Archive for the 'Life' Category

22
Aug
17

an artist’s statement

 

artist’s statement 2017

 

everything is delicately interconnected…

 

 

 

 

 

You might remember that I went back to school this year.

 

In March I started a Master of Professional Practice (Performing Arts) at USC, but at The J, Noosa, since there are no performing arts facilities on campus at Sippy Downs. We won’t discuss that today.

 

 

The assessment for this week, to create an Artist’s Book within which we share our Artist’s Statement, would have to be one of our most challenging tasks yet. I just danced nearly naked in Japan, started weekly physical training sessions with Zen Zen Zo, started running again, and chose a monologue that breaks my heart to deliver, but this Artist’s Statement! To actually pause and recognise what it is we do, the way we create our work, and why…

 

My contemporary creative practice continues to evolve. As performer, director and producer, I’m enjoying exploring new forms and content of a different kind, a darker kind, which I’ve stayed away from in the past, or have been advised to stay away from. (Can you imagine being told today not to go near mental health issues, domestic violence and ideation?). I’m less concerned now about what others consider to be too dark or dangerous or disruptive. The shadow aspects of human nature reveal a more interesting version of the truth, which we crave. The ancient stories hold the lessons we don’t see in reality television, social media memes or smash hit musical comedies.

 

 

My practice is undertaken in a commercially viable context, admittedly teetering at times between what might easily be sold and the stories demanding to be told. Inspired by some of our most innovative dance artists and directors, including Frantic Assembly, Nicholas Hytner, Katie Mitchell, Marianne Elliot, Margi Brown Ash and Natalie Weir among other giants, my work is immediate, intimate and highly evocative, inviting the audience to engage on a sensory, and emotional and intellectual level to work out their place in the world in a new and unique way. Drawing from contemporary dance, butoh, original compositions by the likes of Max Richter, Philip Glass and Leah Barclay, and ritualistic storytelling and performance elements after deep research into the Ramayana, Buddhism and the myths and stories of the cantidoras, I bring the performers and audience together to experience the life of the “other”, hidden within. I offer actors and audiences the opportunity to get out of their own way to experience the less-shared moments, to see in themselves what’s possible and deplorable; the pallid skin and quiet nakedness of terminal illness, the dismantling of a relationship, the subversion of sexual preference or pleasure, the long-term impact of self-loathing…

 

The investigation of both content and form occurs collaboratively, organically, on the floor from a place of emptiness, a place in time and space in which anything is possible because we welcome it.

 

The performers already have the answer; their first instinct is closest to the truth. As director, I entrust the performers with the transformational task of telling the story, scaffolding their discoveries within an open intuitive process, and shaping a sensory experience for actors and audiences fusing visual, auditory and physical elements to heighten our awareness of the world. The process is fluid and flexible, and informed by our personal and broader views of our part in the story and our place in the world.

 

Small great things are the result of collaborative creative thinking, boldly dreaming and fearlessly doing.

 

 

The golden eclipse week has offered the ideal context in which to consider my artistic practice and the way I wish to continue to develop my approach to collaboratively creating performing arts pieces that have lasting impact on actors and audiences.

 

If the experience is not sensory, insightful and transformational, why have we made the work? And for whom?

 

I continue to reframe my world, to look with new eyes on the ordinary, to listen to old stories for new meaning and uncover the hidden aspects of human nature, to add a voice to the darkness. I’m humble enough to keep learning and bold enough to take a leap. By making this Artist’s Statement public I’m committing to my evolution and my continued efforts to make the long-term goal worthwhile. My practice should continue to contribute to the transformation of artists and audiences on multiple levels, or what am I doing?

 

 

Informed by my training, my teaching practice, my performance experience and personal experiences of live performance, and by the work and differing philosophies of a vast network of industry professionals and creative friends, as well as being aware of my privilege, my practice focuses on the immediacy and urgency of the storytelling. In a world that is increasingly complex and demanding of our attention, I hope my artistic practice offers actors and audiences a thread.

 

Artist: Kirsty Whitlock

 

Artist: Lynn Skordal

 

XS Entertainment is a catalyst for creative change with a history of daring and disruption, and as performer, director and producer, I’m a conduit, able to be completely emptied – as Akaji Maro describes, a butoh “skin bag” – ready to channel and configure the ensemble’s ideas during the devising process, or come to the table overflowing with ideas and ways into the work using sound, light, visual art, literature, movement, and our connection with the darkness that otherwise remains undiscovered.

 

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11
Aug
15

Luminaries on the Loose launches this weekend!

 

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The knowledge of the heart is in no book and not to be found in the mouth of any teacher, but grows out of you like the green seed from the dark earth.

