Stage Fright - The Process 1

Jan 05 2017

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: Shams Tabrizi

I’m very excited to announce that for my first of three work in progress shows, I’ll be working with Brenda Waite and Amy Rose!

The process so far… I’ve been scribbling in a brown paper book whenever I get the odd moment, bus journeys and launderettes seem to be my most productive places. Themes are emerging, through the pages of questions, lists, maps, poems and stories, everything seems to be linked to the central theme of Stage Fright.

I’ve been playing in a dance studio with Brenda Waite, an incredible dance-clown-improvisation performer. We’ve been sharpening our impro tools together, taking it in turns to play solo for each other before offering positive feedback. We start with 1 minute solos, then 2, then 3… The most we’ve done so far has been 5 minutes... Still a way to go before my first solo show on February 5th. 

My brown paper book comes everywhere with me and in the studio, it spills out material to be played with. After each session I capture the inspiration back between the pages. It’s been a lovely process, discovering instant and surprising physical responses to the written word and then writing about the physical discoveries. Brenda and I respond to each other’s material, which takes us to unchartered territory. I love the element of chance this process throws in, I think I am happiest when I’m responding. 

Yesterday I had a meeting with Amy Rose, a wise researcher, thinker, theatre maker and asker of all the questions. She’ll be coming in as my facilitator in the final week before the show. I’ve worked with Amy in the past and thoroughly appreciate the depth of process she is willing to jump into with me. She’s a big fan of form and shape and these elements will help me to contextualise and frame my material. Having worked as a facilitator / director for many years, I understand the value of the outside eye. Without it, I’m likely to get caught up in the details / engulfed by the fear. 

Amy listened as I rambled about all the things the show might be. She took off her glasses, looked up from the book and said, “It’s Action Research.” There. It’s got a name. I’m doing Action Research. About Stage Fright. And you're welcome to participate. 

5th Feb at The Wardrobe Theatre. 7.30pm. Pay What You Decide on the night. Venue info here. Facebook event here.

All the blogs from This Work In Progress Project are conveniently listed at the bottom of the first blog, which you'll find here.

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