7000 year old Woman

2009

I wrote about this piece of work in a previous blog that I have decided to reproduce in this new one. It was probably my first fully devised and actualised performance piece.. I think the blog gives flavour as well as documentation of the piece..

I was asked by Oriana Fox to contribute a reconstruction of a Feminist art piece for her “Once more with feeling” show at the Tate modern in 2009. She suggested a reconstruction of Betsy Damon’s 1970s 7000 year old woman..

Description of my reconstruction of the 7000 year old Woman piece for Oriana Fox’s “Once More with Feeling” Show

7000 Year Old Woman
Blurb for Oriana Fox’s accompanying Pamphlet to the exhibition by Me, Lucy Thane:
Once More with Feeling, Tate Modern June 27th 2009

The Sculptor Betsy Damon created the 7000 Year Old Woman in NYC in 1977. She wanted to transform public spaces by utterly disrupting the expected role of women within them and to try to imagine an alternative world experience in which the roles, behaviours and assumptions that define gender were otherwise or not prescribed.

She painted herself white from hair to toes (wearing white shirt and knickers and black lips) and had multicoloured bags of flour attached all over her body. Her collaborator(s) painted or marked spirals in sand on the ground or sang in a protective circle around her. The 7000 Year old Woman then slowly walked these circles and broke open or handed out the coloured flour bags attached all over her body. Variations on this theme were performed on a Lower East Side street, on Wall Street and in Cayman Gallery, also in New York.

My intention is to make a number of faithful as possible re-creations in equivalent spaces in London. These performances will be videoed, and if feasible, displayed during my final performance outside the Tate Modern on 27 June 2009. This performance will be my own interpretation of the piece based on my experiences to that point. I am curious to discover how my experience may differ or be similar to the original, bearing in mind that we are in a very different time and place and also different people. To my cynical early twenty-first century instincts the “spirals” and “protective circles” of the original performance seem so ’70s feminism. How interesting that I hold prejudice against my predecessors, and now that I have begun to rehearse the piece I am reminded of the perfect possibilities inspired by spheres.

Of course “’70s Feminists” were also often similarly nonplussed with us. People are rarely appreciated by their Children as much as by their Grandchildren. I met Betsy Damon’s primary collaborator, Su Friedrich at the Kitchen in NYC in 1993 at an event called “Punkilingus”. I met her in the bar to which she said she had retreated as the films had given her a headache; we did in fact establish that it was in my film about the Riot Girl band, Bikini Kill that had been culprit. The Spiral may be jagged and interrupted but is it not a spiral nevertheless?

“Jealous Girl Love” read the sticker left behind by a visiting Riot Girrl in 1993. How brilliantly honest I thought, but then I realised that the sticker had stuck to itself and as I peeled it away it was revealed instead to display “Jealousy kills Girl Love” My heart sank.

Women and girls are often suspicious of each other and mess each other up over and again and Feminist ideals are seldom lived up to for long as women soon corral themselves into cliques of parenthood or cultural identity. Feminism and other activisms seem to demand of their adherents a pristine absolutism that brooks no human weaknesses and contradictions. Therefore the moment one slips a little one slips away. In my experience many of my friendships with men have stood far better the test of time as men seem more often able to hold onto a consistent identity of their own. Feminism’s (and other ’70s ’isms) battles are not yet won though many gains have been achieved. I think that we could benefit from honesty about our sometimes brilliant contradictions and from questioning the hegemony of instantly gratifying but ultimately divisive and destructive identity politics.

I also acknowledge that I am heartily entering this work because of the Sisterhood my previous paragraph has possibly trashed. Thank you Oriana Fox, Betsy Damon, Su Friedrich. Thank you my contradictory Sistahs.

12:20 am |
One of the reasons I was so keen to be part of a Feminist Art reconstruction event was that I’d very recently seen some brilliant reconstructions put together by

Liz Aggiss at the Place Theatre


Went to see “A night with Liz Aggiss” tonight at the Place… ……… ………. ………… she is an inspiration and a divine performer and her “eleven daughters” both funny and a very satisfying moving artwork. IT is also rather moving to be offered the teeny windows on Dance History of their reconstructions.. of Loie Fuller, of Mary Wigman, of many moments otherwise lost.

