Despite being busier than I’ve ever been creatively, I recently realised that I haven’t had a completed piece of work staged in almost 3 years. It’s somewhat cathartic to admit that rather than ignore it as I have been, but I’m still worried. At what point do I stop being allowed to refer to myself as a theatre maker? When do they call to my house and cut my membership card in half with a scissors? After how many years of idling does my hardware automatically reboot and I restart as a wannabe Instagram personal trainer?
I haven’t had a completed piece of work staged, but that’s not to say I haven’t been working. I’ve probably never been more prolific to be honest. I’ve been writing, re-writing, and researching practically non-stop for as far back as I can recall. I’ve had several “work in progress” showings, but any “progress” implied by such a term at the time hasn’t necessarily gained momentum. Some might say my “work” has “progressed” to a shuddering halt. I’m not one of them, but I’d stand by their decision to take that tack.
Behind the scenes, I’ve been lucky enough to be supported in making my work for the past two years by Cork Midsummer Festival, The Everyman Theatre, and Corcadorca via their joint mentorship programme Tessellate (through which I received mentorship from the incredible Lorraine Maye, Julie Kelleher, and Conall O’Riain). I’ve also had training opportunities with the Abbey Theatre, and was even shortlisted for their emerging playwright programme “Abbey Works” last year. In the past few weeks alone I’ve spent time in The Everyman working on a new project having been selected for Mermaid Arts Centre’s “Gap Day” programme (thank you Arts Council).
So there is work ongoing. Too much work, really. I’m actually a bit of a workaholic when I actually break down my schedule. I never take a day off, I have multiple projects on the go at once, and they’re all brimming with potential. It’s just that, for the most part, these projects are all still being developed exclusively in my head. It was recently suggested to me that there might be an underlying mental health condition at play. I think that might have something to do with my current confusion and concern. Until the day I found out, I had assumed that everybody’s mind worked with the same chaotic, frenetic verve that mine did. It turns out that constantly thinking about forty different things isn’t normal. Who knew!
I’ve been feeling particularly useless lately, so I’ve decided to resurrect this blog in the hope that having some form of outlet for all the ideas clogging my brain will free up space for the ideas I can actually see to fruition. I don’t expect many people to read it, so please accept my apologies if you do stumble across it. It’s partly therapy, partly an attempt at organising my brain. If I put the ideas down here they can exist on their own without the need for my constant supervision or attention. Maybe once they’re out in the light of day I can spot ways to give them a second life. Or maybe I’ll just clear enough room in my head to start enjoying mine again.