Tuesday, 21 June 2011

A load of hot air ... and balls ...

Back to Swansea for the final time in this first run of experiments and to the Junction Cafe in Blackpill. Many thanks to Hannah and all her staff – Bev, Michelle and Sofja – for being so incredibly warm and welcoming. The venue itself proved to be quite a tricky one with the bizarrest acoustic I’ve ever come across in such a small space. Sound simply didn’t carry at all which made for some interesting times as I had to repeat a lot of what people said so other people could hear it too. Nevertheless some really exciting and lovely experiments took place, culminating in my largest audience to date last Friday, the 17th.

There has been quite a bit of negative reaction to the piece this week – a letter of complaint from a disgruntled audience member and some sense of people feeling aggrieved and angry with me for what I’m doing. Now, I’m the first to admit that this may be because I’m coming towards the end of the six weeks and am feeling tired and oversensitive. And I’ll also say that part of me is secretly (not that secretly now!) delighted since I’ve always believed that if you’re not pissing people off then you’re doing something wrong. But it’s really important to look at people’s concerns about the work and address myself to them.

I think an easy mistake to make about these experiments is to suggest that somehow I’m indulging in a form of ‘group therapy’ by setting up a forum which encourages people to speak and share openly about their lives, foibles and concerns. The implication somehow being that I’m not qualified to do such work and that it’s therefore dangerous to set up such a space. I have to say, however, that I absolutely do not believe that’s what I’m doing. If anything I’m attempting to create a space where people can share anything they want to and holding it in such a way that certainty of any kind is questioned and examined. I’m not seeking to give anyone answers to life’s problems – shit, I can’t do that for myself so I can hardly do it for anyone else! Nor am I seeking to preach or teach. Rather I’m looking to find common ground between myself and other people and allowing them to do the same. Sometimes it works, sometimes it fails and I can’t speak for how people will arrive at the experiments, what is happening in their lives or what they seek to get from it. If that’s ‘dangerous’ then so be it. I firmly and passionately believe that communication and interaction is the only way we are ever going to reconnect with each other and develop more empathy and understanding for other people. The one thing I seek to do is to suggest that we are not alone in our fears and insecurities. I do this by attempting to share my own in as unguarded and open a way as possible. And sometimes that means that I’m a hypocrite – as I believe we all are. And sometimes that means I swear or say something that people might find offensive. If so, I would hope that the space I have set up in the experiments is open enough that they might feel able to challenge me about what I have said there and then. I have no intention of attacking anyone or indulging in one-upmanship as is common amongst stand-up comics. On the contrary, if I am accused of hypocrisy or bigotry or unacceptable language, then I will be the first to acknowledge it. Because these experiments are about acknowledging weakness and failure as being healthy and part of normal life. Not some ludicrous notion of perfection and certainty which bears no relationship to reality.

So, with the caveat that all of that may have come from my being a tad oversensitive, I feel content that the experiments are moving forwards in an interesting, exciting and challenging way. I’m looking forward to the final tranche this week at the Vaults in Cardiff Bay. And then I’m looking forward to having a couple of weeks off before I start to think about what I have learned and how I might want to continue this work in the future. Because the one thing I can say with any degree of certainty right now is that I absolutely do want the work to continue. I really believe that I’m onto something good and useful and unique here. The question is how to apply it and continue it onwards.

Obviously, the first thing I need to address myself to in the autumn is my commitment to fulfil the wishes of my audiences in what I will henceforth refer to as the ‘Days of my Life’ project. I need to go back and update the list and I’ll do that once the experiments are complete. But, I have begun by taking part in the first one – the Midsummer Skinny Dip at Rhossilli Bay on Gower took place this past Sunday 20th and I was there alongside the lovely lady (whose name I sadly don’t know) who suggested I do it.

And it was fantastic! 400 people all stripping off and running screaming into the cold sea was quite something to be part of. It was life affirming and wonderful in all the best ways. Interestingly, I wasn’t in the slightest self conscious about being naked since everyone else was too. Below are a couple of Youtube docs about it – the first one is from the National Trust and you can see me being interviewed at about 3.15. The second one (avert your eyes, mother!) was taken by someone whose partner was in the next row to me – you can just about make out my flabby arse as I drop my kecks and leg it for the sea to the left of frame. Enjoy or something ...

If you’d like to donate something to the charity supported by the skinny dip then head to their website – http://www.midsummerskinnydip.co.uk/ - or donate direct to Marie Curie - http://www.mariecurie.org.uk/

So, the next phase of the project has already begun and I will inevitably want to tell people about all the experiences I have fulfilling my promise to give away days of my life. Looking forward to the final few offerings in Cardiff and then a rest and then ... who knows? Nothing about life is certain after all.



Monday, 20 June 2011

Final Cardiff venue just confirmed!

The Vaults at the Provincial - 113-116 Bute Street, Cardiff Bay.

Tickets available on the door £3

Weds 22nd to Fri 24th - 7pm & 8.30pm nightly.

Come one, come all - last chance to catch the experiments in their earliest stages. What do you want to talk about? What's on your mind? What do you need to get off your chest?

Everything's allowed!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Big times in the little city

No video as yet - apologies but I'm back writing for Doctors during the day so haven't had chance to do some editing. Will get another video up asap. Meanwhile ...

So, week four and back to Cardiff and this time in the glorious surroundings of the Big Little City exhibition organised, curated and beaten into shape by Dan Green. http://www.biglittlecity.com/ If you haven’t been to check it out yet, then you really must. It’s an explosion of creativity and joy about Cardiff – its history, its present and its future. I could wander around it for hours and it was all I could do to lure my audiences back into a sitting position to allow me to rant at them ...

As to the experiments themselves, several things came up that were really interesting. Firstly, in a different space again with no formal seating arrangements, people inevitably ended up sitting in a circle with me standing or sitting amongst them. In principle this is all fine and dandy but in practice what it leads to is a perfectly understandable feeling of vulnerability and disquiet. Sitting in a circle has, in our era, come to mean ‘sharing’ and usually not voluntary sharing. It’s a pretty naked place to be – looking directly at your fellow humans and being looked at directly yourself. The possibilities of openness that the One Eyed Man format offers are wonderful but I need to recognise how scary they can be. When fellow performers and creatives attend the show, it is wonderful that they feel so able to be open and share their stories, thoughts and ideas. But the real measure of success is when people who would never usually dream of being open and sharing feel safe enough to do so. So, places such as The Plan where people sit at their own tables whilst also participating are perhaps more useful to the experiments. Which is great to bear in mind as I play my final Swansea dates this week at The Junction Cafe.