I keep feeling a niggle lately.. a niggle with the term “feminism”.. I am certainly feminist, but I think I am of the mind that “feminism” is useful for overt political action, whereas when one is talking of culture that I feel included by and do not have to translate (unlike the vast majority) it is often labelled “Feminist”. It seems that this is only so because it concerns the “feminine” i.e any thing a woman does, as if we are performing some kind of minority activity.. We then are accused of never having any Grand ideas that encompass the whole of Society, when the truth is that we do, frequently, but they are ever marginalised as “Feminist”, rather than as expressions of reality.. and we who care about such things get confused as to disclaim things as Feminist can sometimes feel anti-feminist… know what I mean…?

Anyway before The Liz Aggiss show I went to a Graham class at the Place, taught by the fabulous Katja Nyquist, I really enjoy her classes and also Graham (Martha Graham) technique, which is very Feminist or is it simply a technique that massively suite the female body more than the male.. Part of my love for it is that it feels like getting to know my “Core” in a way less silly that a ’70s encounter group watching their pussies mirrors in hands… as it is Dance and thus affects the way you move and are… not just how you think about your situation… hmm a theme is developing that I hopefully will figure out more articulately.

I then went to meet my mate David to go to the Liz Aggiss show. Afterwards I met with Marina and her two friends whose names are both Kate.

Check out Kate Rowles http://katerowleshomevideo.blogspot.com
I don’t know yet if KateAshman also has a blog… inspiring ladies anyway..

It is often quoted but never goes out of date.
Was it Rebecca West or Emma Goldman who said

“I am always called a Feminist when I express opinions that distinguish me from a doormat or a prostitute”
· 11:28 am |

Research for 7000 year Old Woman and rediscovering Kolams

…Meanwhile…

THE 7000 YEAR OLD WOMAN
I started looking online for possible materials to use to paint my face and to fill the flour parcels and to decorate the floor and came quite quickly to Kolams and was a bit excited as when I was in Auroville in Southern India 3 years ago I met a lovely lady called Selvi who was drawing them outside her house and showed me how they work…

I looked into them and they are painted first with Rice Flour.. every morning by the Women of the House before the rest of the world is awake.. Sometimes they are offerings to Lakshmi, to bring Happiness and Prosperity into the house, they also show concern for Living Organisms as they are Food for Insects and small animals…

On Special occasions they are decorated with other colours, including by flowers as well as Flour and other foodstuffs
colouredkolamsI am a bit more excited by these than by Simple Spiral utilised by Betsy Damon though I will try this out too. Firstly I need to figure out the ingredients and Colours ( I will do some practice ones in Black and White and for the performances use colours).
I am going to start with my kitchen cupboards (Spice Rack made by dearly missed pal Claudio) and what I can use from there and then later this afternoon Chris downstairs and his girlfriend, Loony, and I will go around the local neighbourhood and see what we can find
myspicecupboard
The plan for the moment is to try it out this week at some point, then have a full run through next Tuesday and then the final piece at the Tate Modern on June 27th. Verity and Arlene and Catherine and Maryam have all offered to help and/or advise. Oriana instigated this in the first place Barbara and Para-Active/Urban Dolls gave useful critical feedback in early stages. I just have to be clear and figure out what I am doing.. I have an idea that the support systems I am seeking are less gender specific and more creative.. Some very wonderful people come into my mind and they are warm in their response to requests for assistance.. I am slowly walking.. slowly learning to make by.. just.. making.. seems so obvious but taking me years to fathom but sometimes children who are slower to learn to walk or speak are the more articulate and active once they decide to begin…

I just remembered too that I made a mental note to look at Geisha Make-up as this also uses Rice Flour. In the next few days I will write to Betsy Damon and Su Friedrich. I wonder on the similarities and differences between our processes. I will stop worrying about how unsophisticated are my methods and forgive myself as a beginner…

Verity clening kolam

Dear Verity,

You said you wanted the piece to have a Beginning a Middle and an End….

