Receiving the nomination for the first Theatre-Maker award was a blessing alone. I was genuinely stoked to be shortlisted amongst such brilliant artists. When I received the news that I was the recipient of the full award I was blown away. I could not have asked for a better start to my year.
Any recognition of your work at such a scale immediately makes you want to strive to do more. I am already quite driven, but with this incentive I felt galvanized to make some serious considerations about my career, and how I could realize some of my creative ideas.
I am happy to say that I was able to develop my practice in the following ways thanks to the award.
Developing Music Skills
Since incorporating my loop pedal in my last solo show, Man on the Moon and creating a follow up EP, Moonwhile, I have been interested in how I can bring more music into my theatre-making practice. Thus, I used some of the award money to purchase equipment such as an AKAI midi keyboard, a condenser microphone, music theory books and I have arranged to start piano lessons with a local teacher this autumn. This has already had an impact on the three theatre pieces I am currently working on 14%, Issy, BOSSS & Fractal and The Bell Curves. This investment has allowed me to consider how song can be used to alleviate my text and communicate some of my intricate ideas through music and sound in a way that would not have considered previously.
The Bell Curves
This year, my show The Bell Curves, received money from ACE and Opera North to do a significant amount of R&D. I was able to use some of the fellowship fund to serve as match-funding. The fund has allowed me to expand on the original plans for the project by bringing in more designers, securing rehearsal space that allows us to think beyond making a small studio piece and give myself enough time to focus on the script to interrogate it and push it to the next level.
Online Workshops – Clod Ensemble
I used some of the money to attend a series of unusual workshops led by the amazing Clod Ensemble from sessions merging origami & dance to another merging meditation & song. One of the workshops that was a part of the series was led by Silvia Mercuriali. She expanded on her practice in creating audience-led work. This led me to consider how I wanted to spend the remaining bit of the fund.
DeCipher – Silvia Mercuriali and Jamal Harewood
I am currently in conversation with Silvia Mercuriali and Jamal Harewood about how they can deliver some 1-1 masterclasses on how they make theatre work that is purely audience-led. This is not my domain with my theatre work but I know this will allow me to develop my practice as I consider how I can create creative spaces for mathematical ideas.
Despite everything being remote, I have felt very supported and part of a network as a recipient of this fund. Arts Foundation has done a great job of promoting my events and projects when I’ve shared them. It had been great to see other fellows’ progress via social media. I hope that we can meet in person at some point in the future. All that there is left to say is a huge thank you once again for supporting me in my next steps as a theatre-maker.