It’s a thin line between “getting” something and “understanding” it. A thin line we walk closely every time we go see something new.
Like a bird on a wire could swing one way or …the other ?
I was so pleased many of you braved the elements last night and ventured out and down to Paisley Arts Centre , to come see a show of a completely different species. Especially newer members of Orange and Green who are maybe now opening up to our Spires Theatre Scene and it’s more varied offerings . New birds on the block , ready to fly at their drama.
First my “Tweet”
I thought BIRD was mesmeric , I was captivated . and maybe in time , some of you will come to appreciate the absolute mastery of this performer’s ART in making it for us , growing to realise how awesome it was to see NATURE in its primal force coming right at US , on a soil strewn stage . How wonder-full a short theatre experience this was.
This is a stage that has seen you step-ball-change your way through many a Panto routine , a fest or two . A more classic approach …if a little commedia thrown in for goodly measure.
Last night this homely theatre platform , let you see “the view from the other performance side” .
Making performance into an art, is not easy . It takes enormous discipline and attention to detail .
It takes controlled delivery , but not controlled in its’ forthright passion ; underneath the more abstract idea , it has to be almost explosive, to take any real hold or have any more profound effect on us.
Performance Art seeks to make the crafting process the performed artistic outcome .
Like showing the painter doing the painting , the sculptor the sculpture . It brings the rehearsal process “out” and “onto” the live stage .
The difference for you as Youth Theatre and your normal “experience of performing”, is we don’t always show “what we’ve been through” -to get to where we finally “present” .
But maybe National Theatre Connections promenade production of REMOTE , last year was different …the playing live , the art in our performance .
Usually the pre-process ( the rehearsal ) , as complex and involved as it can sometimes be , is hidden from the audience, in favour of an end-product played on a stage .
Orange just went through a similar burst of hidden intensive prep for Rob Royal 700 ( which incidentally just got the seal of Royal approval , in letter form from ” The Palace ” ! )
And we trust that “what we have been through” in rehearsals will serve us well and come out – at that end stage-point – and be our art.
The live nature of “performance art ” plays it controversially , allows a more real experience between audience and performer . A living in the moment with them .
Like the unfortunate sirens if the fire engine screeching by last night as we watched her and listened , and as she watched us and listened to it from her earthly perch with us .
She used “that moment” to further connect with us ; To not choose to pretend it wasn’t there , wasn’t happening as part of our experience …wasn’t going to try to ignore it and just carry on.
We all knew it was happening , so must she …to not do that wouldn’t be truthful to the performance.
On our our stage we’d have closed the 4th wall and pretended it wasn’t there – to keep the magic .
As we heard , she heard , as she saw , we saw . Perfect balance. Perfect art . Perfect outcome .
Now maybe for you :
Your Tweeting as audience 1 ?
…” This show was maybe a bit too much for me at this stage . But what was so important is that I came . I conquered my fear of this alternative theatre , by being there last night. I feel good I came .
I could have stayed at home . Blanked this . But now I sort of know what it is , I can maybe speak from a more creatively intelligent position about it , when we ever talk about it; better than someone who just says ” that’s not for me ” and doesn’t bother going . I got that much from it and that makes me feel a lot stronger here in PACE. Makes me feel I got something for my extra effort ”
Your Tweeting as audience 2 ?
…”Yes , I can say it was definitely weird . It’s bound to be be weird if I haven’t seen anything like that before . It could be mind boggling why that was theatre for some people ?
But weird and wacky as it was at times , I kind of enjoyed it and actually found myself laughing at her stomach grumbles and facial expressions and sometimes even scared …especially when she suddenly ate the bird . It took me by surprise , I thought she liked it ?
I got other bits , but sometimes I admit I zoned out .
Either I need to focus harder , think more , or just “open my mind” to performance being anything or everything …theatre being simple and complicated at the same time even though it looks unappealing .
I’ll try more to stop being “narrow minded” when I dont like things ” like that ” because I wouldn’t necessarily do it that way . I think I’m starting to see the benefit in coming to these things , even just to know what my opinion sounds like , in my head and not in snap chat form all the time.
