So those of you who have been following this blog for a little while are already acquainted with my massive ego Jasper Mountbatten III. He's an extroverted, irrational, volatile personality but he can also be entertaining in party situations. Sometimes he's inspiring (albeit in a rather bullying "Finish the whole keg you frickin' democrat!" kind of way) which can be helpful at those moments when you do actually need to finish the keg. Other times he's like a hurt little child and can sulk in the toilet for days at a go. But whatever the situation, Jasper's reaction is inevitably active. Even the sulking is an active kind of sulking. And his reactions are those of either extreme joy, or extreme injustice and anger. You'll forgive Jasper if he has a rather inflated view of me as a person, that's kind of what his job is.
Today though, I'd like to introduce you to another aspect of my personality. He's related to Jasper, although you would hardly guess it to look at him. When Jasper is the one at the party entertaining everybody with a hilarious story about the time he fell asleep in a river, his cousin Derek Bluebottom is the one that everyone is desperately trying to avoid. He's the guy at the party who looks like he was forced to come by his mum. He's the one in the kitchen standing by the fridge. You know, the one who you need to politely ask to move in order to get another beer. It's not an accident, he's standing in the way deliberately. Just so that someone will be forced to interact with him. Deep down he wants to connect, but instead he just kind of looks at you with nothing in his face. Pretty soon, word has spread through the party that there's a weird sad guy next to the fridge, and people start going to the off-license instead of to the kitchen. Derek has that effect on people.
If I'm perfectly honest though, the last place you would ever find Derek is at a party. He's more likely to be found at home on the sofa, sitting in the dark (having been unable to find the will to turn the light on) scrolling meaninglessly through an endless pit of despair until his phone runs out of battery, gradually sinking lower and lower until he can't feel anything anymore. Not joy, not sadness, just an infinite bog of numbness.
Say hello to Derek Bluebottom, my depression. Or perhaps don't bother, he's not likely to hear you.
You might wonder why I'm introducing you to Derek at all. He's not exciting like Jasper (or arguably normal like me), he's a bit of a pariah...
There are many times in my career so far that Derek has come to visit me. I must say I don't particularly look forward to his visits as I never really know how long he's going to stay. He came to stay after I got fired from Fantastic Mr Fox, actually he was a fairly regular visitor in the weeks leading up to that moment.
He also came for regular holidays during my very early years as a composer/lyricist, whenever I didn't get anywhere in a competition, whenever I didn't get a job, whenever I wondered what the hell I was doing with my life and what the damn point of any of it was anyway. Interestingly enough, although they make fairly strange bedfellows, Derek usually comes to visit with Jasper. But, you don't always know that he's there. He slides in the door behind Jasper and sets up in the spare room before you've even realised. And the most important difference between Jasper and Derek? Jasper always leaves as soon as the cocaine runs out, whereas Derek lingers long past his use by date.
So of the two, who is the more dangerous? Jasper for his outbursts, and volatility? Or Derek with his quiet numbing?
For me, the answer will always be Derek. But why am I talking about Derek now?
Because he's in my spare room... and I'm terrified.
I have recently gotten an amazing commission which I will be able to tell you about as soon as it is announced, basically it's an opportunity that has been one of my secret goals ever since I started off on this crazy theatre journey. So naturally when I found out, Jasper turned up at the door with a bottle of expensive champagne and a pound of heroin. It was great. I was so distracted for the two days of Jasper's hardcore party visit that of course I didn't notice Derek as he slumped through the door behind Jasper and headed straight for the spare room.
And then of course, Jasper left.
And now I'm left with Derek. Occassionally he comes out of the spare room, and pads gently through the hall, sometimes he'll sit next to me on the couch. He has a presence that infuses everything near him with an overwhelming sense of meaninglessness.
But the most difficult thing about Derek is his diet. As much as his presence is disturbing, it's his diet that is really dangerous for me. You see, Derek doesn't bring things to eat with him when he visits. He feeds on what is available to him. And his favourite food?
Derek eats my confidence like there's no tomorrow, for breakfast (when he can be bothered to have it) lunch and dinner. And the really sad thing about Derek is that eating my confidence has absolutely no effect on Derek. He can eat it all and never put on weight, it's like it disappears down his throat into an endless black hole.
And Derek doesn't even need bad reviews to start eating. All he needs is my imagination. My perceived thought that I can't do this job. This is what is happening right now. This commission is a great opportunity and already Derek is thinking about how badly it will turn out.
