Don't wait for inspiration, breathe in!

Of course they mean the same thing so what's my point? I think we spend too much time sitting around waiting for inspiration to strike. If you wait for it to strike, and it never does, you will never do anything. On the other hand if you just take a deep breath and do something, anything, in the worst case scenario, at least you will have done something. And then you can step back, look at what you've done, and maybe change it. You may even be inspired to change it. So you need to find a way to do something while you're waiting for the inspiration to strike. Actually I think inspiration doesn't strike. It breathes. We breathe it in.

Do first, magic after

Puppetry and acting is a physical activity. The body is physical. The voice is physical. The breath is physical. I struggled with this myself and I notice it in lots of performers. You say the lines over and over again and hope the character will magically appear. You think about the character as deeply as possible. You do lots of research. You try and feel like the character and hope that the physical character will somehow magically come from them. But it never does. Because characters don't come from words, words come from characters. In the case of a play of course, the words have come from a writer, but even a writer might say that the words came from the characters. The job of the pupp

You can't act a negative

It's old advice but I really understood it today. Giving advice to a friend who was practising her entrance to the stage for stand up. Trying to enter already "in character" rather than as herself. I said I can see you in this moment, and in this moment. So she tried to eradicate that. She tried to do it as "not her". Tried to remove herself. And of course she couldn't. The character she was trying to do is based on something she improvised, so foolishly it seemed to us that if we eradicated every moment that we recognised as herself, what would be left would be the character. But it doesn't work like that. It tied her in knots. Then she tried doing it as someone else. Another character, clo

Glass Kill Bluebeard Imp Faith Hope Charity

I've had a good week at the theatre. Caryl Churchill's new show (4plays called Glass, Kill, Bluebeard and Imp) last night at the Royal Court. Marvellous. Brilliant writing, great acting. Funny, clever, slightly sinister. Great circus performer. Intellectual rather than emotional. Very elegantly staged to hang together with a juggler/ acrobat performing in front of the curtain during the changeovers in the first half. Not sure I can say what it is about exactly, but it's something to do with how stories lurk about in our lives and interfere with "the facts". How we don't only not know what to believe, we actively sabotage ourselves from having a chance. And Alexander Zledin's Faith Hope and C

The difference between a road movie and a rite-of-passage movie

In a road movie, the characters literally drive themselves into new circumstances, and are tested by them. Their circumstances change, but their characters stay the same. Take Easy Rider: they begin in California. It's fine to have long hair in California. In fact it's entirely positive. It gets them invited into parties. They ride on motorbikes to New Orleans. In New Orleans their long hair gets them killed. By contrast, in a rite-of-passage movie, the circumstances stay the same, and the character goes on a journey. The rite-of-passage is the plot. Change is the journey. Take American Graffiti. They drive up and down the strip in a small town discussing life, school, the future, the past.

A review for Peter

"A frolicsome feast for eyes and ears... narrated with spirited phrasing by Oscar, Tony and Grammy-nominated actor John C. Reilly... and quirky, dazzling adult puppetry..." Read it all here:

Another Review for Peter

"The piece, with its cast of animal characters and Russian folk inspired score, took to Daniel Hay Gordon's choreography like a fish to water..." "The cast... delighted the crowd..." Read it all here:

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