Friday, March 04, 2005

Reviewing the Process

Well, I did it. Initial feedback seems encouraging and people laughed in the right places and clapped at the end. What more could I hope for?
Now seems a good time to see if I fulfilled my original intentions and work out where to go from here.
My tutor commented "I think it is fair to say that the final piece was an expression of some of the frustrations you found about doing the piece" and I think she's right, it is fair to say that. However I have also come to realize that, although I was deeply frustrated at times and at other times felt that I could not stay true to my aims, to a certain extent I have fulfilled a lot of my initial criteria. There are other instances where I failed but from that failure I have begun to acquire an awareness of how and why things can go wrong and how to move from that point into future work .

I would like to take some of the work I generated in my C.E.P. and move it off-line.
The final script featured lines of text from Finish This and also evolved directly out of studying the content and form of that particular blog. I also wanted, for my personal practice to have this opportunity to experiment with taking a piece of work forward beyond the confines of the college defined project length, to run with it and see where I ended up. I've ended up discovering a little of what it means to write for performance rather than for writings sake, but more of that later.

Through the course of the original project, links were being made between new writing and existing texts from various media. I would like to continue this progression (i) and also take myself out of the relatively isolated context of the Internet (ii) and begin to bring a physicality to text that currently only inhabits a virtual space (iii). I also wish to continue with the existing collaboration and invite others to participate.
I would like to continue holding my documentation at http://startingthis.blogspot.com/ where my actions and progression through the project are held up to public scrutiny and comment. I am hoping that a rehearsal process can be shaped on-line in much the same way as the original writing was.
(i) I never did link my writing to existing writing in quite the way that I would have liked, I toyed with using song lyrics for a while, staying true to the Finish This ideal of moving a line into a new context to give it new meaning, but I feel that avenue required a separate project as, to do it hurriedly, became trite and forced. I also looked at taking first lines of novels and rearranging them but this only led to more non-performative text presenting the same trouble I had using the Finish This texts in a 'straight' way.
It became quickly apparent that I could not just 'cut and paste' the texts into a script and then perform it, they were not performative texts. Rather, I would have to take inspiration from them and then write new material. This also seemed to be in the spirit of my C.E.P., a line, a word, authored by another, expanded upon to create something entirely new. The original word or phrase was often unidentifiable in its new context but their was always a way to trace it back to it's source through hyperlinks. The audience at the performance was provided with the address' of both Finish This (containing its own links to show the origination of the text components) and this documentation blog, where, should they so choose, they could trace back through the process to see how the piece evolved and where the lines started. In this way, a different group of people have a chance to engage with the work of online community that collaborated to create the primary texts.
(ii) This project was always personally intended to be a collaboration and I believe that the majority of moments of indecision or frustration or unclearness in direction came out of the fact that it remained a solo piece and I became even more isolated in my work.
The project is designed as a solo project but I felt that by blogging regularly about my process I would receive the same support/criticism/suggestion that I had previously. This was not to be.
Right at the very beginning of the project my computer went down and I had no access to the internet. This meant that a lot of my entries were posted, en masse, up to a few weeks after the date that they happened. Although this backdating has had its uses, it has meant that my writing has not had the immediacy and the regular updates that keep a blogs readership reading. Had a reader had the chance to accompany me through the process then more comments may have been engendered. Again because of the backdating, even if a comment had been received on a particular post, the project may have already moved on from there rendering the comment less useful.
This also means that it was impossible to pursue the aim of having a rehearsal process shaped by daily suggestion, in much the same way as 'Playing Grounds' ;
Because of the failure of the documentation to function as efficiently on all the level I had intended, I had to come to view the project in a different light. No longer was I going to be presenting a piece of work, polished by a continuing test audience throughout the process. Instead, I was going to be working alone and the performance was to become the moment of experimentation.
Blogging is generally a long process, a regular readership takes time to build up through word of mouth or self promotion. That readership will quickly dwindle if they keep returning to the site and finding nothing new. This is especially true of blog-art and Finish This. The text that is there is unread and stagnant. In order to breath new life into it the blog must continually present something new that incites the reader to want to know its history. I have previously stated that I was unable to attract or maintain the feedback and comments that I sought. However early on in the process I received valuable input from Geof Huth (the earliest collaborator and initial inspiration for Finish This). His input seems to confirm the theory that had I posted regularly to maintain a readership, their comments would have greatly improved the clarity of direction and purpose that I lacked.
(iii) Returning to the studio and attempting to bring a physicality to the text was a more difficult process than I had anticipated. The aforementioned, unexpected, continuing isolation, bred frustration and ultimately negativity about my own abilities to create and communicate. I had to learn to work through this negativity in order that I did not 'freeze' completely. The negativity was counter productive and led to, fiercely critical, self-editing and an inability to present anything. I think the communication failure came out of trying to pursue to many ideas. There were so many themes and styles that had come out of the original project that I, initially, felt unable to reject, that I never committed to a single idea and thoroughly worked with it, explored it. I should have realized earlier that I couldn't cover everything in a project with such a short duration and should have simplified exactly what it was that I was trying to communicate. At the time I was to precious about trying to include all the levels that I wanted that in the end the performance may only have strongly communicated that I was frustrated and struggling with myself within the project.
All of this provided confirmation that I wish to continue practicing as a writer but that I would like to work on projects that allow me to write concurrently with a rehearsal process, the performers and the writer taking inspiration and feeding back into each others work throughout a rehearsal process. I admire the approach that Timberlake Wertenbaker undertook in writing 'Our Country's Good', writing material for the next days rehearsal based on transcripts and ideas from that days rehearsal. In this way the work was continually evolving out of what had gone before until a final script emerged. I attempted a similar process of evolving the text from the previously written (for example, the list of phrases taken from the original texts evolved over time into a list of awkward feeling when frozen into inaction but still contained key words and moments from the original text) but couldn't adequately work with it in the studio and observe myself working with it at the same time. In my next project for my degree I will be working with a director and two performers and we will attempt to work like Wertenbaker to devise new theatre.
Preparing a script, especially with the prescriptive staging that I became interested in, was also difficult when I didn't try it in the space. What looks good on paper doesn't necessarily translate and therefore there is a world of difference between writing and writing for performance. I feel that unless one has years of experience in writing for performance then one must continually try, assess and evaluate the effectiveness of the writing in the space, preferably with an 'outside eye' or two present. It's a symbiotic process between writer and what happens in the space. I seemed to lose site of this fact and internalized my work until I wasn't sure if I was saying what I thought I was saying. This could also explain where issues of performance clarity came about, themes that were obvious to me, knowing the body of work as I did, may not have even been present.
I could also have been helped if I had stuck to my side of the Contract for Working. On a practical level, I remained in contact with my tutor and informed her of my whereabouts, progress reports were available at Start This, but when I needed help I shied away from asking. This came out of the frustration I was feeling that I should be 'doing better' and the embarrassment I felt when presenting something I didn't feel was 'ready'. This was a counter-productive attitude that meant that I did not receive as much as I could have, and wasn't always amenable to, the support/advice/criticism that we had negotiated. 'Rod' and 'own back' spring to mind.

