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!
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.
Follow this blog and my facebook page for updates on all my projects.
I’m chuffed to have been asked to preview my poem for the Weathering The Future project at this month’s Words Out Loud in Ballarat. Continue reading
I’m really excited to have been invited to be part of this cross-art form project. I recently met with artist Liz Winter and viewed her still unfinished painting, which is inspiring me to write a poem.
Keep up to date with the project via the Weathering The Future blog.
After many months of unavailability on Thursday nights, I was finally able to go along to the monthly spoken word event Words Out Loud. I closed the night with three of my poems – “Light Pollution”, “Add Smile, Hit Send”, and “Here, Nights”.
You can hear my performance via the Words Out Loud Website. Please ignore the nervousness in my voice and the fumbling over words as I try to decipher my own handwriting. Next time I’ll rehearse!
You can read “Light Pollution”and “Add Smile, Hit Send”, for yourself as part of my NaPoWriMo collection.
And put next month’s WOL in your dairy. Thursday 21st June at 7pm in The Printers Room.
I’m taking the National Poetry Writing Month challenge and attempting to write a poem every day for the month of April. No guarantee on quality, but I’m committed to share them with you.
Here’s the first three attempts. Continue reading