Nearly back home after an incredible, exciting, inspiring and stressful 2 weeks of performing at the Moisture Festival in Seattle, USA. 3 ‘planes behind me, now an hour more on the train and a taxi to follow…
iPad plus iPhone internet tethering plus PlainText plus WordPress equals awesome.
I am often surprised by odd compliments. Especially those coming from fellow artists, and especially those that have a form that allow me to simply say “thank you very much”, whilst actually wanting to ask “what does that mean?”. Like “it was nice to see some art”, or “he’s a juggler’s juggler”.
Something that am always ready to reply to with “what does that mean?” however is when jugglers tell me that a particular trick, or sequence, is “too complicated for an audience to understand”. WTF does that mean? It compares to the equally enigmatic yet ridiculous soundbite “they can’t tell the difference if you are juggling 5 or 7”.
Who are these “they” of whom they speak? And why is “their” possible failure to understand an aspect of our performance a reflection on their stupidity, rather than a reflection on our own failure or inability to make ourselves understood?
There are three elements to any play. The play, the actors, and the audience. And the responsibility for success lies with them all. Does that mean we should patronise our audience to the point of stupefaction, reduce them to unknowing vessels, undeserving of our attention and edification? As long as my audience has given me the respect to come and sit in a theatre and watch me perform, then I shall give them respect and, hopefully, provide them with entertainment that also has the possibility to challenge and evoke them.
I shall hold their hands when they need it, but I shall assume them to be smart enough to follow me, and also to lead me to new places within my work.