Secondly, it’s really important to stay focussed on the task in hand. What I mean by this is that when I started at the Old Library on Wednesday night I hadn’t done it for four full days. I was hyped, excited, full of bile, rant and rage and ready to be unleashed. What this meant was that the first night was the closest I have come to doing something akin to stand-up comedy in the four weeks that I’ve been conducting these experiments. I haven’t watched the tapes back yet but, from the inside, I felt like Michael McIntyre (which is definitely not a good feeling to have!). I walked up and down, I ranted and raved, shouted and laughed and the audiences responded in kind. But – and this is a big BUT – I don’t want to be a stand-up comedian and these experiments are not – contrary to any false impressions – an attempt for me to enter stand-up by the back door without actually having to hone my craft and write material. The aim is to use my skills as a performer to provide a totally free, open and non-judgemental space for people to come together and talk about the things the need to say. The things they can’t say in any other forum or place in society. And, in my opinion which has been supported by experience in these last few weeks, this space needs to be with strangers to us. There’s no possible way we can develop genuine openness and empathy for our fellow man if we don’t talk to our fellow man, eye to eye and face to face. So, my need to entertain and by funny is fine but it’s beside the point of what I’m trying to achieve.

Which brings me to the third point. Lots of people have been enormously kind in giving me their feedback and thoughts on the experiments so far – and if there is one clear message it is that people would like there to be more space and time to let things bubble up naturally. Thus far, much as I have talked about it till I’m blue in the face and seriously said to Gareth as we prepared for each evening’s experiments – “Tonight I really want to let things sit and just see what bubbles up ...” I’ve never done it. Not once. I always pay lip service to it and then bottle out and start speaking and driving again.

Now this is not to say that I shouldn’t be driving at all but my dream has always been that the actual subject matter and content of the discussions should come from the audience, unaffected by any agenda of mine. So, what is holding me back?

There are, I think, two factors. The first is the one I use to excuse the second which I really don’t want to acknowledge or face. I’m an actor and a performer. I always have been ever since I was a young boy. I’ve spent a fair proportion of my life in front of audiences. And so it is hard wired into me that I am duty bound to deliver a ‘performance’ and what I mean by that is that my energy should go out to people to give them a good experience – an enriching experience – however you want to define that. The idea that I can simply be present and hold the space and be open to whatever people need to say – even if it takes five or ten minutes of silence before that arrives – is anathema to me. It feels wrong somehow. Like I’m not holding up my end of the bargain. But, I think this is simply a smokescreen for what’s really going on.

I’m terrified.

Absolutely shitting myself that someone will stand up, look me right in the eye and say this:

“Who the fuck do you think you are?”

Cause it’s a huge thing I’m doing. And I don’t by any means think that I’m a ‘huge’ person. But I’ve always believed in my bones that working in the arts is a ‘service’ industry. We provide a service to people – and where’s the service in simply holding space for people to fill with the things they need to talk about?

Now, I think the answer to that is self-evident and if you don’t then I suspect that the One Eyed Man is not for you. But I need to not be afraid of doing what I really feel in my bones this work is about. I need to know that, if someone does feel the need to ask me that question, that the group who have come to that evening’s experiment might be inclined to self-police. I don’t think I’m anybody. I’m a performer offering a service. That’s all.

There’s a reason I called this project the One Eyed Man – In the Kingdom of the blind, the One Eyed Man is King. I take that to mean that a tiny little bit more sight allows perspective. Not that I’m King. So, all I’m doing is offering a space for that perspective to flourish. And I hope that people understand that’s what’s being offered.

Long winded blog post today –

So, final Swansea dates this week at the Junction Cafe, Blackpill. Great location, great coffee – 7pm & 8.30pm nightly Weds –Fri. Tickets always available on the door or via www.taliesinartscentre.co.uk

Next week’s venue in Cardiff is coming together and I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops once it’s confirmed.

In the meantime, keep well, watch out for the effects of the lunar eclipse and remember ...

What do you want to talk about?

P.S - My nemesis - gggrrrrrrr ....

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

One Eyed Man Week 3

So, that's a taste of week 2 and now week 3 has come and gone and I’m at the half way point of these initial experiments of the One Eyed Man Project. I write ‘initial’ there because, you’ll be unsurprised to learn, I’m already thinking of possible future applications of this work and ways in which I can carry forward the things I’ve learnt from the offerings so far.

This week the venue was the salubrious locale of the public foyer of the Civic Centre in Swansea. It’s a huge, cavernous space – high ceiling, pot plants, sofas and council paraphernalia everywhere. I was there after the place officially closed for the day and it was infused with the aura that all public buildings seem to have – don’t do that; don’t make noise; don’t miss behave; just ... don’t.

Having said that, the people I met there were all lovely if bemused by what on earth I was up to. The crack teams of internal communication personnel had worked their magic so no-one seemed to know that I was supposed to be there, leading to much judicious and subtle ignoring of the fact that a bloke was ranting and raving at people who had paid to come and see him in the foyer.

All joking aside, it was really fascinating to be in a bigger space and to be doing something that was obviously really out of the ordinary in that space. My main concern was that it would prevent people from feeling safe enough to participate fully and to share whatever they needed to but this didn’t seem to really be a problem. People were still as generous and forthcoming as they have been in the two previous venues – a fact which continues to convince me that I’m on the right track. But – and it’s a big but – it felt less safe. No other way of putting it.  A smaller, more intimate and more contained space like the first two venues seems to lend itself more to enabling people to feel that they can be open about their irritations, foibles and joys than a large, open public space with council employees still moving through it.

As to the offerings themselves, I felt that I made some interesting jumps forwards especially in the last one of the week at 8.30 on Friday night. The audience were particularly open and vocal which encouraged me to let go of structure even more and focus on what was being said in the room. This emphasis that I  have on structure is fascinating me and, obviously, I’ve been quite cagey about it on this blog – not wishing to give anything away.

