Monday, June 11, 2007

machines for making you happy

There are now two persons unknownses - i met up with the marvelous Chris Perkin and we're going to make a lovely theatre company thing happen. i'm genuinely excited, not just because Chris is a great writer and runs a London's exciting Tabard Theatre, but because for the first time in ages i feel like i'm a part of something rather than an individual trying to make things happen, and also because i think i'd almost forgotten what collaboration means and how fucking exciting it is.

We chatted about one project in particular and it very rapidly went from half a thought that's been floating around in the back of my mind for the best part of 5 years to something that's actually going to happen, and it's been a long old time since i've so enjoyed the pinging around of an idea. i love the way that a very simple suggestion can open up such different possibilities for different people, and how it's scope grows, but what i really love most is when someone misunderstands what you're saying and ends up doing coming up with something utterly different and much better than you could ever have thought of.

And this is at the heart of what i think about directing. i know lots of actors like to get the impression that the director knows exactly what they're doing, but the fact is that even those who pretend that they do are making it up as they go along. The alternative, and this is probably much worse, is that they are clinging to an inflexible methodology, and i really do believe that whilst you need to put thought into your process, you also need to believe that people, even actors, are a little bit more than perpetual emotion machines into which you can feed certain inputs in order to obtain certain outputs.

So when you accept that it's basically impossible to get people to do what you want them to, and that half the time it's impossible to even get them to understand what you think you want them to do, everything gets a lot happier and a lot more exciting.

So, yes, persons unknown is going to be a theatre company. hurrah!

sadly, i somehow doubt i'll manage to get chris to post on this blog, but i'll give it a go. And then everyone can appreciate his charming grumpiness through the medium of the interweb.

In other smiley news, I went and played Tassos Steven's fabulous theatrical game A Small Town Anywhere last week, as well as thoroughly enjoying the celebrations around the Royal Festival Hall's re-opening after its refurbishment (although so far as I can tell, it's exactly the same as it used to be, only with less toilets - sorta the opposite of Wembley) - especially Billy Bragg leading everytone in a glorious rendition of Waterloo Sunset, as the sun set, near Waterloo, and a remarkable and totally joyous blast of skiffle from The Bee Strings (who sadly, or more correctly I suppose, not sadly at all) seem to have no online presence at all. All benignly overlooked by Anthony Gormley's Event Horizon figures which suddenly seemed to leap back to life that evening having faded into the background of a habitual city landscape after the initial thrill of their discovery.

And I have a new laptop, having had my old one and about three years worth of work stolen from my house last weekend. Sample conversation:

- So did you have your work backed up?

- No.

- So you've lost all your work?

- Yes.

- You have to back up your work.

- Yes.

- Otherwise you'll lose all your work.

- Yes.

- It's very important to back up your work. You can get an external hard-drive to do it with.

- Yes.

- So you've lost everything?

- Yes.

- You should have backed it up.

- Yes.

Moral of the story: try again, fail again, use a secure online storage facility to back-up your failures better.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interacting with a computer using a keyboard and mouse is really starting to get old.EOT Cranes I recently purchased a Tablet netbook and I have found the touch screen interface a pleasure to use over using the mouse; coupled with Vista's excellent handwriting recognition, the tablet has become my number one machine for use daily.