I haven’t created a new show on my own since 2015. I have worked on other creations both in Toronto and Montréal but not my own creation per se. I did a workshop at Studio 303 with Jaamil Olawale Kosoko in Montreal in April of 2019 where I admitted this fact to the class and got a “congratulations” from Jaamil. I laughed but deep down I was kind of proud of not putting myself through the torture/nightmare/emotional rollercoaster of creating a new work on my own.
I have been so lucky to have opportunity handed to me by amazing places such as Videofag, Studio 303 and Playwrights Workshop Montreal. While it can be argued I earned this privilege through previous collaborations it still felt a very easy path compared to most. I like many artists feel a constant push to be working, creating, putting myself out there and produce it all. This is where performance creation feels like having a hard drug habit, I always needed more, no matter what the cost. Making these shows was never easy as my need to create was the reason they existed not because of an inspired idea. I did have questions, curiosities and things I wondered about but this is hardly a foundation for a show. This lack of development showed in the work and it suffered and me with it. Reflecting upon it all now it almost seems like some kind of strange penance for all the other work I was able to be apart of in my life. Or in some way I needed to try and punish myself for what never actually felt like work to me.
I have idea’s, I have entire scrap books filled with idea’s that have never gotten past the initial idea phase. My past failures now haunt me so deeply that I’m convinced without others I cannot make new work. COVID-19 completely stopping almost all performance the entire world ’round has also given almost a year of reflection. With almost every artist stopped dead in their tracks, many are asking not just how to continue but also why continue at all? I feel this existential crisis of mine has been going on for many years (since 2015/16 really) and I have to yet to answer the question that both feeds and haunts me;
HOW TO CONTINUE?