April 4th, 2010
|10:06 am - Some other things I did yesterday|
I was supposed to be running a performance workshop, but when I turned up, that was really not what the people there needed or wanted. There was a second presenter there, who was offering practical tips, and his help was much more aligned to what the people there needed, so I had a quiet word with him and agreed that I would just sit in as a friendly face, and not do anything active. I think sometimes the best thing you can do is not do anything.
I was also helping to judge the masquerade. I am not involved in any way in the side of SF Fandom which makes and wears costumes, but I was happy to visit that world. The presentations of the gear were short and punchy, which I think makes the whole thing lively and easy on the audience.
I don't know if I will wish I could un-say this, but I thought the cabaret which followed was too variable in quality to be a complete success. I think there needed to be a more ruthless pruning of the items, and perhaps a shortening even of the strongest pieces. I think what is appropriate to share with a small group of cheerful friends is different from what it is appropriate to share with a big audience. I think I know what brings this about - we all know we are to some extent minority and outsider people in our different ways, and therefore we value welcoming and inclusion - but sometimes a filtering is required. Filtering for purpose is not judging people for their worth as people.
Having said that there were several items which were of high quality.
I saw Doctor Who in someone's hotel room with a bunch of fans including one who had seen the rushes in advance - it was thrilling in context and very strong in its own right: a good omen for the season ahead.
And the other highlight in a very good day was seeing Ben Goldacre speak. He is a very impressive performer. Very smart, thinks on his feet, knows how to play the room. A brilliant presenter. It helps that he seems to be a tough cookie with a kind heart, just about my favourite kind of person. Well, you can tell I really warmed to him.
So thanks again to the lovely people I have met this weekend.
Sounds like you've been having a fab time, short wobbly aside. I'm so glad. :-)
Don't know why you would want to un-say anything slightly critical. Isn't like you pointed and laughed at individuals! Reminds me of being a student on a 'Creating as Artists' course; we didn't know when the hell to stop then either.
You and your other half would really enjoy Ben Goldacre - can not recommend highly enough
I read his column regularly, and print them out fairly often for our team - who I think benefit from his 'Bad Science' perspectives. Do you reckon he's someone we may want to try and get for Research Conference?
I was thinking that he might be good for some work related thing - no idea ho expensive he is. He is very sweary, but I am sure he is flexible enough to adapt that.
I noted similar problems at the cabaret in 2008. Unfortunately, it's really hard to come up with a solution that is workable in this particular context.
I think something might be done, perhaps by providing an alternative performance context, similar to the sort of poetry readings I go to with a small and half-cut audience in a very comfy pub. Tolerance and inclusiveness is high, and each contribution is well contained, and it is easy for audience members to come and go. In such a context we can be ourselves without having to reach a particular standard.
|Date:||April 4th, 2010 12:44 pm (UTC)|| |
Illustrious have announced that they're not having a masquerade in 2011, but an Admiral's Ball, where folks are encouraged to dress up, and be Announced as VIPs before interacting with the rest of the crowd at the party. This, obviously, is a different animal from the masquerade, and even more removed from the cabaret. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out, but I like that people are trying something different.
That sounds like a fun idea. My mind goes immediately to I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue (as usual) and 'Late arrivals at the SF costume ball' including Mr and Mrs Scrinkly-Forehead and their daughter Norma Scrinkly-Forehead.
Sorry to have not spent more time with you over the last couple of days, that it's been mainly hellos in rushing past, Friday night aside. So glad you're enjoying yourself though! I loved watching Doctor Who in the main hall with a huge crowd, and the cheer that went up near the end made my heart swell.
I avoid cabarets at these events for that very reason.
Were you able to see OK in the main hall? People were saying that the back half of the room wouldn't be able to see the screen, and that put me off. Good that you've had a chance to meet up with your old mates from Liverpool.
Could see OK as we made sure we got good seats for that reason! It's been so good to see the MA people
I saw Dr Who in the main hall, and enjoyed it immensely. On the other hand I managed to be elsewhere for the cabaret .
I was so torn, but I didnt want to be sitting so far back I couldn't see it
Re: the cabaret - it is a problem and I think you're right about the small group vs large audience. I think it also ties into the idea that a panel is not the same thing as discussion in the bar and participants should prepare. I didn't go this time because, as iainjcoleman noted, the same thing happened at 2008.
I think sometimes the best thing you can do is not do anything.
This is very true. I had some notion of turning up and offering to help because I do think I know something know about how to present oneself, physically, if not vocally, on stage, how to make an entrance and exit and how to walk/move about a stage and so on, from my own performances, as well as from workshops with professionals, but I think now it was probably best I didn't.