Friday, May 30, 2008

Loads of Projects

The school year is winding up, kinda. Winding up in that I know what all of my projects are and I am working on them but not in the 'yay, everything will be finished soon!' sort of way. Stressed isn't really the right word for it, concerned maybe? Busy? That being said, I am very excited about pretty much everything that I am working on at the moment.

Each of us on the Leadership course have to do what is called an IPE (Independent Practice Enquiry) which is basically an opportunity to do whatever we want in relation to the course. It is exciting because there is such a wide variety of things that are possible and that people do. Some are focusing more on the workshop side of things, some on composition, some on collaboration, etc. The second years have to have a 30 minute performance piece for their project and the first years have to have 10 minutes.

Mine is about collaborative, cross-arts improvisation. (Look at all those buzz words!) 'What do you mean by that, Casey?' you might ask...'Well' I would reply (and I've been getting good at this because I'm trying to convince people that they want to work with me and spend a bunch of time on this) I'm putting together a group of people to explore improvisation in performing arts contexts. For instance, so far I have contacted and (sort of vaguely) committed (we can talk about the *joys* of scheduling in a minute) a pair of actors, a classical trombonist with composition and songwriting background, a jazz singer, a recorder player with a lot of folk music experience, a jazz/pop singer who plays classical flute and has acting improvisation experience, and I'm hoping to get a contemporary dancer though getting contact information for that has been troublesome, and myself. Basically there are tons of different improvisation techniques floating around various disciplines and I want to see what will happen when we get together and try out different exercises/games/setups. Also I'm hoping to create an environment where everyone can feel free to make comments and participate even if they don't have any formal training in that area. Dancers and actors? Please make musical suggestions, and vice versa.

The people that I have been asking to participate have been uniformly enthusiastic which is really encouraging and makes me feel like I am tapping into, if not a need, then at least a pretty strong desire amongst the people I would like to work with. The problem is that I probably maybe should have definitely started scheduling this two weeks ago. The performance time/space that I am currently signed up for is on July 1st (which I found out today doesn't work for the actors, and they are kind of key if this is going to be cross-arts) with my dress rehearsal in the performing space on June 11th (which is practically tomorrow AND doesn't work for half of the group. Cool.)

So I'm thinking about a plan B which involves changing my performance date, getting rid of multiple rehearsal dates, getting everyone I can into that space on the 11th (maybe 2nd year actors? None of whom I know?) and working for 3 hours to explore a short exercise/game from as many disciplines as I can (singing drone game, a couple of acting games, a movement to a piece of music exercise, and something else? If there is time?) and then spending the last 45 minutes of that time setting up the structure for an improvised piece that we do on the performance day....which would be scary as all get out but might be what I need to do.

Anyhow, the good thing is that this is not a one time opportunity and most of the people I am talking to and whom are interested in my concept are going to be if not at Guildhall next year, then at least still in the London area so as long as *something* happens this year it will be enough to get the ball rolling for this to become more solid and real next year. Learning curve and all.

This entry is getting long, so on to the next one for my other projects that make up the "loads" of the title.

1 comment:

nortonmiddaugh said...

Yow. I hope you get this one recorded/videoed.