Not sure about LISPA anymore. Three more months to go and yet here I am ready and willing to finally just let go. Or maybe not. The fun is no longer there. The quality of feedback diminishes quicker than we can finish the Tragic Chorus. It’s hopeless. There is no right amount of justification for what is about to transpire. All I hope is that for all the things that were left high and dry to help me carry on beyond the works of this putrid environment I am at now.
The very term ‘physical theatre’ sounds like a very enticing prospect for one such as me, who’s about (or already had) to venture into an unknown abyss of art and creation. But as I have learned the hard way, it contradicts itself with its own label. The aspects which can be traced easily to the core of the definition; the ‘physical’ aspect and the ‘theatre’ aspect. Whichever way you’re looking at it, it doesn’t have to make sense. For many artists, or for the self-proclaimed ones, the subjective point of view in all art will nullify any justification for understanding. It’s always a matter between a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ or, in LISPA’s case, according to the all-seeing, all-understanding mind and method of a certain Thomas Prattki.
To begin, let me explore the ‘physical’ aspect of this field and whether or not it merits the term. Before I came to this school, I very much expected it to be mainly about the very definition of the word ‘physical’. I have had workshops with the school, before the admission, twice to be exact, expecting mostly just that. I wasn't very confident of my range of motion during those times and was eager to prove myself worthy to the point of overexertion, to showcase the potential, despite not having a guarantee of having one in the first place. It went well for the first hours or so, going along well as expected, up until the point where the group had to stop halfway through and travel down steps and into a more confined space. I find that ironic because the designated monicker of the room is Space Laboratory. There I discovered more about the ‘countermask’ of this establishment and would not have thought it bad had it not been for a certain case of sticks and moving along to it in a very, for lack of a worse word, pretentious manner. Somehow we had to endure this foolishness for a good hour or so. I personally had to feign interest to it ten times more than my normal meter of tolerance. I had to, considering: a) education is crucial b) it could be fun c) this was expensive and I had to get my money’s worth d) there’s a cute girl near me and I need to impress her with whatever arsenal of badassery I have with me.
The day concluded with a refreshing scent of beginning. From then I knew I loved it, but I knew what was very much lacking in it. An intangible, linear coil of thread that can only be knitted by those from within the inner circle. Right then and there I felt the urge to be a part of it somehow, the ‘physical’ aspect missing notwithstanding.
Last night was the moment where most of the labour of dancing with sticks and forming absurd polygonal shapes finally bear fruition (or lack thereof). I had come up with a piece that attempts to explore the rage instead of the constant revolving of the funny and the sad. The unavoidable cliché, so to speak. Admittingly, there had been past projects that I had done that I am clearly most ashamed of. This is not one of those, unfortunately, as is the case. To make the long, crappy story short, it was met with clear hostility and shameless, salacious sarcasm, failing to mention the constant indifference or complete lack of regard to whatever shit I decide to put on the table, not even giving me the benefit of a doubt to reach the end of the piece for a record-breaking dozen times over the past couple of terms, shoving aside the time and effort and sweat and piss that I oh so worked my ass for, and utter ambiguity and, like in a drunken stupor, severe blow to the quality of feedbacks. The paranoia in me told me it was indeed personal, but I digressed, as it is simply my nature to do so, and I certainly hope that was not the case.
Which leads me to the aspect of ‘theatre’.
This term is most laughable to me if taken into account the school (where I’m in) and the idea of theatre in general. In its most basic sense, theatre is about taste, both the literal and the figurative. Ergo, it is subjective. Now I understand it is most difficult to teach something that can always be taken and twisted into various accounts and opinions. A school should always remain objective as much as it can, else it wouldn’t be of much help were, say, a Strasberg should begin to question his mentor’s way of teaching. Therefore teachers should not tend to value their expertise through cyclical opinions on the matter at hand having only their personal takes and views, which, depending on the approach and keen observance, could either be vital or biased.
In LISPA’s case, it’s a constant hit-or-miss situation, a coin toss, to see whether or not there is value in judgment. One can argue that the school -- even the term ‘school’ irks me now, I would very much rather prefer to refer to it as ‘audition grounds for folks who have things in common, for people of the same mission forced to be trapped together for as long as it takes for them to come up with a more or less five-minute same old, same old shitpants that even their granduncle could have thought of and done.’
I then concluded that the only way to fully grasp or -- hardly the word I’m looking for -- enjoy is to throw the dice and pray it lands on a group who can provide with a structure best suited to one’s needs. What I’m referring to is the batch of ladies and gentlemen that accompany you with the journey. That one may be thrown into people of the same spark. Talent is never the case, seeing as I myself have no issues getting along with the creation process. It’s always then about the people you work with, because face it or not, the journey will never be an individual case as much as you clamour it to be. At the behest of your emotions, failures and undoings eventually fall into your hands with open palms, unclenched by those same people you invested that trust, be it the people you work with or the mentors that are meant to guide you to a path of righteous endeavour. It is not one’s job to get along with others if your convictions are as firm as a tittilated nipple. So my advise is to let it be.
Just so that your rage may cloud over your judgment.
Rage is one hell of an anaesthetic, you see. To ask whether or not rage is a positive or a negative trait, it totally depends on the journey itself. I found that raging on one thing to help build a steady ground actually helps, because it aids you through inspiration. You get a wanting for edge. The sort of competitive drive that anybody with an Olympic spirit can fully relate to. You know rage is no longer on your side when it begins chopping on to everything, including small matters. When the target of your fury is no longer about the pieces, when you feel that the feedbacks no longer bear any weight or relevance, sometimes to a point of completely skipping it throughout, when you look at yourself in the mirror and you realise that actually the mirror makes a good choice of weapon for murder to conceal a hidden frown.
However the angst and agony, the experience will nevertheless be special. As is my case. It holds a special place in my heart. And I will continue persevering if only for the masochism. But if I only knew this was the case, I don’t know. In a different situation or time or place or universe, either I might not have bothered continuing or I end up a mass murderer and/or a sociopath. Whatever the case remains a mystery, but a thought that wills itself on its own. An enigma that is simply linear-reiterative but complex.