I have come to realise over the past year, that actually I really need a lot of confidence in order to do my job well. If I am to create good work I need to be able to trust in my ability to create good work. Especially in the theatre I have to be confident enough of my own worth as a composer/lyricist in order to be able to express my opinions and thoughts to my collaborators. I have to believe that my contribution is worth something. And the moment that I stop doing that I can't function effectively as an artist.
I've talked about this before but I hadn't realised what a huge part confidence has to play in the role of a creative in the theatre (as in many industries). When I was starting out I thought that it was talent and who you know that determines whether or not you succeed in this business (whatever your definition of success maybe). But I have come to realise that confidence plays an immense part in the whole process. For without it, any talent you possess is meaningless. If you are unable to express that talent and contribute your thoughts and ideas you might as well be back home in the spare room with Derek.
The good news is, that now I've started realising when Derek is on his way round...
So I start hiding his favourite foods from him. As with many things, I have noticed that simply being aware that Derek is coming over is half the battle. Just knowing that he will be there, and that he will be eating on my confidence somehow makes me feel better, and conversely it also makes me feel more confident that I can handle it.
I can prepare to a certain extent for his visits now and I also know that eventually, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, but some day...
I'll wake up...
go to the spare room...
open the door...
and Derek will be gone (at least for now).
I don't think I'll ever get used to his visits, and I don't think we'll ever particularly get on. But at the very least he has made me aware of my own confidence in myself and for that he deserves a bit of thanks.
See you next time Derek.
My name is Jasper Mountbatten III (I’m Darren Clark’s MASSIVE Ego) and I resent the success of his friends and colleagues. It’s been about 17 hours since I last resented one of his friends successes.
No. Down Jasper!
As I write this, as I do with many of my blogs, I’m figuring things out in my head as I write. The question that has been bugging me most recently is WHY? What is the function of my resentment, what is the function of the envious monster that lurks behind my eyes. How do you benefit me monster? Tell me how??!
I’m not writing this as a rebuke to myself. Nor as a rebuke to anyone who feels the dark undertow of envy and resentment pulling them under from time to time. I don’t feel like there is something wrong with me for feeling this way (just add ‘catholic guilt’ to your pot of ‘envy’ for a perfect Sunday ruiner). This is a feeling that comes upon me fairly regularly and from conversations I’ve had with my colleagues and friends, it seems that I am far from alone.
If the person exists out there who can honestly say they have never felt a twinge of resentment at someone else's success then please don’t let me know about your existence. You’ll just make me feel inadequate. If however, you are the colleague who feels these things and has learnt to channel them into something positive and constructive, I want to hear from you.
I shall now say something wise and profound, which someone much wiser and more profound has probably already said:
(cue emotional music and picture of cat hanging on to a tree)
Someone who has only ever lived in daylight will be lost when night eventually falls. But the person who lived in daylight, then fought through the long night to the new dawn is infinitely more precious.
Because they know the way out.
And of course… I resent them for it.
It seems that my resentment of others success bears no relationship to the talent of my colleagues, or indeed even the degree of their success, or the fact that I have experienced much success and good fortune myself, sometimes beyond those that I am envious of. If I was envious only of people who have had higher profile achievements and better reviews then at least that would make some sort of sense.
But that’s just not the case….
It seems that there is a purely internal driver to this monster truck and I can almost guarantee that it’s Jasper Mountbatten III who is at the wheel. He’s shifting gears like a madman, he’s not checking his mirrors and he’s causing havoc on the carriageway. You can almost see the bright toxic-avenger-green glowing in his pupils.
So, back to the question… why do I feel so threatened by the success of my friends and colleagues? Experience has taught me that their success comes at no cost to me. I have not lost out on work because of them (as much as Jasper tells me I will), the quality of my work has not suffered as a result (as Jasper is convinced is the case). In fact the only negative consequence of these feelings are directly the result of my own neurosis.
The truth of the matter (as much as Jasper wishes to deny it) is that the success of my colleagues has only ever resulted in positive outcomes in real life terms. The truth? The success of those around me helps me.
Look here Jasper.
They have gotten me work, they’ve gotten better at their craft and they’ve inspired me to work harder, they’ve shown me a path through the undergrowth, one that I can follow, as their work becomes better known and they have more of an audience reach, they tend to rave about their colleagues (of which I am one) thus bringing my work to the attention of new audiences and producers. And these are only the things I can think of right now, I’m sure the unseen benefits are equivalent to the underwater bit of an iceberg.
