Here I shakily stand at the end of the first of a series of three Explorations before the end of this year. I could say “my brain hurts” but that goes only part of the way to describing the depth of drain I have willingly submitted my Self to. I am sure I speak not only for myself but also for each of the other artists who spent their full range of measure in an untold number of experiences this week.
Only art can do this; having the ability to fill one with an enduring sense of achievement simultaneous to cracking open the essence of what it is to Be.
The day began in banal conversation. It is actually quite difficult to do, being as boring as possible. Try it out. Skill is involved in not allowing even a skerrick of interest to enter a conversation. Weather? Colours? Body Parts? Go for it…
The aim of this (I think) was to spark improvisational ideas for the directorial brilliance of David Woods.
So what is the point of our present work?
Giving a normative audience access to accepting disabled actors on stage?
To challenge the well worn narrative?
Raising the awareness to said audience’s own conditioning and sparking an interest in what may lie beyond?
Probably all of the above.
Our work will probably take the form typical to theatre, that of negotiating situations and the repercussions leading from this – to quote David “a chaotic portrait of the general state of the world”.
Some shared their work exterior to this process. Jax shared a spoken word piece on disability, eugenics and love, Betty Anne Bobbitt a fantastical extension on the past week, Jess a few pieces of writing inspired by her musings on life and Trevor described an encounter on Bourke St mall last night in which he was given a chance to stand back and observe an interesting relating between a would-be generous passer by and a recipient not asking for his sort of charity.
Our introduction to Tim from Playwriting Australia no doubt left a complex aftertaste on his palate whilst returning to the airport as the heavens opened for the racketing assault of downpour at 2pm. As I mentioned in a prior post, the architecture of the Stables in Richmond supplies a drum skin masquerading as a roof/ceiling. The resonance was breath taking. It gave ample chance to practice throwing our stage voices at one another across the narrow table.
We enjoyed a wry rendition of “Common People” by the Bearbrass Asylum Orchestra and were blessed with a repeat in order to gain as many camera angles as possible with all of our high definition phone cameras. My, how times have changed.
An unintended (and unrecorded) chat as we regrouped after lunch touched upon the use of sex work and brothels as the sole means of sexual contact for those with intellectual disabilities supplied by the system. We spoke about the fact there is no attempt to educate perfectly capable human beings just as desirous for love and connection as you and I about healthy relationships.
We spoke about those awkward initial talks with parents about sex and this morphed in to a sharing of the sexual trauma most of us had suffered at some time in our lives.
My note taking ended with the question posed “is it possible to make banal conversations about deep subjects?”
Finally my two golden Jax quotes of the day
“Let’s reference that in obtuse ways” and “Poetry gets you the babes”