In short, what I’m trying to do with each offering is take people from a position of being irritated with and potentially hating other people to a place where they can acknowledge that the only way to move forwards in life is to accept that any change has to come from within. Let me emphasise strongly though that I’m not ‘teaching’ or ‘preaching’ – rather I’m exploring my own personal experiences of recognising that all my pent up anger and frustration at other people’s behaviour is about me, stems from me and only I can deal with it – by changing myself. My interest with this project is to talk openly to people about the difficulties and frustrations that I find inherent in daily life when I have to rub up against other human beings. So, the ‘structure’ that I’ve been falling back on allows me to move through this process quite cleanly and rigidly. What I’d really like to be able to do is be more open to what people bring and to let their agendas lead the process more strongly.

Friday night’s show was a case in point – although all three offerings at the Civic Centre worked really well in this regard. The biggest frustration for me at the moment is that of engaging people with the project enough to actually get them through the door. I only did it three times in Swansea – as in Cardiff the previous week – out of a possible six. It’s a tricky area this – I’m funded by Arts Council Wales with a Creative Wales award in order to pursue an experimental process and they’re not particularly concerned with outcomes or product. But the only way I can see to discover the things I need in order to take the work forwards and arrive at a new methodology for myself is to actually do it as many times as possible. And that requires audiences.

The arts are under siege at the moment as we all tighten our belts to save us from the deficit. Arts are seen as being superfluous and self indulgent by many people. The other week I went to see a play directed by my good friend Simon Harris at the Arts Wing of the Swansea Grand Theatre. It was attended by about 30 people. Meanwhile, in the main theatre, 800 people went to see a medium. The laws of capitalism and commerce say that figures like that speak for themselves. Why should public money subsidise art forms that cannot survive in an open market place? I’m not going to go through all the various arguments here because they are being spouted ad infinitum elsewhere on the web. What I will say is that people are drawn to the known. It’s how commerce works. A known quantity – a brand – lures us to continue with the safe and comforting. Obviously what I’m offering is anything but: a performer no-one has heard of offering work that is totally unquantifiable in places that are not usually used for performances. No surprise at all that it’s proving tricky to get people through the door. What I can say definitely is that the people who have come along have had an enriching, enlivening and fascinating experience. But how to communicate that? And should I even try? I’m a great believer in synchronicity – whatever happens is what’s supposed to happen. So, if I don’t end up offering the show on a given night because no-one comes then that isn’t a sign that what I’m doing is wrong – it simply means I have to keep faith with the idea and turn up again the next night. And the next. And the next.

And that’s what I firmly intend to do. This week I return to Cardiff with six offerings taking place in the fabulous Big Little City exhibition at the Old Library in The Hayes. It’s a brilliant space full of rampant and exciting creativity and I hope people will take the opportunity to come along, not just to see me and take part in OEM but to check out the brilliant exhibition too.

Wednesday 8th – Friday 10th June – 7pm and 8.30pm nightly. Tickets free ( £3 suggested donation)

For more details – www.shermancymru.co.uk

Hope to see you soon. Really ...


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Week 2 - no plan at The Plan

So, week two is done and dusted and what a fantastic week it was. I really felt that there was something of a seismic shift in the way the experiments have been going this week and that is inevitably because I’ve been doing it for a while now and my initial nerves have calmed down somewhat – which has allowed me to play and truly experiment.
The tone of the evenings has been really lovely this week – I should say that The Plan is an absolutely perfect venue for performances of this kind and the staff and management have all been incredibly kind and accommodating.

There is definitely something in the way that audiences have reacted to the work has really made me think that I might be onto something really interesting. The experiments present a safe environment for people to share experiences and tell stories – probably because I’m allowing myself to be as open and as honest as I can be – and people really seem to want to share in  a way that I hoped would happen but I wasn’t certain that they would.

There was a really interesting moment in the last show at Noah’s Yard in Swansea which informed so much of what happened last week in Cardiff. One of the things that I was playing around with in the first few shows was wrongfooting people by saying at a certain point that I hated them. This keys in to one of my central interests and obsessions which have lead to this project: how do we manage to get through our lives without killing each other? So, I was playing around with how people would react to this but, of course, I don’t mean it literally. And an audience member immediately picked up on that fact and suggested that I was bullshitting – which essentially I was for dramatic effect.

What this moment showed me is that, in these experiments, in the context of absolute openness and sharing and vulnerability, I simply cannot ‘pretend’ at any point because it immediately jars and feels wrong, like I’m cheating somehow.

So, with that experience fresh in my head, this week’s experiments were much more open, honest, direct and straightforward and all the better for that.

So far I don’t seem to be on the verge of running out of things to say to people and they are certainly not running out of things to say to me – the level of interaction and sharing is total and incredibly exhilarating and exciting.

The question remains as to whether what I’m doing is theatre or not – and I don’t really have a satisfactory answer to that yet. I’m a performer and I have an audience. Together we make a piece of something – call it theatre, art, performance, whatever you like. But something happens between us ... and on the evidence of this week, that something is quite profound and moving. As well as being funny and scary and lots of other things too.

One disappointment this week was the lack of audience – the 8.30 showing each evening simply didn’t happen as no-one turned up. I’m not going to get all wound up about this since I know that I am an unknown quantity to most people and that what I’m offering is also – and we really don’t seem to go for the unknown in our society anymore (if we ever did). But if you’re reading this and thinking about coming along then please do. No need to book tickets, just buy on the door. If you fancy something a little out of the ordinary, something that you may never have seen before, something that offers you a place to talk about things with people in a way that you’ve never imagined ... then this might be the evening for you.

In that light – if you’ve watched the highlights of the 20th May you will have seen that I offer the audience a day of my life as a random act of kindness. This is the only truly pre-planned element of the work and I wanted to say officially that I will be doing it for all the experiments in this first series. If you want to know why, or you want a chance to take me up on the offer, then you have to come along. But here’s what I have committed to so far:

1) Undertake a day long journey to an unknown destination with Owen (audience member).
2) Spend a day on the streets of Swansea speaking to people with Greg (audience member).
3) Spend a day on High Street, Swansea, speaking to everyone I meet with Elaine (audience member).
4) Spend a day with my friend, Steve, enjoying each other’s company.
5) Speak at a conference on climate change and sustainability about human communication.
6) Take part in the world record skinny dipping challenge on 19th June at Llangennith beach, Rhossilli. www.midsummerskinnydip.co.uk
7) Go through my student neighbours bin bags and separate the rubbish they could have recycled but couldn’t be arsed to.
8) Spend a day visiting people at an old people’s home who don’t normally receive visitors.
9) Speak at next Ignite event in Cardiff.