What did I want?
To put a little of the process of creating the Finish This texts into my product - I considered telling, in a performative way, the story of the interaction that created the original texts but in the end it was more important to focus on what it was about the project that excited me, being the centre of writers/voices and facilitating a conversation that created something new out of the old. I tried to take this into the piece by showing the protagonist responding to an outside voice and fighting to present something new out of the repetition and fear of repetition that they were given. I have realized, after the fact, that this outside voice was me talking also to me. How isolated and introspective could I get? Of course I would struggle to present something new when my source material was past or internal. I believe that in the future I will have to look outside of that which I know, look to the new to find the new.
To express something of the format of blogging - This again is something for the future, should I take on the work I have done for this project, it would be interesting to present the piece, as Geof Huth suggested, looped, in a variety of locations and times, for a variety of audiences, then invite them to comment. This would be an attempt to mimic the way in which a blog interacts with its audience. In the end the piece could continually shift in response to its on and off-line feedback and in that way emulate how blog content and style shifts through time in response to its readership. This would be a good way to free the performance up and help to lessen frustration/stagnation in the devising and performing process. In this way I would be engineering an obsolete voice from the past into influencing present and future work, an aim I didn't explore fully. New life is breathed into the "cobweblog" by what comes out of it.
To have the text read by its original authors - this was not practical due to continental differences in location but as I have previously said, I should have experimented with truly outside voices and then my response may have been fresher and more genuine.
To progress the he/she personas created in Finish This - This never happened, to do this I don't think that I would wish to perform, I would rather take two actors and work with them using the source text to create a more character driven piece, again using the work informing the writing informing the work approach.
To provide very detailed stage directions - This is something I looked at and the presented piece was informed by that research but to truly achieve the precision of Beckett I'd need his experience, genius or to work as previously stated within a system of constant testing of the writing.
To explore notions of repetition, remembering, forgetting, starting, stopping, the inability to these things and the consequences of that - I think I should have taken just one of these to run with, conversely by narrowing my thematics I would've widened my options in writing and performance, given myself time to look at something in depth rather than skirt lightly round all of them.
To present something stripped back and uncluttered - see above! The staging was simple as well as props and lighting (not costume - my frock was a giant fifties ball-gown and I looked like the fat kid at a five year olds tea party!) but the contents of the piece was not specific enough in it's themes and what generally emerged was "an expression of some of the frustrations you found about doing the piece".
To present a accessible, short, contemporary piece to an intimate audience - Check.
A key moment for me, possibly my 'Miracle Moment" was the decision to use this line within the piece:
repeat
I want you, too, to have this experience
so that we are more alike
so that we are closer, bound together, sharing a point of view
This line is directly lifted from Finish This and before that from the weblog My Life by Lyn Heijinian (blogger unknown) and before that from the book 'My Life' by Lyn Heijinian. I felt that all the way through the piece I had, at the most basic, just been trying to share a little text with an audience but I was only addressing them indirectly and sometimes obscurely through the tape. What better way of achieving this fundamental aim than to just say a line from Finish This to them? The line worked on that level and also through it's content, the protagonist meant every word and as a writer it somes up the experience of writing to share.
Out of the frustrations and difficulties I encountered I have begun to create my own system of tools for writing/devising including specifying a form for content, (although I feel this should be placed later in the process than I did and should arise out of experimentation rather than stylistic choices) this form could be specific to an individual performance and by placing restrictions or limitations upon the writer their worked would be influenced by these arbitrary rules and hopefully culminate in an internal logic for the piece and a code for the performers to work with and in. This theory needs further looking at, hopefully I will be able to try it for my end of year performance but be willing to reject the strict limitations if they prove creatively disabling.
There seems to be an awful lot of documentation considering the relative shortness of the project. This is because, having started backdating, I allowed myself to continue so I could really take a look at where thing went right and wrong and how they affected me. Had I tried to do documentation of this length within the month confines of the project, I can't see that I would have had any time to write creatively, although had all gone swimmingly, the daily posts would be more about inviting and responding to comment and evaluating that days rehearsal rather than a retrospective document and subsequently a shorter document.
What I produced during the course of this project is not as important as how I got there. The piece is a work in process and I feel that should the work continue under the suggestions and circumstances I have outlined above, that it would still culminate in a shifting outcome that reflects the forms and conventions of weblogging. And this project, in the end, has been less important in terms of fulfilling designated aims than it has to the understandings I have gained into the direction, strengths, weaknesses and hopes for the future of my practice. It seems that by undergoing such a struggle to create/write I have been forced to question my actions/responses much more deeply than I would if I'd breezed through with few problems. I may not have been totally successful in achieving what I set out to but my priorities shifted and what I've learnt in the end will probably be of greater benefit to my writing as a whole.
Blogging and collaborative writing within the realms of blog-art are relatively new forms (as is blog-art itself), it's hard to find examples of other work in this area as there is very little. Examples of collaboratively written blogs as art or space based work from blogs are few and far between. For my dissertation I will be exploring this further and hoping to generate forum based conversations on the subject.
I'm confident the dearth of information and examples will change over time. Blogging as a medium is continually growing with something like 7000 new blogs started daily and out of this number more and more artists, recently including Forced Entertainment are seeing how useful the form can be not only as documentation but also an aid to process and art piece in its own right. As the community grows conventions will emerge that the blog-artist can use or fight against, either way the discussion and work will be opened out and the new blog-artist will have precedents to support and inform their choices.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Tonight's the Night

The poster/program information:
Continue This…

A work in progress.

