying presence. In the midst of this physical engagement, I felt like a prism.
I try to remember what that feeling was like, and how I can find it again. Maybe anticipating and setting my sights on obtaining that feeling defeats the principle of it. But for a year I have looked for recognition of this feeling, and asked myself about it, in the midst of a completely different environment, life circumstances, and obligations. Initiating my own theatre work, creating a work environment, teaching and leading others in a methodology that was foreign to them, and continuing a dialogue and relationship within this process that allows our work to propel forward…all despite a busier life and the stress, frustration, anger, and just plain tiredness that comes along with that, all of which I have been feeling.
In 10 days I will be returning to Double Edge and stay for a month and a half. On July 14 I am going to Poland. Originally my trip was planned from July 14-August 2. However I am now extending my trip to August 20. I’m searching for an organic farm to work at for two weeks (not only do I think I’d enjoy it, but it’s definitely better for my budget…), and then after that, I will be working with Rena again, this time at the Grotowski Institute. A few years ago I don’t know if I would have believed I’d actually be doing anything like that/working at the Grotowski Institute…it’s really something I’ve wanted to do for the past several years and it is blowing my mind. Yes it does mean I’ll miss the Double Edge summer spectacle performance, after presumably working on it in a large capacity. But maybe I’ll catch a dress rehearsal before I leave.
I have many questions for this summer, both about my theatre work and my life in general (though the two overlap in several areas). I hope to live in the search rather than expect to reach/fixate on an answer or goal. I will be thinking about how to balance my art and work in a way that is really sustainable for me when I get back to Boston after the summer. But I also hope most importantly to recognize moments of embodying presence. How can I refind it this summer, and how can I find it again and again when I am back in Boston, when I will be working on my play in a greater capacity than I am now? How can I continue to work with freedom instead of judgment? Last summer in Boston I felt a lot of joy and lightness…despite working a crazy schedule, I was discovering and sharing new things and at the beginnings of working to create something potentially great. Now I’ve sort of slouched into a work pattern that is unnecessarily stressful and anger inducing, to me, and though I still train and rehearse somewhat regularly, I can’t wait to rediscover a renewed sense of search and vitality for myself.
"The past will never happen again, the future is unknown."
In addition, I can’t wait to see Joanna’s show Total Verruckt! at the Charlestown Working Theatre, which runs Friday May 24 and Sat May 25. Completely devised solo show created at Double Edge. I’ll be going on the 24th. Hope to see you there.
"Surprisingly, he is not a chicken"
So…We wanted to have a showing of our “work in progress” but have come to the conclusion (or compromise might be a better word) that because we are at a transition phase, and because we have potentially conflicting ideas of how an evening like that would/should go, and what we would get out of it, we’ve decided that what would be most useful to us and our process before we take our summer hiatus is to continue rehearsing and staging but put off a showing of work for a while. But we plan to take video at the end of the month of what we have. So we have a record of it mostly for ourselves and also if we want to show anyone in particular. For me, that would at least give me some sense of a conclusion to “part one” of our process, which has so far lasted almost one whole year. If any of it is any good maybe I’ll post a clip here.
For the rest of May we will be going through the scenes we have and rehearsing them, fixing the staging, filling in gaps. It’s the middle chunk of the play.
I think we’ve just blocked at least 1/3 of the show?? Whoa.
There is also a bunch of text that we need to find. At first I wasn’t thinking about text at all but now we are working with an idea involving text that is central to how the play is pieced together…just have to find out what we are actually speaking. I plan on searching for text this summer. We both have some ideas about how to go about this and how to share with one another even when we will be at opposite sides of the country/world doing very different things (Importance of Being Ernest and Shakespeare comedy vs Double Edge/Song of the Goat/Poland/MAYBERENAMIRECKA training).
Off to Double Edge now to pick up custom made stilts that my friend there has so generously offered to make for me. And then immediately back to Boston again.
"Great bell for someone who needs to ring for help" Sold.
Would like “Brass Bell with a strange dark secret” too but it might be a little out of our price range. Still thinking about it.
Bells are pretty cool; hope what we do with them is cool too.