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Observations on the Difficulties of Starting a Project

The first stroke on canvas is always a mistake and that the remainder of the work on the canvas is the attempt to fix that mistake — Picasso

An excerpt from Anne Bogart

I arrive at the first rehearsal nervous and buzzing with ideas, notions, associations, metaphors, images and whatever the months of preparation, research and study have ignited in me. I am bursting to share them. I usually spend the first few hours sharing every thought in my head to everyone assembled, speaking the world of the play into shared consciousness.

We then begin to brainstorm together, to free-associate and question every notion. After that, we start the process of generating stage moments that either “land” within the world of the play that we are imagining, or not.

Once I have communicated all of my research thoughts, ideas and notions on the initial day of rehearsal, I’m able to move onto the second day, certainly with a plan but also blank. This ensures I am available to go where the process needs to move and without the expectation or assumptions that any of my initial ideas will actually come into being.

Full of hope, I listen and respond to what happens moment by moment. Collectively, we throw ideas, moments and shapes up against the wall, onto the stage, to see what sticks. Ultimately, I feel that all of the planning simply gives me the right to walk into the rehearsal studio on that first day. The rest is listening and responding.

When launching a new project, it is best to start with something small and doable and build upon that. If what Picasso proposed is true, it is best to get on with the mistake without delay. Write one sentence, make one choice or point at something and say 'Yes'. And then, as the process unfolds, and as long as I keep at it and stay attentive and resolute, making adjustments to each mistake, things eventually fall into place.


Honestly, the journey encompassing my project, 'Away', has been quite crazy. We started with brainstorming an idea for a TV series with two other writers, then we decided to take my idea on a separate journey and make it into a short film, and then eventually because of production and logistical difficulties making it a stage version of a film.

All the stress and sleepless nights in-between, wringing my brain for ideas when nothing worked. It is hell, and I always ask myself, “Why am I doing this to myself?” Only to do it again and again because the results are rewarding . It’s like giving birth in a way. To see a part of you manifested into the real world and evolving as time passes.


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