Thursday 3rd March
7:45pm - Studio 22

http://startingthis.blogspot.com/
http://finishingthis.blogspot.com/
Wish me luck...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Rehearsing

In the last two days, I have spent time going over how I will present what I've written so far. Some changes have been made in response to written directions not working in a live space, for instance, all the tape changing and "and that"'s were clumsy and slow so in the end I will just turn the tape over as if the protagonist believes they have inserted the tape the wrong way round. Other changes have come from being directly in the space, the studio I have been allotted has only one exit which the audience will be entering through, it feels necessary that the performer should already be in the space when the audience enter. In doing this it has come about that the performer is inexpertly hidden behind the podium for the dictaphone, they can be seen (although they believe that they can't) fumbling for the tapes and becoming increasingly excited by their impending moment of glory. Rather than walking on to the music that begins the tape, they grandly emerge in their very best(!?) impersonation of a balletic swan but do so vertically and are blocked by the podium.
These little alterations allow the audience to see how important this debut performance is to the protagonist and how amateur and at the same time sets the audience to believe that it will be a great spectacle but also that something may go wrong. Hopefully they will not anticipate quite how early the fall comes and will truly expect, as the performer prepares to speak, a profound utterance, allowing the deflation of the protagonist to have a greater humorous impact.
It's going to be a short little piece and I'm not sure if more is expected of me. Rehearsing has been quite difficult as I am not a director and I am an increasingly reluctant performer. As this is a solo effort and my peers are wrapped up in their own work, I'm doing the best I can with the fact that I have neither the skills as a director to bring forth the best performance from the text and the performer nor the skills as a performer to be brought forth. Anyhow enough excuses, bad workman and all that, I'm being marked on my process as a writer and not the end result and I don't see tomorrows performance as a product. I see it as a sharing of where I'm at at the moment, a little outreach to an audience for their criticism and (hopefully) entertainment and as a chance to test out ideas that only exist on paper.
Off to bed now, printing of programs and posters and preparing for performance in the morning.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Better Get Me a Great Big Meringue of a Frock then...

Okay, there's not going to be a 'finished' product, the piece I will present is evolving daily out of what has gone before. At this point I will stop rewriting and work with the script as it stands.


Continue this…
A work in progress

Mega dress
Mega entrance
Music at start of tape
Large indrawn breath
Clears throat
Indrawn breath

Whatever you are about to say has already been said.

Player deflates and looks at Dictaphone

Big pause
Tries to start again

Whatever you are about to say has already been said and what ever you are about to do has already been done.
Your next action will be completely unoriginal


Changes tape
Music again

See, I knew you were going to do that

Turns tape over

And that

New tape

And that
As I said, what ever you are about to do has already been done. There is nothing new here.


Looks at dress

The following may strike you as familiar
As I said, what ever you are about to do has already been done. There is nothing new here.

Looks at dress

The following may strike you as familiar

- Your heart falling into your shoes and this cold dying sensation coming over you.
- Looking foolish in front of friends.
- being tongue-tied
- being ‘frozen to the spot’
- being a little overdressed
- Hopping to remove your shoes
- Speaking someone else’s lines

These things have been done.
These things will be done again.
There is nothing new here.

Do something new
Various sequence of movements interspersed with
-looks panicky, picks up skirt sides and takes step forward
Old
Drops skirt, steps back
Thinking pose
Old
Wild and fantastic dancing
Old
Steps towards Dictaphone finger outstretched in admonition
Old
Stampy tantrum
Old
Summat saucy
Old
bird
Old
Stop

Say something original
Abortive attempts at speech, garbled sounds
Hard isn’t it?

You cannot present anything new. You endlessly repeat that which has gone before
There’ll be no ground breaking because you’re following in the footsteps of others.
You’ll never speak because you know that the words have been put in your mouth.
Not able to start anything because you might know how it ends.

Where do we go from here.

The following may strike you as familiar

- Your heart falling into your shoes and this cold dying sensation coming over you.
- Looking foolish in front of friends.
- being tongue-tied
- being ‘frozen to the spot’
- being a little overdressed
- Hopping to remove your shoes
- Speaking someone else’s lines

The following may strike you as familiar.

- Your heart falling into your shoes and this cold dying sensation coming over you.
(begins Hopping to remove shoes)
- Looking foolish in front of friends.
- being tongue-tied
- being ‘frozen to the spot’
- being a little overdressed
- Hopping to remove your shoes
- Speaking someone else’s lines
protagonist says...“I am searching for a particular word”
- Looking foolish in front of friends.
“It is a way of saying I want you, too, to have this experience”
- being a little overdressed “so that we are more alike” ...removes dress
- Speaking someone else’s lines “so that we are closer, bound together, sharing a point of view”
- little dressed
- in front of friends

These things have been done.
These things will be done again.

“repeat
I want you, too, to have this experience
so that we are more alike
so that we are closer, bound together, sharing a point of view”


You cannot present anything new. You endlessly repeat that which has gone before.
There’ll be
(bend ‘no’) ground breaking because you’re following in the footsteps of others.
You’ll
(bend 'never') speak because you know that the words have been put in your mouth. “to be spat out in a new order by a new voice”
Not able to start anything because you might know how it ends.
"Able to start anything because I know it doesn't have to end"

Where do we go from here.

"Repeat"

Whatever you are about to say has already been said and what ever you are about to do has already been done. protagonist joins in with this line as if expecting the tape to say that.

Your next action will be completely original

Lights down
See, I knew you were going to do that.
stop

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Aaaarrrggghhh!!! II

I've found the process, so far, incredibly difficult. My self-belief has taken a knock and I'm afraid to present anything for fear of criticism. I have never before experienced such fear in sharing my work. I don't want to show any of my workings as they are not just right. It's getting to the point where I cannot write or produce anything because of my fierce self-criticism and over-editing. I worry that I will arrive at the night of the performance with excuses for the absence of the great piece that I intended. Somehow I have strayed from the simple ideal of taking a little of the Finish This text off-line. Their were great little texts that cried out for sharing and now I am writing pieces about struggling to write a piece.
I need a Goat Island miracle...
"If we focus on a problem, we start to see problems everywhere. We become one who is defined by the perception of the proliferation of problems. Because of this approach, the creative mind often seems to shut down when critical discourse starts. If we focus on a miraculous moment instead, we start to see miraculous moments everywhere. We become one who is defined by the perception of the proliferation of miracles."

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Assessment Criteria

Assessment Criteria T310
Rachel Baynton

I wish to be assessed on the process I undertake (as a writer) in attempting to realize my original intentions. A process that will culminate in a performance that represents a point-in-time on a continuum, reached through recognizing limitations and exploring multiple avenues generated from the original text and that will provide a 'spring-board' to further work.

