The *idea* of death may save us

It seems such a cliche to write about death.  At some point the coward parts of me wrote it off as ‘ too difficult'; lumped into the category of ‘things reserved for great writers’ along with ‘love’ or ‘sex’ or ‘faith'; not for the likes of me.  But writing anything at all is like pulling teeth for me right now and ascribing so many important subjects as off limits isn’t helping.

Considering it’s such a major inevitability (and one of the few we all share), it still surprises me how little we all seem to speak or think or talk about death.   Instead of coming together over our shared circumstances, what seems to result is a collective muteness.  I know this isn’t a coincidence, but instead some kind of double bluff, which allows us to continue to live knowing death exists and yet never really having to accept it’s reality.

I’ve been thinking a lot about death recently because last week Dave died. It happened very suddenly.  I was struck at how surprised I was that a person could be there one moment, a stable fixture in your world, and then suddenly not. It made me think about the difference between knowing something to be true and actually experiencing it’s reality.  It made me think about not taking all this for granted.

Amongst his many acts of kindness Dave was one of the people who commented most on this blog and who supported me most in my writing. As someone whose confidence wobbles precariously, that was something I appreciated massively, something I will miss massively.  I really wanted to write something to acknowledge that and to say thanks in some small way.

I’ve found myself returning again and again to a line I read in the book ‘Love’s Executioner and other tales of Psychotherapy’ by Irvin D Yalom (which is well worth a read btw):

‘though the *fact*, the physicality of death destroys us, the idea of death may save us’.

My reading was this: that when we realise, fully, that our time is limited, and that when we accept this, completely, we will stop obsessing over the minuet of our everyday problems. The idea of death will make us brave.  Hopefully the knowledge that soon all that will be left of us is memories in those that live on will make us kind. And good.

Previously instead of freeing me, as Love’s Executioner suggested it might, in a period of intense depression and anxiety I let death haunt me.   I felt no liberation, only a massive pressure to achieve before it was too late.  And whilst I knew that somehow I had taken the wrong thing away with me, I didn’t know how to rectify it and so I went back to a place of not thinking about any of this, which psychologically felt much safer.

This isn’t something I can answer easily, or wrap up into a neat conclusion. All I know is it can’t hurt to occasionally revisit how you live with and balance these two things:

the knowledge of your own death and limited time

and the potentially immobilising panic that may bring.

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13 for 13, 2013 in lists

I know a lot of folks like to sneer at new year rituals: all the resolutions that never make it past February and the failed promises. But the way I see it periods of reflection are so important: we spend so much of our lives being busy busy busy that we rarely step back: look at our lives and how we are living and think about if it’s really what we want.

I’ve written next to nothing in 2013 and whilst I do feel bad about that (writing is a muscle that you need to exercise like any other, yeah?!) I also feel proud of the way that I took some risks and pushed myself out of my comfort zone this year. In 2012 I got really ill with depression and anxiety and my life really shrunk back because of it. I really wanted to change that and to feel my world expand again. I knew it wouldn’t be easy and I def do not have everything sorted yet. I still have those moments of panic where I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing with my life or feeling totally overwhelmed by everything, that I need to get back inside where it’s safe: but they do pass, eventually.

2013 def had it’s challenges but I’m trying my very bestest not to beat myself up about the stuff I didn’t do so well or focus on all the bad shit. So in the spirit of accentuating the positive (and inspired by some of the awesome posts I’ve read from some awesome people here here  here here here) here’s a list of 13 things I loved or was proud of myself about from 2013.  I do this not to convince you guys how awesome I am, but to remind myself of the good shit when I have black days and to tie up the threads before I get started on 2014. Some of you may have also been wondering where I got to recently.  I guess this is where.   Thinking about my list has make me realise that pretty much none of the things I feel most proud of would have happened without me shouting down the voice in my head that told me I couldn’t do it or that I couldn’t cope. Which in itself is a lesson and a half.

Alright 2013 lets have ya…

1) I wrote a piece for Poor Lass
Which is a wonderful positive collective zine by working class grrrls I’m massively proud to be associated with

2886026_10152584640720442_1873987895_o) I played songs and people danced.
Two super lovely ladies Shelly and Ali invited me to play at their wicked awesome clubnight Other Animals where I played Monie Love and Queen Latifah to punk kids

3)…and then I dj’ed at my friend Lucy’s hen party where 20 odd beautiful ladies slam danced to Rage Against the Machine and it was wild.

