Holly Stoppit's Work In Progress

Dec 29 2016

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Holly Stoppit

New year, new you, right? January is traditionally the time to gather up all your resolve from somewhere below the massive pile of christmas excess and frog march yourself down to the gym to put on tight clothes and silently move heavy things around for no practical reason. Or you could stay at home, devising your own dismal detox and watch yourself eat boring things, with the hawk-eyed disdain of a strict dinner lady.

Or alternatively, like me, you could just get back on stage after 6 years hiding in the lovely safe shadows and invite the world in to watch. Argggghhhh!!!

There's been a little voice growing in me for the last few years. My inner performer was very patient with me for the first four or so years of sitting on the back burner whilst I retrained as a dramatherapist. But recently, she's started huffing and puffing, wondering when she's allowed back on the stage, I think she's had enough of the back burner, burning her bum. She's increasingly offering to demonstrate things for my students during my workshops and she's out of control with excitement when she gets to host their show-cases. But these little titbits are not quite enough, it seems...

In November, I went to Karla Shacklock's Out Of The Box symposium, where many wonderful established artists shared tips about 'How To Survive As A Dance Artist'. I listened carefully, checking off shared strategies and guzzling inspiration from these wonderful wise women who've cracked the art-work-life balance. As the talks progressed, the little voice in me started piping up, "Look! Look! They're like you, they're teaching and lecturing and writing and running companies, but how come they get to perform and I don't?"

One week later and an opportunity arose. My company, Beyond The Ridiculous, collectively decided to take a term off from our regular shows at The Wardrobe Theatre, which left a gap in the theatre's program. With only 2 days before the theatre brochure was due for print, the little voice inside me shouted "I WANT TO MAKE A SHOW." Somehow she managed to grapple my laptop off me and wrote to Matt at The Wardrobe, demanding those slots for herself.

So I find myself in the curious position of having three evenings booked in at The Wardrobe Theatre (5th February, 5th March, 2nd April), the blurb is written, the brochures are printed, now all I need is to make some material!!!

I'll be blogging all about the process here, so do drop by to see where I'm at and do come and have a look at what I'm creating. It'll be Pay What You Decide on the night and you're most welcome. Event info here. 

The process blogs:

Stage Fright - The Process 1 Brenda Waite, Amy Rose and The Brown Paper Book.

Stage Fright - The Process 2 What happened at Devoted and Disgruntled when I held a focus group on the theme of stage fright.

Stage Fright - The Process 3 What am I afraid of? What might happen?

Stage Fright - The Process 4 Chance, serendipity, pleasure and fun with Amy Rose.

Stage Fright - The Process 5 Presence, responsiveness, lightness and curiosity with Brenda Waite

Reflections on Stage Fright My reflections, audience reflections and Jenny Drew's drawings of the show.

Vulnerability - framing illness, stress, adrenaline poisoning, mental health

Vulnerability - The Process 1 Vulnerability and Shame theory, how it relates to my performance of the first show.

Vulnerability - The Process 2 Dinner with Ed Rapley and Liz Clarke. Am I safe enough to do this?

Vulnerability - The Process 3 Play day at The Brunswick Club with Ed and Liz. "I am not short on material!"

Vulnerability - The Process 4 Play day at The Brunswick Club with Ed and Liz 2, “The gold is in the gaps inbetween.” 

Reflections on Vulnerability My reflections, audience reflections, dealing with shame, content from the show, a poem from Liz.

Connection- framing Thoughts from meditation retreat. "Generosity, gentleness and gratitude"

Connection -The Process 1 Attending a workshop on Connection, Culture and Community with The Lightening Tree Collective.

Connection -The Process 2 Play time with Franki Anderson

Connection -The Process 3 Spontaneous connection over hard graft

Connection -The Process 4 Writing songs with Jess Langton, play time with the fools of Beyond The Ridiculous

Reflections on Connection My Reflections, The Audience's reflections, songs from the show, gratitude, what next?

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