To be taken into consideration;

- My evaluation of how successfully I realized some intentions.
- My awareness of those moments when I failed and how I moved on from them.
- My continuing personal explorations of blogging and writing for/from blogs as a generative tool for theatre making.
- My awareness of the usefulness of the project to my emergent practice as a writer.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Find the New

Okay, this time some directions and tape content to take to the studio...

Repeat
A Piece for One Player with Dictaphone.

Set
The audience are arranged in a semi-circle around the performance space which is backed by a curtain or wall. A stool is placed slightly to the stage left of front centre. The furniture is non-descript, neither homely or institutional.

Exits
The player exits and enters from the same place each time. Footsteps should be clearly audible upon the players entrance.

Costume
Non-descript. Shoes should provide a firm sound of a footstep but should not be high heeled.

Voice
The recording on the cassette tape should neither be of professional sound quality or of poor quality, rather the player will have recorded it, somewhere with no extraneous noise, directly on to the Dictaphone to be used in the piece. The voice is both low and slow throughout.



Silence.
Steps are heard as the player approaches the stool (holding the Dictaphone in their right hand) with purpose, though not hurriedly. They stand centrally, directly next to the stool. The tape is started and the Dictaphone placed on the stool. A subtle hiss from the dictaphone may be audible. The player then faces to front as if about to speak...


Whatever you are about to say has already been said.
Player deflates and looks at dictaphone
Whatever you are about to say has already been said and what ever you are about to do has already been done
Hangs head
The following may strike you as familiar

- Your heart falling into your shoes and this cold dying sensation coming over you.
- Looking foolish in front of friends.
- Walking with your eyes half closed taking in only enough to get your body to work.
- Walking on a hill of tan grass; dozens of plump green cedars scattered over it; not a single shadow.
- Crying at Neighbours.
- Running, hard, legs pumping and feet hitting the ground, loud, and pressure building up in your chest, each step causing a glancing bite. Your sweat sweet with victory.
- Pretending to be Marilyn Monroe.
- Seeing rush hour as a steady line of receding red and an opposing line of intermittent white, the image strobing through the railings as you move along the bridge.
- The rice krispies floating on the milk and falling over the edge of the bowl.
- Ignoring a ringing phone.
- Hopping to remove your socks and shoes.
- Smelling a sharp scent of smoke

These things didn't just happen to you
These things have been done.
These things will be done again.
There is nothing new here.

Do something new

Various sequence of movements interspersed with
-
Old
-
Old
-
Old
-
Old
-
Old
-
Old
-
Old
Stop

Say something original
Abortive attempts at speech, garbled sounds
Hard isn't it?

And I bet you've done it again. You've invited people to come and witness an original work when its clear that they'll have heard it all before.
It's all been done before.
You remember what has happened in order to move on to something new.
But you endlessly repeat that which has gone before.

Now you are stuck aren't you
You can't do anything.

Shit.

Perhaps I'm wrong

You'll never get anywhere if you're afraid of repeating yourself. There'll be no ground breaking because you're following in the footsteps of others. You'll never speak because you know that the words have been put in your mouth. You won't be able to start anything because you'll know how it might end. That's no way to live.
You need to forget everything that I just said
I hope you remember this


Removes tape from machine pulls out tape
Unwraps new tape puts in machine

Whatever you are about to say has already been said starts to leave
Whatever you are about to say has already been said and what ever you are about to do has already been done
exit


It's a little negative isn't it? This writing froze me. Once I had convinced myself that there was nothing new and it had all been done before, I couldn't do anything. I listened to myself telling myself not to bother. Where can I go from here?
Humour seemed my only option to save myself from this descent into stagnation. How amusing to see the protagonist, grandly attired, making a grand entrance, preparing to speak, only to have the wind knocked out of their sails by "whatever you are about to say has already been said".
I played with how angered and saddened I was about the news of my unoriginality. It became apparent through this that I was only believable when responding as if this news was new to me.
What does one do when everything is pre-empted? One fights against it, still strives for originality, to catch the knowing out. If this is truly new information and the protagonist is so grandly prepared would they not do their utmost to present something, anything, to create a new meaning through a different placement of that which has already been said?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Double Yikes and a Mysterious Tape

Still ill. Feeling quite worried now with the performance only a week away. Every night that I have to work on the project is valuable and I can't afford to waste them in getting acquainted with my toilet bowl.
Anyway, in the midst of last nights disease-broken slumber (am still terribly sorry for myself), I imagined myself confronted by a tape of my own voice that I had no recollection of making. I am going to write and record that tape for tomorrows studio session. I'd like to include some edited elements of the writings for voice-off that I did and also create a little intrigue as to why it was recorded and why the protagonist has no memory of doing so. I shall also prepare some detailed stage directions for listening and reacting to the tape that I can execute exactly then improvise around. Hopefully by the end of tomorrow I should have established if this is an idea to pursue and, if so, what needs to be altered on the recording and the optimum set of directions for staging it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Poorly me

V. sick and sorry for self.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Documentation and Backdating

I have chosen to use the blog format for my documentation of a project again. Last time, the comments I received were invaluable, not only in providing constructive criticism and support, but in shaping the direction that the whole project took. I had hoped for the same input this time but due to my computer going down, causing me to have to backdate the posts and the short duration of the project I don't think it will be as possible this time. By having to backdate posts, I'm not using blogging in it's most constructive way. A daily post, with links, open to comment, has become a more standard journal and does not have the immediacy that instant publishing brings, comments happen retrospectively. Although, I do feel that because the project is short, change can happen swiftly and any comments received will still be relevant and taken into account.
There has been some good come out of having to backdate my posts. It's kept everything fresh for me. Ideas that I had at the beginning of the project and may have discarded or just forgotten, if my documentation had been updated daily, are still being jumbled round with new notions. Through backdating I have been forced to meticulously review and rephrase my old notes, with the added benefit of creating a more coherently narrated documentation. In this way I am able to progress through the project whilst remaining true to my original goals.
I received this feedback from my tutor:
hi Rachel. Well, I've had a look through your writing and I think it is really interesting. Well done. I think the ambiguity works well and leads to a nice sense of intrigue. Intrigue means I want to follow you somewhere - I wonder if you know where you are going yet? You've made a break from the original material - I think it's presence is clearly felt but that you are now free to do as you wish. Keep the experience of the process at the heart of the product, as we discussed, and I think yes it will help you make the next few decisions re performer presence etc.
She's got a point, where am I going?