4) I was a reading mentor
I began my second year volunteer1453460_10153459064880442_1720301990_ning with a charity called Beanstalk. Twice a week I walk up the hill from work to go and help three primary school kids learn how to read. I actually really love telling stories and it’s pretty cool watching the kids get better at reading and more confident. They also call me Miss Kaye which is totally wild.

5) I discovered amazing new music, books, films, tv

Y’know how when yr old and you think you have already discovered all there is to discover? It’s never true! This year I was tripping out on new found love for Rvivr, Orange is the New Black, films by Spike Lee and Mark Duplass, Angel Haze and B.S. Johnston

255640_10152782869885442_1478462662_n6) I went to New York for the first time

Due to being a broke ass bitch I hadn’t left the country in SIX YEARS. My wonderful friend John invited me to go and visit him and his beautiful girlfriend Kelly and stay at Kelly’s flat. It was pretty mind blowing to go to a place I never thought I’d see, which is so far away, navigating the subway by myself, meeting lots of rad new people, doing the walk of shame through Central Park, that sort of thing. I still can’t believe any of it actually happened.

7) I meditated (nearly) every day
I’ve been meditating now for a year and it’s one of the best things I do for my mental health. It’s not always easy and having the discipline to do it every day is tough, I’m proud of myself for sticking with it.

8) I ran up Shipley glen.  Ok so this year my fitness wasn’t at the level it was in 2012 but I still ran up a really goddamn big hill yeah?!

9) I went o1014918_10151646365707182_1139501989_on as many mini adventures with my awesome friends as I could
I don’t have much money but I do have lots of amazing friends who let me crash on their floors and share their fun times in places like Sunderland, Brighton, Hornsea, The Yorkshire Dales…It sounds like a bullshit cliche but I am seriously so grateful to have such a wonderful network of grade A friends in my life.

10) I did a talk about per-zines

I do at Bradford Baked Zines not like public speaking, tbh I’d rather stick forks in my eyes but in May I did a talk as part of Bradford Baked Zines with my amazing friends Cat and Emma. It was super personal and precious and scary but I’m glad I did it

b311d59a0b5311e3a6fb22000a1fafd6_711) I climbed three mountains in one day
Me and my mate Rachel Stanton did the Yorkshire three peaks challenge back in August. It was really hard and we got lost on the final mountain in dwindling light and had to be led off down a massive ravine in the dark by a potholer called john faraway which sounds funny now but really wasn’t at the time.

12) I started dating someone (who happens to be a girl)
Being in a relationship is scary: someone else will see you when you are vulnerable and there’s the possibility it could all go massively wrong and you could get hurt. But it’s also pretty wonderful to have someone amazing to share all the beautiful strangeness in the world. Yes I had (have) stuff to deal with with my own and other people’s presumption that I was basically a straight girl and casual homophobia but mainly all in all it’s been pretty cool (;

13) I went to a restaurant and ate by myself

A couple of years ago this would never have happened.  And sometimes it’s the big things that show you that stuff is changing and sometimes it’s the little things (:

Peace and love for 2014, let’s rock it x

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20 films I’m glad I’ve seen

So Em Ledger wrote this really cool blog post about 20 films she loved in response to our conversation about Spike Lee’s films list. She asked for other folks to write about the films they loved and why they loved them, so I thought I’d give it a bash. It’s prob obvious from what yr about to read that unlike Em I’m no film studies graduate (though I once studied a module on post-war European cinema, oh yes)…

Annie Hall (Woodie Allen 1977)

This is one of those films that when I watched it I had to keep looking back to check when it was made. It’s so innovative in form, the way Alvy keeps breaking the fourth wall to address the camera and the wacky narrative structure. Annie Hall is full my kind of humour: intelligent, self-deprecating and neurotic. The dialogue between Alvy and Annie is a joy.

Pepi, Luci Y Bom (Almodovar, 1981)


When I was studying European cinema I remember being introduced to Almodovar and just being utterly blown away. He is so so great with female characters and he doesn’t shy away from the dark or depraved and yet his films always also show the crazy and beautiful side of Spanish society (and Spain in one of my favourite places ever so that makes this extra special). Pepi, Luci Y Bom is an amazing outrageous punk girl gang revenge comedy. It was also on Em’s list.

Pi (1998 Darren Aronofsky)

Seriously, this film, I have never seen anything like it, it totally messed with my brain. Surreal, beautiful, massively scary. I think this is how other people feel about Lynch (who aside from Twin Peaks I never really got). Imagine you dropped a shit tonne of acid and watched My Beautiful Mind.

