ArtsLab Shopfront's artists in residence

What am I doing?!?!?!?!?!

This is actually the inside of my brain

Really. What?

That is the point of this blog. To keep people informed as to how my process is processing and how the work is coming along. Essentially, this blog is that little swirly thing with a percentage count on a video that’s buffering. It tells you how close you are to having full (il)legal access to entertainment and art.

The metaphor is flawed. Earlier today I told a colleague that stalking was like cooking bacon. I think many of these things make sense in my head and my head alone.

ANYWAY. I am here. Telling you about my project. Buffering.

I’m not good at talking about my art. I always have a moral quandary when I tell someone I’ve got a play happening and they ask “what’s it about?”. They want to know what happens in the play, who the characters are, what the central conflict revolves around. I know that. But they ask what it’s ABOUT. It’s ABOUT something completely unrelated to the plot. Those characters and events and conflicts are just vehicles for the real ABOUT of the play. Which is something like “the fleeting nature of youth” or “the strength of friendship and how human beings can forge relationships with other human beings that are so strong they would give their own existence and lineage for the other and the mysterious nature of humanities capacity to love”. Except sometimes I can’t even confusingly explain THAT about, because the about doesn’t exist until they actually see the play and then come out with the about that they personally found within it. Which means I can’t tell them anything. So I resort to telling them what happens in the play, who the characters are and what the central conflict is. Which is what they wanted to know in the first place.

I am writing the play The Resurrection Men and the Lunatic. It focuses on a group of body snatchers in London in 1830. They are hungry and have turned to stealing bodies to sell to medical schools in order to make a living. They consistently sell bodies to Dr Fenn, who pays much more for a ‘fresh’ body than a rotting one.
He might also be a werewolf.

For my Work In Progress showing I’m making a film that consists of images and some action and projecting that off mirrors in Shopfront’s mirror room so that the space is filled with the images. I also will have live actors in the space. Combining these I hope to tell a small part of my play as well as convey the ideas I have researched into the creation of horror in the theatre. I’ll show off some props I’ve created and explore the ideas I’ve had about confusing an audience. Hopefully they work in this instance but I feel it won’t be until the final presentation that I succeed on this particular front.

I didn’t really articulate this at the start, but actually writing this whole plan is very uncomfortable for me. I’m always nervous about telling people how something is going to happen before it has happened. I never tell people what I’m bringing for dessert just in case some kitchen disaster occurs and I have to suddenly improvise something new. If everyone is expecting pavlova and end up with Eton mess, they’ll know something’s up. If I just turn up with Eton mess (an equally enjoyable dessert) no one will suspect the midnight trauma, the dropped meringue, the tears, the frustration, the hatred, the shame, the self-directed pep talk, the brave face, the kitchen looting, the new wave of confidence, the first sighting of a glimmer of hope and the proud sigh when success is achieved albeit in a different form than originally intended.

I’m scared if I fail now, I won’t be able to get away with the Eton mess as well as I could have were I working alone in a dark room with only myself.

I guess this is a risk I must take.

And since there is no proper way to really conclude a rant, I think I’ll just leave it there.

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