Flora Wellesley Wesley, 28 January 2013

This idea initially brought up the question: What is preparation? Pacing is relative.

Some performers said they feel a need to seize every opportunity operating on ‘now or

never’ terms; they feel a pressure to be doing something. This frame of mind might

foster urgency, (over-)excitement and overcommitment amongst other things. Urgency

might be detrimental to a given process.

Good news might cause you to jump around your living room with joy.

Pacing. Speed of doing, variety of what is done, frequency at which it is done, time

span over which it happens.

Valuing longevity, valuing ephemerality.

Quality over quantity.

Rate of making. If you have a good relationship with an organisation this allows for

more confidence when it comes to asserting or making a case for a longer time frame

for a project (provided you can justify why). It is possible to hold off, it might be your

strongest strategy. There is no reason not to say this is a project that is going to take 3

years to develop if you feel that is what you need. By contrast, a short whirlwind of a

making period might be right for your project.

What is the rhythm of how you best make?

Breaks. Fallow periods. Lulls. ‘Resting’. Do these happen to us? How does it feel

electing to take a break?

For performers, what's left in the pot when projects initiated by other people dry up?

One resource might be the spring of ongoing collaborations that move between

background and foreground in your life - material and relationships evolving steadily

over a long period of time. On and off, ‘on the back-burner’, a slow burn. Work that is

made gradually and gets deeper with age: what a joy.

It is easy to feel alone and isolated in quiet periods. What support networks are

available to us? Collectives that support one anothers' individual and/or collaborative

practices. It's not necessarily about making work together. Is it about shared interests

or sharing your interests? Interest, generosity and gratitude - what wonderful forms of

currency. Kindred spirits buoying one another. Allegiance. Food. What food do I need?

What might the common ground be? Perhaps the answer is an approach (eg. of

interrogating one's practice) rather than liking or knowing about the same things.

Proposition: work and fun are the same thing.

Work. Play. It's your choice what you call it, by do make it a choice.

There is danger in working under the wrong circumstances. Preemptive: how do I take

care of myself and anticipate issues? Tim Crouch incorporates ‘checking in’ into (the

beginning of) his rehearsals. A holistic approach to working with people.

Bid: Aim to sustain the diversity of your interest.

Undergroundness - something to embrace and celebrate not resent. There is brilliancy

in the multiplicity of subcultures and artistic dialects and flavours that exist.

Pacing for artists is unusually indeterminate.

Procrastination, passivity, paranoia.

Pace suggests consciousness, awareness of time. What are you learning about

yourself from how you are going about something? Good to cultivate an interest in


Being kind to yourself. Tip: treat yourself like you would a good friend. Self-regulation,


**Connection to ‘FLOW’, a simultaneous session (flagged by bumble-bee Tassos)**

How to make the most of breaks in the day.

Experience of epic tea breaks within a rehearsal period. These breaks are part and

parcel of the process, not ‘back end’. Nourishing. The goodness and connections that

bubble up in these breaks leak into ‘the work’. Maybe ‘the work’ even happens outside

of rehearsals. Inroad and off shoots. Life as a radial experience, web-like and

networky. Wiggly lines, not straight ones.

Proposal to change your activity dramatically in a break to induce a change of mind

frame. What is your retreat? Requirement: the activity needs to be fundamentally

rhythmically different to your ‘job’.

Things that work for people: washing up (meditative), tea-making (ritualistic). Tip:

allocate a specific amount of time to something, or do something which is time-based.

Some type of physical labour, perhaps, will be the best form of relief from cerebral


'Anyone going slower than you is an idiot and anyone going faster is a maniac'.

Self-perception. Attitudes, values and habits. Someone who can't abide feeling slow

herself finds herself attracted to people who ‘do slow well’. Curious.

Subliminal conditioning: it's bad to stopping working. An exhausting ethic of working

and playing and doing endlessly. Becoming human doings rather than human beings.

Back in the day, people were fucking, killing, sleeping, eating.

In Medieval times, it was commonly accepted that you had a first sleep and a second

sleep of a day. A day was a sleep-sandwich. This sheds another kind of light on the

idea of wakefulness. Acceptance of patterns and the seasonal persuasions of

behaviour. David White talks about the seasonality of creativity. People: we're like

flowers. We open and we close.

Patience. “Accio patience!” Ha ha. The law of reversed effort. The Wisdom of

Insecurity by Alan Watts.

Health. What's healthy?

Bring open space into your day. Set yourself sessions, use the principles and the law

of two feet, set a time limit. Dispell anxieties around shoulda woulda coulda with the

principles that the factors - company, place, time, content - are ‘right’.

Motivational. Small steps. Step by step. The power to walk away. Or speed up and


Don't think the answer is to flat-line your life. Gems of variety, spontaneity and healthy

stress. It's about making sure that you are aware that you have a range of paces

available to you. Like joints in the body, it's good to be mobile, to have a good range of

motion, to have options. Nimbleness.

Carrying things is easier to do if you have a rhythm.

Uncoupling business and overexcitement, quiet periods and anxiety.

Chekhov's movement dynamics: molding, floating, flying,

and radiating. Can we develop the skill of being able to ‘fly’ (move damn fast) whilst

‘floating’ inside? Calmness in the eye of the storm. Good strategy for staying grounded

without needing to literally be in the slow lane all the time?

Poets often work slowly. They are mining their own experience. They pace

themselves, they don't want to eat themselves.

Book The Accidental Creative expands on the specific pacing of creativity. It's worth

planning. Feldenkrais term: ‘constructive rest’. Being on full cyclinders probably isn't

the best strategy. Reassess and redefine what your practice might helpfully

encompass. Rest? Fun? Doing nothing? Doing something? What sweet somethings?

It could be anything. There's something in nothing. **Silence**Nothing**


aloneness, self-interest/interest in yourself, calm, depth, urgency, time spans, slow

burn, buoyancy, flow, tea breaks, The Accidental Creative, patience, rest, pacing,

self-education, hyperactivity, seasonality, support networks, overexcitement,

community, Tim Crouch, fallow periods, checking in, Support networks, anxiety,

Community, confidence

Comments: 1

Jaye Kearney, 28 January 2013

Sounds like a good and fruitful session which I wish I had managed to attend.

There is definitely something to be said for not over-criticising yourself and working to your own rhythms… maybe applying

a few of the Open Space principles about starting and ending. Not flogging a dead horse, or idea or ourselves.

Some of this was also covered on day one in a session about making Solo Work, so you might want to check that out too.