BeetleJuice (Tim Burton, 1988)

Tim Burton in the glory years. This is a film which reminds me of hanging out with my dad (my dad had a habit of showing me films which were massively unsuitable for my age range, I reckon it’s part of the reason my head is so kooky). Yet another darkly funny outsider film. Winnona Ryder is amazing as Lydia (a character I really identified with) and the dance scene to Jump In The Line is one of my favourite ever cinema moments.

Fugazi – Instrument (Jem Cohen, 1999) Whenever I feel really low or burnt out or disillusioned with everything I put this film on and it’s like connecting myself to a power socket. Fugazi are one of my favourite bands, not just because of their music (which is rad) but also because of their DIY politics. Cohen has collected awesome live footage, candid interviews (where the band are actually *shock* really funny), and really sweet video of the audience at the shows. Cohen was obviously a collaborator who totally got it rather than someone just drafted in to do a band video (what else would you expect from fugazi?!) The icecream eating mother fucker line is pure beauty and every time I watch this film I’m reminded of all the best bits of DIY culture and want to get off my ass and GET SHIT DONE!

The Hours (Daldry, 2002)

I don’t normally like film adaptions of books or films about writers (get me started on Gwyneth Paltrow playing Sylvia Plath and you better put your tin hat on) but The Hours is different. Based on the book of the same name it is an intelligent and ambitious film which interweaves the story of three women from different eras. Paying homage to Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, it looks at the minute detail of a single day in a story which has much wider resonances. Nicole Kidman nails it as Woolf and its one of the best portrayals of mental illness I’ve seen on screen.

The Lives of Others (Donnersmark, 2006)  The lives of others is up there at the top of my favourite film list. Set in East Germany in 1980’s it centres around a Stasi officer who is monitoring a playwright and his partner. Despite being based in a very specific period of history Donnersmark has commented that It is more an ‘a basic expression of the believe in humanity, than an account of what actually happened’.  I love it because of how powerfully moving it is about abuses of state power, bravery, redemption, standing up for what you know is right despite the threat of persecution. It also gets bonus points for its head nod to Brecht.

Buffalo 66 (Gallo 1998)

At some point there’s gonna be some dramatic revelation about how Gallo didn’t actually make Buffalo 66 and i’ll breathe a sigh of relief. Gallo is a complete objectionable tool, he has offensive views on pretty much everything – a history of racism and misogyny – (he called Ricci who is phenomenal here a ‘puppet’). And yet I love this film, I really really love it and I genuinely don’t know how this man managed to make something so beautiful. I love the dark humour, bleak sweeping cinematography, the dysfunctional but oddly endearing romantic relationship and the painfully uncomfortable family home. I just can’t believe it came from Vincent Gallo
Me without You (Goldbacher, 2001)


One of my main issues with Spike Lee’s film list was that it didn’t contain one film directed by a woman. Me Without You is a film which nails the madly intense love hate relationship between girl friends and in my opinion it couldn’t have been made by a man. Plus it’s all about me (bookish political lass who studies English at Sussex Uni who ends up dating her friend’s brother, it’s me, just, y’know, posh). It’s not a perfect film, there are some cringey moments but it’s so refreshing to see female friendships (rather than romantic relationships) being the focus.

Brassed Off (1996, Mark Herman)

Brassed Off was an important film for me because it’s one I watched with my parents and led to some really important conversations about who I am, where I come from and what happened to South Yorkshire (and other industrial towns in England and Wales) under Thatcher. In light of the white washing of history that happened with Thatcher’s death this is especially important. Danny’s speech makes my mum cry.

Down By Law 1986 Jim Jarmusch

Jim Jarmusch is one of my favourite film directors, he has massive crazy hair and that’s how you know he’s gonna be a good director. He has this really dark sense of humour which I love and a really interesting approach to narrative structure. His films look stunning and the dialogue is always so carefully written and pitch perfect. Down By law is an unusual take on the jailbreak film which had me laughing so hard, Tom Waits is hysterical in it.