 

Red Book, Carl Jung

 

Experience the sunlit world of Your super-conscious self – living Your best life exactly as You would have it.

 

This is my quest…super-consciousness and living my best life exactly as I would have it. This is why I struggle sometimes with being told what to do or how to do it. When Nadine asked me to share a part of the journey, I contributed a chapter written one morning with the light of the moon still lighting the room…

 

 

Actors are practised in making their dreams reality.

 

 

Luminaries on the Loose is a book of transformational steps and stories to guide you along three ancient and time tested phases and twenty-two steps that make up the Archetypal Trail so that you can live your best life.

 

 

Nadine Love has written nine of the compelling chapters and invited thirteen luminaries – all Australian – to pen their stories to demonstrate archetypal themes that spoke to each author.

 

 

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You may recognise some of the fabulous faces above:  Dr John Cronin, Edgar Winter, Susan Marie Hill, Kim Taylor, Peter Barr, Amelia McLarnon, Lana Mayes, Diane Steed, Rachel O’Connor, Xanthe Coward, Alice Haemmerle and Nadine’s own magical daughter, one of Poppy’s besties, Mira Love. They’re all contributors to Luminaries on the Loose. 
Listen to the author interviews here.

 

 

12 of the 14 Authors will be at the Launch Event – we hope you can be there too!

 

 

The Bohemian Bungalow, 69 Memorial Drive, Eumundi on 15 August 2015 9.30 am – 11:30am. Book online.

 

 

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*Live Music

 

 *Author Talks

 

 *Delicious Nibbles

 

 *A Glass of Bubbly

 

*Your signed copy of Luminaries on the Loose

 

 *Access to 3 Online Classes so you can “Track Your Archetype Trail” with Nadine Love

 

Stay after the launch to enjoy the up-beat feel-good funk/rock/reggae vibe of Byron Bay’s Wandering Eyes.

 

 

Wandering Eyes

 

 

 

10
Jun
15

Queensland Cabaret Festival opens tonight!

 

We’re sending the lucky winners of our double passes to ABSINTHE tonight!

Have fun, Chris, Tara and Gail!

 

Meanwhile, in New Farm…

 

 

Queensland Cabaret Festival opens at Brisbane Powerhouse TONIGHT!

 

 

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Tonight’s Voices of Vice lineup features a mouth-watering feast of festival performers and local legends including Bethan Ellsmore, Dirty Sexy Politics, Cienda McNamara, Tyrone Noonan, Alison St Ledger, Lizzie Moore, Sandro Colarelli, Greg Bird, Rebecca Grennan, David Megarrity and Bridget Boyle.

 

 

Feel free to flaunt your bad habits, perversions, and licentiousness in our den of iniquity where too much is never enough. Indulge in this celebration of tantalising transgressions, which are guaranteed to be delightful, delicious and a little bit wrong.

 

 

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In the immortal words of Tom Waits, “There ain’t no Devil, there’s just God when he’s drunk” so leave your better angels at the door – we won’t tell if you won’t!

 

 

 

 

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01
Oct
14

Saying no and staying home is hard!

 

In lieu of attending Lavazza Italian Film Festival opening night tonight in Brisbane I made our favourite Italian dish at home and asked Poppy to put on Andrea Bocelli loud enough for the whole street to hear.

THIS IS WHY:

 

I love my little family.

 

I love cooking.

 

I love cooking Italian food.

 

I love eating Italian food.

 

There are times when I actually do enjoy cooking and eating at home.

 

I don’t see Sam very often at the moment, although I hear him every morning now from 5am – 9am on HOT91.1! That’s right! In case you missed it (serves you right for not following us on Twitter and Insta), Sam is the Sunshine Coast’s newest brekky radio show host! He joins the lovely and very funny Lynda Edmunds each morning. Together they are #samandedmoforbreakfast & #wakeuptosamandedmo & #thesoundofthecoast  (Sam is actually perfect in this role. He sounds as if it’s what he’s always done. I guess at every party, and in every upbeat moment, indeed he has done!). Luckily, the station has completely rebuilt itself and the music is now awesome too. I mean, it’s actually great! Every hour there is 80s gold! GOLD!

 

samsedmoslider

 

I’m driving to Brisbane tomorrow night for shake & stir’s Wuthering Heights and on Friday night for Harvest Rain’s Spamalot. Chookas, all!

 

Driving to Brisbane gets expensive.

 

Driving to Brisbane gets frustrating.

 

Also, there is always good wine here.

 

I was looking forward to seeing a heap of the Italian films over the next couple of weeks and also, to meeting Nadir Caselli. Well, weren’t you? Isn’t she just gorgeous?! I think I’ve decided not to see anything at all, and to find all of the amazing films on offer this year, eventually, somewhere online.

