Artist diaries: Miranda #3

Miranda

Miranda:

The final week of rehearsal has been all about fine-tuning: pushing back all the furniture in my living room and practising each section over and over again, filming myself, watching it back, tweaking a bit, filming myself again, watching it back, tweaking again.

On Tuesday morning before I began rehearsing I found a half-drowned mouse in my kitchen sink. I tried to rescue it but it died in front of my eyes. I hoped it wasn’t a metaphor for the state of my performance.

I had a few days of minor panic where I felt like I’d completely forgotten what I was trying to say with my piece, and had a suspicion it might be a load of bollocks. But then I did some thinking and remembered, and felt OK again.

I did a bit of lying awake at night, reciting my lines over and over to myself. Felt a bit like Lady Macbeth only less murdery.

Had a rehearsal with Becky, who’ll be BSL interpreting my piece. Having Becky with me on stage added an interesting new dynamic – there were a few moments I was having trouble with but having another person to interact with at those moments really helped them along.

My outrageous costume arrived. I’m both in love with and horrified by it.

Two days to go until the performance now. Fairly certain I’ll go on another oh-shit-this-is-crap-oh-wait-no-it’s-actually-OK-oh-but-is-it-though mental rollercoaster before then but for now I feel calm and a little bit excited. Roll on Sunday…

Follow Miranda here.

Love DC x

Artist diaries: Holly #2

Holly

Holly:
At the beginning of the process I found it really hard to start. I am not a confident writer and it doesn’t come naturally to me so knew I just needed to be in a rehearsal room and start trying ideas. That’s how I would normally work but the first time I was in the rehearsal room on my own. I felt overwhelmed by the fact it was just me in the room and I needed to actually get up on my feet and do something. I got over it in  later rehearsals by being just a little more prepared and breaking it down into sections. I also invited a friend one rehearsal to help bounce ideas off and progress my thinking further to help develop something. Then the valuable feedback from Sheena and Chris, when I had something to show meant I had more to focus on and play around with they really helped me turn my beginning ideas and starting points to more of a full piece.

Follow Holly here.

Love DC x

Artist diaries: Caldy #3

Caldy

Caldy:

The week of the show….eek! Still trying to piece everything together in my head, practise, re-run, buy costumes and make the music fit seamlessly with the movement….but feeling confident it will come together by the end of the week! I’m really looking forward to being part of The Sick of The Fringe, having a performance opportunity and sharing my work with family and friends.

My idea has evolved and changed through this process, and I feel I will continue to explore the content and structure of the work after this performance. The work began with a solo in a living room and a lecture discussion, and at times it’s been hard to work out how they both fit side by side with interludes of movement, and I’m still wondering.

I’ll definitely continue to work on this piece throughout the year. I don’t think I’ll be making it longer but rather evolve the content and how it all fits together.

I’m really interested to hear what people think about it.

 

Follow Caldy here

Love DC x

Artist diaries: Koko #2

Koko

Koko:

I always knew what I was. I was female. I was mixed race. I was aged…

GREY started as a piece of spoken word about depression. It grew into a spoken word piece with live looping (using Lulu, my additional limb and trusty loop station) and then continued to inspire more spoken word pieces. I knew I wanted to create a solo show about depression (and was really interested in the affect on black people specifically) so this seemed like a natural progression.

I started talking about mental health within the black community online and found that there was a conversation to be had. People were really open and happy to talk about their mental health but didn’t feel like there was a safe space for them to do that in. I started questioning why that was, seeing as there are so many great mental health charities and groups for people to go to. It all seemed to link back to the idea that these were space that were mainly occupied by white people and somehow weren’t meant for black people. I knew that, because of this, I had to make GREY.

Follow Koko here.

Love DC x

Artist diaries: Hazel #2

Hazel

Hazel:

So, this is the week where I will be performing my piece at Camden People’s Theatre, alongside Drunken Chorus, as part of the It’s All in Your Head project. On Friday evening, I performed my piece as a work in progress at The Tramshed, and received feedback which I have actively been working on this week, leading up to Sunday’s performance. My piece is continuously growing and changing – and will continue to do so, probably up until I’m on the stage! It’s important for me to allow this piece to grow, as there is so much I can touch on and explore within the theme. The feedback forms have been imperative to have during the last week of rehearsals, as constructive criticism is something I value wholeheartedly. My idea hasn’t overly changed since the beginning of the process, but I have taken different directions and approaches to the piece that I wouldn’t have thought of straight away. Chris and Sheena have been extremely helpful, in terms of seeing things differently or trying things in a new way. I would like to continue my piece after this project, with the hopes of extending it and possibly taking it around schools in the borough, to raise awareness of Body Dysmorphic Disorder to young adults. I would take it in a different direction for a school audience, with a possible questions and answers discussion after the performance. I am looking forward to The Sick of the Fringe festival this weekend, and am excited to see the other solo performance pieces, as well as Drunken Chorus. I am already feeling the nerves setting in, as this is the first time I have ever performed not only a solo piece, but something I have written myself, and it is quite nerve-racking to think I will be sharing that in a matter of days! However, the experience has been extremely valuable to me and I have learned many new skills which I can use to further my solo performance career.

Follow Hazel here

Love DC x

Artist diaries: Miranda #2

 

Miranda

Miranda:

So, I had huge swathes of improvised text and some ideas for movement and music. Next came a process of selecting and snipping and cutting and splicing and arranging until I had a vague outline for a piece that made some sort of sense.

Then came more rolling around the floor, more walking around rooms shouting to myself, a bit of walking around rooms shouting at other people, talking to people about rolling around on the floor and shouting to myself, rolling around on the floor and shouting to myself in front of other people and a bit of writing about rolling on the floor and shouting to myself.

I spent some time really thinking about what I was trying to say with the piece – what I wanted the audience to think and feel. I wrote about it, which helped to solidify my ideas, shape the piece and direct my rehearsals.

Trying things out in front of the group was a big help. Working alone, it’s all too easy to get caught up in what you think you’re saying and forget that other people might interpret it differently. That doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem, I don’t think, but it’s good to hear a range of perspectives and responses.

A bit more rolling around on the floor and a huge bruise to the chin later, we’re into the final week of rehearsals. My next challenge is to remember all the words, and then make sure I’m saying them in the right way.

 

Follow Miranda here.

Love DC x

Artist diaries: Koko #1

 

Koko

Koko:

Why is depression and mental health still taboo in Black communities?

When does being the ‘strong, independent black woman’ become a toxic stereotype?

Why is depression still seen as a white, middle class issue?

GREY explores how race plays into how we view mental health and why depression can be that much more damaging for people of colour. While developing this with Drunken Chorus I have been encouraged to use techniques and styles of performance that I have never tried, like puppetry and performance art. Some worked and some bombed!

I also tried playing with techniques that I have used before, such as spoken word, looping and projection, in new ways.

Over the past few weeks I have happily thrown away pages of content that didn’t work but also, sadly, had to give up parts that I loved because they didn’t fit within the piece. What’s that saying? ‘Kill your darlings…’? Hopefully what remains is something that explores the theme of depression within the black community a little further and starts a discussion surrounding it.

Follow Koko here.

Love DC x