SO! Once upon a time a loose group of Artists came together to re-enact a 32 year old Art-Piece about a 7000 Year old woman….

7000 year old woman helpers

With able and brilliant assistance by a neighbour, a friend from school, her son and a newer mate:

7000 year old woman helpers 2

The AfterMath… 7000 year old woman helpers 3

Sorry…I’m a reformed Film-maker, exploring my way through Live Art, Fine Art, Dance and Performance and been trying to reject Linear trajectories over the past few years as I explore new live 3 dimensional spatially aware movement oriented expressionistic explanatory practices

June 18, 2009 · 11:18 am |

Betsy Damon’s response to my re-construction of her work

Hi Lucy,
Terrific and let me know. I am in China right now but can be in better touch in July. I can not get into your links from here .
Thanks for  the enthusiams and I am thinking of a blog perhaps we can coordinate

keep it up chaos and all

Betsy

June 17, 2009 · 12:53 pm |

My First Kolam

So this morning I set my alarm for 7a.m. (yes I know it’s meant to be Dawn but I went to bed at 2 and had consumed much Wine.. tomorrow I aim to awake at Dawn.. in fact I will attempt to do so for the duration of the 21 days.. weekends optional…)

I awoke and quickly dressed. I made some hot water with Lemon. I emptied the bin and took out the recycling. I then swept the front of the studio (and in front of the neighbours up till where their detritus outside their units began.. we give rather than throw things away here..). Then I filled up a bucket with water and I mopped the area. Then I collected a bowl filled with rice flour that I bought yestersay at the Vietnamese supermarket on Mare Street and with my finger I mady my first Kolam..

NYX

Afterwards I washed up and cleaned and tidied the whole place. Partly because there is Yoga here tonight and I must do it anyway and partly because this exercise definitely raised my awareness of my environment:

It was early and so I played no Radio or Music, instead listening to my own thoughts and more aware of my environment. This gave a lot of pleasure to everything that I was doing in addition to the satisfaction of getting housework done so efficiently making the day ahead feel much clearer.

I have been looking for a place to find peace in myself and a way to hear myself and people have suggested meditations or religions or counselling or therapy. I have looked a little at these options but I basically believe that the greatest enlightenment comes from the exaltation of the everyday and external stimuli is exciting and inspiring but the real work is a little more mundane.. in a good way.. Or maybe this is simply a first step, in life as well as it is in “Art”..I liked everything about this ritual. It felt good to clean the space outside, which I normally never do except after parties. Then drawing and thinking about all the people who might walk past and over it.. my neighours and others, and I thought about them and I felt loving and was delighted to be washing up afterwards and hearing “HEY LOOK”, from the 5 year old next door as they passed my front door. It may have been about something else but I think not. I’m not saying it’s some great “work of art” but it is a work of Love and of Concentration and it feels healthy and right. (many neighbours did indeed express appreciation over the ensuing days).

kolam3

Tomorrow I intend to wake up at Dawn (4.42 a.m..eek) and to repeat the ritual and this time to experiment with colours. (Afterwards I will probably sleep for a few more hours). In the evening Verity is coming over to help me with the 7000 year old woman piece.. this is all feeling rather healthy..

June 23, 2009 · 1:07 pm |

To Show that though I haven’t blogged in the past week I really was continuing to be creative every day

Andrew Morrish, Rachel Sweeney, Ippenham village hall and return to London town

Ipplepen

I decided that it would be probably restorative to return to the instigater of the imploded Improvisation practice group .. Andrew Morrish, at whose Workshop last December we first met . This also had the added lure of being organised by my dear friend Rachel Sweeney, who is also off tomorrow on an epic 6 week Australian Adventure with her partner in amazing and integrated performance, Marnie Georgette Orr, before returning to Plymouth for 3 day sea-born wedding to partner in daily life, Mark Greenwood.