24 more opportunities to get me to do something ...

Thanks so much to everyone who has come along so far and given their all to what have been some of the most exciting, fascinating and life affirming evenings of my professional life. Here’s to the rest of them and beyond.

This week: Civic Centre, Oystermouth Road, Swansea – Wednesday 1st – Friday 3rd. 7pm and 8.30pm nightly. Book in advance at www.taliesinartscentre.co.uk or simply come along on the night.

Hope to see you soon,


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Experiments 5 & 6

A proper full day off yesterday when I tried not to think about the project at all in any way. I failed, obviously but even the act of trying was worthwhile.

The last two experiments in the first venue – Noah’s Yard bar in Uplands – were by far and away the most challenging and interesting so far. Two big groups of people – 15+ each showing – who really forced me to stay on my toes and keep the ball in the air. Some observations have been bubbling up this morning –

I’m already, after only 6 experiments, allowing myself to fall into ‘structure’ for safety. This is not something I’m beating myself up about, simply an observation. The feeling of panic within me when the conversation and tempo of the room starts to flag and dip is palpable – so I dash for structural support and have found myself repeating stories and ideas.

The way Gareth and I have worked is to sit and assess the previous night’s experiments before going into the next – and we set up a series of things we’d like to try. Every night so far, without fail, I’ve said that I’d like to try being more free and letting moments hang rather than talking all the time and pushing and prodding for a response ... and every night so far I’ve failed to do that and have panicked. This ‘failure’ is not a failure in the sense that the whole experiment is pointless. On the contrary it has flagged up to me, very early in the process, the key difficulty in really attempting to make theatre that addresses the here and now.

If I were to really and truly relieve myself of the burden of structure and entertainment and meaning, what then might happen? Is it possible that a group of people – total strangers – coming together in a room with the focus of a single performer to filter and process their needs, wants, fears and loves – is it possible that said group can dictate and determine their own content and say what they need to say to each other?

It’s a huge question and one that I’m going to continue to grapple with over the coming five weeks.

One of the key issues is about safety. It’s my job to make that group of people feel that they can share their feelings and thoughts with strangers and that they won’t be attacked, vilified or sneered at for them. Thus far I’ve been playing around with the notion of wrongfooting people, of challenging them into seeing things in a different way; of not necessarily laying out in minute detail the rules of what is acceptable or otherwise in that space. This has paid off in interesting ways but has also meant that it’s a scary old ride for me and those in the audience who are less than sure of the value and purpose of what’s happening. Not only is it a leap of faith for me, I recognise, but also for the audience. Is it enough to hold a space for 75 minutes, with whatever content is brought to fill it, and call it meaningful and purposive? Or is it okay that it be meaningless? Can I be bold enough to let it be meaningless? Dare I risk alienating people in that way?

All these fears and issues aside, Friday night was absolutely fantastic in so many ways – people’s level of engagement with what was being said in the room; their willingness to challenge me and prod and probe were just fantastic and life affirming. Indeed, so much so, that my central assertion of finding it increasingly difficult to like my fellow human beings is wilting under the generosity and openness of my audiences.

So, now I have another few days before we move to a new venue and a new city – The Plan Cafe in Cardiff’s Morgan Arcade. The venue at Noah’s Yard was a perfect place to start – cosy and intimate and very familiar.

The Plan is likely to feel very different indeed. Despite my ongoing nervousness and adrenalin, I’m feeling invigorated and enlivened by the experience and can’t wait to do more.

I’ll try to make time to edit together some of the footage of the first weeks experiments but it may take a little while – also, understandably, I’m not super keen to watch any of it back yet. I already feel a healthy dose of shame and embarrassment at what I’m doing – that can only be made worse by watching myself do it.

As always, comments, thoughts and ideas will all be gratefully received.

Hope you’re having a splendid weekend and are not too disappointed about the rapture not happening again. There's always next time, eh?



Friday, 20 May 2011

Experiments 3 & 4

Another evening, another jump out of the proverbial plane sans the proverbial parachute ...

Small, perfectly formed audiences of friends and the inherently curious have been the order of the day so far which has been a fantastic way to begin. One of the things that I’m very aware of is how my nerves and adrenalin lead me to speak far too much as opposed to far too little. It’s as if I’m terrified that if I and my audience sit in silence for even a moment that somehow the spell will be broken and they will look me in the eye and face me with the key issue that scares me –

“You don’t know what you’re doing, do you?”

So, I ramble and burble and prod and probe – it’s fantastic and lovely how open people are and how keen they can be to discuss and tear apart some of the things I say – this project for me is both a personal and professional quest for connection in life. And I no longer want that connection to be mediated by lights and a stage and a script. Does that make what I’m doing theatre or not? I have no answer to that and it would be very interesting to ask members of my audience what they feel on the matter.

For me, the experience of sharing my deepest fears, doubts, hatreds, loves and insecurities and asking people to share theirs in return has already proven to be immensely rewarding and valuable – and has already lead to a number of dropping pennies.

The task for me now is to continue the experiments – and what that means in practical terms is to learn from the previous night’s experiences, change the parameters and jump off the cliff again. So far, I think, a parachute has miraculously seemed to open above me as I fall and if my landing hasn’t exactly been soft, it’s at least been survivable.

Tonight, for the first time, I have two audiences of fairly sizeable numbers – and I’m not expecting any body amongst them to know me personally. So, with that in mind, I feel as if tonight is where the experiments really begin. If anything, I’m about to jump off a higher cliff ...

I’ve been videoing the experiments so far – asking audience members to hold the camera and get what they can – and I’ll edit highlights together in time for next week’s showings in Cardiff. So far, I haven’t watched any of the footage myself – can’t quite bring myself to see it and it’s probably no bad thing.

So, stay tuned for more revelations. I hope who reads this is ready for the rapture starting tomorrow. I’m not expecting to be taken to heaven in the first wave but, you know, I see no reason why I should get left behind ...



Thursday, 19 May 2011

So, it's started then ...

Two experiments down, thirty four to go. I’m kind of numb this morning – not sure what I’ve done or what I’ve begun. It was like being at the centre of a whirlwind or, actually, a close approximation to jumping out of a plane without a parachute. The people that came to the two offerings were warm and generous and open and kind – and I fear for my ability to stay bitter and angry at the rest of the human race if this is going to be my experience over the coming weeks! Not, I hasten to add, that I’m desperate for someone to come along and be nasty to me ...

