Updated: Feb 3, 2021
First day of R&D today for The Empathy Experiment. It feels pretty surreal. Nearly a year ago that I first started applying for Arts Council funding for the project (took three tries … third time lucky … #persistencepaysoff). And here I am, with ideas tumbling out onto multi-coloured index cards strewn around the space. With time and space to start to shape these ideas into a new show.
I am in the wonderfully intimate black box space that is The Studio at Harrogate Theatre. It reminds me of Convocation Hall, the former event-space-turned-theatre-studio at The University of Winnipeg in Canada. There, I studied drama and took part in theatre productions as part of my undergraduate degree … and had no sense that over 20 years later I would be living across the pond in the UK making my way in the world as a writer and performance poet. Cah-razy.
And to any fly that may be on a wall in this space, I may look a bit cah-razy at the moment. Drifting around the room, trying to tease out an opening to the show, scribbling down lines as they come to me, murmuring into my tea.
It’s a bit outside of my usual modus operandi … this R&D process. My comfort zone is in scheduling and list making and planning and organising. And yet, despite a bit of giddy terror, I am so excited for this process. For this time to let ideas germinate. For this space to play. I’m equipped with all manner of stationery (a particular favourite is the pack of multi-sized sticky notes) and a gazillion ideas. Onwards. Onwards into the blurry unknown!