Your Tweeting as audience 3 ?
…” But for me it was Theatre and really good different acting .
And if I go farther along this Spires performance road , I’ll hopefully start to be able to appreciate the work behind this short affecting piece , so much more ; if not always the experience of being there ; because I may have a different reaction to another piece of this kind if performance art in Future. I mean its bound to happen, because theatre is personal isn’t it ?
Because even when you get to see more varied theatre work I can always still have my opinion can’t I ?
No one should tell me how I feel about something , that’s instinctive for me . People, opinion , facts can help me understand it better , help me see beneath the obvious in front of me , but they are not inside me as I watch it , so they dont know how I feel and I really love that about seeing any new performance ; The way it “moves me ” personally unlike others .
I know next time I go to any play or show or film , I can still say ” I didn’t like that ” or ” that didn’t do it for me …” But only as long as I can always see the merit in the effort that’s put in , the craft , the process behind the performance and understand what the artist is trying to say .
Their statement to the creative world , their inner actor monologue . ”
Your Tweeting as audience 4 ?
…”It would be easy to say : I didn’t like that , without thinking about these other things that go around any performance. I know that now , because I’ve been through similar processes and have learned you have to be open minded to act better . Close minds only close off the potential for performance , there’s no free emotional ” out” .
Easy to judge based solely on what you see straight ahead . What hits you in the eye . No sparkle or pizzazz must = dull and boring
But dull and boring are concepts that make us think differently don’t they ? Give us a reaction in an alternative way . Dull could mean we are having to see beyond our usual colour wheel of life . Boring is maybe us having to engage our brain a bit more .
And yes I think all theatre should stimulate your brain in some way , because the danger with mind numbing entertainment is it can ” longer term ” produce “mind numbed” people .
You can’t keep making the excuse that we are young either . Like smoking young or drinking young …the damage of shutting off from the reality of what you are choosing to do , could mean consequences later . Things you don’t think about , because you think it won’t happen to you , that you’re different …
I mean you only had to see the trained discipline in her incredibly strong body , and her flexibility …to see she wasn’t just running about , squelching , hopping , sitting , balancing , and waving a stick for plain show …here was the the art of true “clowning” , the kind of thing you can see in shows produced by the amazing Cirque de Soleil ” or with the best French mime artists , or in Chinese or Indian theatre ; the stuff that makes you think , how can they do that with their bodies ?
How do they morph themselves so easily to become what they need to be ? Her calf muscle alone had 5 sinews showing , not just the big obvious one. 5 times more effective at least in making us feel she was there and not a paused image .
The way she portrayed expression through incredible physical gesturing , her actors spontaneous reaction, her physical immersion in the whole “spirit of nature” was , like that gale force storm section , really spell binding .
I absolutely understood in that brief moment alone her acting art , and respected her as a fellow youth performer once here in PACE herself.
If I ever reach this level of body , mind and spirit ( the trinity of acting as they say … ) – I’ll be doing great . I’ll feel I could really sidle up to her on her “branch” …
Is my life better for going to see this ?
Too right . How am I to know more about what’s out there , if I don’t move myself to find out . I’m better because I’ve somethings to talk about now , about performance art and that’s the connections we make here and carry with us as we move through the years of PACE that mark our life.
For every Tweet their is a different story , a different voice to be heard from this different Spires night-out at the Theatre.
So we’ve maybe tried here to help out those whose experience last night, ” wasn’t that great” , “was alright” , was “developing wings” and was more than fulfilling their potential to soar ?
“To fly , to soar , perchance to dream “…of doing that themselves and maybe in Sunday’s follow up BIRD workshop , you might get a chance to have a bird like crumb of it …
And random as these Tweetings above might be and short of putting you all “in the process context” itself , there’s not a lot else to say , other than :
I’m sorry if you didn’t enjoy it – hope it doesn’t stop you dipping your toe in this kind of alternative theatre again
Thanks to everyone for supporting our effort to bring more theatre trips to you by attending.