Essentially as our communities becomes more successful, the individuals within that community can’t help but have success as a result (if they let it). So this resentment just doesn’t make any sense.
Don’t get me wrong, at the same time as I seethe with envy, I burst with pride. It is one of the great contradictions of my soul. The devil and the angel are shouting at each other from opposite shoulders. But again experience has taught me a very clever old proverb which I shall bastardise here…
There are two wolves in your soul. One is a devil and one is an angel and they are fighting against each other. Which one wins the battle?
The one you choose to feed.
I don’t have the self control (yet) to be able to control my instinctual base emotions. I wish I did. But I don’t. That Devil wolf will always be there, spittle dripping from his fangs, breathing heavily and ominously in the corner. But I am learning that feeding the devil don’t do no one no good. It usually takes a little time (a couple of days or so) but I am learning now to hold my hand out to the Angel wolf. She’s the nurturer, the mother, the one that helps me and others grow. She’s the one who deserves my time and energy.
One of the wonderful things about community (and why I shout about MMD and BML from the rooftops) is that we can share the darkness inside our souls without fear of judgement from people we have come to know and trust.
Our community is there in the darkness with us, some are closer to the dawn than others, and some have yet to step into the night, but there are hands to hold onto all along the way. It behoves us to hold onto them, not to slap them away.
So, to the many of you wondrous folks experiencing the euphoria of success at the moment, know this…
I still resent your success. (Don’t judge me. I can’t help it) But at exactly the same time my heart is bursting with pride at the wonder of all your incredible achievements. And that’s the wolf that I’m choosing to feed.
As with so many of my blogs I clearly haven't answered the question I set out to... but then maybe the why isn't so important after all...
It's an interesting process once you've written your show, once you've rehearsed it and then sent it off out into the big wide world to see what the audience and critics make of the little piece of you you've just sent them. It's even more interesting when people react in such different ways to the self-same piece of work. As a theatre maker with an ego (Hello Jasper Mountbatten III for those of you who've read before) I am incredibly reluctant to share any media critique that paints my work or that of my colleagues in a negative light. I suppose it's my instinct for self preservation kicking in, and in the absence of having to protect my fragile body from a sabre tooth tiger attack, I have decided to protect myself from a negative public image by pushing forward an image which is vastly skewed towards the positive.
I don't need anyone to tell me that this isn't healthy. In a similar way to the world of our everyday lives on faecbook and social media, we are able to control our public image to a huge extent (as long as we are not famous). I don't think this can be good for any of us. It holds us to the expectations of a reality that simply does not exist.
Last time These Trees Are Made of Blood came out in March 2015 I made a big old point of promoting as much as I could of what people said they enjoyed about the show and attempting to hide any negtive criticism away (negative things got no retweets or favourites on facebook or twitter and I had to fight the urge to write to every reviewer who I disagreed with to explain to them that they had missed the point entirely). Fortunately I have good, clever friends who assured me that this would be a very stupid idea.
However, with this particular show something has occured to me. These Trees Are Made of Blood is a cabaret metaphor that explores the smoke and mirror tactics used by the military Junta to blind the citizenry of Argentina to the truth of their horrific human rights abuses. Simply put, they were doing everything they could to hide the truth from their people. Donald Trump and the Republicans are doing it right now. The Brexiteers did it. They do it by telling people what they want to hear. To quote a line from our show: "..the lies the audience choose to believe."
I thought therefore that it would just be too ironic for me to post only the brilliant things that people are saying about the show. So here, I'm going to post links and quotes from the negative reviews as well as the positive ones.
If any of my colleagues in the cast don't want to know about these please stop reading now!!!!
This review has both positive and constructive criticism, is very well written, thoughtful and considered and has aspects that we as creators agreed with and have since set about improving and changing.
The London Economic
A very complimentary review which obviously Jasper Mountbatten III enjoyed very much.
This is my first review from Lyn Gardner, obviously Lyn is an institution in the world of reviewing and (as a friend reminded me today) it's quite an achievement for her to even come and see the show. Again it's very thoughtfully written and has some wonderfully positive things to say whilst also offering criticisms on parts of the show. Again, useful thoughts, some of which we agreed with and are keeping in mind for the future.
This review from Ann Treneman was particularly brutal, in fact when our PR sent it through to us she prefaced it with a caption that said "Brace yourselves!" In this instance it was clear that our use of cabaret simply did not read with this reviewer and as a result her entire experience must have been pretty bad. In fact, it would have been bordering on completely offensive. It's a bit like going on a blind date and realising within three minutes that you and your date have a completely different sense of humour. In cases such as those, it's best to chalk it up to experience.
