Don’t tell anyone right, but Austin is one of the best cities in the entire world.
I talked about an earlier trip to Austin in an earlier blog so I’m sorry if you’re getting bored of me talking about it.
Also, not sorry.
Last time, I was in Austin for four days, doing a recce for David Leddy’s brilliant show Susurrus. This time, I was there for longer, setting the show up and making sure that the opening went smoothly and that staff and audiences were happy with the running of this very unique piece of theatre.
This trip could not have come at a better time. Our week at the Old Hairdresser’s and Stereo was incredibly fun and very rewarding (with WOLF playing her first ever headline solo gig among the highlights), but it was hard work and long days. In short, I was stressed out. The beginning of June marked three months left of Team Effort! and I was starting to freak out a bit about what to do next. People kept asking me what my plans for the project were, whether I was going to do it again and who the new artists would be. An awful lot of questions that I wasn’t able to answer.
So instead, I stressed myself out trying to think of answers that were not forthcoming. The thing about Team Effort! is that it was always supposed to be an experiment – a chance for us to ask questions of the way we work, the way we work together and how we can build a stronger artistic community. I could not imagine answering questions about “doing Team Effort! again” before we’d even had a chance to get some answers on our original questions.
Anyway, more on that over the next few blog posts, I’m sure.
I flew out to Texas with hunched shoulders and tired eyes. I felt lethargic, anxious and confused.
I love doing Susurrus for many reasons. I think it’s a great show. I get to travel to lots of lovely places. One of the main reasons, though, is that I get to be produced. As a producer, I’m used to booking people’s travel and accommodation, writing itineraries, planning for every possible eventuality. With Susurrus, a brilliant producer called Mhari Hetherington does all that, so I get to just turn up, get on with my job and then go home.
Being able to focus on doing one job well like this allowed me to stop panicking about what’s next for Team Effort! It allowed all those thoughts and ideas that had been panicking me at home to take a back seat in my mind and mull a little, while the majority of my focus was on making Susurrus as good as possible.
My shoulders relaxed. My eyes widened.
I sat in back yard bars with interesting people talking about my work in Scotland with animated fondness. I had the best BBQ food in America, went swimming in an enormous natural spring, played mini golf, went to roller derby and saw at least six real cowboys (one of whom parked this horse, in the picture above, outside a bar).
I returned totally re-energised and with head-space to think properly about what’s next for me and for Team Effort!
One thing is for certain, time is going to fly by.