Connection- The Process 4

Mar 31 2017

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Holly

For this work in progress show, I created a survey to collect stories of connection and disconnection. Reading through the beautifully honest and insightful stories, it became clear to me that these were song lyrics.

Singer / songwriter Jess Langton turned up just at the right moment to share the process with me. We trawled through the data, highlighting phrases that resonated with us and grouped these phrases into natural clusters. Jess took hers away and wrote a lullaby and I arranged mine as a ballad. We shared our songs with each other on Wednesday evening and were very pleased with the results. We both found this to be an extremely liberating way of songwriting. The words seemed to have a natural order and then all we had to do was find chords to support the melody that wanted to be born.

As I'm wanting a stronger focus on improvisation for this show, part of my preparation has been improvising for small audiences. Luckily, three of the fools of Beyond The Ridiculous also needed to practice their 'fooling.' Unsurprisingly, there's always a lot of demand for our foolish services on April 1st. 

In case you're wondering what fooling is, it's a form of solo improvisation where you walk into the empty space and bring to life all the voices who usually live inside your head. Here we are, fooling for each other. 

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Dominique or Chez
Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Holly
Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Holly
Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Megan or Chez

I have 8 standard characters (or "masks" as they're known in fooling) that keep coming back; The MC, Healthy Grounded Me, Unhealthy Ungrounded Me, Shame, Vulnerability, Grief, The Academic and The Comforter. There are others who pop up, but these 8 seem to be my standard cast at the moment. They all feel complete, inhabiting their own distinct realities. After working with Franki Anderson last week, each now has their place on the stage. I feel pretty confident that between them, these guys can handle anything. 

As mentioned in my last blog, I have been battling with The Academic all week. She is very nervous about all this improvisation nonsense and has been looking for moments to sneak in a bit of research whenever she can. In order to sleep at night, I've needed to let her have an hour or two a day to sort through her data and compile her quotes. I am going to let her make a power point presentation this afternoon, she's really excited about that, but she doesn't yet know that she might not be allowed to use it in the show. The focus is 'Connection' and if her power point slides are creating disconnection with the audience, then she's going to need to let it go.

The same message coming at me from everywhere. In order to explore connection, I need to be available to connect. Look at the tarot card I pulled this morning! 

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Holly

I have a chance to warm up tomorrow night with a 20-30 minute solo slot at The Night of The Fool in Frome. Event info here.

Meanwhile, Dominique, Chez and Megan from Beyond The Ridiculous will be appearing at The Invisible Circus Feast Of Fools at The Loco Klub. Event info here.

Come and see how all this grows into a show on 2nd April at 7.30 at The Wardrobe Theatre. Pay What you Decide. Venue info here.

Facebook event here.

We were playing in Chez's yoga and play space in Easton in Bristol, which is perfect for small group / solo rehearsals. Contact Chez here with enquiries.

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