Em(barking) on my MA

I’ve just started my Master of Arts in Drama at the University of Chester.
It’s my toe dipping into an ocean of academia.
I can sense the shift, more than sense, I can feel the shift.
It’s going to be (and already has been) a confusing, exhilarating and challenging study of my practice in Drama.
So lets continue from the ‘Who am I?’ bullet points at the end of my PDF – see previous blog post.
Live Art Performance
This is my preferred performance style, I think it can be used as a clear open description for the style of work that I am producing. It seems to be a wide umbrella term that will allow me to create work that doesn’t have to be constrained. I may perform a one-to-one performance and I may have a large audience watching or getting directly involved; who knows what the content of the performance may be?
My Collaborative Series of work with Ellen Buckley focused around Instructions – either as the concept / titles of our performances or for the audience to complete a work. I wonder if this possibly could continue as my current practice as research, or if I subtly continue thinking about this, or if I drop it entirely. The question is whether there is scope for me to continue this.
This will have to be a large aspect of my research during my MA – because the academic institution requires me to document as evidence to build towards my development of research. (Hence this entire blog feed). I do love documentation that isn’t ‘writing’ – like a jar filled with the sound and smell of a performance. I have skills in video and editing, as well as photography – so this will be a constant and probably a large aspect of my work.
Audience / Observation / Ritual
I recently have been going to the see performances, conventional and commercial theatre. Specifically professional productions of musicals Little Shop of Horrors and Hairspray in the last week. And one thing that amazed me, transfixed me was the audience – not to say that the performances didn’t – but during the intervals the observation of audiences and what ‘rituals’ they ‘perform’ has made me think that there’s a Live Art performance somewhere within this observation. It has to involve ice-cream in the interval and rotten tomatoes – just who knows?
Something I know nothing about, in devising and creation of political theatre, and maybe an aspect of performance that I’m not sure how to make part of my performance. However saying that, I recently performed Hidioms in Liverpool, and my exploration and literal way of performing idiomatic expressions found another level. The audience members turned it into a participatory performance, one that found deeper meaning in my instruction to ‘Turn Over A New Leaf’ and found something that they thought they should change about themselves to better themselves, then turned the leaf. In a ritualistic and accidentally political piece of immersive one-to-one theatre.
I have explored performances that last 5 minutes, and one that lasted 12 hours. Indeed, I would like to explore a long performance, but somehow not endure, or to report on the endurance. Maybe start to document time and the length of time within my performances.
I have performed in non-conventional performance spaces, and indeed in conventional theatre spaces. I would like to find a focus within my practice as research to do with space. Perhaps the occupancy of space, the levels of performance within a space, and what space is to me.
A certain aspect of my performances is that they’re fun, if not for me then the audience, and if not for the audience then for me. It’s not my intention to ‘parody performance’ or parody whatever action I may be performing, however I have been told that at times I am on the cusp, or that I am parodying.
I have found an interest in the English language, and recently idiomatic expressions that I have turned into two separate performances Barking Up The Wrong Tree and Hidioms.  I would like to continue my use of idioms and instructions, or find a difference way to explore language. Previously I have performed Toilet Sign that specifcially used language to ban people from a toilet, only to see if they would defy the written instructions. Also Phone Interaction explored audiences use of language and ways that we use spoken or written words.