West End Wilma
Another lovely review which had Jasper opening the bubbly and laughing like a maniac.
This was our first review in and knocked the wind from our sails a bit, but again has some lovely things to say and also some interesting and useful things to mention about the second act in particular. So while it was a hit, I still appreciate it as it is well written and thoughtful.
My Theatre Mates
Carole Woddis has written a very complimentary piece and had some interesting things to say on the length of the piece which we are now acting on and cutting down to make it tighter.
If I'm honest, this is one of the most bizarre reviews I've ever read, almost every sentence in it reveals the reviewers contempt for the piece, and so the four star rating sits incongruously with the content. It is rare that I will say I completely disagree with a reviewer, but in this instance I find it difficult to take seriously the fact that they gave four stars to a "dud end of the pier show". Really fascinating!
I think that's about all the reviews that have come in so far. Obviously there are the twitter comments coming in from audience members which are miniature reviews in themselves but given that people who bother to tweet about a show tend to tweet unanimously positively about their experience I won't post them here. If you want to find out what the audience are saying you can look here:
YOUTUBE: Audience Response
What I find really fascinating about reading all these reviews is the fact that there is such a split of opinion. Some people seem to really hate it and others are referring to it as one of the more profound theatre experiences of their lives. As a theatre maker, I want to make something that resonates with an audience in a deep way. The difficulty of that proposition is that I don't get to choose my audience. We all have our own hatreds and loves and we bring those to bear in the way in which we measure and judge the work of others. It's not our fault, it's just the way we are.
I think that remembering this is a good way to handle negative criticism. As I discovered in recent conversations with some critics, their motivations for writing critique are as many and varied as our reasons for making theatre. So if something in a review chimes with you as being true, then try to act on it. If it's just a difference of opinion... just like that blind date. Maybe best to let it go.
I would like to encourage others in a similar position of having critique that splits opinion to share those opinions with the world. Trust me, it actually makes you feel better. Life is a little bit easier when you aren't trying to hide something!
BOOK TICKETS TO THE SHOW
If any of these have tickled your fancy, grab a possie together and come on down to the Coup Coup Club... it's certainly one that is causing quite a stir and a debate amongst the critics... why not come and see for yourself! After all, we think that this is an important story that needs to be told.
We're on at the Arcola Theatre until the 15th July!
I am writing in response to no particular review or reviewer. I have been fortunate to have had a sizeable number of reviews written about my work over my career so far and this is a cumulative thought upon my own reaction to the more negative ones of which there have been several.
First of all though, I want to tell you a story...
When I was 21 years old, I was in the Dunedin Operatic Society production of Les Miserables. I loved every second of it. I was "at" university during the day and treading the boards in one of my favourite shows at night. I would finish performing at about 11.30pm, then we'd all go and get drunk next door and then I would stumble along the high street, stop at McDonalds to buy a 20 pack of chicken nuggets and then continue to wander drunkenly home. High on the euphoria of that heady combination of youth, hard liquor, the glow of the footlights and whatever the hell it is they put in chicken nuggets, I dripped along the high street in a state of happy delirium. The world was my oyster, all was right with the world...
I thought I'd imagined it... but no, I had definitely heard that word. I happened to hear it at about the same time as something bumped into my shoulder. It was a wide, almost deserted footpath so there seemed to be no reason why the shoulder barger should have needed to barge me, but there it was...
So... I could have continued down the street, eating my nuggets in peace. But I couldn't leave it alone. I stopped. I turned and shouted after them... "What did you call me?" I'm not sure why that particular question popped into my mind, especially because I knew exactly what they'd called me. They'd called me a cunt. In fact they'd said it quite clearly. What was it I was expecting from this particular interchange? I was effectively throwing a glove down upon the floor, my archaic notion of honour had been challenged. "Pick your weapon sir. Nuggets at twenty paces. Very well! Turn and throw you scoundrel!"
I had hoped of course that my "What did you call me?" challenge would either go unnoticed (in which case I win) or that I would elicit some sort of apology from my assailant (in which case I would also win). But every person reading this right now, knows that neither of those two things happened that night.
What happened was this... the fellow turned around and started walking back towards me. When he was about four inches from my face he answered my question... What did he call me?
"I called you a cunt."