The weekend more than fulfilled my expectations. A warm and wonderful group of mostly Devon Dwellers showing off for each other in unpretentious ways under the beatific mischief making smile of Mister Morrish. I felt very able just to be: to play with and develop movements learned in dance classes, to ramble on about thoughts which cropped up (I was particularly inspired by our central postion in the Village Hall overlooking the parks where the kids play and in the distance, Dartmoor, and delighted by the church warden who helped inaugurate the hall back in 1957.. the Reverand T.P. Vokes-Dudgeon), to see how LOUD I could sing (“Tomorrow” from Annie…I have NEVER seen a more frightened audience), to be playful with heavy concepts and other people’s perceptions.. Little Annie Greer can I think be developed (perhaps also by connecting it with Annie the musical..ANNIE GREER: THE MUSICAL.. A “Mad” Girl who lives in an attic, the stairs to which are lined with collages externalisations of her (over?)fertile imagination, perhaps she is sent to bed without any supper and in the night a starlit night on a rain-sodden street grew up around her and there in the gutter appeared a Magenta Pink Vespa Douglas which took her to the San Francisco Nightclub “Where the Wild Things Are?….. Ah my life story I see… (This maybe under the influence of my current reading about “Theatre of the Ridiculous”)

Such a relief to feel both unjudged and loved, far from the paranoid critical age and style obsessed sneers of your average contemporary Londoner.. others may disagree but this is my experience.. with honourable exceptions of course.. I think it’s just hard to avoid having to battle through the layers of defensiveness and prejudice that so many people here armour themselves with.. including myself.. but it’s not just my projection. I went into 2 branches of American Apparels yesterday (for my sins..) including one in Portobello road (!!!EEK) having smiled the sneers from the faces of the Hoxton shop-workers I cycled across to Portobello via Capezio (dance gear.. yes I suppose I do challenge myself a little throwing myself into such vipers’ nests where they instictively believe that I don’t belong whereas I know that we all belong wherever we are) in Covent Garden (I’m doing research on the costume to wear as the 7000 year old woman and my thought was comfort and body contouring… I’ll end up wearing just white t- shirt and knickers (and maybe the discount white footless tights as I did buy them for Ballet £3 not bad..), then to Portobello and I swear people just got meaner and sneerier and uglier of soul with each pedal westwards..  I stumbled into my destination: The SPICE SHOP (in search of beet powder and spinach powder.. more natural colourings for the 7000 year old woman project) and immediately got in chat with the lovely ladies there about how horrible everyone in West London was now except us..She said oh “East is nice” and I had to cruelly inform her that West London has moved here too. What is really creepy is that the snot-faced uniformed lifestyles of the yah brigade are what our society is meant to ASPIRE to.. what exactly do they create, produce, innovate, inspire? What is their point? Cannon Feeders, Bankers  and Breeders I s’pose.. so it is as it has ever been. I sang little songs to keep my soul light.. to a Johnny Head in Air with his boatered, uniformed tot… “your daughter looks so stupid in her uniform” in the sweeeetest voice I could muster so as to upset Daddy but not unfortunate Daughter while she’s still young enough to be encouraged to be a decent generous pointful and creative human being.. but sadly will spend years in private school then university or “art” school to make damn sure that never happens… the horror, the horror…to smile and smile and be a villain…etc…

Anyway I got the beet and spinach powder and I think that I’ve worked out my costume. I have also accessed little white bags to hold the coloured flour.. Barley from Fabrications said she has loads spare and can give them me for free. I am going to attempt to attach the with clothes pegs and if that doesn’t work then with teensy white stitches

It’s rather ironic that the other things that keep plaguing my mind as I think of it is to get waxed (eyebrows, Lip, Chin, Armpits, Bikin, Half Leg.. all from the brilliant Helen Savva for £15!) and that my hair is way overdue a cut and a tint… surely that defeats the object? surely the 7000 year old woman wouldn’t worry about such things.. though I did read an interesting angle on this issue the other day. I’ve been reading the Re/Search book “Angry Women” (yes I’m slower trying to piece together Performance Art History) and a woman I’ve never heard of, Avital Ronell, had a nice take on these things, having said how horrified Helene Cixous was at the ugly shoes worn by American Feminists :