Monday, February 21, 2005

Starting This and Not Being Able to Finish

The following was written to take into the studio today.
Voices Without
A Piece for One Player with Dictaphone.
Lighting
The stage should be as dark as it is possible to allow the player to traverse the stage and find the lamp switch with ease. One large angle poise lamp, plain and of dark metal. Bright but not blinding light (60w?)
Set
The audience are arranged in a semi-circle around the performance space which is backed by a curtain or wall. A central table with chair behind, facing out to audience. Both items of furniture non-descript, neither homely or institutional. The lamp is set on the stage left of the table, at a right angle to the audience. They see it in perfect profile. The light is angled directly down to create a circular pool of light on the table. With careful placement it should be possible that the head of the lamp would replace the head of the seated protagonist when viewed directly from the front. The pool of light should directly illuminate anything placed in the centre of it so that no shadow is cast. The edge of the light circle should extend exactly to the edge of the table nearest to the chair so as to illuminate the fingers of the player placed round that edge. As little else as possible should be 'caught' by the light.
Exits
One. Central at the back of the stage. Footsteps should be clearly audible upon the players entrance.
Costume
Non-descript. Shoes should provide a firm sound of a footstep but should not be high heeled Hands made up to be as visible as possible. No jewelry or other ornamentation apparent. The bag is large, dark and plain, no visible buckles or zips.
Voice
The recording on the cassette tape should neither be of professional sound quality or of poor quality, rather the player will have recorded it, somewhere with no extraneous noise, directly on to the Dictaphone to be used in the piece. The voice is both low and slow throughout except where indicated.
Dark and silence.
Steps are heard as the protagonist approaches the chair with purpose, though not hurriedly. They stand stage left of the chair, directly behind the lamp. They turn on the lamp. From the bag they remove the dictaphone and place it centrally in the pool of light. From the bag the also remove an unmarked audio cassette. Placing the bag on the floor next to them, they sit and remove the cassette from its case. The case is placed on the unlit right of the table. The cassette is inserted into the dictaphone and the play button is depressed. The protagonist places their hands on the edge of the table nearest to them, thumbs tucked under the edge and fingers relaxed.
A subtle hiss from the dictaphone may be audible.
I had intended to set everything up as above and then improvise for a while to establish what the 'voice off' on the tape could say to me and how I would respond. Technical support at college was closed and I couldn't get a lamp, desk or stool. I really wanted to experience being within such tight staging and, as I could not, all creativity deserted me. My tutor showed up and as I had nothing concrete to show her, I tried to explain where I was heading with my writing. She said, "I don't get it".
I'm going to have to have something to show her next time, I can't explain myself properly when put on the spot. I just don't really know where I'm going with this project. At first I had to much text and tried to refine it down, once I had, it's all opened up again from there and I'm frustrated, really bloody frustrated, at my inability to commit to an idea and to communicate effectively.
What is on that tape Rachel?

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Form into Content

Working with the fact that I am preoccupied with form, I have written myself a list of forms that interest me for possible inclusion in the end product. By laying it all out I hope to find content within. I'm going to attempt to write something that falls within these guidelines to take into the studio and work with.
Form for Content
Voice Off:
Both low and slow throughout
Obsolete voice from the past trying to communicate with it's present-time listener Engineer resonance between the history recounted and the current situation
Prescribe length of pauses
Prescribe the volume of sound
Stuttering voice
Repeated phrases
Movement:
Prescribe exact stage directions
Prescribe the number of step
Stuttered movement
Repeated movement
Look:
Prescribe the angle of perceptions
Prescribe the timing of camera shots
Clarification:
Who are 'they'? - This outside input
What are they saying?
Why are they saying it?
Who are they influencing?
Why?
What am I saying?
What do I want my audience to leave with?
Why?
Thematics:
inability of someone to remember
repeat a period of time until it is 'completed' before they can commit the events to memory
failure to complete
decision making - its consequences
someone being affected by outside input
outside voice influencing/dictating in the space
attempts at finishing blocked by repetition/procrastination/delay (-ed gratification)
"why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?"
"she's started to finish this."
short scenes/recordings linked by the repetition of themes/phrases
Different audio or video clips looped in the same physical location over a period of days
diligent replication
taking the words from someone else mouth
picking up where someone else left off
he/she, me
memory
forgotten/remembered/mementos
false starts
repetition
I am only done when nothing else can be removed.

Process into Product?

Right then, what did I do in Finish This and why did I start it?

She finishes others writing
To find out what happens next
she's unable to start her own
It would languish without continuation
To bring the writers together in a new voice


In essence,

Someone finishing what someone else has done
To see what could happen
Because they didn't start it
Because no-one else would do it
To bring together the elements needed


Refine,

Continuing/completing
Concluding
Last resort
Collating


Expand,

The only person who would bring these this together and try to progress, continue, to a conclusion

You are the chronicler
The standard bearer
The end is in sight
Do you want to get there
Is it possible to get there


Expand again,

Everything comes from something
This work is Bourne out of all the work that has gone before
There is nothing new
It has all been done before
These words have been said
I'm just rearranging the order
You said this yesterday
It is just as true today
I am trying to find a new meaning
To express something in a new way
Putting things together so that they mean something new



(V.O.)
Hello
Are you listening?
When you're ready, we'll begin.

Ideas...

Ø Tape is by her - not immediately apparent - do you remember making this tape/saying these things?
Ø If you've truly forgotten you'll not remember where you hid/the location of the other tapes
Ø Why is she trying to forget
Ø Empties bag full of tapes
Ø She erases and makes a new tape at the end or gets out new tape at end
Ø Tape is to make her forget?
Ø Spotlight on hands/recorder
Ø Revelations on tape
Ø It must become clear she is trying to forget
Ø Hasn't successfully forgotten =] remembers=]makes new tape?
Ø "If you can hear this, it hasn't worked"