Then he slapped me in the face and ran off down the street.
Apart from the time myself and a few friends decided to recreate fight club on the streets of Wellington, which resulted in a face being smashed into a cash point, this is the only instance of violence that has been inflicted upon me by a stranger. I suppose I should count myself lucky that it hasn't happened more often...
So dearest reviewer... I'm sure you understand where I'm going with this extended metaphor. Well, just in case it wasn't clear. You are the stranger that met me that dark night and whilst I was in a blissful state of euphoria, you called me a cunt, slapped me in the face and ran off down the street. I never knew who it was who interrupted by nuggetorial wonderland, just as it is likely I will never know you. But be aware, just like that midnight assault almost 16 years ago, your words will not be forgotten.
Reviews are very strange things. I love them and hate them. I crave them and despise them. I avoid them like the plague and yet I am drawn to them like a moth to the flame. Each one has the potential to make me grin with delight or sink into the depths of despair. It's the possibility, the hope, that I love so much... the hope that someone, somewhere, a complete stranger understands what I am trying to do.
Because believe it or not, generally speaking, writers don't intend to write sub-standard shows. We don't intend to write even a great show. I can't speak for others but I aspire to write exceptional work. I might not ever succeed in that aspiration, but it remains the full-blooded intention of every piece of work I engage with. This intention, this aspiration may not seem particularly important to you, but it should be. I'll tell you why.
Aspiration beyond means is the lifeblood of human endeavour. It should be praised. Not ridiculed, because if it is careless with it we may miss out on something truly great. You may argue that any artist who hopes to have a career should have a thick skin. I disagree. The only reason we have developed our thick rhinoceros-like hide is because of you. But that doesn't mean that's the way it has to be...
I am not by any means trying to curb your self-expression, or your opinion, or your right to say whatever the hell you please about whatever the hell you like. I appreciate that you are an artist as well, that in every review you put a piece of yourself out there. I appreciate that. However, there is a difference. I just spent years writing a show, your work was a matter of hours. It's not a criticism. That's just a fact and it can't be argued about. And it may be the case that yes, my show was terrible in your opinion. My question to you is this:
Is there a better, more useful way of saying what you have to say?
I'm not a reviewer so I don't know if this is possible. But as a composer and lyricist it's a question I grapple with every minute of my working life. Can I rewrite this line so my audience will understand it better? Can that lyric sing more? Can that melody shine a little brighter with just a little more work? What is the best way in which I can express my aspirations in the time available to me? Sometimes it's just the choice of word that can make all the difference...
You are writing for an audience. The general theatre going public. I wonder if you also know that I am part of your audience. I know you can't please everyone, good lord I know that much, and I know you shouldn't try to please everyone. People can be hard to please after all, but it's just something to consider. The writer is your audience too, whether you want us to be or not, I'm afraid you don't get to choose. And I think that can only be a good thing.
Because I believe, you owe something to the aspirations of the work you are reviewing. You don't owe the work anything at all. But without those tragic, ever-failing, star-clutching, podium-grabbing aspirations, where would we all be? It doesn't bear thinking about. Treat your review like the work of art that the show you are reviewing is trying so desperately to be. You don't have to respect the work itself, but give the aspirations their due. They are trying their best to be beautiful.
A writers aspiration to create great work deserves to be nurtured, not strangled.
And to return to my earlier metaphor. By all means, slap me in the face and call me a cunt. But then give me a friendly wink and a "You can do it!" pat on the back as well. Please don't just run off into the dark Dunedin night.
I may never well "do it!" but I'll want to keep trying and isn't that the important thing?
PS. I am prepared for an absolute slew of "you don't know what you're talking about" from all you reviewers out there in theatre land if you catch wind of it. And I also realise that I'm putting myself in a hole by asking reviewers for something which I have no right to ask of them. The fact is, I'd love to chat with you guys more about it, I'd love to hear the opinion of the reviewer. As a non-reviewer myself I'd love to get to know a bit more about your craft.
It's Easter Sunday and our crowdfunding campaign has just 46 hours left on the clock. We really want to try to get to £5,000 so that we can give the production it's best chance of telling the story of the Disappeared in a way in which it deserves to be told. Most of you who read my blog already know the story of how the show came to be in existence, but maybe one of the things that you know a little less about is what goes on behind the scenes in the creation of a show like this. So I thought I might use this opportunity to share with you my own experience of showmaking:
The Shame of #Crowdfunding
My first experience of crowdfunding was with Rhys Jennings, my collaborator on the new musical The Wicker Husband which just had it's first reading at The Other Palace last week. We had reached a point in the writing process where we just simply couldn't afford to continue to live and work on the show without paying ourselves and the people who we needed to work with. Rhys suggested the Crowdfund and whilst at first my little brain was reluctant to ask friends and family for their hard earned money, so that I could blow it all on wicker dreams. I soon discovered something different.
