It has been a long time since my last post. Longer than I would have liked and certainly longer than I promised. The time has been put to good use .. of sorts. A lot of articles written. A lot discarded. A lot of planning and long sleepless nights staring at a blank bank. Unsure of my message, my point. Looking back through my articles I realise that’s not an uncommon theme at this point. I’ve been wish-washy and often vague. Letting out a handful of personal truths but offering little else of the real value that I wanted to talk about.
The intervening months have been put to good use for me I think. I did a huge show with the great team at Queensland Musical Theatre. R & H’s Carousel. A masterpiece of golden age theatre. Soaring melody lines, wonderfully drawn characters and a surprisingly dark story. Billy Bigelow is to date probably one of the most challenging and exciting roles I have had the pleasure of portraying.
I made the decision, somewhat on the spur of the moment, to go back and study. A diploma of screen writing at the New York Film Academy. An experience that has been a steep but much needed learning curve. Painful and confrontational at times. Frustrating. Ultimately though, incredibly rewarding.
Writing for screen, cleaning up my writing in general, and embracing that side of the creative process came hot on the heels of one of the largest disappointments for me in the first quarter of 2017. I was involved with a local composer and his musical, brought in to head up the directing team after a failed first start with another company. I spend a lot of time, hours and weeks and months, rewriting and reworking portions of the show with him, weeks of auditions, advertising, meetings, set designs, lighting notes, charting the show to take it into rehearsal and ultimately (hopefully) to a successful world premier. However, at the 11th hour, after several more set backs and some creative differences the composer pulled the plug. Opting to go it alone and to try to perform the show at a later unspecified date without me. I won’t mention names of show or composer. I won’t bad mouth either of them. The people who are close to me know all that they need to know, and while the process was like pulling teeth at times, and utterly disappointing in its conclusion – I sincerely wish the project well in its future. I learned many invaluable lessons from the experience and as one of my writing lecturers would say, “get the contract first.”
I’ve taken a small step back from performing with the theatre companies in my region for 2017, I don’t even know if it was a conscious decision at the time, but upon reflection (I’ve done a lot of that lately) it is definitely for the best. Carousel and the unnamed show were enormous. They took a huge amount of my energy and focus, and it is certainly nice to have a moment to have a breath and to recharge my batteries a little. I have a handful of my own independent projects that I am working on as well, with a mind to independently produce and create throughout the year. The first of which, a concert series called Conversations, is already in preproduction.
There have been some ups and downs and I have taken some steps towards addressing, and being more open about, some of what I go through as a creative. I suffer from bouts of depression and anxiety. Most often they’re manageable. Occasionally they’re crippling. I believe that many artistic people go through this and I want to talk more about my experience with this at a later date. I’m coming into a space where I am more aware of myself, and my needs, and this has been a significant part of 2017 so far. So it warrants being spoken of here – if only briefly.
It has also given me a lot of chance to reflect, regroup, figure out my focus and my goals for the next couple of years. Getting myself a little more financially grounded, and drawing a significant portion of that from my work as an artist and a creative entrepreneur. I have had the very good fortune to have a few wonderful people come into my life lately who are able to mentor me through this process, to start to give some shape to what I actually want from this blog and from my thrival work. Shaping me through the hardest parts of the journey, from finding my why, to narrowing my focus and picking my tribe.
I already feel much more centred and focused. My creative goals not only feel clearer, they also feel closer to being a reality than ever. I have some amazing people around me, my friends and family are always incredible, I am lucky to have a wonderful team starting to form around me to help me start to take my next steps into the big wide scary world of 2017 and beyond.
I really can’t wait to share it all with you.