Drove to Cork last night to perform with the Limerick based EVIL collective. I performed with them last October in Limerick, when I answered a call out they made for artists to join them for their performance night. I was super impressed with their energy and group and singular creativity that time. And so it was again last night. It was a more intimate venue, with less space, but as the evening went on the crowd increased, until it was pretty much full to capacity with just enough space for the performances.
I’m getting a little better at managing these performance experiences, as in how I feel prior. Having made a few at this stage I recognise how I’m going to feel but despite this recognition I find myself going down the ‘is this really the best way to spend your time’ route beforehand. Again I realise that this is tied in with the organisation attached to allowing me to get away from home to make these performances. By the time I’ve organised the kids and gotten help with lifts/activites etc I am stressed and over explaining why I need help with our usual routine because I want to go to cork and crawl around in front of people.
For this particular event I’d decided earlier in the week that I wanted to try a new idea. I have only made the conversations with myself performance 2/3 times publicly so it would have been more than legitimate to use this to base a performance on, and it would have been to a crowd that would never have seen it before. But I didn’t want to do it again. I wanted to try out crawling around blindfold. A durational blindfolded crawl. I had tried this out twice earlier that week and was fascinated with how it felt. 4 senses available to process whats going on is a very different experience from having 5 at your disposll. As obviously any blind or deaf person could have told me. So having reached the stage where I am no longer overly concerned with the audience needing to be entertained I decided I would do this for the plug’d night. And do it I did.
For the perforamance when It was my turn I had asked the nice tech guy to play my heartbeat soundtrack which I had set up for 12 mins. At 60bpm in case you are wondering :) My intention was to crawl around skirting the edge of the room and then move inwards from there. As the audience was sitting around the edge of the room I knew I was going to physically encounter them. I got Day to lead me in (which He did for another artist later on who was also wearing a blindfold- note to self- check how many people are planning to perform blindfold next time) and I turned around and got down onto the floor and started slowly crawling. The Heart Beat soundtrack was a settling and calming outside factor which I was able to pace myself with.
But, obviously, I had not clue where I was going or what direction I was in. And therefore no way of knowing how it all looked from an audience point of view. Which was my intention as I wanted to immerse myself in it and see how that felt. It was, strange, completely disorientating, I would feel a foot and then bang my head as I crept along, and try to ascertain which direction I was going in. I gave up doing this, as in trying to orientate myself, soon enough and just started moving randomly around the space, as in the space that I could move within or thought I could. There could have been more but I couldn’t work out which part of the space was free! I achieved my goal which was to crawl around for 12 minutes. (low bar :) ) It felt like 5 mins. I still have no idea whether it was in any way interesting to watch. I suspect it wasn’t that interesting and thats OK too as I need to make work that I want to make not work that is entertaining. I dont mind work being made to be entertaining but in this case it wasn’t. I was authentic and true to my intention, and PA is not designed for enteratinment purely. It’s designed to make you think. OK I am confusing myself now, off to have a shower.