“The whole power of miming-which make-up has to do with- would be an interesting history to trace, because women were always considered creatures of the simulacra who were fake or false-therefore not “readable” or reliable. So it’s very odd for a European (with another notion of history than Americans have) to note this desire (which is a totally male desire) for absolute self-presentation without artifice, make-up, lying and deception. Now certain philosophers revalorize deception as a playful honouring of life’s multiplicity, rather than as a subjugation of the lie to the truth”

My face feels hairy and my hair makes me feel messy…BUT I never worried about such things when I lived in San Francisco and I felt quite sexy in Devon this weekend… not so strong after all… is Helen not answering the phone on behalf of the Universe’s plans for my costume?

by the way LONDON IS NOT, REPEAT NOT, A SERIES OF VILLAGES.. it has not been  for hundreds of years and it is a CITY and it is living in Cities that we must master not trying to pretend we live in villages when patently we cannot. I think I’ll go back to trying to peddle my own plan- of village people giving city folk tips on country dwelling and City folks giving Village folk tips on City dwelling and they trying to help each other.. Villages are reportedly dying after all .. we all need help here…

June 24, 2009 · 8:29 am |

SambaReggae with Catherine Wheeler’s brilliant instruction practicing for our performance at Chingford Festival Sunday July 5th..My Sketch of  how it begins.. (My theory was this’ll drum it into my head still further.. also an excuse to doodle)Video Footage will follow later if I can really bring myself to share images of myself in a Bra and Grass Skirt!!!!… Catherine’s Choregraphy begins thusly, feel free to try this at home. I’ll add in the music soon when i figure out how….

Catherine SambaReggae

Then back home to sew more paper bags onto my dress in preparation for next days rehearsal of the 7000 year old woman

THURSDAY JUNE 25TH

Woke early in preparation for the arrival of Verity and Looney-  I planned for us to begin the day by each making Kolams. Verity and I made rough sketches and some drawing outside. But first we cleaned the balcony outside Red Shoe Studio (I know this might look like i’m getting my collaborators to do my cleaning for me but I promise that it’s an important part of the exercise-the meditative aspects of preparing your ground, the adhesive power of water over Flour…- and also I had done the sweeping so it was shared!)

It was a nice way to begin the day and I really like Verity’s design.

I think that it would have been even better if I’d tried harder to ensure it took place at first light.. it was jolly chatting with neighbours about them but not the same personal spiritual uplift I got from quietly doing them alone with the early morning sounds and elements (see my list THINGS I HAVE LEARNED)

We then went out for Lunch and Verity and I shouted a  lot because I was all for amorphous development out of situation trusting that the basic elements I had in place were enough whereas Verity wanted: “I just believe in a Beginning, a Middle and an End… in Chapters”. Looney quietly and wisely kept out of it saying that she wished to confine her involvement to videoing and that she very much considered that to be participation

(which was interesting to me because I used to feel that videoing was my involvement but eventually I felt alienated, everything mediated by machines, not acting but recording or planning and ordering, staying within my head, so that now I wish to be an actor in the simplest sense of the word, to ACT, not only to SEE or THINK…)

Looney did a brilliant job videoing both Thursdays rehearsals and the final show. She is coming over tomorrow to begin to edit them and soon we’ll put up the results. Chris also put in a stella performance as water bearer and all around help-meet.

At the end Verity and I debriefed and these are the notes I took:

verity notes.jpg

THINGS I HAVE LEARNED

Be insistent and clear in details. For Example: If you want your collaborators to wake up at 3 a.m. to draw kolams be very clear about why and that you really want it (it would have been cool to do it and fun for all of us I think and it was a lack of confidence in my notions that made me not do so)

July 2, 2009 · 6:42 pm |

my paper bag dress

paper bag dress

I’ve sewed 30 paper bags (donated by Barley) onto my dress and will fill them with various flours and spices and also wear white tights filled with flour. I also must cover the rest of the dress with paper bags (I have run out so will go to find the stockist shortly). I also must call everybody who said they could help me today and check on availability.

