Beginnings: I have under taken a number of creative processes exploring beginning. I am going to discuss two artistic projects that involved thinking about beginnings. Then maybe you can see if there is anything to learn from these practice-based examples that can be applied to the experience of your beginning the new term.
Working as an artist-in-school: during some project supporting arts in school curriculum I work with other artists. After the projects, we had a de-brief discussion. We talked about how our projects went in the schools we were in. The main point that seemed to come out of the discussion was that we all experienced more than one beginning.
There was the official date we first went to the school – the official beginning.
There was the moment when people in the school started to get on board, get used to us being there – the energetic beginning.
Then there was also the point when things started to shift or change or be made – the effective beginning.
There could be more, maybe think of kinds of beginnings you have experienced. Please describe them in the comments below. All three beginnings I describe above were important. They all supported the others happening. From this example applied to BAPP I think the important point is there is a start date September 17th 2018. Because it is Distance Education not much might feel like it happened. Not much might change – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t notice its begun don’t wait for the energetic beginning to happen because you need to start engaging with the course (start) in order to get to the energetic beginning. Even if you’re not in the flow yet you still have to start doing something it will flow into the energetic beginning. The effective beginning might happen in September or it might happen in two years time!! Again, you can’t wait for it to happen before you ‘start’ doing anything.
I learnt from the arts-in-schools experiences that You have to start to start.
Another time I thought about beginnings was a workshop with Oliy Cart who make work for young audiences – like I do. We were talking about how you draw an audience into the start of a show. We were particularly thinking about how with young audiences this might be an unknown experience. It could be the first time san audience member had experienced a show. Obviously, how it begins is dependent on the content of the show. But think for a moment about the kinds of beginnings of shows you have been in or seen. How would you categorise them?
For instance: One of my current shows for young people the performers are ‘asleep’ on the stage so that the young audience can come in and look a round and look at the performers. This is to try to have the beginning as un intimidating as possible.
In another work (Passing 1: I right my own story) I have done (not for young audiences) the performance start with half the cast taking their shoes off like they had just come home after a night out.
I could say that in the first description (my current children’s show beginning) is about getting everything laid out – knowing all the bits involved. Applied to this course maybe it would be about looking at all the dates for things, the handbooks & the blogs having a look round them like sleeping giants you have not yet engaged with but having a look to understand what they might be.
The second piece (with the shoes) began with an ending. You could apply that kind of beginning to the course by thinking about what you are building on. To start this course by thinking about what you have done, what you want to build on what good and bad things come with you as baggage. What do you want to take off and what do you want to leave on as you start this new episode?
Have a think about the beginnings of shows you have done again and see what they could tell you about beginnings in general. Share these as posts on your blogs (please put links to the post in the comments below). It would be great to hear them because we would read about the kind of shows you’ve been in or the kind of shows you’ve seen/that have influenced you. But it would also be great to hear what they meant to you or what you learnt from the experience.
Photo 1: Joe Culleton
Photo 2: Scott Lipiec