Tuesday, December 20

Finally... the work in progress show.. thoughts..

I know, I know, its been soooooooooo long since i've written. Since my show I have not posted, its awful. I think i just worked so hard towards it and then when it was over I had to catch up with everything else! But yesterday my grandfather told me 'Lail the world is waiting!', so thought i better write something!


The work in progress show went well. It all came together, and there was a really nice turn out of people, and an interesting feedback session afterwards [which im going to write about separately but I want to watch it again on the video first to remember exactly, cause there was a lot said].

The show didnt turn out at 'messy' as i wanted..my organised mind revolted against me and the show ended up being quite structured - but i hope that the collage/episodic structure still did make people see the scattered way in which the research and thoughts came together, and also made the audience make their own connections.

I showed quite a lot of video footage and played quite a lot of songs, and it was nice for me to be able to share snippets of what I had so far only written about, so people could see first hand the performances of Billie Holiday, hear he voice of lauren hill - cause at the end of the day, its never really enough to verbalise and describe a voice or a show - you have to hear it, to be there.

The stage was quite simple, with the tv on one side, a desk with my piano on the other, and the piano in the middle. When I was at the desk that represented my room, nighttime, writing this blog - i spoke through a microphone - for me that was the thoughts in my head - and music played, as though that was what I was listening to. The literary research I presented from the ground on the floor under a spotlight. When the videos showed it was dark in thr room, as though i was watching. well - i was watching. I had one speech early on which tried to address the tricky issue of whether or not i was being myself during the show:

'Hi. Im Lail. well i know most of you.. except i dont think i've met you before.. hi, nice to meet you (shake hands).. and this is nicki, she's a first year theatre student and she's been helping me today, she's going to doing some lighting and sound changes. and this is tim, most of you know him, he's my tutor for this project. he's also assessing me right now which is a little alkward. The other day he was watching the video of a concert i did and suggested that by sitting on a chair while i sang i was diminishing the difference and distance between me and the audience. And its true, it did seem to break the barriers, increase the intimacy. And if standing up on a stage can in contrast give some sort of power trip, then for now i'll be sitting here on the floor. [sit] I am being myself right now. I have thought very carefully about how to present myself most honestly and accurately. I am wearing these jeans because they are neutral. dont you think? and this top because it tight fitting, so you can see my true figure and my true self, nothing to hide - and i also look rather good in it, dont you think? And these shoes accurately represent the quirkiness of my character. because they are red. do they make you like me?
[get up and walk towards computer]
And my mac over here? does it make you think im a little pretentious? posing like carrie from sex and the city? one new email!'

There were some other random bits - it opened with just my voice speaking through a microphone about the human voice, in darkness. Then after the sort of journey through the ideas (a filtered, edited and developed version of what is on this blog!) I sang the song that I had written for the show.. I sang the first part of it a capella right in the centre in front of the audience with the bright lights on. Very exposed. And then when the lyrics [printed below] led me there, I went to the piano, strange red lighting came on, I started singing through a microphone, first in a very affected (is that the right word?) husky voice, and then in a very 'attitude' loud funked up version.. all the performance elements, to contrast the honest (?) first half. Though the discussion which followed was very interesting and people evidently interpretted the transition in very different ways..

The Song:

verse 1:
Trying to be honest with you
To take a away the show
Its not easy, excuse me
If I take it slow

verse 2:
Trying to knock down
That fourth and final wall
So our eyes can meet
But its built up thick and tall

chorus:
If I tell you how I feel
Then all of me's revealled
And you can eat me up
Veto my appeal
If I tell you how I feel
Then nothing is concealed
The blush behind the mask
The flesh beneath the peel..

verse 3:
And even this..
Is this an act?
To make you think I'm being
Matter of fact

All the tricks that I pull
To get rid of the bull..
Shit maybe thats the show
I deny that I know

chorus:
If I tell you how I feel
Then all of me's revealled
And you can eat me up
Veto my appeal
If I tell you how I feel
Then nothing is concealed
The blush behind the mask
The flesh beneath the peel..

bridge:
And I feel so naked
Like you can see through my skin
With everything to lose
And no way to win
Is she for real?
Wish I was harder to pin
I present to you instead
My beautiful twin:

[walk to piano, lights, mic]
[slowly]
She won't tell you how she feels
She has nothing to reveal
But she's like to eat you up
You're her three course meal
She won't tell you how she feels
That's not part of her deal
There's no blush and there's no mask
There's no flesh beneath the peel
[fast]
She won't tell you how she feels
She has nothing to reveal
But she's like to eat you up
You're her three course meal
She won't tell you how she feels
That's not part of her deal
There's foundation on her skin
Nothing real for you to steal..


I don't know how much you can get from just the lyrics. Sometimes I think it can read like a love song. But in the context it was very deliberately about the performance and addressed to the audience.

That song was what put in practice some of the ideas explored. So i guess its the only indication of what might be in the final show. But......... i have no idea what im going to do in the final show. ok ideas, maybe... but wah,,, im scared.
This is the even funner part though - the research will continue, inevitably, as things keep arising, people send me to look in new directions all the time, there is still so much i want to check out - but I am aware that I need to focus now, to narrow things down... its been a discovery process up til now, and now its time to apply the theoretical into the practical and begin a more actively creative process. exciting.