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'Block' - The Creative Journey

Right now I feel like my head is buzzing a little, I have so many things I kind of want to talk about and share. Not because I feel any are particularly important or noteworthy but because they are taking up a lot of head-space. So prepare yourself. Buckle yourself in and brace for impact and be ready to have a partition of my brain skimmed off the surface and hurled at your screen. 

Today’s music of choice has been M83’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming which I would recommend strongly. It did however, prove to be a little too stimulating to type to so I’m back to classical for the present. 

On Friday (as I mentioned in my previous post ,) was the Block R&D showing and it went very very well! It was well attended and feedback so far has been very positive. A few pictures have appeared on the twittersphere which I have retweeted and also Paddy Faulkner put a few up on his blog which I really liked. 

Possibly the highlight of the evening for me was the woman who stopped me on my way out of the door and complimented me on giving a strong performance. I can’t remember the exact words she used but it meant a huge amount to me as she spoke more about my performance quality than the tricks. This is an area that I have worked hard on especially in the past year or two and is starting to come together a little, I’m still very much at the beginning of the journey but I can at least see the first few stones on the path. 

The Q&A session afterwards was very interesting, hearing a lot of very thought provoking opinions. It was also interesting to hear a few things about ‘Block’ questioned, especially things that I had began to take for granted. These things I must stress were not questioned because they were wrong (in the same way you couldn't definitively say they were right), they were questioned purely for the reason that I have expressed, because when you are involved in something it’s very easy to take things as a given. That they are, just because they are. One question, for example was whether or not other more 'traditional’ circus equipment could exist in the world of 'Block’, for example cyr wheels and trampolines. This quickly lead to the discussion of Block as a piece of equipment in its own right (over which there was little doubt that it is) and whether the strength of block is just in a show where the language is Block or if it is as interesting, or more interesting to be doing other skills (ie acro, cradle or parkour) just in the landscape of 'Block’. 

Peter Cox spoke to me on the night about something that interested me greatly and had come apparent to during the showing that had not occurred to me at all before hand which was the immediate potential for comedy in 'Block’ which comes very simply from the very nature of the equipment. The thing that the blocks do very well is create tall, unstable and precarious looking structures. This immediately builds tension in the audience and so comedy can become a very strong tool to release that. As I mentioned this never occurred to me very strongly until I was playing it to audience. Then and only then, when I could sense the tension in the audience did it suddenly come to me how effective it could be to play with that tension (by being very tentative and sharing a characters nerves with the audience) or against it (by being very calm in an anything-but-calm situation.) 

So thanks to everyone who came along to see what we have been working on, including my Mum and Hollie who traveled a long way and made it very special for me. 

I guess all that can be said for now, is watch this space and lets see where this creative journey goes.