Although I have been a little absent from this research blog for several weeks, I can assure you that I have been working hard to create the ‘performative’ aspect of the result of all this thinking and pondering.
This result, I have decided to call “Days like These” and it will debut on Monday 16th January at York St John University as part of my final examination for a MA in Performance.
As a little treat, here are some of the images taken by Elfi Childs – I can highly recommend her work if you’re ever in need of a photographer.
I will be stood on stage, all of the issues will have been resolved, such is theatre, ‘the show must go on’.
I seem to have made a piece of theatre which has both acting ‘proper’ and performing ‘contemporary’ styles in it.
I will admit to being very afraid, and slightly cross at myself.. I can never just make anything simple… I am afraid because I don’t believe I can ‘act’, I feel like I’m going for an audition, I am massively out of my comfort zone and very worried about fucking it up – everyone knows that performance is infinitely easier because if you fuck up its much easier to cover.
… I feel like I need to find the shoes, build a character, know where they’ve been when they enter the stage and also know where they’re going when the leave….
I am always keen to make eye contact, to see my audience, tell them a story, make sure they’re watching…. when the 4th wall is up it’s so much harder. I feel stupid, pretending. It feels like hard work ‘being’ someone else…. wishing I had done that degree in acting, although without the degree in performance I wouldn’t be here, making my ‘own’ work.
It’s going to be a long week, but in 7 days and 45 minutes I will be able to breathe a sigh of relief, for better or worse, the show must go on.
Thankfully I have faith in process and in theatre, a show in the right order, with the right words in the right place, with the right tone and pace will show itself. If I just keep on looking for it.
I think I am making a ‘play’ though, or at least recycling one, I have started to envision the action as divided into thirds; set up – deconstruction – resolution…. I think I will use this format for the evenings re-write… praying my mini-dv camera holds up – it refused to close with the cassette tape in today – it most definitely needs replacing, just hoping it will cease to function a week today and not tomorrow.
[Drafting words to say on stage]
I’m looking for a girl, I don’t know if you’ve seen her she’s all skin and bones and hair and black eyeliner. In the bottom of her bag she’s got 20 Marlboro lights. She’s stashed them there, she knows at the end of the night she’ll still be the one with cigarettes, a friend she once knew reminds her of this, only by then it’s later, much later. In fact it’s too late, she doesn’t have the cigarettes anymore, instead she offers him a roll up…
[‘roll up’ – susan smokes roll ups in scene 11, old Holborn – she rolls her own, ‘no flies on her’ ]
They talk about the old days, its never the new days, just the ‘back in the day’, days. Only there are no old days, there’s only what I remember.
She kept these notebooks you see, she kept them knowing they were important. What I mean is she knew they felt important when she was making them at the time. And I think she knew that one day I would come looking for her and that I would find her here in these books. I doubt she knew that I wouldn’t recognise her.
[She/ I /Her]
There’s a girl. The play’s about this woman. The play’s about this girl who becomes a woman and this woman never lets go of this girl, this girl she was in the story, the girl in the play, she can’t move on… One night the woman catches sight of herself in the mirror, she catches sight of herself as a girl. One night the woman catches sight of herself in a mirror and sees the girl looking back.