Last Wednesday night, in some god-awful wet and windy weather, I travelled to Geelong with my writer friend Zoe Werner. We both competed in the Australian Poetry Slam heat being held at the Geelong Regional Libraries.
It was a fantastic night of passionate poetry and I was very proud of myself for coming second! This means that I am off to compete at the Victorian Finals on Friday 4 October at the State Library, Melbourne.
See the video of me performing this poem at Words Out Loud or you can listen to the audio and read the text below.
No Pockets We never switch off. And it’s any wonder we’ve got so many balls in the air. No pockets, see? But we can’t surreptitiously fondle them like you do on the train. Or at work. In a queue. On the couch. At the cricket. In a lift. We too manipulate constantly To avoid dropping the ball Coz that shit’ll get you killed, man. We keep juggling until the terror is back in the back of our minds. We keep cool. We keep our hands where you can see them. We keep our shirts on. We keep cracking our perfect non-committed smile Like a dropped egg’s thick yolk Reminiscent of the blood that stained the grouting that one time But he didn’t mean it. We’re on our hands and knees, scrubbing To ensure we don’t end up on the evening news. We run surveillance. We run to the other side of the street. We run a constant stream of ‘what will I do if he does that’. We’ve run home, balls to the wall like harpies To find our secret safe places drawn upon by sharpies. Yours truly, dicks & balls. Your genitalia emblazoned across the paper, and the paper-thin walls. You turkey-slap us on the train. At work. In a queue. On the couch. At the cricket. In a lift. And you can’t understand why we keep walking home with our keys In our fists like some kind of budget wolverine? Well, it’s simple. No pockets.
I was right when I said that everything changes. I know I’d sworn never again to work with community theatre after being burnt twice. It seems I wasn’t the only one who had negative experiences and with a new broom comes sweeping changes. The new board of Ballarat National Theatre are open to creative risk, actively seeking new blood, and have a longer-term outlook. I’m excited to be a part of that. The opportunities to build more networks, to work with new people, to try new things as a director, to forge a reputation for professionalism and quality seem to now outweigh any potential conflict that might arise from working in community theatre.
This month, I will be directing Act Like A Girl, a monologue series which sees speeches for male characters transformed by the female voice. I’ve got my work cut out for me with 20 actors to coordinate individual rehearsals for! And later this year, I will direct for BNT’s September/October season.
I’ve also been asked to present a guest segment on The Arts Program on 99.9 Voice FM. Every now and again, I’ll be joining Lydnen & POD on Wednesday nights from 6-8pm, to chat about happenings in theatre and spoken word around Ballarat.
2019 is going to be a VERY busy year for me, with new spoken word projects, and my other theatre projects already on the calendar. It’s an exciting time because I never know where the next project will take me or who I might meet, and each opportunity is a brick in the wall that is my career in the arts. And it’s not going to build itself, so when opportunity knocks, I answer.
It’s mid-February and I’ve got a full year of exciting projects which I’m really pleased to share with you.
The Belly Dancer
The Let-Down Reflex (Solo)
The Sum of Us
Megan performing Spoken Word
I’ve co-written a play with Jacob Honeychurch called The Belly Dancer. Tripwire Theatre Inc. are presenting the world premiere season in Bendigo from 15-18 March. I’m producing the season so I’m really busy getting everything organised before opening night. I’m also super excited to see what the cast and director Alise Amarant have made of the writing. You can book tickets here.
Mid-year, I have my auto-biographical play The Let-Down Reflex premiering in Ballarat. I had two days of development in January with my actor Kate Suter and stage-manager Katrina Hill and we showcased some of our work in progress. We got great feedback from the audience about how we can improve the show and also a lot of love for Kate and the stories in the script. So we’ll be heading into rehearsals for that in the next few months with a view to a season in June. Stay tuned to my website and facebook for announcements about LDR.
I have a series of workshops lined up for 2019. The first two I have secured are thanks to Art In Dereel. I’ll be heading down to Dereel to run a Spoken Word workshop in May and my Short Play In A Day workshop in July. If you’re interested in joining me or if you’d like to book me for another one of my workshops, you can send me a message on my workshops page.
I’m very happy to announce that I’ll be directing for Hobo Playhouse, based in Maldon. I’ll be directing Jeffrey Bryant-Jones in a one man show called The Carer, by Alan Hopgood. The Carer will tour to three locations in Central Victoria in November.
It’s going to be a busy year, which is just the way I like it.