July 9, 2009 · 4:41 pm | Edit

7000 Year Old Woman Performance Part Two: The Performance

(Still answering the argument with Verity..) BUT… ‘cos I’m sweet… Here’s some  excerpts of the Middle, the Body, the Filling, The Thing, the main Event, The Show, The Piece, The Game…. though this whole process confirmed me how as much excited I am by process as finished product, object, dvd etc (“Art isn’t about what you make but about what you make happen” Jeremy Deller, Battle of Orgreave etc.. abit over-stated for effect but agreeable in essence). With Film-making I always loved the hallucinatory group team effort the camaraderie and almost insane levels of commitment, concentration and drive.. it always seemed a shame that the audience didn’t get that part.. “the making of..” and DVD extras aren’t quite the same thing… I loved this project because has been a lovely balance between the private and the public, the intimate and the communal. My springboard was the dual inspiration of Oriana and Altheas’ curation of the Tate event and the Betsy Damon piece that I was re-creating. I then spent some time in contemplation but carried the ideas with me where I went and people watched and were initially bemused… The para-active folks I showed some first thoughts to.. my mate Barbara Kukovec… Oriana’s positive feedback on my thinking and writing on the subject, Betsy Damon’s open encouragement and friendliness, and gradually people started being involved…Verity, Looney, Arlene, Chris, Melanie, then on the morning of the Tate show, My old school friend Abigail called up ‘cos she happened to be in Broadway Market on the morning of the Tate performance with her son Jake, so I invited them to join in to.

It was interesting just now watching the video footage for the first time… It was a very rich thing to do because it was fun and my collaborators were absolutely as focussed and involved as I.. we were all talking in high seriousness a very bonkers exercise… I couldn’t convince any strange adults to participate, though I did hand bags of flour to a number of them, but a family of kids joined in with a full heart and I enjoy watching it because it is a truly spontaneous piece of beauty and attention. Just before we began I nodded to Arlene “I’m scared” She said “You’ve done the groundwork so just take it as it comes” or words to that effect.

I also heard a dad say to his daughter “what d’you think of that?” to which she replied “It’s really cool”, “She’s a Mad Woman” was his retort…

· 12:55 pm | Edit

 March 3, 2009 · 11:02 am |

My mate Lena movevd to Portland and asked me how I was doing…

1. Had true Epiphany in Ballet last week. My body really begins to feel capable of surpassing (my) previous expectations. I felt a strength and Leap-ability; I begin to function from my centre which makes my uneven doctor-tampered Hip less of a liability. I woke up the next day feeling like I’d fallen in Love, I scanned my memory and realised that it was that total feeling I’d had in the Dance for a moment… Like Love.

2. Performed yesterday in Day one of Carnavale- Mascarada- a Commedia Del Arte day at the Italian Cultural Institute- organised by a top British Commedia practitioner- we were there as end of the Commedia Workshop I have been partaking of (which is why I am (unusually) home on a Monday evening- the workshop is now over ( I plan to fill ensuing Mondays with sessions at circus space.. clowning… tumbling…or trapeze…)
We had warmups/ workshops all afternoon then “performed”/ interacted with the crowd all evening
It revealed/confirmed some important things:
a. After our warmups etc I was selected to play “First Actress” which shows I can be perceived as Lady-like and a Dancer – not my self perception thus far… v gratifying the cute male photographers recorded me often and hooded their eyes when speaking to me and small girls gasped with pleasure when I spoke to them… one little girl also proceeded to give Princess lessons after I opened my “rude” mouth!
b. I really want and neeeed VOICE classes – I just don’t know what to do with it- to sing- make sounds- react etc etc (Marina from my practice group does teach this and so hopefully I will get to experience this soon- I also want to do some SHahar Dor recommended classes but I think I really need to find some funding for this…
c. I really want and need Acting technique classes – to find some techniques that work for me
d. I am shy and I want these techniques as framework in which I may roam free
e. I am not a devotee of “Theatre” “Acting” It is something else I want

