It was clear from the moment Liam and I first met - we are a creative force...
That is mostly true.
There are a handful of people in the world that can make me laugh to tears and Liam is one of them. I remember being at the ADA and giving Liam an order to sit in a tiny chair and sing his address, like a large child, and he did it with the perfect amount of terror in his voice and ridiculousness in his gestures - I lost it. It is one of the reasons I think our company is so amazing, we are generous with making each other laugh.
This year is complicated for our company. We are, by nature, a busy people. We travel, we get married, we have kids, we have jobs, we go to school, we have pets and we will only have more of all these things as time goes by. When reviewing what our year would look like, it made the most sense for Liam and I to create a new smaller show, following in the footsteps of Ali and Patrick creating Tut’Zanni’s first two person show, Beep and Bop. When this came up I thought, “fuck yes”. Now I think, “COMMON”.
This is hard.
The way we, as a company, have created shows has never been the same twice. We have no perfect formula to our collaboration. We are balancing trying to pay close attention to the things that work for us and the things that slow us down. We are trying to get more organized and intentional, while also leaving space for the unexpected. You know, follow your impulses. We do really well (sometimes) when we follow our impulses. The thing is... that means every time we do something there are parts that feel like the first time. That means blocks. For us right now, Liam and I are living in block city USA, population 2 + all our hopes and dreams...
Our first meeting, I was real fired up.
I thought things would flow like molasses, not crazy fast-but pretty consistently. I was incorrect. It flowed at an uneven pace and with little to no meaningful outcome. It is hard to say. Creativity has a unique quality of being very prolific and very not, and sometimes both those things at the same time which seems impossible - but we are creative so we find a way. I foolishly thought that because Liam and I have always worked well together and riffed well together and had ideas flow pretty steadily together that this would be pretty easy to start, and harder to refine. Instead we meet a couple times a week, while he is on a break from work, when I am working in the office late, sometimes on my kitchen floor and in his spare room, and we stare at each other. We say words, but they could be anything. We need an idea. We are getting closer. We do... pretty ok under pressure.
After talking with Ali and Patrick during one of our full team meetings I could feel the burning fire of embarrassment that I did not have more to present and share with our team. I hate that feeling. I hate feeling like you have fallen short and not because you did your best, but because...
what have you done?!
It is shameful, or it feels shameful. Really, it is human. It is that thing that makes you pay better attention and that nags you during the day to write more things down and that makes you look at commercials and tv and people on the street and lyrics in songs just a little differently. Liam and I are getting closer to our show, because as time passes we have a choice to get closer or further from things, and we want to get closer.
After talking with Ali and Patrick the recurring theme was communication, and the more I thought about it, the more I re-watched meetings with Liam and looked at our notes, the more that made sense. It is so big and there is so much we could do, now the question is - what is our story? Who are we? What is life? (That one isn’t necessarily show related, but it is too soon to tell)
So now what?
Now we start talking and we see how the other reacts, we write down moments, we talk about the pictures in our heads of what the stage might look like. We make notes to ourselves like, “Humans doing animal courtship dances” so we have things to google and dream about. Also things to cry and shake your head about. We think simple and complicate it quickly and then pull back again.