The venue is a perfect place to start – warm and cosy and intimate – and Gareth and I are already aware that we will be moving to other spaces – bigger and less easy to manage. But we have two more nights and four more experiments at Noah’s Yard yet to come.

I’ll blog every day so hopefully my thoughts will coalesce a bit more but here’s some initial concerns and worries and ideas:

How nice is too nice? How open is too open? How much do I talk about what is happening whilst it’s happening? How honest should I be about how I feel? How much should I perform and how much should I let that go? Is it that important that people should feel comfortable throughout? How will I cope with genuine anger and disagreement?

It’s very hard to hang on to the lesson I learnt with John Dawson about expecting blank faces and assuming support – I need to manage my adrenalin better which I suspect only doing it more will deal with. I feel I need to be able to let things hang a bit more and leave space for people to engage and share – I also need to worry less about those people who seem quiet and unengaged. Last night, after sitting silent for a good portion of time, one of the audience spoke up and shared something incredibly personal and profound. People need their own processing time and thinking time – and if they don’t want to engage with the work openly then that is absolutely fine too.

The thing that strikes me the most about what happened – with very little hindsight – is how my initial belief that offering a space for people to talk about issues and concerns in life using theatre techniques and practices is something that people can and do want to engage with.

The experiments now continue and I’m sure will evolve and change and grow. If this blog makes it sound very po-faced then nothing could be further from the truth – there was much laughter and joy to be had in the small room above Noah’s Yard last night. And I’m sure there will be tonight.

Now if only I could calm down and enjoy it ...

As ever – thoughts, ideas, responses – all welcome. Everything’s allowed.



Saturday, 14 May 2011

What, where, how, why?

Hello and welcome,

For anyone who has found their way here via the lovely Western Mail article -


You may be wondering how you can get tickets to see this cockamamie (there's a word too little used ...) scheme and where the experiments will be held, etc -

So, here's everything you need to know -

Swansea - tickets available via Taliesin
www.taliesinartscentre.co.uk - box office - 01792602060
18th - 20th May - Upstairs at Noah's Yard, Uplands
1st - 3rd June - Civic Centre Foyer, Oystermouth Road
15th - 17th June - Junction Cafe, Blackpill

All tickets £3 - experiments begin at 7pm and 8.30pm - running time 75mins

Cardiff - tickets available via Sherman Cymru
www.shermancymru.co.uk - box office - 02920646900
25th - 27th May - The Plan Cafe, Morgan Arcade
8th - 10th June - Old Library, The Hayes
22nd - 24th June - tbc (Fancy a showing in your house? Contact Sherman Cymru!)

All tickets £3 - experiments begin at 7pm and 8.30pm - running time 75mins

There you go - other things you might want to know -
Twitter - @manoneeye - follow me for updates and pre and post interactions #oneeyedman
Facebook - The One Eyed Man Project

There'll be regular updates here and I'll try and post videos of experiments as fast as my little laptop can edit them. Only a few days to go now and the experiments begin in earnest.

I'm genuinely looking forward to it - I know that might be hard to believe but it's true.

Mind you, if you come along on Wednesday at 7pm you may well see a man explode due to an overdose of adrenalin and fear ...

Have a splendid weekend.


Thursday, 12 May 2011

One week to go ...

As I write this today, Thursday 12th May 2011, I have less than seven days before the first One Eyed Man experiment takes place at Noah’s Yard in Uplands, Swansea on Wednesday 18th at 7pm.

Yesterday I did my first press interview about the project with the Western Mail. It felt particularly strange and complex to be discussing the project with the press since it’s not exactly the kind of thing that one can ‘sell’ as a finished product. The reporter was genuinely interested and engaged by what I’m doing but at the heart of our conversation he asked me a key question that has been bothering me for the last week or so:

“So, are you sort of waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, worrying about drying up and running out of things to say?”

The short answer to that is ... not really ...

Ask me again in six days time and my answer may well be very different but at the moment I feel less and less scared as the offerings get nearer. Now, why should this be? Anyone who has read my blog about doing John Dawson’s public speaking course (Taking My Place In The World) will know that I fear standing in front of a room full of people as much as any sane person. Yes, I get very nervous, yes, I get a massive adrenalin dose, yes, it makes me feel sick. But for some reason, the closer I get to the OEM, the calmer I feel.

The reason for this lies in one of my answers to the interviewer yesterday – he asked about if I was worried about ‘getting it wrong’ and, after all the thinking I’ve been doing and remembering the TED talk by Kathryn Schulz, I said – “Well, I can’t possibly get it wrong because there is no ‘right’ to be wrong about.” These offerings will simply be what they are – sometimes they may feel ‘comfortable’ and smooth – meaning that subjects flow and ideas blossom and flourish – and sometimes they may be ‘uncomfortable’ and bumpy – meaning that we (myself and Gareth and the audience) get stuck on an issue or an idea or a quandary and simply have to sit with it and work through it. But there is no way for it to be wrong.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about my energy level and the need I obviously feel as a seasoned performer and actor to want to deliver a ‘show’ for the audience. After all, they have each paid £3 and given up a couple of hours of their life. Surely, in return for that commitment, I should ensure that I return that in kind. And I firmly intend to – but the manner in which I do it will not be the way I ordinarily would choose. This is being thrown into sharp relief by my ongoing illness.

I’m on big doses of steroids and on a day to day basis my energy levels fluctuate wildly – from manic to nothing. In order to ensure that I continue to get well and have time and energy for my body to cope with the illness I simply have to ensure that each performance is ‘real’; i.e. I’m not pretending to be anything other than I am. If I’m tired, I have to be tired. If I’m manic, I have to be manic.

As I keep saying to Gareth, there are no smoke and mirrors in this work. What you see is what you get. No attempt to hide behind anything. Whether that makes for theatre or ‘art’, who knows? But I’m really interested to find out.

Yesterday, Gareth and I spent some time in the second Swansea venue – the foyer of the Civic Centre on Oystermouth Road. It’s a big, municipal building – huge foyer area made of concrete.

It’s a place where people come to wait – for their opportunity to interact with bureaucracy. It’s not usually or ever been a place for a performer and an audience to meet. But it will be in a few weeks ...