La Haine, (1995, Mathieu Kassovitz)

Whilst not exactly a laugh a minute, this film shaped my perception of what cinema could be (it was one of the first indies I watched). Beautifully shot and with a bad ass sound track It focuses on the darker side of Paris; racial prejudice, violence, hate and exclusion. These are stories that need to be told

Never Sorry: Ai Wei Wei (2012, Alison Klayman)

I love biopic films especially those that teach me about inspiring places and people I’ve never heard of. I wasn’t familiar with Ai Wei Wei before watching the film but I’d heard a lot of people talking about him. Ai Wei Wei is a massively celebrated Chinese artist, but his art is provocative and often critical of the Chinese government (one of his projects involved collecting the names of all the students who died in the Sichuan earthquake, the tragedy of which was made worse by the shoddy building work in schools in the region). Ai Wei Wei has been beaten up and inprisoned for his work and I really loved how close to him this documentary got and the way it looked at what made him do the things he does. This is an awesome film.

Do The Right Thing (Spike Lee 1989)

I’ve only recently been getting to grips with Spike Lee but he’s awesome and a massively important director. This is a film which looks the racial tension in America full in the face, but somehow manages to alternate blistering humour and tragedy to awesome effect (I think this is a common characteristic of films I love). I totally buzz on all the Public Enemy references plus when I watched it I’d just got back from New York and was totally in love with the place.

We are poets, (Daniel Lucchesi, Alex Ramseyer-Bache 2012)


I’ve actually already written a blog post about this film it’s so great! Set in LEEDS We Are Poets follows the journey of Leeds Young Authors to compete in the International Poetry Slam in Washington DC. You should watch this if you think you hate poetry.

Pump Up the Volume (1990 Allen Moyle)

I love teen flicks and this one is set in the 90’s, focuses on punk outsiders and is chock full of black humour. Plus the sound track has Bad Brains, The Pixies, The MC5s and Leonard Cohen which is basically like crawling inside my teenage skull and rolling around. This film is about Mark who is a straight laced high school kid who secretly runs a pirate radio station using his bad boy alter ego ‘Hard Harry’. He uses this as a way to connect to other freaks who don’t fit in and TALK REAL. When I first watched this film I was miserable as hell in a straight laced college where I was expected to be proper and academically excellent. I also had a secret life as a zine writer, hanging out a gay clubs, squat parties and DIY punk gigs. The notion of pseudonyms and alter egos still obsesses me today. Also the Eat Me Beat Me lady is my role model.

Persepolis (2007 Vincent Parronaud )

An animated coming of age story set in Iran. I love that Persepolis is written from real experience rather than just being a story about the ‘marginalised other’ written from a position of privilege. Persepolis is really funny and i can identify with so many of the internal clashes that Marjane goes through as an outsider upon going to University in Austria (along with her battles with depression). This film taught me a hell of a lot about Iranian history and changed my perceptions (I have to admit I rocked up knowing jack). If you haven’t watched this yet promise you’ll watch the subtitled version, the dubbed version is bobbins.

I’m no Angel (Wesley Ruggles 1933)

Mae West was such a bad ass. Funny, filthy, fierce: it blows my mind that she wrote and starred in this in 1933. I’m no angel is west at her wise cracking, screen grabbing best, this is one of the few films of hers the censors didn’t get hold of so you get bawdiness a plenty.

Everything is Illuminated (2005, Liev Schreiber)

Another film based on a book! This is about the awesomely geeky Jonathan and his journey to the Ukraine to discover the history of his family. It juxtaposes really funny moments with heartbreak, tragedy and stunning cinematography and this mixture is such a sucker punch. I’m really interested in memory, history and obsessively collecting momentos from your life so this film is like a dream for me. Also as a vegetarian who has been to Eastern Europe the potato scene had me rolling round with laughter.

Your Sister’s Sister (2011 Lynn Shelton)

Em got me started on Mumblecore and I’ve loved finding out about the Duplass brothers and co! My Sister’s Sister is probably my favourite film of the genre I’ve seen so far because it’s so funny and it really gets the complicated nature of modern relationships. I think in truth I massively identify with the bumbling emotionally messy Jack. Oh and Mark Duplass is totally cute in it.

Anyway that’s a wrap. If you read this far you deserve a sticker…Now tell me yours!

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Arts marketing and Bill Hicks

People who know my politics sometimes raise an eyebrow when I tell them what I do.
‘It’s ok’. I say ‘You can laugh if you want to. It is kinda funny’.

Then: ‘how did that happen? How do you square that with yr politics?’

One thing at a time. I didn’t choose a career in arts marketing, it kinda chose me. I have a natural way with words so I was kinda shunted in the direction of marketing, despite some of my initial concerns that I was being inducted into some kind of dark art. In terms of employment sometimes you go where yr needed and where the money is. If I can work with art and words and theatre and use it to pay the bills, I consider myself pretty lucky. I consider myself lucky every day.