Saturday, February 19, 2005

An Early Morning

It's taken him over a year but my son is finally sleeping through the night. The trade-off is that we're now up at six every morning. I've tried explaining to him that I'm a student and look upon midday as an acceptable time to rise, especially seeing as I have to get my college work done after he's gone to bed and usually work to the small hours, he's having none of it. Six it is then. Today that was a blessing. I could have kissed him. I did. We turned on the telly so he could catch up with the Hoobs over his Weetabix and stumbled upon a film of Samuel Beckett's 'Footfalls'. It was so simple. Such a strong image of a woman endlessly pacing, "endlessly revolving it all." She became bowed and the light on her dimmed over time until, in the last scene she wasn't there at all. The whole time she responded to a voice off ("voices: both low and slow throughout") until the voice merged with her own. It was full of pauses, silences, the words were achingly slow and drawn out yet it still held me. The voices drifted to the audience in a timeless, weary monochromatic timbre. These were not elements unique to this production. All of these details would have been laid down specifically by Beckett. From my old school notes:
"Unlike more traditional playwrights who indicate but who do not, except in certain moments, prescribe exact stage directions, Beckett calls for diligent replication of the number of steps, the angle of perceptions, the length of pauses, the timing of camera shots, the volume of sound, and such like, and to deviate from his carefully prescribed directions is to immediately reduce the effectiveness of the production and the impact of the symbols and images embedded in the text. The stage instructions remain sacrosanct, and there can be no gender bending of characters or cutting of lines. We have to be true to the spirit of Beckett who, of course, was the most careful writer in the world. He was also, though, a very imagistic writer. Even if they don't remember the name of the plays, people tend to remember the images - those guys in the sacks, the people buried up to their necks, the characters in the dustbins. He created simple, sparse, strong images that stick in the mind."
Harold Pinter said of Beckett and his work:
"The farther he goes the more good it does me. I don't want philosophies, tracts, dogmas, creeds, ways out, truths, answers, nothing from the bargain basement. He is the most courageous, remorseless writer going and the more he grinds my nose in the shit the more I am grateful to him. He's not fucking me about, he's not leading me up any garden path, he's not slipping me a wink, he's not flogging me a remedy or a path or a revelation or a basinful of breadcrumbs, he's not selling me anything I don't want to buy - he doesn't give a bollock whether I buy or not - he hasn't got his hand over his heart. Well, I'll buy his goods, hook, line and sinker, because he leaves no stone unturned and no maggot lonely. He brings forth a body of beauty. His work is beautiful."
Now there's somebody to emulate, "the most careful writer in the world". I want to hold my audience with something simple and precise.


Friday, February 18, 2005

A Few Words from Mr. Huth

I'm going to try and write some audio scripts that I can record and take into the studio with me. This will give me a chance to see how they sound in a space, to work physically from them and to get some feedback from Lou.
Geof Huth, the writer of One Million Footnotes (the inspiration for Finish This) has kindly answered some of my questions. He raises the point that to emulate blogging I could have "Different audio or video clips looped in the same physical location over a period of days." I have considered that, if I just produce an audio recording, then I could have it looped in a space and produce a durational performance that the audience are free to join and leave as they wish. This would also be a nod to another of Geof's points,
"Movement and change are what is necessary on the web. Any site that is no longer updated becomes a cobwebsite and visits to it decline precipitously. Your blog now lies fallow."
A recording is the capture of a passed moment. Like watching re-runs of the news, the words would not be of the now. The tape would be an obsolete voice from the past trying to communicate with it's present-time listener. Maybe there would be a resonance between the history recounted and the current situation, maybe that resonance could be engineered?
I just worry that I might not be able to hold the interest of the audience through sound alone.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

To do

  • Move on from new writings - reject, edit, rewrite where necessary
  • Book studio space - this is essential, I must get away from the computer and in to the studio, what works on paper may not in a live situation
  • I now have my performance date - Thursday, March 3rd, 7.45pm - I need to be ready to show something approaching the final performance, to Lou, by the 25th.
  • Yikes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

First Writings

I sent the following to my tutor:
Please find attached some first writings for a 'voice off'.
The first few texts are deliberately ambiguous in their intended target, I want the listener to question whether they are being addressed directly or if they are being told about someone else.
The last text is an attempt to introduce a live performer into the space.
These are preliminary ideas but I think that I shall definitely be looking at short scenes/recordings linked by the repetition of themes/phrases. At the moment I'm still trying to clarify whether or not to have a live body in the space but I trust that this will eventually resolve itself through the continuation of the writing.
I'm looking at the inability of someone to remember, possibly that they have to repeat a period of time until it is 'completed' before they can commit the events to memory (a return to the copy), decision making, failure to complete and its consequences These initial writings may be rejected again but I feel it is a move away, from the 'finish this' texts that were holding me, in the direction of something more performative. I think as a next task that I will write taking this writing as my source so that the writing can evolve out of itself.
I want also to present something very 'stripped back' a kind of zen-gardening approach where I am only done when nothing else can be removed.

(V.O.)
Hello
Are you listening?
When you’re ready, we’ll begin.

(V.O.) Does any of the following strike you as familiar?

- Your heart falling into your shoes and this cold dying sensation coming over you.
- Looking foolish in front of friends.
- The sharp scent of smoke.
- Sweat, sweet with victory.
- Walking with your eyes half closed taking in only enough to get your body to work.
- A hill of tan grass; dozens of plump green cedars scattered over it; not a single shadow.
- Crying at Neighbours.
- Running, hard, legs pumping and feet hitting the ground, loud, and pressure building up in your chest, each step causing a glancing bite.
- Pretending to be Marilyn Monroe.
- Rush hour as a steady line of receding red and an opposing line of intermittent white, the image strobing through the railings as you move along the bridge.
- Ignoring a ringing phone.
- Hopping to remove your socks and shoes.

(V.O.) Do you remember?
Do you remember?
Do you remember anything?
Do you remember anything at all of what happened?
Do you remember anything at all of what happened yesterday?
Do you remember anything at all of what happened yesterday, of what you did?
Do you remember anything at all of what happened yesterday, of what you did, when and why you did it?
What you did, when and why you did it?
Do you remember anything at all?
anything at all?
anything?

(V.O.) Comfortable?
Comfortable isn’t it?
Just sitting there … listening?
You know what you’ve done, you had your reasons.
You may have carefully considered the implications before doing what you did.
You may have not thought at all before jumping in, both feet first.
In the end you made your decision and stuck to it.

(V.O.) Reasons for not doing include:
I was drunk
I fell asleep
I didn’t wake up
I couldn’t be bothered
I didn’t have the time
I didn’t know where to start
I had too much else to do
It was too difficult
It was easier not to

The Voices Without
Or
She’s a good girl who does what she’s told for as long as they want her to with seemingly no end in sight – A story in ten unfinished chapters (with prologue).

