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Consolations

31/08/2009

Most of you will have heard by now that the season of Chesapeake with Alan Brough, directed by Todd Macdonald at The Store Room has had to be postponed due to Alan being extremely unwell. This is quite a blow, and my heart, and certainly the hearts of our company go out to the team of Chesapeake, as it must be a strange kind of miscarriage when you work so hard to bring a work of art to fruition, and then it needs to be suspended before the ultimate moment of exhibition. The final phase in the process is aborted.

Perhaps small consolations under the circumstances, but given the cancellation, the company of  Attract/Repel have been able to begin slowly moving its rehearsals and technical experiments into the space a little earlier. A wonderful thing, process-wise, given that scheduling has dictated that times in which all actors can be in the same space at once are few and very far between. (I am getting tired of co-op, it is so very hard on everyone. Would that I could pay the world to create their work.)

I am going down to the space as soon as I finish writing this, to play for a while on my own in the lights and with the sound. We have reached a point now where I am having to shape over all, and allow the performers to take supreme responsibility for finding moments of connection and context within the work for themselves.

It is hard working without a script. Certainly not impossible, and in some ways, very liberating. But hard nonetheless. There is a certain faith that you have to put in the moment of focus amongst the team – that the work will flow if you give it enough space. That the concentration of energy and perfect combination of differing perspectives will intersect to form that intangible point of magic that is the truth – the pure creative act. That might sound like a lot of mumbo jumbo to some, but I would argue that in order to make work (and believe in the purity of its creation), you have to throw yourself into the darkened fray of a messy, complicated, and yes, at times quite magical process.

The reality of what this work is, is starting to unfold to me now. And it isn’t the spin we’ve been spit-polishing. It isn’t the politics we’re peddling. It isn’t our place in the fierce and terrible competition of the God-knows how many hundred other shows at the Fringe. It isn’t about public profile, glitz, glam, heroism, martyrdom, righteousness, suffering, or salvation. It’s about simple little human moments. Frailty, complicated, unanswerable questions; the acknowledgement of fear; confusion in the face of a thing which should be easily understood. It’s about the difficulty of transitioning from one moment into the next, from one mind-set to another, from a feeling of oppression to a sense of release. It’s about reluctant dualities – converse emotions that exist simultaneously, continuously, relentlessly. It’s very ugly and very beautiful at once. And I think that that’s okay.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Emily Sexton permalink
    31/08/2009 4:32 pm

    The “fierce and terrible competition” ?

    Or – the wonderful sensation that you’re not on your own. That these questions and anxieties feature in the minds of every colleague across Melbourne’s artistic spectrum. That you’re part of an independent arts community infused with vibrant talent and big ideas.

    I know your work will be outstanding, Ming. If you build it, etc etc…

    Best of luck in the coming weeks, have enjoyed your writings immensely.

    Em x

  2. mzh permalink
    31/08/2009 6:22 pm

    Thanks, Emily! For your support and for your wise words. x

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