Sunday, 15 January 2012

Expectations and imagination

Terry keeps Spike and Hayley moving and I miss my cue

It’s getting serious now. The show’s director Terry is pushing us. Time is not on our side.

It would be a big ask even for a professional theatre company to devise a play, rehearse, and perform it with just over a week’s preparation. But most of us have no - or very little - theatrical experience (and that includes me). And we have to give not just one, but three performances in a day - two to schools in the afternoon and one evening performance for the public.

Fortunately for us, we are in the capable hands of Terry and her two Cardboard Citizens’ assistants Ruby and Michael. Their confidence in us, even with this schedule, is unwavering as it has been from the start. There’s definitely a lesson here on the importance of expectations. Too often, it seems that our expectations (especially of people we have tagged with a label) is actually very low. They can’t or won’t be able to do it, we say to ourselves. So our failure and lack of faith becomes theirs.

This is in complete contrast to Terry’s attitude. As far as she was concerned we were actors as soon as we walked in the door. We just needed a helping hand to draw on our own resources and capabilities. And if you have ever felt uncreative for any reason, you can appreciate the discovery that actually, you can think and act imaginatively is a truly momentous event.

Our course we're not going to put on finely polished and crafted event because we're not professionals, but that's how it should be. This project is as much about the process as the end result - like so many creative endeavours. Our audience will see something real, hopefully something they can identify with, so they believe that they too have a voice, and can use it to move from being a spectator to coming on stage to as - in Boal's terms (see blog page) - a  spec-actor

"I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world"
- Albert Einstein

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