On loneliness #2 – making a solo show

So, I’ve just spent the best part of two weeks writing applications for two different artist support schemes with two very different timelines. It’s been a fascinating, and if I am honest bloody painful, process. This is all new to me: deciding all by myself what my piece will be, what my intentions are, who I want to work with and how I am going to achieve all (any) of it.

And everyone keeps telling me not to be in a room on my own. I’ve just read this blog and there was a session about this kind of thing at Devoted & Disgruntled during which time I made the mistake of saying, “But surely it’s just like playing on your own when you were a kid which I did a lot of the time and was fine. Why can’t you approach making work as a game. Or use games to free up your mind a little and get you in to the right head space?” (I’m paraphrasing here) and I was met with silence… You’ll notice it is not included in the report. It made perfect sense to me but apparently not to many others. Though afterwards one woman came up to me and said, “I completely agree with you.” Made my whole day. But I digress…

I’m not arguing with the people who say don’t be alone in the rehearsal space. Some of the people who have said this to me are far more experience than I am and I don’t doubt their opinion but I find myself wondering how one makes a solo performance about loneliness without going through a few difficult days alone in a rehearsal room? It kind of feels like that is the point. And I almost WANT it. Does that make me a masochist? Maybe, but I have found myself looking forward to putting myself in a room and seeing how I cope.

There are certain things I expect. I KNOW I am a world class procrastinator. I know that I will need to switch off the internet and my phone and put a ban on Twitter (which has to be the best work avoidance tool ever) unless I go online for something very specific.

Whether or not I am successful in gaining the support I have applied for I am going to get some time in a room. Not totally alone. Maybe I’ll alternate days but I think the first day I HAVE to be alone. What I will take in to the space with me is some tools. Games to play, music to listen to, big sheets of paper to make lists on, some pre-set tasks and perhaps my favourite suggestion from the properly lovely Laura Mugridge I’m going to create a happy, silly dance to break the mood. When Laura said it a light bulb went off in my head. It made perfect sense to me. When Ellie and I were making The Reservation we watched Great Day by The Lonely Island repeatedly as an antidote to all the grief.

So, I won’t really be alone at all. I will be there with an army of collaborators. Just not, you know, physically.

Showing 2 comments
  • Ali:
    Reply

    Love this post, Jaye.

    and>> “But surely it’s just like playing on your own when you were a kid which I did a lot of the time and was fine. Why can’t you approach making work as a game. Or use games to free up your mind a little and get you in to the right head space?” (I’m paraphrasing here) and I was met with silence… << definitely with you on this one! x

  • Jaye-bird
    Reply

    Thank you Alex! It’s always nice to know I’m not completely talking to myself on here.
    x

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