The politics of circus

What can you and can’t you say? Politics is driving me nuts. What have I said to people that I shouldn’t have said? Probably quite a lot.

Sat in a breakfast bar this morning watching the world go by and chatting about many things. Started with meeting with Mish. We were talking about her new show, Box of Frogs, which, frankly, I cannot wait to get cracking on. Also talking about our new show, Backgammon for Beginners, and what we’re doing with that. Finished all the show chat, rehearsal chat etc etc and inevitably got down to the gossip part – which I always enjoy and Lauren is a particular specialist in. She remembers details as I am left flailing over who actually said what about whom. Mish had seen the 3rd year show last night and it was duly dissected. I love doing this. Listing who was your favourite, then maybe your top 3. Then changing it. Then really enjoying going over the one you hated. There’s always one, no matter how much you try and sit on the fence. We’re not going until tomorrow night but I sometimes enjoy listening to people who have already seen it. It’s like pre match build up I suppose. Then Sam, Matt and Em arrived and we went over it all again and there was the lovely “which did you like moment” which I already knew Mish’s answer to. And then, that beautiful moment when someone carefully asks what you thought of person x’s piece. And then the disagreement – or, in some cases, almost salivating as you get going on a particularly juicy shared like/dislike of someone’s act – or even the person themselves.

It’s a crazy world because everyone can’t like everyone all of the time but it’s rare that these tensions even remotely surface. It just leaves you wondering what people said about you when you graduated – or every time you do a public show. Is it best to know or not? Therefore, is it best to say or not say whether you loved or hated a piece/performer/person or not? Or is it better to polish that smile and pretend you love everyone and everything no matter how bland/badly done/offensive it is just in case it comes back and bites you in the arse? I just don’t know.  I suppose the aim of the game is just to know who to sit on the fence in front of and who to tumble off the side with.

I look forward to seeing the 3rd years do their thing tomorrow night. I love going to the shows each year. Especially the banter afterwards and just enjoying watching that fleeting moment that anyone who has been on any kind of long intensive course feels: of standing on the edge of a huge unknown. Good luck to them all.

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