And if you down-right loved it , then plenty more of this kind of thing on offer in many drama-guises here in future ( if you know where to look )
Just think of your SMISEMBs for a new term start
Senses , Memory , Imagination , Spirit , Emotion , Mind , Body
It was all there for you . It was the complete acting package in one actress .
And if your mind was open from the start, when you saw her first twitch and rise eerily and slowly from her earthly nest; You will have understood , this was something you should watch very closely to get the culture of theatre from it.
I’m talking especially to those who want to act and perform here. It’s not about being exclusive in what you want to do in acting . You may have no choice , if you want to work . Actors act because they want it all, not just their fave bits .
This immersive experience is the kind of state you need to push yourself towards creating on stage when you perform. Cutting off the outside but bringing them fully in at the same time
The circle of performance constantly moving round; from you to them and back again .
This type of performance is very affecting …it touches you deep down , where those ” emotions ” of ours are buried .
She used the earth to dig up lots of our reactions . She used the earth to ground her delivery , to root it in a place we found familiar , to allow it to move around with her , where she needed it to be , in that moment.
Don’t be afraid of this stage intimacy , don’t be afraid to push the boundaries when you are “out there” in that ecstatic moment.
Ecstasy is the Greek word meaning ” out of the place ” ( ex– out of and Stasis – the place )
We know another less desirable modern context for this word , and maybe some who go that road , need it to take themselves “out of their hum drum ” existence.
Acting /Performing let’s you experience this – risk for free and higher purpose.
She ecstatically created an environment for us to share with her : the Theatre of it was the Seeing , Hearing , Tasting , Touching , Smelling that was going on in our heads as we perched in our world with her.
The sounds of foot on ground , the air , nature’s creatures and of course BIRD
Her fellow stage performer , the person sitting “stage right” in his ” sound nest ” was the reaction to her action and vice versa . His sound input as vital in the process ( loads of ideas for Verona and some we tried before in our Park )
One needed the other , and we as audience played the third part. An active triangle.
When she first emerged through the branches and peered then gazed at us , I wasn’t looking at Sita , a young girl I’d worked with closely many years ago , or a mature young actress now living her performance dream , but a creature , a rare feral creature in some lost forgotten world .
For me she was vulnerable , emotional , dangerous and intelligent in her questioning eyes and meaningful expressions of basic feelings I feel we sometimes neglect as humans
Joy , Sadness , Fear , Compassion , Resilience , Honesty , Determination , Intuition , Instinct …
I think what struck me most about this, was how it made me feel like a child again , on the inside .
Maybe those ” inside out ” core-memory balls were being rattled about a bit . Shaken from their grown-up shelf , allowed to just see the faint glimmer of memory’s light .
I rose from my seat feeling lighter inside . I knew it was beautifully played , I knew that because I understand acting more now . I knew it was artfully performed because my experience of theatre is broad and far reaching
But what I didn’t know was how many interpretations there could have been about what it meant . How many ways of looking at this strange , seemingly mad creature and her need to survive in a friendless almost post-apocalyptic world .
But maybe it wasn’t post any apocolypse .
Maybe she chose to remove herself from our ” rat race ” from our commercially complicated socially hampered existence – just because
Maybe she was “Bird ” …choosing to fly away , high above our world of rubbish mountains in every shape and form …
Maybe you have your own thoughts about it quite different and personal …and in this show’s unique respect …that’s probably best .
We all look at pictures in very different ways …our brains programmed to see different things because of the events that have shaped our lives up to that point
If you chose to live in the dark or in ignorance , more than the knowledge and light , you’re more liable perhaps to see things a whole other way.
The only thing I think you should remember is that artists like Sita Pieraccini make the theatre world more interesting. They create “the art of acting” with a broader brush stroke , which means it is more accessible to a wider range of artists .
In PACE we try as best we can to do the same . Broader brush strokes to try to include more young people . But together we hopefully paint the same creative picture
The Earth without Art is just ” eh?????!!!!!????????????????????
Eh…think I’ll go look for the next event , to bring you out of your theatre shells and into the openness of ART.
Grab your paint brush , time to start making your world a bit more colourful. Verona X! will certainly be a canvas for you to try your acting hand, at doing it ” differently ”