A Starting Point
I think this is a good idea for a thread.
I’d like to contribute at various times, if appropriate and share things I have learnt. I will confess though that my experience is more to do with devising for theatre rather than developing unique stage or cabaret acts. However, there will be areas of similarity in any type of performance that I hope I can encourage.
Before I start to discuss (in future posts) specific devising techniques and such like, (which might be useful in stimulating development if you’re currently stuck, got creative block or are simply looking for a “Starting Point”), I’d like to talk just a little about that very thing – the Starting Point.
My first ambiguous statement relating to that is this:
Where you start doesn’t have to be how you finish.
By this I really mean that we all start somewhere when we are putting together a new act, character, play etc etc but I think it’s important not to restrict yourself really early on with one idea, or germ of an idea, and nothing more. A starting point should be fluid and flexible – almost an organic thing, it can develop and this is when things become really exciting for me as a performer – if you follow some basic rules – and I use the term “RULES” very loosely, then sometimes the piece you are working on begins to develop a life of its own and it begins to inform the narrative development as much as you did, with your initial idea.
Now, one of the simplest pieces of advice I’d like to offer if you are thinking about performing in the future is this:
Give yourself plenty of time
Yep. It’s that simple. By that, I mean if you think, for example, that you’d like to Brigade at a future show – and that you don’t even know when that show will be – well, start developing now!! Do not wait three weeks before the show date if you want to do yourself justice and, more importantly, go on a wonderful, creative journey! If you have the gift of time, then NOW is a great time to find that STARTING POINT.
Remember – what you start now does not have to be WHAT YOU END UP WITH. However, starting now – today, or as soon as you can, will allow you to start developing strong ideas, useful skills and eventually refine your act, so that you can be the very best you can! Personally speaking, I think as well, performance is something that the more YOU put in, the more YOU will get out of it, as well as your audience.
Well, I hope I’m not teaching grandma to suck eggs!! Later, if we can develop this discussion, maybe we can talk about how different people use different ways for finding that all important starting point. From there we can hopefully discuss different ways we use to develop our material and how we explore what we are doing throughout the process. It’s a great thing – don’t be intimidated by what I have just written – I’m probably making my point in a verbose manner – it’s really simple – you’ll have more fun BEING prepared than if you HAVE NOT prepared!!
Fun has to be at the centre of everything you do!