People were not only willing to support our project, but they were EAGER to do so. Some of them had been hearing about it for so long that for them it seemed like an opportunity to will something out of nothing. Which is essentially what (as creators of theatre) we do every day. That was a great first experience of crowdfunding for me. Rhys proved particularly adept at adapting himself to being a crowdfund master and really went full pelt. We successfullly raised over £5,000 for our project which has contributed immensely to the successful reading that we had last week.
So when I came to be involved in my second crowdfund for Paper Balloon's The Boy and the Mermaid, you would have thought I would have had less scruples than before about getting the word out to the people. But... as the build up to the crowdfund began, I found myself again wondering to myself "How dare you ask these people for their money. They've worked hard for it. And not only that... some of them have already supported your work. You can't ask them again."
But again, I stopped in my self-flagellating tracks when I found that not only were people happy to respond and give some cash, but that the people who had supported the previous crowdfund were supporting the new one as well, sometimes even more generously than they had before.
So, I started thinking about what it was that people are supporting when they give to a crowdfund. I have given money to a few myself, I would consider it far too hypocritical if I hadn't. And looking back at those projects I can see two different reasons for my donations:
1. I wanted to support the person's work, regardless of the project.
2. I wanted to support the project because I believed it to be important.
Looking at the people who have given money to my various projects, it's clear that there are some who support me primarily because they care about me and they want me to succeed in my endeavours (and in my mother's case, they don't want me to starve). Then there are others, who share on social media their own stories of the show that I am involved in and those people donate because they believe in the cause.
This led me to think a little about shame and vulnerability (I've been reading lots of self help books recently). It's interesting that I never feel shame when I am asking people to support a cause that I really believe in. For example, The Wicker Husband is a story about society pressure on people to look and conform to a certain "acceptable" norm of prettiness. The Boy and The Mermaid is a call to arms for small ones about the Syrian Refugeee Crisis, about how we should celebrate differences not vilify them. And my most recent crowdfund for These Trees Are Made of Blood is an important human rights story about state terror, disappearances and the power of indivduals to change society for the better in the face of incredible tyranny.
These projects I will talk about until the cows come home and I will never be ashamed of asking those around me to support them because I believe that the work is worth doing and important.
However, the problem with any work that you make in the creative industries is that it inevitably has a huge part of you inside it. And it's when I feel like I'm asking for money for people to support ME as a person that I feel shame.
For me, in this industry in particular, it grieves me to admit that alot of my self-worth is tied to money. I don't consider that to be my fault and I don't consider it to be unusual, having talked to many people about it. This is an asbolutely natural consequence of living in a capitalist society that rewards people with numbers in their bank. I am absolutely no exception to this. I really wish I was, but that river runs pretty deep.
This means that when I start asking people for money to support me, I feel immense shame that I am not good enough at what I do to be earning a living wage from it without their help. Of course that is simply just not true. I am good enough, I am a skilled musical theatre writer with plenty of experience but the fact remains that money is not always directly related to ability.
So in crowdfunding I have to split my personality in two. The part of me that feels shame that I am not succeeding I have to tell to "shut up and go and sit in the toilet and read a paper until it's all over." The part of me that believes in the project jumps into the fray with all guns blazing and demands to be heard.
I thought I would write about it here, not only because we are about £800 away from our minimum goal for our crowdfund and I'm shamelessly going to push it (Please donate whatever you can, it really means the world to us - note how in using "us" I am deflecting from the shame of using "me"!), but also because crowdfunding is here, it's here to stay and it's going to be a big part of our creative industries in the future and I believe that if we can get over ourselves, that can only be a good thing.
If you have a project that you are working on that needs to get the next step (despite our excellent reading for The Wicker Husband on Thursday we failed three times to get any funding from the Arts Council for it) then maybe go for a crowdfund. You've got to believe in the cause, in the story, but at the end of the day I've found belief in a cause will jump all over any shame you feel.
And if you so feel like it (and because I've currently locked my ego in the toilet) Please donate by clicking below. Either because you support me as an artist or because you believe in the work.