 

 

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I managed to get out last night with my dear friend, Min (you know Min, of White House Celebrations), to catch an advanced screening of Gone Girl. Directed by David Fincher, with a screenplay by the author, Gillian Flynn, this is one of the best page to screen adaptations I’ve seen. I loved the book and the film stays true to its quirks, its characters, its pace and structure, and its disturbing brilliance. It could be argued that the film is in fact, a little more brilliant! I know. It’s a big call. Perhaps I’ll tell you more (but not too much more!) another time. I still have some theatre reviews to write (I always have theatre reviews to write), a stack of one-act plays to get through, and Term 4 planning to complete, and according to Poppy it’s not even nearly the end of school holidays. We have much more cooking, baking, swimming, playing, singing, dancing, shopping, running, reading, making, gardening and climbing to do!

 

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It’s no wonder that we are all so tired by the end of each day! A no-show-night means, officially, it’s an early night. I’m trying to establish a new routine actually, because being back at school is exhausting enough, and I’m trying to get up earlier to write. With Sam up and at ’em before four, I figure I can get up too, get dressed, light some candles, make some tea and work for two or three hours before Poppy stirs. If I’m feeling super motivated I’ll do some yoga again too.

 

We’ll see how long this lasts…

 

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22
Aug
14

Why saying no is hard and when to say yes

 

I thought I would have a little break, slow down, step away from the crazy busy stuff of life, and take a break from it all. I didn’t plan to spend three weeks in Greece (although that would be nice), and I didn’t intend to switch off completely from social media (although that would be sensible). I just decided to not do so much. Well, let me tell you how that is working out. It’s not.

 

I’m finding it really difficult to STOP.

 

Why is it so hard to stop? To say no? (I can’t answer that. Can you?)

 

This morning I caught up with a couple of friends at the groovy, cosy, completely rebranded BV Pizzeria & Wine Bar on Kawana Island. It used to be the Thai Islander Beach Café. I used to live in an apartment across the road. It was the perfect place for a catch up after the mad rush of rainy day school run traffic. To be honest, I felt like staying in bed and watching the chickens singing and dancing in the rain. But getting up and getting Poppy to school so I could enjoy a long overdue coffee with a couple of girlfriends turned out to be the right choice.

 

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This is actually what I felt like ordering. Is it ever too early?

I should clarify, I don’t actually drink coffee anymore, so when I say, “Let’s go for coffee,” what I actually mean is, “Let’s meet somewhere and you have coffee and I’ll find out how they make their chai and probably end up, when they say they make it with syrup or powder, ordering a soy hot chocolate or an Earl Grey instead.”

Like, when I say I’m taking a break, I’m not actually taking a break.

 

I ordered Earl Grey without asking about their chai. I wanted no complications. I didn’t take a photo for Instagram and I didn’t check in on Facebook. I KNOW! I was feeling overwhelmed and outta’ control – not crazy outta’ control, but dreamy, floating, coasting, fairyland outta’ control (I would like to call it “surrender” but you and I both know I’ve got a way to go before I can claim “surrender”), as if nothing today would matter. But here’s what matters.

 

All three of us had a busy day on the cards, and we stopped. We didn’t stop for long but we each committed to teasing open a little crack in time, in between our other appointments and deadlines to say, “Yes, let’s!”

 

Let’s enjoy stillness rather than rushing about.

 

Let’s cherish each other’s company rather than quietly, politely ignoring each other’s just as crazy busy existence.

 

Let’s imagine for just one hour that we have several hours to spend together, to hear about each other’s joys, fears, successes and challenges.

 

Let’s feel supported, admired and valued for whom we have become.

 

Let’s leave feeling nourished, inspired and reenergised.

 

Let’s promise to catch up again soon and actually catch up again soon.

 

While we were chatting away and finishing tea and coffee (and chocolates – hot beverages at BV are served with a chocolate and doesn’t that just make your day?), a tiny sparrow came in out of the rain. It perched on the back of a chair nearby and appeared to be listening in. I don’t profess to see anything profound in that; it’s just that a tiny sparrow came in from the rain and found warmth and a safe place to be for a moment.

 

It seems it’s just as difficult for me to say yes as it is to say no. But knowing when to say yes, and feeling happy rather than guilty about doing so, is maybe more important at the moment. They say the lessons you need to learn in life keep turning up until you learn them. Looks like I’m staying busy for a bit longer.

 

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Reality Bites – Australia’s Premier Literary Nonfiction Festival launches tonight! The program is online today! Check out realitybitesfestival.org

 

The Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival Youth Section begins tonight and continues until Sunday. Details on the website. Check out livetheatre.com.au