I haven’t written anything for a while – my literal side wants to correct that; I am constantly writing: I have been writing emails and blurbs and all sorts of things to get people to engage and want to see my writing, but I haven’t been writing.
What is it about the marketing of creativity that quashes my creative side? I usually write something every few days; a poem, an idea… something, but it’s been weeks since I let that genie out of the bottle.
I am trying to make the world a better place. It sounds so naive and childish, but I really am. I still believe that people are capable of great good and I still believe that the root of evil is fear. I will not be afraid, I will try to shine a light on the good things of the world.
This week we performed The Duck: a glimpse into one autistic woman’s world, for an adult autistic support group. Afterwards this response was shared with me:
“It was the most profound experience I’ve had in years, had me quietly chuckling and tearing up at the same time in resonance with it, absolutely brilliant!”
And you know what? You can keep your literary reviews, you can keep your high-art, you can keep your internationally recognised accreditation, because that right there is what matters.
Sometimes I get caught in the marketing and the rules, and what I should be doing, and who I should be telling to come along to the play, and then I receive something like that, and I remember why I wrote The Duck in the first place.
I wrote The Duck as a reflection. I wrote it to be what I wanted to see in the world. I wrote it as the thing I would have pointed at to say, “That’s me!” I wrote it as a shared experience for the people who thought their experience wasn’t shared by others.
I grew up thinking I was alone in my world. I grew up thinking other people were a strange and alien race. Knowing we are not alone has a great power. We are legion (albeit a legion that would prefer not to appear in large groups in person).
I am going to do everything I can to make my play as accessible as possible. Anyone who comes along, please feel safe to come and go as you need to during the performance. Please know that we get your sensory issues and will do our best to be kind. Please know that you are safe to ask all the questions you need to ask – there is no limit here.
I am going to do my best to make this show work for people like me. I won’t always succeed and I won’t always be perfect, but I’m really going to listen.
If you would like to let me know what helps then please fill out this survey (we have already made plans based on the responses so far, so it really is making a difference), or comment below and I promise I will read every one.
We have put together some “Rules” for The Duck and some information about some of the venues we will be at. You can find them on the Autact Theatre site Here. I am hugely grateful to the Arts Council England for funding our Cheltenham, Brighton and Oxford performances. It means we are able to provide a theatre pack and have the time to build accessibility information.
Growing up I needed to know that I wasn’t alone. If I can use my time to do that for one other person, then it has been time well spent.
The Duck will be on in:-
And more! (See my marketing skills? See them?!)
You can see all dates and links to tickets and info on the Autact Website
There is a time to be creative and a time to reach out. I am outside my comfort zone, but that’s okay too; there’s a reason for that, and sometimes the best connections are made through discomfort.