Why we do what we do. Time to Reflect.
We are living in some of the most uncertain and (frankly) unbelievable times at the moment. Although it is scary, it is also an opportunity to hit the pause button and reflect on where we are in our lives, what we want, and reconnect with why we do what we do.
Especially for me, working in theatre and running my own theatre company, this has been an opportunity to question and push why I do this! To determine what the purpose behind all the hours of labour that goes into making theatre, producing theatre and generally making things happen.
A few things have occurred to me.
Firstly, it’s all about people. I love working with people and creating a sense of community. The thing I love most about making theatre, is bringing a group of people together in a room and, through the rehearsal process, utilising the unique skills, ideas and abilities of those people to create something entirely new. Something that could only have been created by that particular group of people at that particular time.
That’s of course where the next group of people come in – the audience! Sharing that creation with audiences, bringing them into the world we’ve created is an incredibly special process. It’s one that is at the heart of the way that I work and why I’ve tended to lean towards making work that tours. So that it’s reaching new audiences and people who are grateful that you're bringing your show to their local space.
Second, it’s not just about making plays. I am also passionate about supporting others, both in fulfilling their creative ambitions but also in feeling more comfortable and confident in themselves. It is this that links my directing work with my work as a facilitator with young people and the voice and communications coaching that I do with lecturers. It also lends itself to the more informal coaching that I do on a regular basis with friends, family and fellow creatives. This is something that I’m really keen to grow and view as something that is central to my identity as a theatre director and creative.
These may be daunting, scary and unsettling times and we don’t really know what the world will be like when we come through to the other side of it. But, at the end of the day, there will always be people (at least, if there isn’t, I won’t be here to worry about it anyway!) and there will always be a need and a desire to share ideas and stories with each other.
Let’s focus on controlling what we can and accepting what we cannot. Look out for those around us but also remember to take care of ourselves. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture, but use this as an opportunity to do something positive, to breathe and reenergise, to come back refreshed, excited and more ourselves.