(An empty circle, she stands still in the middle.)

(V.O.)
Clears throat – 1, Start. She’s a good girl who does what she’s told
Her mobile rings, she takes it out her bag and goes to answer it.
Stop right now, thank you very much
She stops, thinks better of it and puts it back in her bag.
She takes a compact and lipstick from her bag and, using the mirror, begins to apply the lipstick.

Don’t go changing to try to please me
She stops, thinks better of it and puts it back in her bag.
She is never happier than when following an instruction
(SINGS)If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands
With a big smile she claps twice.

People sometimes worry about her. “it’s as if she’s hearing voices” they say. Of course, they cannot hear what you can.

(An empty circle, she stands still in the middle.)

(V.O.) Clears throat
– 2. She’s a good girl who does what she’s told and every day she’s told something. They have come together to tell her these somethings and she must follow their thoughts to their illogical inconclusions. She must because she chooses that she must and because they have taken the trouble to tell her to and she’s a good girl who does what she’s told until they stop telling her. She hopes they don't stop.

(V.O.) She’s particularly fond of these words

Stop
Don’t
Won’t
Forbidden
Forgotten
Shouldn’t
Wouldn’t
Couldn’t
Haven’t
Didn’t

She’s not mad or submissive, she just doesn’t like the responsibility of setting a task, completing a task

If someone’s telling her what to do she doesn’t have to think for herself
And if their telling her not to do something she never has to finish anything

She worries that she’s lazy

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Voice

Lou mentioned something interesting. When she heard me reading the texts she said that I had a good voice and maybe I should use it. This has got me thinking. I could be my own 'voice off'. I could respond to the outside influence of my own voice (either live or recorded), speaking the words of others. Or, maybe I don't need to be present at all, maybe the audience should feel that they are being addressed directly by a disembodied voice. Maybe some ambiguity, who is being addressed, the audience or the performer?
hmmmm...

Monday, February 14, 2005

Goat Island and Mr. Beckett.

I've been looking at Goat Island, a Chicago based ensemble of collaborative performers. I've loved them since the first moment I saw "It's an Earthquake in my Heart" during my first term at Dartington. Actually, I thought that I hated them when I saw them but when, as my first assignment, I had to review the performance, I discovered the beauty and complexity of their work that I had fought seeing. I was new to this kind of theatre (my theatre background was touring Shakespeare-in-the-park) l had never seen anything like it and resisted it, complaining that it made no sense and was boring. When I couldn't get the images they presented with me out of my head and was forced, through the review writing, to really question what I had seen, I realized that I couldn't dismiss it so easily. Now, four years on, I can't wait to see them when they come back to Devon in a few weeks.
"Goat Island performance work is a series of responses: to the exercises we give ourselves, to our surroundings, to the events of the world, but mostly, to each other. We perform responses for each other back and forth. The conversation goes further than were we just talking. At the end of the conversation we have a piece in front of us and it's ready to show. These conversations take place over a long period of time. As in a chess match, each response is carefully considered. Time, and therefore, dreams and reverie are part of the conversation. These conversations can be two years long. This gives time for a history to grow and for us to interpret it, for distortions to take on their own meaning, their own demands."
I lifted this from their website (please also look at their Letter to a Young Practitioner, it's inspirational) as it describes what they do far better than I can. While I was doing so, I found this:
"As each project is performed creative energy is encouraged to gather strength through the process of creative response. Each presentation of work is met with some kind of artistic response: a work of art that could not have existed without the work it is responding to. These responses are individual contributions to a conversation that stretches. In this way work begets more work and all of the work is inextricably linked. This practice destabilizes the boundaries between critical and creative modes in order to enrich them both."
Which I think how I hope to work in this project and all future endeavors. Also, some useful advice:
"If we focus on a problem, we start to see problems everywhere. We become one who is defined by the perception of the proliferation of problems. Because of this approach, the creative mind often seems to shut down when critical discourse starts.
If we focus on a miraculous moment instead, we start to see miraculous moments everywhere. We become one who is defined by the perception of the proliferation of miracles.
Try the second of these approaches. Think of a creative response as your own work that would not have existed without the work you are responding to. Start with the most obvious miraculous moment that you see in the work. What is obvious to you may not be obvious to anybody else.
You may have an association with that moment. You may want to echo it, multiply it, or work from it in some other way. Work out from that moment. The moment may have been intentional or accidental. Instead of a moment, your starting point might be a structural element, a visual element, a spatial element - anything."
Well that's a way to work, but I've also been thinking about style. When I was writing the first sketches, I started writing incredibly detailed stage directions, about movement, vocal quality and staging. This was to aid my own performance of them, notes to self if you will. This reminded me of Samuel Beckett's plays. I studied them about ten years ago and remembered how Beckett was always very detailed in exactly how his work should be shown.
Perhaps I don't need to be quite this controlling but maybe it would be worth looking a little further at his work. Maybe try to emulate his style. A prescriptive form to shape my content. I vaguely remember one play, Footfalls, where a woman is responding to a voice off-stage. I shall look through my old school notes and see what I can find.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Writing Exercises

I wrote a few little sketches, based on the individual texts. Here's a bit of one...
The Voices Without
Or
She’s a good girl who does what she’s told for as long as they want her to with seemingly no end in sight – A story in ten unfinished chapters (with prologue).


(An empty circle, she stands still in the middle.)


(V.O.) Clears throat – Start, prologue. She’s a good girl who does what she’s told and every day she’s told something. They have come together to tell her these somethings and she must follow their thoughts to their illogical inconclusions. She must because she chooses that she must and because they have taken the trouble to tell her to and she’s a good girl who does what she’s told until they stop telling her. They won’t stop.

1, Rush Hour.

Go
placidly amidst the noise and haste.

Keep your head when all around you are losing theirs.

Here in your car you can lock all your doors it’s as safe as a house it’s the only way to live.
I went on to describe the performer following beams of light through an empty space.
I wasn't really happy with them as, because they were so text-specific, there was even less connection between them and I wasn't sure what I was trying to say. However, what did emerge was a clearer understanding of what I want to express.
I want to show someone being affected by outside input.
I want to show an outside voice influencing/dictating in the space.
I want to show attempts at finishing blocked by repetition/procrastination/delay (-ed gratification) "why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?" "she's started to finish this."

Also,
Who are 'they'? - This outside input
What are they saying?
Why are they saying it?
Who are they influencing?
Why?