Me and Bill Hicks have lots of talks. ‘Bill Hicks is the only man I’d marry and he’s dead’ I say. I wish he were still alive. He’d have so much to say about the world today. I miss Bill. Anyway we talk and I’m like ‘Bill what’s with that goat boy shit?’ and in response he throws it at me: y’know that whole ‘By the way, if anyone here works in marketing or advertising, kill yourself…you are satan’s spawn, filling the world with bile and garbage, you are fucked and you are fucking us, kill yourself’.

Oh Bill.

I’ll admit it, marketing and anti-capitalist politics are not natural bedfellows.

Convince someone they have a lack, which they probably don’t actually have, then persuade them that their lack can be filled with your product, which it probably can’t, so get them to come back and buy the new model, try something else.

I find much of the language of marketing distasteful:
Brand. Product. Demographic. Market penetration.

Blah blah blah.

And I think of Audre Lorde’s quote about not being able to use the master’s tools to dismantle his house. But seriously: parts of marketing are interesting. They are! It’s useful to know how it operates in order to make you buy more stuff, so you can resist it, if that’s what you want to do. Or you can use it to find ways to advocate something you love.

Yeah you heard me, something you love.
It’s my trump card Bill.
Marketing and advertising is fine (maybe even, shock, essential, in this increasingly noisy world) to spread the word on something wonderful and life changing and beautiful.

You heard me Bill.
Suck it up.
My trump card. Believe in your product. (But don’t call it your product, cuz that’s kinda lame).

I have issues with the art world which are bound up with my politics. I have issues with elitism and exclusion and snobbery. I have issues when intelligent people tell me theatre or painting or poetry isn’t for them, that they don’t understand it, then come out with some cutting, insightful response which blows my mind. I think this means that we are failing. I have issues with the way we communicate and the implicit messages we are sending out about who is welcome and who is worthy. And actually, the marketing department is quite a good place to be
stood if you have these issues.

I don’t have much time for ‘push marketing’. For a start, it doesn’t really work. But you stand there shouting into a bucket if you like love. I have issues with spin and pretending everything is brilliant and amazing when sometimes things are difficult and work is mediocre.

The good news is that most audiences have issues with these things too.

Audiences aren’t stupid (or all the same) and if we treat them like they are we’re onto a loser from the start.

The majority of your audience know how marketing works and are bored with being sold things constantly. They are tuning out of the noise.

I’ve always been interested in communicating with people. As a kid I spent hours making magazines. As a teenager I made zines (I still do) and I wanted to know what people thought about what I was writing.

There’s a part of this equation we’re all missing when all we’re doing is talking about how great we are. We fail to listen.

Let me put it another way. If you met someone and all they did was talk on and on about how great they were and they never listened to you, or worse, they pretended to listen without actually giving a shit, you probably wouldn’t want to be friends with them.

You might even want to punch them in the face.

Marketing should not be one way traffic, it should be responsive, personal and have integrity.

It should run through your organisation. There is no point having swish print and web presence positioning yourself as this nice welcoming organisation when your front of house staff are out there sneering at folks and being rude.

None of this is rocket science. And I know we’ve got a way to go.

And when things get hard I reassure myself with this: whatever I end up doing next, whatever challenges I face; promoting obscure, experimental theatre to the residents of a deprived post industrial northern town will stand me in good stead.

Because sometimes it feels like if I can do that. I can do anything.

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Writing for our lives

‘This is a huge world. The world is so much bigger than yr problems. It’s so much bigger than the PTSD that you probably have from growing up in a culture that hates queer people, hates people of colour, hates women…we don’t get out of it without being damaged. But we can pull ourselves out’ Michelle Tea

Allllll the way back in May I did an event with the awesome Cat Simons and Em Ledger talking about per-zines and our writing. It was a pretty intense experience and Em has already written a super awesome post about it here, but seen as my work ethic when it comes to my own writing is practically none existent it’s taken me this long to tie some of the threads together.

perzines

As we all chatted about some of the things we’ve survived and experienced and how we used writing to give a voice to that, a common theme emerged for me. We live in a culture which is at times intensely damaging and abusive and often these experiences get sucked in and internalised (especially for women who are socialised to turn their anger and hurt inwards). The flip side for all three of us was that writing (and zines) exist as a strategy for navigating ourselves out of that place and as a way of connecting to others who had been through the same shit. There was also a determination as all three of us grew up to reach out to a younger generation going through similar situations, to ‘be the person you needed when you were younger’. Zines also exist as a really important way for those of us who don’t have the confidence to get up on stage and play in a band (or whose talents just lie elsewhere) to participate in DIY scenes.