3. The Yoga Naomi has been doing each week a real boon and the perfect balance with Ballet. She’s going a way on tour for 5 weeks from next week boohoo – Caroline and I are going to keep meeting at 5-6 every wednesday to do something that’ll make us feel as or nearly as great.. this week we’re going swimming at the Lido (maybe that’s enough each week..). I also have a beautiful new Red Bike which is much better for my bike so I’m cycling much more again and bought 2 ancient wooden tennis rackets for a tenner and Barbara and I going to find a weekly time to meet for tennis. I won’t become fanatic – well no more than I am about everything!) but I am enjoying feeling like myself again- I can fit into jeans I haven’t been able to wear for about 3 years and my posture definitely a lot improved and the pain almost absent woowoowoo- the latter obviously the Number One bonus…

4. I did the 1st day of Gary Stevens practice lab but the commedia opportunity clashed with day 2. It was quite fun (Harriet said Day 2 was a bit more satisfying) but I felt that just as my Commedia experience confirmed I’m not a “Theatre” person, I’m not into Contemporary/ Conceptual/Vague Art really either (although Harriet also pointed out how quite similar but much better was Gerry Pilgrim’s workshops in the same location- I quite agree). But this did help me in one way. I have been increasingly ceasing to regret not having gone to Art School all those years ago. Maybe I was just always going to feel alienated till I reached my 40s- maybe I have been taking “my correct path” after all (I’ve been convinced I’d be a supper successful Artist by now if I’d gone that way but I guess I have to admit that it’s cool I’ve gone the Frank Sinatra/ Sid Vicious route (but way cooler ‘cos neither dead junkie or mafiosi)

5. I am still awaiting my Grandfathers Naval records. I have decided to commence by making a smaller piece of work for the London Bridge Festival in July based around his experiences in the battle of north cape dg world war two. The HMS Belfast was in the battle with his ship, the Duke of York and I want to do a pice of work on the riverside nearby that is in part about the difficulties of piecing together history- how different our experiences have been – illustrated in part by how different is my experience of proximity to hms belfast is to how his was. I have contacted hms belfast and my contact at imperial war museum (who remembered me from filming reconstruction of nelson’s funeral from belfast in 2005) and have sent them follow up emails- perhaps buit vague. I attach it to this too for your opinion if you have time. I am reading the 2nd world war naval classic “The Cruel Sea” (and watched the movie last week)- it is fantastic in all its details- b v much from the Officer perspective.. gives more “grist to my mill” !?! I described the basic story to Manu and Mukul and then to Sebastian as I saw them all while I was in the middle of writing it and they all said independently that I MUST perform these stories in public. I saw Barbara also the day before and she said “I just want you to tell your stories” (I think this is also another reason I really want some Voice Coaching- I want to have real range and weight to what I do.. I also want to work with others)

6. So as referred to above the Practice Group inspired by Andrew Morrish continues to thrive. There are 5 of us- we have NEVER all of us been there since the Andrew Morrish wokshop itself and Seke’s off to Zimbabwe (where his dad is) and South Africa (where he’s help DV8 cast their next piece) for a month so we’re having a practice and dinner here Thursday Night (and still we may not all overlap- Juliana only their at beginning and Ceri only there at end. I’ve been the only mainstay (I have less work than anyone else!) – They are such a lovely group of people- really lovely. It is amazingly relaxed yet intense and everyone really enjoys working here at my space. I think that this Thursday I’ll suggest that we build a first thursday around our practice I think we should have something to work toward and to ensure that Seke has it in his mind to return to.

7. Jelly Royale, 3 lovely girls, a great band that are friends of Sebastian and Tomokos, have begun to practice weekly at my place- they also run the Bicycle powered cinema and are totally up for helping me make money for this place with bicycle powered gigs. I am thinking of Placing a large thermometer on the wall saying how much is needed to cover the rent and bills each month and getting more people in using the place to practice and teach in. There are to be workshops in the weekend after next weeks first thursday. I think that this is to try to instigate more of this kind of stuff happening here

