Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just gonna get my feet wet until I drown...

From a post I started writing on 1/16/2010:
"The Selkie Project has been a really organic creative process. Misha shares my lack of concern over not quite knowing what I'm doing, allowing work to exist and breathe and spontaneously become whatever it needs to be in that moment. The intention with The Selkie Project is to experiment on creating a longer operatic piece. We're starting this month with the hybrid installation-performance piece at the Creative Research Lab in Austin, and planning to move onto the next step of the project this spring in Houston. It's a really interesting way to begin creating a theatrical piece. We're creating an environment for something to happen in. The environment itself has evolved and morphed more than once in the past few weeks. We began last weekend by just sitting in the space and imagining what could happen there. I'm trying to imagine what the design process for a more traditional play would look like if we began by sitting in the empty theatre for a couple of hours. By the end of last weekend we had settled on this idea of stenciling the words Misha wrote for the piece in very pale sand and sea colors on the walls. We then quickly learned that stencils of that many words and lines of poetry would cost more than my rent. We moved onto trying to project the text onto the wall and then painting over the words, keeping as close to the font as possible. That idea flew out the window when we discovered that the images of the text weren't of a high enough quality to be that exact. We could either wait to get better images, or we could move on to plan C. Using the projections as a guide, Misha lightly and quickly painted the words onto the wall as if scrawling a letter. The end result was walls that looked like love letters written to a missing lover, stuffed into a bottle and floated on the sea for months - pale, watery, full of longing. It's amazing how even the most spontaneous and unplanned decisions can ring so perfectly true to the "story" you thought you were telling in the first place."

That sentiment pretty much carried throughout the rest of the process. We had ideas and preconceived notions of what would work, only to find in the actual specific SITE they didn't. The choices that ended up in our final performance this past Saturday night were those that were made instinctively; things that we had tried to PLAN weren't as successful. If you want a ball to bounce you gotta let it go, just let it go. Embrace whatever the present moment is telling you to create, and let go of the idea you've been clinging to for two weeks.

The performance at the opening reception went well and was VERY well attended, and we walked away from the experience with a TON of things we didn't know before about our project and how to take it to the next level.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Selkie Project - in the news

I have an entry on process for this project, I swear I do because it's really been a fascinating process, but I haven't found the time to finish it yet. BUT. Misha Penton & I have been hard at work on our upcoming installation / performance hybrid piece, which opens Saturday at the Creative Research Lab in Austin. We've made it into both Houston and Austin papers, write-ups below:

Houston Examiner: Houston's Divergence Vocal Theater launches The Selkie Project in Austin

Austin Chronicle: "Selkie Project:" Comfortable in their Skins

The good life.

Recently I asked my first year students the following question: At this time, what constitutes the "good life" for you? What per...