A journey is not just measured in miles completed , but in the signs along the way that make you see the road differently .
Sorry to interrupt the current Spires Odyssey but there were a few signs of difficulty appearing and I thought a little pause might be in order . Time to stop perhaps ? To take in the view a little more and not worry about getting to the end stop in time.
Odyssey was always designed to bring together some potential Spires members who we think are likely to continue on further with Better performance techniques in future .
A collective way of linking them together to see if they gel and enjoy working together on more challenging solo work.
Left to their own creative devices it is easy to see if yhey are going to enjoy creative module / devised theatre work in future . Because if they struggle with it . It is possible they wouldn’t enjoy a more focused approach further down the STS line.
Because the process of self direction is sometimes harder for those that prefer just being told what they have to do . On the whole Odyssey is a learning curve that leaves you emerging , hopefully feeling a sense of real achievement at having pulled off what first appears like the impossible.
Last year’s Odyssey 15 are proof of that: Many drop outs , many personal struggles , many eventual endeavour success stories.
It’s all a bit like a mini Verona and how the House Directors doubtless feel, when first given their enormous theatre brief .
It all just seems so beyond them, terribly confusing and so work heavy . Panic momentarily sets in and the gut reaction is to flee not fight .
But eventually when they think about it and look round at the incredible support they have in others around them , willing to help , to be part of the creative process with them, the challenge seems like an incredible odyssey in itself . A brilliant journey to self discovery with like minded others.
I don’t know who ever really aspires to be a Verona House Director in PACE from the beginning . They are not born they are made in Spires Theatre .
I don’t know if even the current House a Directors ever thought they would be? But I know that the V gene shows itself eventually . This passion , this desire , this incredible commitment to excellence here , that it is suddenly logical who will “do the job” and do it well .
So what’s that got to do with Odysseey 16?
Well …I suppose what I’m saying is , if it’s meant to be it’ll happen regardless of a brief pause along the way .
It’ll happen because for some of you it is always just going to be what you do here . O16 HUB SPACE FIREFLY NTC …
…and for the rest …well maybe this isn’t going to be your way ?
Because journeys come in all shapes and sizes , forms and metaphors . And if the sign here says “turn off ahead” then you maybe have to do what is ultimately right – for you.
For the 14 Odyssey Dramanauts out there …know there is Theatre Light at the end of this confusing Spires tunnel . A sign of good things will come . Each PACE year offers its unique set of challenges
Next year :
Something New .
Something Different .
Something Special for You .
But you have to want find out what’s beyond the invisible horizon to stay the course .
Delaying O16’s restart will only make the pasison grow fonder if you are keen . Drive you on , to find out what’s coming next regardless of a pause in the play.
There’s one thing ever sure . If you have the pasison , drive and determination to continue here – whatever happens – you won’t be disappointed .
And what you’ve learnt till now isn’t going to be wasted . Wasted is a word that people use when they don’t get something beneath the surface.
What have you got from work completed thus far ?
You’ve experienced working as productive collective of young people on a cultural theme that previously you knew nothing of .
You’ve gone Greek in inventive contemporary ways , performed Elektra and explored choral stage dynamics – re connected with your voice in theatre , albeit chorally.
You’ve researched Banksy and his anarchic edgy universe
Maybe become a bit more spontaneous ? A bit more open with each other ? Learned to finally have your say?
Now who can say that has been a waste of your time ? Who can say that the knowledge and experience gained under your current Spires roof will never be put to good use .
And more importantly ….have you enjoyed it ?
Because what I’ve seen of you all in passing , has only shown me that you have loved being creative in this unusual peer lead way . Given the freedom to be your own directors . To Create your own dramatic outcomes .
Surely betas a standard workshop any day …?
It’s a shame a few aren’t a part of one of the other showcase projects now , but it can’t be helped.
It’s just maybe more important for you to stay connected to the bigger picture , in case your way becomes unclear now , as others seem (to you ) to suddenly “zoom off ” ahead and away from you .
Many SPACE are going through a similar experience as they are only able to commit in certain ways this side of the year .
I always say to them to try to stay connected . The blog is a good way of doing that and the house group pages . It lets us see your still reading the right kind “signs” for a theatre future. Haven’t left the building in terms of your presence . Haven’t stopped.
Verona is a long way off , but a short way off in many respects , and though we don’t rehearse much till mid May , there are ways you can still connect to others in a positive way .
I always find it is harder for people on time outs from Spires to return to full creativity , because Spires is such a moment to moment experience . You gather as you go and gaps can be cracks people fall through and can’t get out of .
Being out the loop can make you question if you are enjoying it any more . When really it’s just not being “part of it” – that is the real problem.
All we can hope is that you still try to see the bigger Spires Theatre picture and remember what makes you come here in the first place .
If it’s how you feel when you are in the space , then that’s the best reason of all . If its social , then you know the answer by now.
I hope the current O16 group return in August to their journey , having had some time to look around and enjoy the other practical work on offer . By then , maybe in a few cases , doing O16 may actually be redundant , as they are already of a necessary HUB standard through ongoing project/module work , and are ready for other challenges – able to begin a new endeavour – a journey towards SPACE .
Whatever happens it always happens for a reason here.
And for now chalk up work done to experience and personal satisfaction.
Open your eyes to what’s going on round about you and get involved in everything you can before Summer’s end.
I look forward to working with new HUB /SPACE/FIREFLY/15UP and NTC 17 in future. Heres hoping your drama sign post is now telling you to Drive On. Regardless.