This talk came just after the Just Do(ing) It Again Conference and my head was thinking about some of the debates which went on about whether cultural activity is really political, or if it is just froth (like on a cappuccino). The way that I see it is this: without this work, without the strength and encouragement which comes from sharing our stories and without looking after each other and looking after our mental health, I for one am no use to anyone whatsoever. This is not an exaggeration, those who know me know that when I’m really bad I can barely even leave the house, nevermind start the fucking revolution. I have (finally) accepted that I have a chronic mental health condition. So none of this is optional for me; without management (be that meds, or exercise, or time out, or meditation, or support from good people, or writing) things quickly get out of control. That’s just the way it is. But I also know that when I look after myself properly and get my shit together I am pretty much unstoppable.

One of my friends who isn’t involved in Riot Grrrl once asked me why the girls in the scene were all lovely but a bit…mental. At first I took offense, but then I realised she kinda had a point. Living in a world which objectifies and abuses you isn’t easy and it can slowly but surely fuck you up. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that so many of us coming up through this scene have pretty gnarly stories from our teenage years. And our recognition of the systematic as well as personal abuses of power that create our histories and our subsquent resistance and healing of ourselves and our communities will, for me, always be a political act.

But it’s more than that.

We are writing for our lives.

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Per-zine discussion event: Saturday 18th May

Rachel:

Oh my goodnessssssssss. Come and meet me (and my seriously awesome friends) in real life! I don’t talk about my writing in public very much cuz i’m a big scardy cat. Let’s do this thing!

Originally posted on Bradford Baked Zines:

2 – 3.30pm ‘It’s common, but we don’t talk about it'; personal writing, zines and autobiography

Rachel Kaye, Em Ledger and Cat Simons

What makes a good per-zine? Why use a pen name? What happens when you share your darkest secrets in your zines? What subjects would we never write about?
In the grand tradition of per-zines we’ll be over sharing our experiences of writing about the personal in this informal, round table event. Including zine readings, discussion and a chance to ask your questions. You are welcome to bring along your own personal writing to read and share.

With Rachel Kaye, Catriona Simons and Em Ledger.

 

Rachel Kaye started an ill advised, long term love affair with zines when she was 14 and published Toast and Jam – collected stories of surviving eating disorders. Since then she has sporadically published Footsteps in the Dark, a per-zine (and now a blog) of whispered secrets, as…

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Make some more noise (part one).

So last week I had my first session as part of the ‘community lab’ with the company Unlimited Theatre, publishing/tech types Storythings and research types at the University of Dundee on Make Some More Noise.

They are working on ‘a brand new, take home experience for mobile devices.  A type of digital bottle that recreates the unique sound, lighting and atmosphere produced through live theatre performance, but handcrafted using technology.’

Part hive mind, part guinea pigs, we’ll be testing, suggesting and feeding back. Cool huh?

I got involved because aside for my interest in things digital and love of stories, I heart Unlimited’s work.  Theatre that feels like being hugged by an old friend, only when you walk away you realise there’s a note about an insurrectionary meeting down at the docks in your pocket.

Or. Something.

There’s a generosity of spirit evident throughout this process.  For a start it’s admitted that this is something quite new and, that to some extent, we are all making this up as we go along.

There’s a generosity too in opening up the development process so honestly.  Reading a script at this stage feels like a gift.  Even as someone who works in a theatre which specialises in the development of new work, this level of access is fairly rare.  And there’s a reason for this; as work develops things get messy.  Ideas are developed, then scrapped wholesale.  Emotions run high.  People fall out. Things that should work, just don’t.  And on the flip side a lot of audiences want to be presented with something neat and polished and…finished. But me, I’m relishing being able to get a closer look.

I should mention too the generosity of those participating in the labs, a range of people from different walks of life giving their time just to see if they can make something cool happen.

It  all feels…kinda…nice.

Despite being digital friendly (whatever the hell that means, I just made that up) I’m a stickler for print.  I never read lengthy texts on screen, maybe because I associate screens with work.  Or maybe I’m just old school like that.

I’ve started thinking about what would need to happen for me to make the leap.

I’m not sure yet.  And also I’m not sure what happens next.

But I think back to what one of my old science teachers once told me.

He said, ‘Rachel, it’s not really an experiment if you know what the result will be before you start’.

Onwards.

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