I’m on the train to Edinburgh and just realised that the right shift button on my little keyboard isn’t doing what it’s supposed to… no matter.
i’m (see!) heading to the Traverse because we’re teching for the Polar Bears Go Wild! which is about to start a three-week run, two shows a day, lots of kids, lots of me sweating in a fur coat and wooly hat under hot lights, lots of laughing, lots of trying not to annoy my co-polar-bear, and hopefully lots of trying to take stock and enjoy the fact that performing in my own show wot i have made is something I’ve wanted and worked at and made happen. living the dream!
This reminds me that reflection and taking time to enjoy successes and analyse challenges is not something I’ve given much attention to over the past few years and this has resulted in a felt lack. I can see all the work I’ve done written down on a CV and I can see the images on a website that prove I made the work, but I don’t quite feel the accumulation of a developed practice in my bones. And I think I would like to have that.
Part of it is to do with taking on and creating work responding to a range of different briefs in lots of different contexts. For while I wondered if I should just refuse anything that hadn’t just come from my own desires, but that’s quite difficult practically (is it?) and I’m often very inspired by responding to those briefs as long as I can respond in a way that fits with my practice. (using the word ‘brief’ is making me a bit queasy as it sounds businessy and also like pants).
I think the way forward is to devise a framework around my work that makes it clear that this is a practice – an ongoing enquiry. Then it’s possible to look at each project, and devise new projects, and see if they fit within that enquiry. I’m sure Team Effort is a good place to work on this.
Gilly has already been great trying to tease out what’s going on with me, and slowly but surely with a lot of questions and mild bullying, it feels like we’re coming up with some barriers for me to work through. Yes, it does feel a bit like therapy. Good. The first thing we’ve done is make a five-point manifesto or statement of where I’m at now – what’s alive for me as Nic Green might say – something I can use to form 5 corners of a pentagonal framework. Here are the points:
1. I am funny
2. I am (pretty fucking) queer
3. I love/hate nostalgia
4. I am an eclectic live artist
5. My words have power
This last one was the trickiest to squeeze out!
I’ve also been thinking about imposters – not wanting to be found out as one, but also wanting to take on the role of an imposter sometimes as it seems to be a strategy that works for some others…
Anyhoo, back to the bears now…