I’ll blog regularly over the coming few days leading up to the work and will do a daily blog about the shows afterwards. As ever, please let me have any thoughts or comments either here or on the facebook page. This work really is about a conversation.



Sunday, 8 May 2011

Just what exactly do I think I'm doing?!

So, that was a taster of the first ‘proper’ day of work and rehearsal on the project. But what exactly does that mean – ‘proper’? In this context: a series of experimental performances – surely there’s no such thing as proper? Surely there’s no right way of going about things and any methods that I might have used in the past to work on projects are null and void?

I’ve been grappling with this question a lot over the last week or so. The day of the Royal Wedding was the first day back at work after I’d been discharged from hospital after a five day stay. I was finally diagnosed with a condition called acute sarcoidosis. In a nutshell what this amounts to is that my body, for no apparent reason (or certainly not anything I could have prevented) has decided that it needs to seriously ramp up its immune response – so strongly in fact that it has begun to attack itself. It’s an incredibly rare condition that affects about one person in every 10,000 which explains why it took five days for it to be diagnosed. In fact, my time in hospital was rather like being the subject at the centre of an episode of ‘House’ – perplexed consultants and medical students looking at me and scratching their heads and developing theories and sending me for chest x-rays etc. When it was finally diagnosed there was much jubilation and I was regularly visited by med students who had been told to come and have a look at me since the condition is so rare that it would be worthwhile them checking it out!

The prognosis is very good, I’m delighted to say. In most cases, acute sarcoidosis simply ‘burns itself out’ over a period that could last from a few weeks up to 18 months and, once it has gone, the likelihood of relapse is small. There is a tiny chance that it could become chronic but, hey, let’s cross that bridge only if we have to.

Throughout my time in hospital however, there was a constant thought in my mind wondering whether I should postpone or cancel the OEM experiments. After all, if I really was seriously ill, it wouldn’t necessarily be wise to undergo a series of gruelling performance experiments over 6 weeks with two offerings a night. But, in typical bloody minded fashion, I was determined to continue ... and I still really had no idea of how major the illness was ...

So, Gareth and I continued to meet and ‘rehearse’, doing practical, tangible things to prepare for these totally unprepared experiments. We met up at Volcano’s new space in Swansea and spent a day improvising wildly about things – the deaths of Osama Bin Laden and Henry Cooper; my feelings and irritations and loves. We met for a day in Cardiff and took to the streets, armed with clipboards, asking people simply how their day was going. We chugged a chugger – demanding to know if her job brought her happiness and made her feel like her life is worthwhile. We stood outside the Job Centre and got into conversation with total strangers about whatever they needed to talk about. All of this was, and is, extremely useful work in relation to the experiments themselves – especially in regard to helping me get over my fear of talking to people. But for every day we worked, my body repaid me with two days of pain and swelling and agony. So much so that, last Friday, I had to go back into hospital as I’d had an attack overnight that was so severe that I could again no longer walk.

These two things – the illness and the desperate need to feel properly prepared – have forced me to face up to a fascinating issue with regard to these experiments. If my theory is correct – that it is possible to make a piece of theatre simply by dint of being human, alive and in a room with other humans who have lived through the same day as me – then how can I possibly prepare for that in any traditional way that I recognise? And, more importantly with regard to the issue of my health, should I even try?

The limitations of my illness have suggested that what I need to do to prepare is not do any of the things I would normally rely on. The very nature of theatrical performance is based on rehearsal and preparation. A clearly defined end goal – a script, a set, a lighting design, a character, a narrative. All of these elements are missing from the One Eyed Man Project. All I have is myself, my life and experiences, the day I have just lived through and the group of people who have decided, for whatever reason, to come along and see what I’m up to. There is an argument to say that the only way to prepare for such an event is simply to be alive.

So, I have been forced to acknowledge that the illness is actually offering me a great gift as it is forcing me NOT to do all the things I would normally do in order to feel secure enough to perform in front of an audience. It is demanding that I simply arrive on the night and see what happens.

Of course, that’s not strictly true since old habits and fears die hard and some preparation will inevitably take place. But the form and content of that preparation will be totally alien to every process I’ve ever known. And what that means is that for each performance/offering/experiment I will have to be totally present and ‘in the moment’ (a state of being that is the Holy Grail for actors and performers) since there is literally nothing else I can rely upon.

And that also means that I have to let go completely of any notion that there is a ‘right’ way or a ‘wrong’ way to go about what I’m doing. Some people will love it, some will hate it – some will consider it to be valuable, others may think it is worthless – but neither group will be correct. It will not be ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ – it will simply be what it is.

I am indebted to my friend Stephen Donnelly of Swansea’s Shellshock Theatre who saw the first video diary and the section where I talked about ‘not knowing’. In response he sent me a fantastically interesting Ted Talk by Kathryn Schulz who dubs herself a ‘wrongologist’. She is fascinated by the creative potential that can be found when we let go of the desperate need to be ‘right’ all the time and acknowledge that being human is about getting things wrong. See video below.

So, the illness, whether I like it or not, is part of this process and is obviously going to prove vital in whatever happens at the 36 experimental offerings. I hope you’ll let me know your thoughts on any and all of this and come along to the offerings themselves.

One thing’s for certain – they’ll be unique ...



Thursday, 5 May 2011

A call to arms!

Or at least to, you know, interact with me a bit.

If you like, obviously ...

No pressure ...

Just be nice to talk to you, that's all.

See how you feel.

I'll leave it with you ...


