Button

I need a button on the show. Something to finish it off. I think I might formally write one. Up until about a week ago I basically thought I’d be reading tarot in the van, but now with a couple of days worth of audience, I’m doing a one man interactive performance piece about identity. And it doesn’t do to improvise that entirely. I mean it’s been an interesting exercise, but for my mind, after today, I want a button. I don’t have to push it every show. But if I’ve got a button I can push it when it needs pushing.

I’m also looking for stuff about names. I’m literally going to Google “Teach yourself numerology” in the bath once this blog is written. Then tomorrow I’ll do some good work, drafting options. Based on my crap improv today in front of various eminent theatre notaries there’ll be a story with a very sexy boy who turns out to be either the devil or death. And then a button. Something to shift the world in my van. At the moment I just hustle everyone out but it’s unsatisfactory and I don’t like it. It’s a thing, but not necessarily the right thing. My character is a snake oil salesman, but occasionally they can sell medicine that actually works.

I’m beating myself up because I made what I think of as a bit of a horlicks of a show with a reviewer. She wasn’t really game for it, but I did it all the wrong way round as I got spun out. The fact is it was still a very lovely show, I just hate it when reviewers are in, making the ephemeral concrete. I got disordered and it devolved in the end into me actively running out of material. Not because I had none but because the fundamental ability to form coherent sentences was stolen from me, as it is sometimes can be by the presence of astonishing beauty. I had a klaxon in my head going “THAT’S WHAT SHE LOOKS LIKE I’VE READ SO MUCH OF HER STUFF I HOPE SHE LIKES ME.”

Fuck it. Everything else about the evening was delightful. Trust me to fixate on the one thing that didn’t go according to plan. The solution: a bit more work. And that’s what a scratch festival is like, my dears.

“Scratch”. I should elaborate. I’m using theatrespeak. Like when I walk into a room and call it a “space”. When you scratch something, it’s when you put it in front of the public before it’s completely finished. Immersive work is sometimes very scratchy in the first few days of its run (unless you’re deliberately shutting down the risks which can also shut down the possibilities). It’s extremely hard to pretend to be a paying audience. So you put it out to them. I think I know what this is now with that audience and that’s why I want the button. They seem to want it too. Who am I to deny them? I just need to work out what colour it is… I’m like this guy at the moment, with a load of different spray cans, and I want to use all of them, but sometimes you just gotta choose. Fixed and flowing. That’s good theatre. We’ve got loads of flowing. We need a little bit more fixed.

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Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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