Spending your lives creating, training and delivering live performances, workshops or consultancy can make working from inside ones home a bit of a challenge. And I know I speak for an uncountable amount of people in saying that. But there are moments and things out there where the virtual light actually feels warm, and people actually feel like they are gathered together, and spontaneity actually sparks.
I have witnessed the development of my partners’ (Flick’s) audio piece about her family history. From its beginnings when the form it would become was a complete mystery. The great obstacle in an artist’s path ‘but what will it be and will it work?’. Sometimes you just have to trust that if some of the material inspires you, then it is probably worth just carrying on. Then if a LOT or ALL of the material inspires you, then keep on going and you will figure out where it needs to point as you approach the finish. This is the thing about a process. In the time it takes to get from the first idea to the final product, you may have learned many things from elsewhere in that time.
I remembered yesterday that we made a podcast series, for the first time, having wanted to do it for years, two months ago! (Listen here – https://stitchstories.wordpress.com/2020/04/16/wild-wonder/ )
And two months at the moment feels like a full career ago. In fact it probably was a full career ago to a lot of people, myself included. A career built on the foundations of children, families and the need for education and practical hands on experiences. Now seemingly turned to dust as the last thing anyone is looking to do is be ‘hands on’ and anyone even approaching a school is not looking to invite strangers in, especially those with a ‘rustic’ appearance and wielding Medieval cloaks, antlers and weapons about the place. And not a bottle of sanitiser or pair of disposable gloves in sight, no thanks, and to be honest, fair enough.
So after months of overfishing in the internet’s creative waters and watching other sections of society begin to creep out their doors and through those of workplaces and other’s lives, how do we reinvent ourselves, yet again, one more time.
In our household our history instincts have taken us both into folklore and family history at regular intervals. Flick has gone further and further and developed a full audio story. We have both written and recorded new and old stories and been working with groups through Davenham Theatre as well as our freelance networks to develop more and more ideas and material. Then there’s the dilemma of release. Do I just share a recording and leave it to the internet winds? Or do I share it as a ‘live’ showing? This has all taken us back still to the origins of storytelling. Can we invite people into a circle… as if we are sat round a fire… as if the world has given us the evening off, so we can just kick back and listen…?
Well it turns out the answer is ‘YES’.
So let’s sit round and share some stories. Like they would. Like we should. Like we will.
Tom Barry is a proud member of Stitch.