Saturday, 30 April 2011

Hospital Reading

So, I spent five days in Singleton Hospital in Swansea and was finally diagnosed with acute viral sarcoidosis (inflammation of the lymph glands around the lungs) which lead to severe reactive arthritis in all my joints meaning I was unable to walk or stand and was in serious pain. On the mend now though and my enforced rest gave me a final chance to do some more research reading (and learn how to (badly) edit video).
I read the posthumous autobiography of the American counter-cultural stand-up legend George Carlin, Last Words. He was a contemporary of Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor and had his own battles with drugs throughout his life. But his authentic voice and ability to speak to people in a way they’d never heard before (or since) made him a legend. Below are a few thoughts and quotes garnered from his book:
Doing my job – using my mind to produce the external evidence of my inner state.
Insist on being yourself, talk about the changes in you, stop working from the surface of the brain and get into the middle of your gut; talk about who you are and how you feel.
Authenticate self by hearing what you think you said out loud.
Social critic/philosopher/evangelist
Be the person on the outside that you’ve been on the inside your whole life.
Authenticate what you think and feel by talking directly to the audience.
You can’t run out of ideas so long as you keep getting new information and processing it.
Taking my life and putting it out to the world.
Lily Tomlin – “I worry about being a success in a mediocre world.”
Taking a new leap into the dark.
Abraham Maslow – “The fully realised person transcends his local group and identifies with the species.”
Creative process = tension between the internal me and the external political environment.
A liberal orthodoxy is as repugnant as a conservative orthodoxy.
Speak to audience one on one; confide in them the internal me; share insights; be their friend; take them step by step by the hand and lead them to the place I want them to be; lead them logically to conclude that my version is correct.
The noisier the culture becomes, the stronger your voice has to be to be heard over the din. (My note – Stronger NOT louder.
Engage the audiences mind.
Laughter is not the only proof of success.
Audience shapes the material: I write, they edit.
A genuine momentary communion: they wouldn’t have experienced it without me and I wouldn’t have experienced it without them.
Few things dramatise the face-off between loner and group more starkly than artist before an audience and, the irony is, if the loner/artist can’t get an audience to act like a group, he’s fucked.
The whole thing is probably about connecting in order to make kinships.
I no longer indentify with my species; I don’t feel comfortable or safe on this planet.
If I identify with individuals, I feel pain. If I indentify with groups, I see people who repel me.
Mantra: Be. Do. Get.
It was a fantastic book and he was a terrific comic – brief snippet of his final HBO special below.

I also read another autobiography by controversial artist/musician Bill Drummond late of the KLF and K Foundation who notoriously burnt a million quid. Fantastic book, amazing man – and he endears himself to me more and more by his innate ability to piss people off. Anyone who can irritate that many people by making art of any stripe gets my vote by default. Couple of quotes from him below –
“The drive to make sense of the chaos that’s in our head and fills our universe. The drive to hold it down so we can proclaim: “Look, this is it, this is what I see, I hear, I feel. Don’t you feel it too?”
“We are born with an instinct to take sides.”
“We are all seduced by power, each and every one of us. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that they are going to corrupt/change/destroy the system. They will be the ones who will be corrupted, changed, destroyed long before the system knows they are even inside it.”
“The contemporary arts should never have anything to do with the establishment. If they fulfil any positive function it is to provide an indefinable cultural opposition; to keep alive the dreams, research and development of utopia.”

Fantastic, inspirational stuff. Gareth has also been reading Drummond’s most recent book, 17, about his latest musical project. I’ll get him to blog on it next week.
I’m sure that’s more than enough to keep you occupied and away from the telly tomorrow while two grossly over-privileged individuals get married for the entertainment of the masses.
I won’t be watching. I’ll be slowly beating my head against a brick wall for the duration of the ceremony and celebrations until my face is a bruised and bloody pulp ...
I love a royal wedding, me.
Cheers all.
PS - If you haven't seen my first min-doc on the process of making the One Eyed Man, please check it out below. There's more where this came from ...

A Smorgasbord of Delights

Since last I blogged it’s been something of a rollercoaster ride for me – incredible highs and devastating lows. I’ve always sort of preferred life to be like that but I have to say that this last couple of weeks has been pretty white-knuckly, even for me.
To begin with the highs – first off, I attended the IETM spring plenary conference in Stockholm from 14th to April. IETM (Informal European Theatre Meeting) is an organisation that has been going for over 30 years and pretty much does what it says on the tin. It brings together theatre makers and producers from all over Europe to foster collaborations, co-productions and sharing of ideas. This was not only my first time of attending but also in some senses my ‘coming out’ as a solo artist. I’ve never been particularly good at networking and ‘selling myself’ so I was especially nervous. I arrived the night before conference was due to start and began my stay with a run around one of Stockholm’s many islands – always a great way to orient yourself and arrive somewhere.
Then I was into the maelstrom. And ... I loved it. It was very tiring and a bit full on – not being usually the most excessively of sociable people I probably met more people in those four days than I normally do in six months. The great thing for me was that each conversation was not about ‘Sell! Sell! Sell’ but simply about conversation and connection. The theory being that true collaboration and sharing comes out of genuinely open conversation and not hard sell.

Amongst the highlights were one of the most bonkers pieces of theatre I’ve seen in a long time by a company called Institutet – Comte D’Amour. Inspired by the horrific Josef Fritzl case, this was four blokes in their pants and nappies going absolute shitstorm bonkers for three hours – with cover versions of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and ‘Wicked Game’ thrown in for good measure. It was mostly over-the-top, pretentious and silly shite but there was a forty minute section in the middle of it where one of the cast in particular was basically fucking himself up – physically, emotionally, in every possible – which was bordering on genius. The trailer below does it no justice whatsoever ...

There were work groups and seminars and talking/talking/talking. The personal highlight for me was that I’d applied to present the One Eyed Man Project in a Brainstorm session and had been successfully chosen. 20 minutes to share the idea and get people’s feedback on it. I decided to treat the presentation exactly like a show and not prepare for it in any way. After all, I have been thinking and talking about the project now for well over 18 months. If I can’t talk about it off the cuff for 20 minutes then the prospect of me performing in like fashion for 75 minutes twice a night is a slim one. It went really well. My questions were related to presentational style, some content (which at this stage I’ll keep from you), and mainly how to interact with audiences before, during and after the presentations. I think the time is ripe to look again at how we share performance work with audiences and how we – performers and audiences – interact throughout the process. For example, is it possible for people to book tickets for a show without knowing where the venue is until the day? Rather like an illegal rave? Leave your mobile number and we’ll send you a text an hour before the show. Similarly, is it possible for a show to be announced on the day – for example if a huge global or national event makes it ripe for a show that day – and people to still want to come? My ultimate dream is to have a large enough network of people who have seen the shows in the past and engaged with the community aspects of being an audience that they could even ask me to do a show at the drop of a hat! Is all this simply pipe dreams? At this stage probably yes – but in the future, who knows? Anyway, the brainstorm was great, I met lots of people who loved the ideas behind what I’m up to and were really encouraging about it.