8. Next First Thursday is in ten days time- I have some promises of original performance/ dancepieces by Antonio, his mate Andrew, Marina (from my practice group), Catherine (who’s lovely legs are on my door) and of Dance photographs by Barbara, Quintina, Javier and the boyfriend of one of the people in my Commedia Class. I intend to ask a recently met balkan musician Mischka and Catherines Samba drummer husband Trevor and perhaps Melissa and Dennis to play as I want the evening to escalate and descend into more and more people joining in the dancing. I’ll ask Aidan to deejay (gypsy stuff) or maybe Tina’s Antonio (also Gypsy stuff). I suppose that it is appropriate that this feels the least set up-dance and music so spontaneous, mercurial, visceral, would be inverse to pin it down- though I must begin the process of pepping up.. perhaps tomorrow and next day I also try to make flyer that evokes my strong feelings about these things- as it connects also to this so useful process I’m doing at this moment thanks to you of deconstructing all the things I’m doing in my life right now and the work I must next do to develop this. Marina and Catherine at the moment are set to do workshops. Many people I thought I could rely on are away that weekend- eek- but there are more I can ask- though it is short notice. Sebastian and I planning a kid’s disco for the Sunday. I have a lot of work and thinking to do next few days on this.. I think I’ll only go out for Ballet class for a few days..

9. I’ve had 2 enquiries in past month about one of my punk movies. I really need to develop website. sales. paypal and all that stuff…yes…?

10. MONEY: First Thursdays and hiring this space out more and trying to find funding. Classes taking place here? Make giant thermometer. I think that I also should find some kind of part-time job – though it would have to be daytime weekdays ‘cos of Dance classes. Even a shop job or something. Or I should sell something on-line. Any ideas?

I think that about covers it. I feel positive.I don’t know EXACTLY what it is I want to do in terms of CATEGORIZABILITY (and frankly don’t wish to yet categorise myself- though may call myself Performing Artist in Training for Application purposes…. I do know what I want to learn and some of what I want to make work about and I do have an increasing tangible support/creative/ friendship structure around me plus my own fantastic experimentation workshop and access to some amazing teachers. A nagging desire is to travel, to see more of this incredible world and this is included in my needs for study, also developing myslef as a performing artist/Maestro as well as integral to my grandfather’s story (not to mention to finding the home by and sea to share with my lovely lover, children and community, base of operations after 2012 when lease on this place expires again). I am also trying to make myself write after classes- the Content as well as how it felt. I think that this also indicates that the fog is at last beginning to clear. I don’t know if you have any note-taking tips..? I

CONCLUSION:
Things I must do:
Set up next First Thursday and Workshops
Continue Ballet classes at least 2 (pref. 3 times a week)
Write down exactly what are my outgoings/financial needs to keep up this place- work out a plan of action for Red Shoe Space paying for itself
Make Giant Thermometer Graphic (or see if Anja has the one we used raising money for Tony’s Cafe)
Complete my website find a way to make money on-line
Track down images of myself performing in “Handbag”, “BumBumTrain”, “La Mascarada” (and in future speak to the photographers direct as all Artists are hopeless at providing footage, including myself)
Find financing to take an intro to acting class at the Actors Centre (for instance) £550
Find financing to do a Voice course recommended by Shahar Dor
Find financing to take French mime/ physical theatre class?
Find financing to R+D “Hubert”
Organise meeting with Arts Council Live Art/ Theatre person
Do Voice classes with Marina
Find someone who wants to teach acting classes at my place
Take Circus Space classes
Make Hubert (my grandfather) piece for London Bridge Festival in July
Write down my stories and start to perform them in public
Take Sten’s Action Theatre Course?
Write to Arlene saying that I find just not showing up rather disruptive and saying let’s do July Your Peer Group First Thursday and Organically try acquire new members
Plan Practice Group First Thursday
Remember that men I find sexy and attractive are just human beings and I like human beings and do not need to treat them in any way different to any other kind of human being and just don’t put up any barricades to anything further happening

THANKS FOR ASKING ME TO DO THIS ANGEL FRIEND- Of course it has taken me 3 hours rather than the one you recommended- but I think that’s why I probably wouldn’t have done it without your stimulation.. being, as I am ever best at thnking when thinking aloud. You’re amazing. You don’t have to respond comprehensively but obviously any responses will be most gratefully received. I think greater clarity has been achieved but… oh okay pleeeeeeeease let me know what you think!!