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Paper Birds
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I haven't spent much time standing on a stage - a few times reading poetry, introducing poets at Babel or Hydrogem Jukebox, or performing Ethel Rosenberg for Electric Ladyland (see earlier post on this blog). Actually that's quite a lot isn't it? But in fact I am a very shy person, not a performer at all. So it was amazing for me to work with the Paper Birds last week, and to find myself standing on the Northern Stage, speaking my own words, as myself, but somehow enhanced by being with such an interesting group of women of all ages, telling their stories too. Verbatim theatre at its best. So there is a moment before the lights go up when you are sitting in the dark, among these other creatures, actors, breathing, pulsating, tulip bulbs, waiting for the moment to burst into the light and bloom. It's a kind of rebirth. Not that I will be doing it again any time soon. But it has made me think about performance, not so much as "showing off" (this is my mother's voice) but as sharing something with others. I wouldn't be writing poetry if I didn't want people to hear / read it would I? And why would they bother, if I am so low key about it they don't even know where it is? But I am also thinking - there are other ways to share, for those of us who feel the terror acutely. Last week I also gave a Pecha Kucha on Jean Batten, an aviator I have been writing about: slides and poems. This took place at Newcastle's Lit and Phil, and was curated by the amazing Sheree Mack, who is writer in residence there. It was unusual and fun. I am also contemplating the old "salon" approach, where an invited artist could show some work with a group of friendly, interested people - not necessarily other artists, but those who appreciate it. Intimate, and maybe rewarding for all. There's always another way to do things, especially when your Arts Council grant has been turned down for more ambitious projects. Small but perfectly formed. Thanks to Simon James for the photo of me at the Lit and Phil.
9:23 AM  

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