So, after lots of drinking and talking, and a bit of sightseeing, I left Stockholm on Sunday 17th to fly home and begin ‘rehearsals’. The only fly in the ointment was that my legs and feet had started to really ache whilst I was in Sweden. I put it down to having bought a new pair of boots which I’d worn every day and too much standing around drinking and talking ...
How wrong could I be ...
The plan was to meet up with my collaborator on the project, Gareth Clark, down in West Wales for an initial week of discussions and sharing before getting into ‘rehearsals proper the following week.
Best laid plans ...
Below is the first of hopefully many mini docu-drama-mentaries on the process. Hope you enjoy it.
I bloody didn’t ...


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Fail better.

So, the preparations are now well underway. Venues are booked, tickets are onsale, audience numbers have been decided upon. I need to look into getting some public liability insurance apparently so that if one of my audience unexpectedly keels over and dies, then I’m not to blame and can’t be sued into oblivion. I’ve even had some little business cards made which have the OEM project and this very blog written on them. It’s all going really well.
Apart from one tiny fact that I keep forgetting ...
This is supposed to be an experiment. It’s not supposed to be a show.
Oh shit ... I keep thinking I'm actually producing a show. I'm not. I'm performing a series of very public performance experiments.
So, the question I need to keep asking myself is what exactly am I setting out to do here and why – oh God, why? – am I doing it before a paying public?
The answer to the first half of that one has been covered quite a bit in previous blogs but I will address it here since I’ve only gone and raised it again. I want to move forwards from the kind of performance work that I’ve been doing over the last few years, both alone and with Volcano. The interaction with the audience that somehow transcends traditional boundaries without simply turning into a free-for-all discussion. The subject matter being decided amongst us on the evening and during the show – without somehow setting myself up to be Ross Noble. The idea that I can be totally open, vulnerable and present in front of an audience and that is rare enough and strange enough to provide the basis for an experience. I’m looking to see if I can create a new working methodology that allows me to make theatre at the drop of a hat about and for the people I’m presenting it to.
It’s an experiment. I have – genuinely – no idea if it will work. I actually have no idea what ‘working’ means in this context? If it’s funny, does that mean it’s ‘worked’? If it’s moving/boring/profound/silly, does that mean it’s worked? If people feel that somehow they’ve had value for money for their £3 ticket price, is that a sign of success?
Or has it 'worked' if people have had an experience of whatever kind that has interested them and been unexpected and out of the ordinary and challenging without being pretentious? But does that mean it’s failed if it is pretentious?
There it is. The key word.
By acknowledging, both to myself and to an audience, that it could very likely be a failure I’m speaking about the elephant in the corner. Experiments have perceived and hoped for outcomes but often they don’t achieve them. The Bunsen burner farts and gurgles and the test tube explodes. Or nothing happens at all. And the scientist takes his findings back to the drawing board and starts again. But an experiment is not seen as having failed if there are things to be learnt from it. You change the key ingredients and conditions and you try again.
Can you see how this might apply to what I’m attempting to do?
I will be doing two offerings per night – at 7pm and 8.30pm. The reason for this is simple. If the first experiment fails then I don’t have to endure the agony of waiting 24 hours to try it again. I have to get right back in there with a different group of people and see what happens when the essential ingredients change. But I can’t guarantee that the second offering of the evening will ‘work’ any more than I can the first. I’m trying to bottle lightning here. And let me be clear, this isn’t being done out of any bravado or bloody mindedness. I love theatre. Always have. And because I love it I want to push at the boundaries of what it can do and play around the edges. But I do it with a due sense of respect and fear. Theatre as we now know it has taken millennia to evolve. Maybe it’s reached its apotheosis. Maybe it has peaked.
Or maybe not ...
The second part of the above question should be easy to answer now also. Why do this in public? Because a performer without an audience isn’t a performer at all. I’m trying to have a conversation – as all performers are – and the experiment is reliant upon the raw materials of performer and audience meeting together in a space. I need an audience in order to conduct the experiment. The ticket price of £3 was arrived at since I feel that offering something for free (my first instinct) automatically suggests to people that what will be offered is worthless. So, £3 seems like enough to ask for people to make a commitment and be bothered to come. It's certainly not to make a profit. And, of course, I do worry about offering value for that commitment. But for all that I’m going out on a limb, I have been doing this job for 20 years. I can always fall back on a knob gag or a Shakespeare speech ...
The upshot of all of this is that I am utterly terrified of what I’m about to embark upon. I could fall flat on my arse 36 times and be embarrassed to my dying day whenever anyone mentions this project. I could be utterly dull and boring and people could be furious with me. I could simply be ignored.
In short, I could fail. But isn’t that risk what makes it so exciting? And what is failure anyway?
This week, as part of my ongoing preparations I have been reading a terrific book by the comedian, Stewart Lee, called ‘How I Escaped My Certain Fate: The Life and Deaths of a Stand-Up Comedian’. Lee went through something of an epiphany with his work several years ago, falling out of love with it and quietly giving up performing around the time he became involved in ‘Jerry Springer – The Opera’. After the furore surrounding that show – all of it unnecessary and overblown in my opinion – he returned to stand-up and quickly became a must see. And why? Because – love him or hate him – and many people do both – he was risking failure with the work that he presented. He risks audience alienation (and often succeeds in achieving it); he risks boredom, irritation, repetition; he breaks from the stage and roams the auditorium; he allows himself to fail. And his work is thrilling and strange – and yes, irritating and boring – as a result. I saw his show, 90s Comedian, when it was recorded at Chapter in Cardiff – below are a couple of sections of that act. If you’ve never seen him live, I really recommend it. The sensation of being in a room with him and his audience as he dances on the edge of utter failure is quite something to see.

So, here’s the point really – David Cameron and his ilk would have us believe that all art must be successful in order to justify its existence. And how do they quantify 'success'? If it is not universally liked and accepted by all then it is valueless and should simply not exist. But this view doesn’t work. The greatest artists the world has ever known were often failures in their lifetimes. They pushed the boundaries of their artform and challenged the conventions of their day. In my own small way, this project is my attempt to do just that. Pretentious? Quite possibly. But as an artist, the right to fail is all I have.
I hope you’ll come along and watch me walk the wire. I may fall flat on my arse.
Or ... who knows?
‘Ever tried? Ever Failed? No matter.
Try again. Fail again.
Fail better.’

Samuel Beckett

Keep well.
PS - Tickets onsale via Taliesin Swansea and soon Sherman Cymru Cardiff.
Follow me on Twitter @manoneeye
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And please leave me any comments or thoughts you may have on the project. I’d love to know what you think.