I've been supported by external bodies to develop work for the first time and it is good.
Most of the time has been spent writing, redrafting, on dramaturgy work or in rehearsal room, but here are some of the other things I was able to do that I wouldn't have time/resource/confidence to do without external support and it's all stuff to feed the well. Don't run dry.
Took a break from my day job
Played electric guitar loudly and badly
Cut up the script
Read old diaries
Read old LiveJournals
Did Higher Biology revision papers
Bought 10 year anniversary vinyl
Went to gigs
Went to theatre
Went to Sea Life centre
Looked at old photos
Read books on marine life
Thought I was brilliant
Thought I was shit
Took the pressure off myself
Bought a mic stand
Trusted other people
Made beat sheets
Punched myself in the face (accidentily)
Cut my hands numerous times (it feels so good to use my hands)
Watched hours and hours and hours of Youtube
Listened to months and months and months of podcasts
Began to understand what my myth is. Which is pretty great when development on one project can help to put all my work into a bit of perspective.
I tried out something new.
I've been loving spoken word recently. It is a direct line between you and the heart and mind of the writer. It is kinda magic. I wanted to try out a bit of the magic
I was supported in creating the dramatic poem by ace drummer Cat Myers and director Emily Reutlinger for Hidden Door who took a punt on my idea and created a safe but exciting space to experience. And man, I'd been pushed into action by the ace Moniack Mhor team who made me feel like a rock star in a thatch roof hobbit house in the Highlands during the very early stages of the piece.
After a couple of days rehearsal, we took to the stage to tell a story about girls loosing themselves in the swell of their idols. It was rewarding to have conversations at the side of the stage with audience members who recognised their own experience in the story. It was so useful to pick up a great set of photos by Sandra Franco and Gav Young to be given a fantastic description of what we'd made by TV Bomb.
I wanted it to be fucking loud. Which we did. Which was brill. Even though it sometimes meant a lack of clarity. Whoops. I loved the fluidness of the performance, welcoming in people who slid in halfway through, eyeballing folk and the sheer enjoyment of performing alongside Cat.
There's still a lot of work to be done but the Hidden Door run made me feel that the piece has legs. Shiny, sparkly legs.
I really enjoyed swimming around Sleepwalk Collective's brains in their recent blog post, 100 INFLUENCES (2006-2016). The post is a linguistic Pinterest board of other artworks and art forms that have burrowed into their work over the last ten years.
Riffing off their list, I've been thinking about my own influences for GLITTERED.
GLITTERED, a dramatic poem about about teenage friendships, rock concerts and the weird sexual habits of deep sea creatures is at Hidden Door, Edinburgh, 2 - 4 June 2016.
I spent last week at Moniack Mhor, “Scotland’s creative writing centre”, a right wee gem that had completely passed me by until a couple of spots opened up on their Playwriting course with Simon Stephens and Lucy Kirkwood, featuring special guest star, Laura Wade.
It was brilliant. I cried a lot about a lot of tiny revelations.
Five nights around a fire, talking about theatre, singing songs, drinking wine. Stars, stars, starts. The Northern Lights even turned up. Abundance. Food, food, food everywhere. So much laugher. So much quiet peacefulness. Spectacular views. Thinks clicking into place. People. Animals. I spent quite a bit of time strolling around the farm and forests around the centre, talking with the beasties that looked as curiously at me and I did to them. Poor cows. They’re going to get munched.
My biggest takeaway from the confetti-canon-of-fantastic from the week is that I’m not shit. I’m not shit, by the way. That’s news to me. Which is quite exciting. I’m not utterly shit. I didn’t realise that I wasn’t fat until I was 27 and I didn’t realise that I’m not a terrible writer until I was 29. I think a lot about needing permission to write, but man, I’m the only one who needs to give me permission.
One evening we shared some of our own work with the group. I'd shared dialogue from two different plays with Lucy and Simon in one to one tutorials. I wanted to try out something that was very different from my usual practice because the group had made me feel powerful enough to try to share something which was far rawer and closer to my heart. And they were ace about it.
Thanks to support from Moniack Mhor. Without their contributions, I couldn’t have made this journey. Moniak Mhor offer grants for all their courses. Find out more at http://www.moniackmhor.org.uk/courses/grants/