Developing and Sharing
What really connects all my work, across all its different strands, are two themes: developing and sharing.
The first is all about the people I am working with. I see my role as one of support and guidance, where I can help individuals and groups to find their own voice, their own ambitions and their own pathway to achieving those ambitions. I’m not there to tell them what to do, but to help them find the right thing for themselves. Obviously, this may require prompting and some suggestions on my part but the vast majority of the time you’d be amazed how much you already know what you want and how to start your journey towards that ambition.
The thing that strikes me looking back over my directing work (outside of my company, Cyphers), is how frequently I have worked on projects that are intensely personal to the writer or lead ‘maker’. These are stories that have immense power and feel incredibly urgent and necessary but because they are so personal those artists have found it very challenging to push those projects forward. Whether these stories are about grief, heartbreak or struggles with mental health, the thing that has brought them together is an intense personal connection with the story and a desire to share an experience with others. My role has been to support, guide and encourage these individuals, providing an external voice and some perspective, helping them focus their ideas to the core story they want to tell.
Generally, I have started working with these artists very near the beginning of their process and stayed with them right through to a final performance – usually a process that spans several years of drafts, re-drafts, workshops, rehearsed readings, rehearsals and performance. This has been immensely rewarding all round. And this really exemplifies how much the roles of director, facilitator and coach are intertwined within my practice.
I want to help more people develop their stories so that they can be shared with audiences across the country and around the world. If it’s a story or an idea that is really personal to you, that you urgently want to develop and share, then I want to know about it! I want to hear your ideas, read your drafts and support you through that process of creation and self-discovery.