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 ...