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Conclusions Drawn from Studio Session

Reflecting on yesterdays, eventually productive, studio session, the following conclusions have been drawn:
  • I have 'permission' to write - rather than being scared by the wealth of material I have, I should see it as a starting point. Taking elements from the texts to produce a performative work. This first journey back into physical work is not the time to take on the texts 'whole'. Instead I need to concentrate on a further exploration of my own work, taking that which I have already generated and moving it on within the boundaries of the (college specific) project. Theoretically, I have a huge resource of written starting points for work that could keep me going for years!
  • In light of the above, I do not have to be so 'precious' about the texts - I was worried that by writing on from them that I, and my audience, would lose sight of where they came from. It is possibly enough that I know. The audience can be directed to the sites through a progamme, of sorts, for the performance. Indeed, the elements that I choose, and a little of the process within the performance, may stand as enough of a pointer anyway. I'm very fond of the texts generated in Finish This, some of it personal pride in the collation, some of it the feel of a particular phrase and also the feeling of being in the centre of a group of writers, bringing them together and seeing new meanings emerge from the existing texts.
  • I'm very bogged down in form - It's a bit of a control issue but maybe I can turn that to my advantage and allow the form to shape the content. If I know what I want to say to an audience and can rigidly define how this happens then the content will be part of the form.
  • I need to set a few exercises to progress my writing.
  • I need to question my actions and reasonings.
  • I need to identify what I wish to communicate, then, how.
Some questions:
Why am I presenting these texts?
Why the specific texts?
What is my finishing (continuation) of others writing a metaphor for?
Why start something and then not finish?
What am I finishing?
Why was I drawn to blogging in the first place? - specifically what did I enjoy about Finish This?
What do I want the audience to take from the peice?
Why am I giving them that?
Some exercises:
Take something from each of the texts and write something new around it
Take ten first lines from different books, write something from them
Take ten last lines from different books, write something from them
Some themes for possible inclusion:
blogging
finishing something
not finishing something
stuttering - movement/voice/text
false starts
repetition
picking up where someone else left off
taking the words from someone eles mouth
he/she, me
memory - forgotten/remembered/mementos
process into product

Friday, February 11, 2005

Studio

By the time my tutor arrived, it had become very apparent that I was stuck and had very little to show for the hour and half that I had been there already. I was embarrassed by my failure to communicate the texts that I so desperately want to share. Every exercise or attempt at moving the words became awkward and stilted, in the end, the movement ceasing altogether until I returned to just saying the words.
After some discussion, it was pointed out that, although these texts may contain the inspiration for devising contemporary theatre, they are not performance texts and will not translate directly from the page to a space (unless in the most trite and obvious way). Where as I, in my closeness to the texts due to my immersion in their creation, could see unwritten connections between the posts I had selected - a fragmented story - all Lou could perceive were unrelated texts forced together arbitrarily. She could see what I was getting at, knowing the background to the project, but I will be performing to a public audience with no prior knowledge of my work. I have to precisely define what it is that I am trying to communicate and then do so effectively.
It was also remarked that I was still avoiding discussions of content, preferring to examine and set precise forms for my work. I think this is probably due to a lack of self-confidence in my own abilities as a performer, I've fallen out of the habit and don't wish to commit myself to anything that I would not be able to execute satisfactorily. Time to take a few risks methinks. I need to keep reminding myself that this does not have to be a highly polished extravaganza, it is an explorative exercise in producing work for public consumption to aid my emergent practice as an artist.
Lou suggested that as I had been working primarily as a writer for the past few years, it seemed obvious that I should write something. I had purposely not written anything new as I felt that I had so much, too much, material already. But perhaps it is truer to the spirit of Finish This (where a line was taken, added to and placed in a new context to give it new meaning) to take just a word/phrase/action from a text and write from it, then write from that new writing until I have a text for performance. I will need to retain enough elements of Finish This to show that it came from there, else I could have just written something new and forgotten all about the texts.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Aaaarrrggghhh!!!

I've still very little for my studio session tomorrow. At the moment I'm going in with the following:

  • Warm-up - will start with a full warm up and try to re-acquaint my body with the notions of moving in a space, to focus my mind and prepare to work and to remind myself that this is what I used to do, was good at and chose to study before I decided to change nappies for a while.
  • Texts - I'm taking in several copies of the texts so that I can experiment with them, reordering, cutting, pasting and rewriting. Also a list of actions that are within the texts, I shall try reading and moving the words under the direction of these actions.
  • Script - A really rough attempt at putting stage directions around some of the texts. It's not great but it's a start.
  • Old notes - on previous studio work and techniques for devising theatre, if I get stuck I might be prompted by them.
  • And after reading the above - quite a negative attitude to the whole process and my abilities, perhaps this shouldn't come with me.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Copy

Well, I wrote the requested copy. It just kind of tumbled out of my head, really quickly, and I'm not sure that it follows the direction that I thought I thought the work was taking. It just 'felt' right.

She's taken the words from out of their mouths.
Together it's a new voice.
She’s hoping that it can fill in the gaps in her memory.

A story of a forgotten 24 hours, pieced together from the writing of strangers. Follow her as she tries to finish what they've started.
…
I think the memory element comes from the fact that I see the Finish This texts as individual scenes or pages from a torn up book: parts of a greater whole. If ones memory of a time is patchy then flashbacks will occur in a non-sequential order.
I don't know if this is the direction to take but it's a possible starting point, my 'in'.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Contract for Working

The following is the 'contract for working' that has been agreed between my tutor and myself. It is particularly useful as we have not previously worked together nor met prior to the start of this project. It states what we can and should expect from each other.
It also serves as a model of my ideal of a 'good working practice', which I may be assessed against, and as a personal yardstick to measure myself against as I progress through the work.

Contract for Working

You will…

- Establish a working dialogue
- Set limitations and deadlines to guide me forward through the work
- Provide an ‘outside eye' to those rehearsals viewed
- Offer much support/observation/criticism/suggestion
- Feedback on progress reports
- Help with clarification/justification of the work as it progresses
- Offer links to existing practitioners/work

I will…

- Establish a working dialogue
- Meet with you regularly
- Be in regular e-mail contact
- Meet the deadlines set
- Provide regular updates on my progress outside of tutorial contact
- Provide information on times that I am working in college
- Request help as soon as it is necessary
- Make regular presentations of the work as it progresses
- Be open to much support/observation/criticism/suggestion
So far so good, I'm not in breach yet. I'll review the situation further down the line...