Building Blocks and The Crooked Path
Exploring devising tasks over the last two weeks employing Frantic’s ‘Building Blocks’ as a framework and methodology has provided me with an ethos and approach to creating work that I’ve never before considered or been able to implement.
Building blocks allow us to make something “…beyond my imagination, beyond theirs.” (Scott Graham)
Breaking the overall ambition for a sequence into smaller tasks, which are informed by words, numbers, patterns, body-parts or a specific theme, is a way of generating material that can then be built on, challenged, developed and embellished as appropriate. Subtle switches to a string of material such as changes to pace, focus, location, scale and or music can have an altogether profound impact on the material created. If an open approach is adopted, surprises will happen, new ideas will follow and break-throughs will be made. This of course requires, trust, patience and a willingness to walk the crooked path and to be vigilant to the walkways that open up as a result of travelling into the unknown.
I’ve learnt communication is key, both verbal and non-verbal. Listening to your physical impulses, over the sometimes overltly analytical brain, can yield the best results in the exploration of a task. Being open and sensitive to your co-collaborators offers, movements and ideas is also equally as important.
Every single one of the visiting artists over the last 2-weeks referred to keeping palettes of some description to house their ideas and resources for projects. Simon Stephens kept a moleskin diary, A4, lined, that travelled with him everyday to record the people he encountered, his thoughts and observations, all of which manifests its way into his plays in some form. Andy Purves talked about stockpiling imagery and photos. Frantic’s bibliographies of inspiration are also a perfect example of how the palettes of collaborators can be fused together and harnessed within the creative process. Palettes can unlock an idea, they can move work forward and be a unifying reference point in the rehearsal room. I’ve learnt the value of recording your inspiration clearly and to not to underestimate the worth in allocating time to this. I’d like to get more organised and disciplined at keeping a better record of my ideas, thoughts and observations. This will be vital for the advanced module.
I have realised during this process how significant the set-up of the rehearsal room space can be. Where possible, transforming the room to reflect the themes and or energy of a play has the potential to immerse all members of the creative process in the world of the play. I was inspired hearing how the rehearsal room for Beautiful Burnout was turned into a gym. Music also plays a major role in this, it supports the room and can build energy and focus it depending on the BPM.
Throughout the duration of the 2-week intensive, I feel I demonstrated absolute commitment to all of the work we undertook. I approached physical tasks with as much openness and receptivity as I could, which proved instrumental in applying the ‘building blocks’ approach. I took an open approach in working with fellow members of the ensemble, I tried to work with as many members of the group as I could and always tried to build collaboratively when working on tasks with others and looked for ways to access other individuals creativity and ideas.
Areas for Development
The most challenging exercises within the two weeks for me were those that required an ability to work within opposition and with precision. This is something I find really demanding physically. Picking up counts quickly and the being able to forget them is also something that I really struggled with and would like to improve on.