I’ve often described myself as “a wearer of many hats – real and metaphorical”. You’ll often see me sporting a colourful woolen beret in winter, an orange felt hat in autumn and spring, and a broad-brimmed straw number in summer. I’m juggling parenting, paid work and creative projects, and I have multiple creative projects on the go at once. So I guess my description is pretty apt.
But what I’ve been learning in the past few years is that I can’t wear more than one hat at a time. In reality, it’s impractical and unfashionable, but metaphorically, it’s very bad for my well-being.
Flashback to 2017, when I wrote, directed and produced Hollow with the help of the small core team at Tripwire Theatre Inc., and it was really hard. Too much for one person, especially with the level of emotional investment I had in the show and it was compounded by what was going on in my personal life at the time. Despite being a complete mess after it finished, I learnt a lot from Hollow. I learnt how much I can achieve when I set my mind to it. I learnt how courageous I am. I learnt to compartmentalise theatre-making so that I’m only ever wearing one hat at a time. I love writing, I love directing and I love producing. But I know my limits now and I’m at a point where I can pick and choose projects and my role within them, and better still, I am trusted by other to bring a project to fruition. My time I spent doing it all with Tripwire has given me that opportunity.
This Sunday (exactly two years after the Hollow opening night), I am holding the first meeting of my team for Ballarat National Theatre’s production of Medea. I have my director’s hat firmly on. With a cast of 16 (some children) and emotionally charged content, it’s not unlike Hollow. The difference is, I have an entire production team to resource my vision for the show. I have a production manager, assistant director, designer, and the entire board of BNT to support me. I don’t have to find money to fund the show and I don’t have to market it. It’s a great feeling, and I have enough energy to put towards all the other things in my life at the same time.
So, hats off to that!