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Monday, 2 January 2017

Time for the Solo Show - The wind of change blows up 2016's Brownskirt

GMT in Greenwich,
the birth place of time
So, last year is over and next year has already become this year. 2017 as a number is much sharper looking than the more curvaceous but ultimately bitter-tasting 2016. Not that I think too much can be attributed to a man-made concept such as a year. I think, even though we believe time runs forward, ahead of us like an arrow or a garden path, it is probably more like circles built on circles. That's why we use phrases like 'comes round quickly' and 'it'll be upon us before we know it'. We move forwards, we move back, we've had the time of our lives, time moves soooo slowly, we twist quickly through it and find ourselves blank from it. It sits in a clock and the clock is round, and the clock is the moon and the earth and all that is spinning. Spinning plates. We know something about those, don't we? I have often wondered how we are supposed to remain upright what with all this motion. 

Cindy Sherman pondering on success
Last year was about trying, failing, and trying again until I succeeded. My skin is getting thicker. Like when last year we pitched a TV idea to the BBC comedy department and they came back almost immediately and said it wasn't right for them. I shrugged it off without a sting. My producer friend said, 'It's not over. Loads gets rejected all the time. We'll just come up with something else.' 
'That's the ticket,' I thought.

The book mentioned
Last month Penelope Lively described how she thought the short story form had left her for good. For twenty years she hadn't had one urge to write short stories and then, she had a series of ideas, bolting into her mind, coming to her in her eighty-first year of life. It reminded me of when I read Elizabeth Gilbert's book on creativity called 'Big Magic' and how she thinks artistic ideas are forces that can arrive at you at any moment but if you're not open to them or grab hold of them they'll bob on until finding someone else who will make with
them. I like this, as if we're all live aerials.

Visiting Edinburgh Festival as a punter last summer taught me that so much art is a conversation with the audience. That people are learning on the job. They are seeing what works whilst working on it. And I'm all for taking off the pressure of being perfect first time round whenever I can. 

New pop socks for a new year
Finally I want to let you know that this blog is changing direction. This year it'll work more like an open journal. Late last year I was awarded an Arts Council Grant to write my alter ego Barbara Brownskirt's first solo stage show, 'WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? Barbara Brownskirt.' I caught hold of the idea about a year ago and have been nursing it ever since.
So from now on I shall be describing getting the solo show together, warts and all via this platform.
I want to chart the highs and the lows, not just because I said I would to the Arts Council, but because sometimes I'll arrive
somewhere without knowing how I got there. So, stick with me. It's going to get interesting. Also hopefully this charting will be a source of inspiration or motivation for any of you considering putting together a new project in this new clean sheet of a year. We're all in it together, after all.

1 comment:

  1. Spinning plates. So in fact the definition of "time" is an eternal episode of "Record Breakers" with Roy Castle from 1989... Jx