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Post ‘Post Work in Progress Blog’

Right so ArtsLab does not just provide an exciting platform for the creation of a new work. It also flings the artist into a self governed process of boundary meeting.  It is giving clarity about me as much as it shapes my work.  I have actually been pushed well past my comfort zones in terms of how I create and I am totally stoked by what I found. The flip side is when you meet your potential you are meeting yourself much larger than you ever imagined and it totally messes with your sense of what you thought you were and what you have a choice over. It put me in a bad place for a little while were things were not so hot. Just cose you rock don’t mean you can’t get in your own way again and again. Stopping to redraw the boundary lines and figure out where I end and the work begins since I ‘bull in china shopped’ my artistic self off is taking much longer than I thought; mainly because I’m falling prey to old anxieties.

How brave am I going to be in making those new marks in the dirt? And what am I prepared to risk?

I have been oscillating between knowing and not knowing and frankly its exhausting because the personal and professional here are hard to separate. I do not think there are definite lines you can draw around these two or that we should but there needs to be systems for de tangling them when we need a break.

I think in a previous blog I mentioned the overwhelming affection I have for my work and what I do and that it resides in my belly. Sometimes I am totally blindsided by the impulses I get to do…well anything? It’s pretty ridiculous the things I will do when my imagination starts firing.

It’s like when you meet someone for the first time and there is that instant attraction -that kick in your guts- of desire that makes you capable of the most ridiculous acts in order to get close to someone. I get that at times about creative ideas, images, lines in a script, a phrase of music, its bloody overwhelming. (Do you see the privet professional world colliding in this metaphor..personal attraction as professional impulse Deep huh?)  Most of the time I can marvel at the things I dare to dream and do when this happens…really… it’s pretty awe inspiring. But sometimes the gut kick of ideas  triggers off something less welcome.

 I battle anxiety most days and when its at its worst and those chemicals fire off in my belly stimulating mind/body/soul – when you are at your worst the sad stuff you have inside you fires up too and pings around like crazy.

Stress as Felicity Nicol reminded me is number 3 on the list of artistic deaths. And since Work In Progress Showing finished there was a whole lotta stress. Really I created it myself over things I had no control over it was quite full on. Then there came a point where I fired up about some new script I was reading ideas were going off and was then was overwhelmed with sadness about things totally unrelated. The combination of anxiety over past events and future excitement have been so tangled up lately I felt like a total drama queen in my response my mantra ‘I don’t know what to do.’

Felicity N recommend that I do nothing just enjoy things for awhile and practice talking yourself off this ‘I don’t know’ ledge of hysteria.

She is a wise lady.

The hardest thing for me is to do is nothing.  But I have been giving it my darndest shot and the puzzle finally slid a little more into place last week. I had a debrief with Micahel P who was one of the last in a long line of conversations aimed at de tangling  my personal neurosis and my artistic identity (they don’t really live very far away)and he casually and empathetically imparted a simple lesson which when I look back has been the message all along.

First focus on the things you can control. It’s crazy how simple the things are we can control. I guess I am always looking for profundity and am surprised by simplicity. There was a huge personal revelation for me connected with this but in terms of my ArtsLab process I control how this work is shaped…


It might be bigger and more beautiful than I can imagine or anticipate but it is still mine to create. I get to choose how I approach it I do not have to apologies for any of it and I control when I take a step back and engage with it.

I choose when it’s personal and when its professional. I found great reserves of integrity and creative imagination to draw on by making my work intensely personal.  Now I am aiming to get out of its way and let it move past me! Try new ways of talking about my ideas use my collected skills to shape and build it up past its first embryonic form.

Next week begins some vigorous writing tasks, planning and consultation with other artist to whip me into shape as a performer and the dreaded production scheduling. This is my beast to nurture and create. It is mine to use as a tool of discovering what I need to function as an Artist. I can focus on that instead of the things I can’t control and have faith the rest will come when it’s good and bloody well ready.

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