Playing with Fire: isn't that what we do?
As artists we are so very good with fire...we know how to light it, how to nurture it and how to tame it. We know how to dream it. And we know when to let it go. When we embrace a new creative project we are so alive...every cell engages in creating something that has never existed before...be that a character, a play, a novel, a poem. We burn with creative thoughts. Our minds work so fast, darting here, then there...there is a hunger that needs to be satisfied. I feel it in my throat. Some feel it in their heart, or stomach. It is an excitement that won't let go.
For me, it inevitably becomes performative...the work I dream always seems to be spoken rather than read. Yesterday I did a small playreading with a friend. We sat on the verandah and read a play that excited us...the ideas so profound, the form unique. Direct address to the audience, my preferred theatrical style...theatre is unique in the way it connects the actor and audience and direct address belongs on the stage.
I had invited my friend to come and read because I knew it was an important play. We took it in turns, sometimes he read female roles, sometimes male and visa versa. We listened deeply. And we were moved. Fired up to have another playreading, this time with more actors.
And we will. Sometimes a play comes along that you did not have to write. It is already written by someone else. I like to write my own. But when I read one that communicates important ideas about life, death, family and the social patterns that make up our lives, I am happy to say "I'll move away from the writer and embrace the director for a wee while".