What's the story that's begging to get out? What's the secret that, if you told it, might help other people feel they are not alone? What is your particular brand of silliness that the world needs?
Because the world needs silliness very much right now. And poetry. And jokes. And songs. And brave stories.
A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a small theatre venue at a Brighton Fringe show. At the end of this show, people around me were crying, laughing and dancing with each other. I remembered what it was like to feel the unique silence of people listening as one, not wanting to miss a word. But it wasn't just that particular show. This year EVERY SHOW I saw at both Brighton Fringe and Festival was urgent, alive and authentic. Perhaps it's because the performing arts have taken such a battering. Writers, performers and directors have been sitting with the work they want to share most and re-emerging from isolation is allowing us all to find deeper levels of connection. This hunger to share is certainly matched by the hunger of audiences to hear stories in person again. If you've been waiting in the wings, now is the time to take the plunge and tell your story. We're ready for it.
But what if you've no idea where to begin?
A couple of questions you could ask yourself are:
1) Why this idea?
2) Who am I talking to?
Allow your heart's secret desires to spill out. If your idea delights and thrills you, chances are it will have the same effect on an audience. Listen out for the voice in you that says 'YES'. If it feels easy, it's probably right.
Thinking about your audience is essential. If you think about them as you create, it will help you structure and frame your show. This is particularly necessary for solo work. For example, are you talking to an audience of close friends? Is the audience a confidant? A therapist? A jury you must convince of your innocence? Does your relationship with the audience change throughout the show? Even if you aren't talking directly to your audience, it's important to think about how you want them to feel. Do you want to seduce them? Challenge them? Unsettle them? Fill them with hope? Catharsis? Leave them irrevocably changed? (A tall order, but it can happen).
My hope is that this blog will encourage you to pick up a pen and sketch out a first dreamy idea. Don't censor yourself!
If you'd like more help getting started, my online course Create a Show in 6 Weeks starts Friday 17th June. Full details here
Or if you'd like an in person experience I'm running my 'Create a Show' workshop for Savage Heart Theatre Company on Saturday 30th July 10am-1pm at St George's Church Community Centre. Full details here.