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From Katy – Scribbles and Sticky Notes

February 6, 2012

This week’s entry comes from the apprentice corner; Miss Katy Fitzpatrick comments on the Fresh Voices rehearsal process and the challenge of creation as an ensemble:

I have a running list of quotes about theatre on my computer.  Dashed off on a little digital sticky note, I’ve been jotting them down since this whole Fresh Voices process started.  Anything that seems to give a little guidance, or make some sense out of a fundamentally mind-boggling project: you have four people, six weeks, and a couple hundred bucks.  Create theatre.  (And try not to embarrass yourselves, please.)

  • Problem #1: What should Fresh Voices be about?  What do we want to say?  I thought about drawing from my experiences as a teacher, both overseas and locally and making some comment on education; I thought about building a bonfire onstage and doing a very artsy thematic and symbolic exploration of the power of fire.  Then I saw this quote: “People don’t come to the theatre to understand; they come to experience.”  What do I want people to experience?  That’s easy – Kazakhstan, where I lived for two years.  Suddenly I found I spoke with an authority and an ease in my writing, as I worked to recreate a country and a culture I know so intimately.
  •  Problem #2: How can we make Fresh Voices a totally awesome show that everyone likes?  Friday afternoons, the four of us apprentices share what we’ve been working on to the 5 ensemble members, who provide feedback and suggest direction.  And wow, do they have 5 very distinct aesthetics.  The same piece of work has prompted comments as divergent as “This is great, keep going,” to “This is puerile and disappointing.”  In rehearsals, I continually repudiated ideas on the grounds that “So-and-so won’t like it.”  After a week of this, fellow apprentice Rob White put down his foot and declared, “If we like our show, the audience will like our show.”  From your lips to my sticky note, Rob.
  •  Problem #3: How do we keep our stress low and spirits high?  Let’s face it, stress in creative endeavors is always rooted in fear of inadequacy.  What if our show is terrible?  What if everybody is disappointed?  What if we humiliate ourselves? Which brings me to good old Stanislavsky: “Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art.” We’ve all got it in us to be creators, but that fragile instinct flees in the face of self-doubt. Speak kindly to yourself.  A little faith goes a long way.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Matt Snyder permalink
    February 6, 2012 8:49 pm

    as a fellow artist (fine/theatre/spoken word/film/music) i’ve come to realize that no matter what ya can’t please everyone and every thing you produce is usually up for interpretation. i’ve been to a few fresh voices performances and have never been truly disappointed, i may not have liked each performance i’ve seen but i usually find other ways of appreciating. i watch like i think, outside the box. so i wish you the best in you endeavor..perhaps i will make it out to see whatever it is you come up with

  2. February 7, 2012 12:12 pm

    Go team. Nice piece, Katy.

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