Kool-Aid

Julia Croft and Chicken puppet, and Goretti Chadwick mid-workshop, early May 2017. Puppet by Katie Parker.

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of a workshop on the latest play (its presentation was warmly received, thank you), and since then I’ve had a debrief with the principals, I’ve made a couple of pages of notes on what I could do next, and … done nothing else.

It’s partly planned and partly laziness. The laziness needs no explanation.

The planned part is the result of a workshop I had once upon a time. At that workshop, the script was scrutinised by all involved, and opportunities for improvement were sighted and noted. In the month that followed, I made sweeping changes that rode the post-workshop wave of excitement and possibilities.

Some time later when that draft was presented, I was stunned at how easily and quickly I had sold out. At the time of the workshop and in the discussions afterward it had all made so much sense: this and that were all that were wanting — once I had addressed those concerns, the adulation would naturally follow.

It was a harsh lesson: I had drunk the workshop kool-aid — I had believed what had felt really good in the moment of that workshop, believed that where I’d been heading up to that point was a fool’s errand, and endless exciting possibilities and opportunities beckoned if only I could relax a little. I had ignored my instincts to tell the story in a way that felt right to me.

So this month I’ve been cutting wood, pulling weeds, visiting friends, and writing other things. Whatever is still hanging around in my head come June, that will be worth holding onto for the next draft.

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