saltwater week two day one

We are in the second week of rehearsals. Today, I did a sketchy run with the team – with food – and the new stories – and it was good.

I mean it was rusty, but it was good. It was good to hear the words roll out of my mouth, and laughter from my audience – and find the points that worked, and the ones that didn’t quite land.

We started rehearsals with the news that we didn’t get the funding that we had applied for. I suppose that was good timing – we were in full swing to start, and the show was/is going ahead – the bad news didn’t, nor couldn’t have changed that. It was tricky though – trying to problem-solve but not be too weighed down by the financial situation to focus on the work; a good team helps.

I stand by it – find a producer who is invested in you and your work, from the start. Invest in her role and contribution to the work, from the start. From there, the team will follow.

(If you are in the position to,) plan ahead. I know we don’t always have the resources to pay ourselves for all the hours that we do work – but schedule your work time wisely. The cost of stress and anxiety, and bad health and tiredness, far outweighs the costs of the extra week; take your weekends off.

Dreaming is just as important in the creative process.

We launched a pozible campaign a little more than two weeks ago. The target we set was based on projections that included the grants we might have received. To say we need more now is well…yes, we need more. Much more.

If we were to pay everyone on our team award rates – and this is only for the production period, not inclusive of the hours of administration and meetings and negotiations prior to.

But as we learnt from Convergence, and everyday really, working as an independent artist – we are resourceful and quick thinking. We are sourcing, exchanging, trading in skill sets as opposed to cash as currency – and we are adamant about staying transparent. I am.

The work is at a good place. Earlier last month, I spent some time with Martyn Coutts working through the dramaturgical aspects of the work. It fed the writing. And since then, I’ve had a couple of other eyes and ears over it – Brisbane-based dramaturg Kathryn Kelly and Melbourne-based writer and theatre maker Chi Vu – and of course, in the run today, my own team. And the feedback has been great. I am tweaking and refining – but careful to leave room for the conversations to stay fresh.

Rigour – as I continue to understand the best ways to rehearse participatory work, I am also making sense of how I do in fact write; perhaps Kathryn was right last year: I am a writer. Just maybe in ways still to be articulated.

And so as I click save, I switch off and meet the in-laws for dinner. That’s all for week two, day one. Goodnight.

Ah – and of course – tickets to the show here.

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