How DO prodigiously creative people do it? We all have the same hours in the day. We have the day job, the lovely people in our lives and then maybe stuff like making music and art and enjoying other people’s!
Rather than wonder / despair and feel inadequate, the only way is to see myself like a bee: I buzz into work (like this lot below) and I make my own from what’s around me. And when I look at it that way, I realise there’s much going on!
We (me and a wee gang) are editing my audio play, The Lost Boy, which we recorded late summer – four 15-min eps and a real cracker! I’ve talked about it here before – the cast and team are sublimely talented and I am repeatedly staggered by my great good luck of living in the South West where there’s so much. I have to say that the audio producers I have talked to have been so helpful; being an ignoramus isn’t as terrifying as I thought – big thanks to them!
Much time’s recently gone on adapting the quantum physics play into a novel…. There’s a lot of you who have supported this wee smasher over the years, from dramaturgy, workshops and crowdfunding to a script in hand at Brighton Uni a couple of years ago. It – like lots of my stories – obsesses me. (Maybe they’re not happy til they’re really engaging with audiences – that is what they’re for). Anyway, novel writing is of course not what I do. Lawks, I’m learning. But loving it and very conscious of my great fortune in having enough paying work coming in so I can write from the right place, rather than one of terror. The starving artist as great creative is a very pernicious myth.
My first short, GLUE, directed by the smashing Isabelle Larché comes ever closer to release (it’s expensive, this making stuff lark, innit?). It’s a beautiful wee thing and a JOY to have worked with her. A grad of Bristol’s groundbreaking Screenology film school, Izzie is one to watch.
And Skin In The Game, the pre-March-lockdown dark climate comedy is – aptly – rumbling like an earthquake! She (yes, she’s a she) had been offered some amazing opportunities just before lockdown hit, and would have had a London debut by now. That obviously died a death, but – tada! – it was a fake death! As-is, it’s too costly and risky to mount this show til we have a COVID19 vaccine and some kind of “normal”, but I am (rightly) getting creative with theatricality. We all need some FUN and this is going to be just that!
There’s also a lovely film and a fun TV idea in utero, but you will have to wait for those…
Throughout all of these projects – I’ve been very generously guided, advised and supported by patient professionals way wiser than me. Grateful thanks to you (you know who you are).
Here’s some stuff you might enjoy that I have been loving this week:
How To Be Free – Tom Hodgkinson
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie*
The Art of Dramatic Writing – Lagos Egri
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingswood*
Metamorphosis – Ovid
The C21st Screenplay – Linda Aronson
The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington*
TV & films:
Mother! – a big fat allegory film – odd and great (dir Darren Aronofsky)
The Queen’s Gambit* (Netflix) – wow, in so many ways
The Third Day – Dennis Kelly’s new show – with Punchdrunk’s Felix Barrett (Now TV) – incredible
Arcadia – a wonderful British folk archive mash-up with music by Adrian Utley & Will Gregory; directed by Paul Wright.
*Superb recommendations from others!