I took part in a panel of young(er) theatre makers for Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland’s TalkFest at Traverse theatre.
The other participants and I were all high on general festival giddiness and it was great fun to hear about their shows and their different approaches. At over 30, I was probably the oldest guest on the panel. I wondered how much my experience was different from the nineteen-year-old beside me. I probably share more points of reference and perspective with people ten years my senior than my junior.
We’d been asked to think of a moment in our lifetimes which defined our influenced the work we do. I chose the arrival of an iMac in our house, and more widely the spread of the Internet as a basic amenity and not the preserves of libraries and military bases.
The early, less commercial, Internet was a place of democratised content, where the Louvre occupied the same profile as The Beano. Where the Harry Potter fansites were better than the official channels. I could develop niche interests, learn basic code, install mpreg mods for The Sims, manage communities and perhaps, most importantly, find likeminded individuals who I would write in partnership with throughout my high school years.
The mix of high and popular culture, the sense of entitlement to appropriate and rework artworks is burrowed deep into the heart of my work. It’s neat to be prompted to consider how and what I make.