Working for SummerWorks thus far has been quite a learning experience. Each day is a new hurdle to face, some more challenging than others. It requires me to be self-motivating to complete tasks and to be creative in order to problem solve. Because there are so few on staff it is almost like a juggling act that Michael and I play. There are always several things he and I toss back and forth. Sometimes I am amazed that anything is completed as efficiently as it is, but we always seem to pull it off.
There is also no one more awesome to hang with than Lindy, who will fill your mind with plenty to think about. She’s been something like a coach for me since beginning with SummerWorks. I’m fortunate to get her help whenever she has time in her crazy schedule.
What I am beginning to recognize about this Festival is its strong sense of community. Michael is always attempting to foster new relationships with local community members. This is rubbing off on me. Continually I am encountering artists, producers, administrators across multiple disciplines who share a common place within Toronto. We each struggle with similar issues in regards to producing our art.
Never was this more prevalent to me than it was at the recent UnConference on the performing arts in Toronto. I felt an almost surreal sensation being in a room of 50 people passionate about arts in this city. What made it even more enlightening was that we each made up one part of a whole. A question that one could not answer, another in the room could. It was a bizarre sensation that there would potentially be someone in that room with you who had the answer to the question you had been pursuing for months without success. At times the discussions felt tedious, but it was at least a dialogue and hopefully further actions will be pursued from some of the subject matter that was dealt with.
That idea of being in a room with people you don’t know, but who can offer a wealth of information is not anything new. We encounter this in our very existence walking down the street. The only barrier is that we often refuse to speak to strangers. It’s unfortunate when more often than not, we share a common thread somewhere, of course we rarely have the time to try and find it.
At least at the UnConference we were given some time, a day in fact. Sure enough I was delighted to find myself in a room with 4 people, all from overseas, who were suddenly talking about the usefulness of Viewpoints as a composition tool. I was sharing in a common language with these strangers based on our shared knowledge around this technique. To the others in the room, we weren’t speaking English, but we, the 4 of us, had at least found this common thread in our experience as theatre creators.
I want to leave this post with one final pair of questions:
What do we need to create?
If I were to remove “money” from this list, say it doesn’t exist, how then do we turn these other two needs into a non-issue?