Day 5 (and 6)
I found Day 5 quite a challenge, hence not writing my blog until today, which is day 6. Considering it unlikely that anyone is keeping close track and hanging on my every word, I may decide to combine today and yesterday under the snappy title Days 5 and 6.
I think the essential trouble with yesterday, Day 5, Monday (call it what you will) was that time had run out with Susie and I was suffering minor abandonment issues. The thing that I find hardest is writing (and controlling) stories and this was the job that Susie had been drafted in to oversee – and managed with considerable aplomb. However, the honest truth is that her rapid and retentive mind was always racing some way ahead of mine and that I’d felt a little out of control of the story. With my mind always wanting to move ahead to how I might develop songs for a given story beat, I wasn’t always getting sufficiently imaginatively immersed in the story to really get how it was working. If that makes sense.
Equally, when we talked to George and Ants, the combination of their being so experienced as musical story-tellers and being sufficiently outside the project to see the wood for the trees meant that they seemed (to my self-doubting mind at least) sharper and surer about the story than I was.
So, although we had a great, if time-pressured session with George and Ants looking at our last synopsis over lunch before Susie left to get her train, over the course of the rest of that very hot day (after a lovely walk and a cooling swim) I kind of froze up creatively. I started trying to look at the bits of story that were most worrying me, where I didn’t know what the songs could or should really be, and when I couldn’t come up with anything I liked I went into a weird sort of panic. I spent the main hours of panic in the hammock (not a bad place to panic, if panic you must) and eventually persuaded myself to stop trying and join the others for dinner.
I had at least managed a few lines of rhyming innuendo (for the newly emerging character of Alan the morgue technician). Not the height of productivity, but not actually nothing. More importantly I’d decided to heed the wise advice of George to try and work through the piece from the top and start to see how each moment informs the next.
I got an early night (hopefully not overly disappointing any troubled blog-addicts who’d been waiting by their consoles for my latest offering) and this morning (Day 6), went for a run and started looking at the opening afresh. We’d agreed that it would be really helpful to have the band sing and frame the piece, offering commentary and having a playful, teasing role with the audience. This felt right up my street and I spent most of today developing lyrics for the band’s opening number and various incursions that they make into the show. I presented this to G and A and Lettie along with some work I’d done on the opening scene and first song within the story proper.
I’m not going to go into much more detail about this because I may still have a bit of creative oomph in me to do some work now. But it has been a fun and productive day and my mentors have been wonderfully supportive and encouraging.