Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

The “oh shit” moment

I think with every artform, but perhaps particularly performance, there comes a moment, a second where the idea of being on stage, in front of people, doing a thing, moves from being a concept, a vague thing in a misty future to something increasingly concrete and real. It’s that moment where you think, “oh shit, I actually have to do this”.

I’ve just had that moment. In 17 days I’ll be performing a work-in-progress performance of a show I’ve been working on for 4 months. It’ll be the first show I’ve done on my own, the longest show I’ve written (at the moment it’ll be 70 – 80 minutes with an interval) and it’ll be a show performed in a manner that I haven’t performed before. Yet, despite that I feel relatively calm. Not because it won’t be shit – there is a very high probability that it will be shit, shit could be it’s middle name, and forename, and surname – instead because there is an extent to which performing it will be such an achievement that its relative shitness will be irrespective.

It started as a scratch performance, really to fill a gap but with no real experience of whether it could potentially work or not (click here to see that atrocity). It wasn’t horrendous and I thought, well maybe I should just see where I can go with this. It’s strange, having spent 15 years wanting to be a director being at a point where I will be on stage..

So what am I nervous about. Well, at the moment I think that the ending doesn’t quite pull together the way I’d hope and that the conclusions are forced a little. There’s some cutting to do to ensure that it isn’t days long and that I’ve got a clear pathway from start to finish. I’ve an idea of how to open the show that I think may work but the ending is a mystery at the moment and there’s a slight staging issue to overcome as it uses projection heavily (as well as a paranoia of my laptop dying mid-show).

However. It’ll be a free show, a work-in-progress, and it’s by me, an inexperienced performer trying something for the first time. Best case it’s not horrendous, worst case I look like a dick for 80 minutes. I’m going to keep trying to write bits of blog as I go along, if you want to come click the link below!

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