Level: Expert. Activate.

Warning: this post contains the words of a person who had a blip at the weekend and started to worry about stuff that actually kinda isn’t really worth worrying about.

Like my use of English in the previous sentence. So before we get started, here’s a picture of a cloudy rainbow taken some time back outside my flat. And there are some swears beginning straight after this photo. Not sorry.

Aaah, that's better.
Aaah, that’s better.

The bravery of writing came up in class last week via ‘Notes for a Young Playwright‘ by Phyllis Nagy. I agree that any creative venture is brave, that staring into the abyss of unemployment, writer’s block and endless pot noodle poverty is madness to some, and with each piece of work comes a new segment of your soul to be bared for the birds to peck. But over the past weekend, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that brave does not fit who I am. Logical, yes; rational, yes; level Expert in engaging with the fuck-it clause on a regular basis, most definitely. But brave has never been one of them.

I will stand for what is right, stare down injustice and get an entire party dancing on chairs by accident if I must. Fact is very little frightens me anymore. Because once you experience true fear, or in my case four times, it’s amazing how easy things can be to accomplish.

The kind of fear where you learn whether you are a fighter or a deserter.

Where you have a split-second to make the decision of survival.

Where Death is peeking over the edge and beckoning you to him.

And whether or not you will bend to his will.

And yet there is one thing that does scare me, and it comes with every single project I start, set out to do or simply dream. Dreams are great to have, they’re little targets to consistently aim for. But I’m the kind of person who likes to meet those targets, and therefore deliberately sets achievable ones because I don’t do letdowns.

I honestly believe I will have a theatre company in my name. And I believe my voice will eventually be heard by those I want to have hear it.

Occasionally, like many others no doubt, I have a fall from grace, however. Exhibit A, from this weekend: I really, really don’t want those things to stay as dreams. Brave is the wrong word for why I have chosen this one of many paths.

I’m terrified.

The After is the brave part for me. But the Before and Middle of a project is scary. Getting to that point where something is about to happen makes me nervous, primarily because I hate waiting (easily the trickiest part of performing for me). And then actually doing the thing feels like a bizarre form of drowning (been there, done it, thankfully no souvenir). As someone who takes so much joy in living, there is nothing like seeing your life hanging in the balance to remind you that you are in fact alive.

And then you reach completion. And the real adventure begins.

Will it be well-received?

Will everyone remember to do the right thing at the right time?

Have I done absolutely everything to ensure this is as good as it can be?

Will this reach a wider audience?

Can it relate to people?

I want to shake up theatre. I’d love to be able to shake up film. I often wonder if I have enough lifetime to do both, or will I have to settle for one. And this is why I’m an impatient little git, because between you and me, I reckon both is doable.

Engage: Fuck-It Clause. Level: Expert. Activate.

One thought on “Level: Expert. Activate.


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