Monday, 24 August 2015

Looking Ahead

I've been thinking a lot recently about what I want to do in the future, where I see my life going, etc. Like everyone, I'm sure, I read those online articles about "What I Wish I'd Known When I Was Younger", "What I'd Tell My Younger Self", and the like, and they all say along the lines of 'pursue what makes you happy,' 'follow your heart', 'find your passion', or similar sorts of pseudo-motivational messages.

However, it's true. Life is too short to be doing things that you're not passionate about, so with that in mind, I wrote down the things that I am passionate about, the things I can talk about for hours on end and the things that really excite me.

I then looked at these elements and tried to think of ways to combine them; ways in which I can work that excite and motivate me. 

What I am Passionate About
* Theatre and New Theatre Development (Drama, Dance, Cabaret)
* New Artist Development (Mentoring, Development Schemes, Outreach)
* Supporting Children & Young People (especially disenfranchised, at risk or in need)
* Empowerment through Creativity
* Charity (especially MySmallHelp)

What I Want To Do
* Combine my passions
* Work as a dramaturg to support, develop and create new writers, artists, performers and practitioners and push the boundaries of theatrical experience.
* Co-ordinate through artist development within an organization (or by creating my own organization) to liaise and create opportunities for performance, development, outreach and cross-cultural exchange.

There was more that I came up with but some of it was deeply personal or a 'pipe-dream' so to speak, and I don't want to make everything public! :D

So, feedback, ideas and suggestions welcome; which careers or routes will allow me to combine my passions, and what do I need to do to get there?

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Research

Having chosen the productions relevant to my research I have begun interviewing the Directors and Writers of those plays.

I had intended to do this by conducting video interviews with open ended questions, however time constraints and logistics have proved this to not be possible so far. I have, however, been able to communicate with them by email and they have, so far, been able to provide some interesting insights to my questions.

Image Source: topnews.in

My reading and analysis is turning up some interesting stuff: through my research I decided to go all the way back to the very first theatre practitioners, the Ancient Greeks: Aristotle is widely recognised as being the first writer to speculate on the nature of theatre and its practice and place in society (what effect theatre has on those who take part in it and view it.) This led me to read more from the Greek philosophers, and in particular Plato: in Plato's Republic he speculates, through the characters of Socrates and Adeimantus, on their ideal city state and what does, or doesn't, have a place in this supposed utopia. In one chapter they discuss the place of the mimetic art and that of the rhapsodists in the republic and decide that all art which depicts the 'less than perfect' should not be allowed.

Image Source: hannahrendtcenter.org
I first read Plato during the Module Two section on ethical practice, when I became a little bit obsessed with the study of ethics!

I began thinking about this in relevance to my research, the 'why do we bother' question. With so much modern theatre depicting very brutal or unsettling scenes, or events that may hit close to home with the audiences, what place does this art have?

So I've decided to change the title of my research, from the working title of 'Why Do We Bother? An Investigation Into The Impact And Effect Of New Writing' to 'What Place Does Modern Theatre Have In Modern Society?' 

I feel this is a relevant title for the research I am conducting. And I may pop a subtitle in there of 'Why Do We Bother?' just for the hell of it :P


Monday, 17 August 2015

Planning Pseudonyms

During Module Two when I began my research for Module Three (and thinking ahead to final presentations/artefacts!) I planned to identify productions taking place at the Finborough Theatre that fit within my specifications:

The specifications I set myself when planning research

Given the specifications, within time constraints and other commitments I was able to identify five productions taking place within a relatively short period that fit within my requirements and provided a wide scope of styles and performance/production elements within the stipulation of 'the last ten years.'

In order to protect the privacy of those I am interviewing regarding these productions, I have decided to ascribe pseudonyms to each person. Since I have a tentative plan in mind for my final artefact, and since Ancient Greece is credited with being the birthplace of theatre as we know it (and for my own, geeky, amusement) I have assigned names based on Ancient Greek mythology.

Pseudonyms used during research

For the purposes of data protection I have created a locked file on my computer that contains the cross-references, name for name.

I haven't yet decided whether to assign names to the productions I am using as well - what do you think?

Monday, 3 August 2015

Updates

It's been a while since my last blog post, so I thought I'd write a quick update to let everyone know what I've been up to!

I'm still working full time, and still volunteering at the Finborough Theatre, where I am also working as Literary Assistant. I am planning on beginning my research in mid-August which will allow me time to investigate several different productions (more on this in my next blog!)

At the 30th Birthday celebrations for Dancia 

Through the Finborough I have been able to gain experience of different areas of working on a production: a couple of months ago I was Press Assistant for a new play, and I am currently Assistant Producer for a show that is having its European premiere at the end of August.

Pre-Production image for This Heaven - Nicole Lecky as Sissy

I blogged a couple of months ago about the charity I support, MySmallHelp, and thanks to some lovely people who donated, I was able to send two aid parcels out to their earthquake relief fund. 

In my spare time I'm working on a story that I've had in my head for over a year (I don't want to say 'book' or 'novel' as I think that sounds a little ambitious at the moment!) I'm really excited about it as it's based on my experiences as a performer, with obvious dramatic license taken!

Image Source: Wikipedia

I've also got a few more projects that I'm trying to get off the ground for next year, fingers crossed though, as these are only in the very beginning of the planning stages!

And speaking of planning, I've been reading more and planning for the research I'm going to do as part of Module 3: I've read quite a few books and articles relating to the subject of my investigation and I can't wait to get started!