How low can you go? Tell me your greatest failures and what was great about them

Convener(s): Matilda Leyser

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

A great big failure is better than a mediocre one.

It’s like death.

Failing gracefully is very beautiful.

How low can you go? What’s been your greatest failure and what was great about it?

What’s so bad about failures?

Is it the shame? Guilt?

How do you get over being crushed? Crying, chocolate, alcohol….

Ask do I want to continue? YES! and the get on with it.

Have to fail otherwise would never aim to do the impossible. Great to fail as then you go on to make more work. If there is no space between what you want to do and what you do then probably making boring work! Fulfilling expectations.

Fact that things go wrong is creative. Coping is creating.

You find a way through.

Can have a lot of fun even while you fail.

Camaraderie of failing together.

Failures are memorable, more so than successes?

Success can be bland and disappointing even.

The idea of failing can be rather exciting! RISK.

Don’t be precious. let it go. It’s only theatre! Who cares?

But the shame can be a bottomless pit.

Is it worse to let your self down, or is it about the public?

Maybe the failure is not the thing going wrong, it is how you take it, if take it ungracefully – this is the real failure.

I might have my greatest failure yet to come!

Being a bit wrong is terrible, being VERY wrong can be liberating!

And how high can you go? Fears of success also!

The older you get the easier it is to let go of failures. There is a forever-ness when young, but as you age you realize things just pass.

Failure is like death. An ally. Die gracefully.

Go through the process of resurrection.

If people fail gracefully it can be very beautiful. Much more so than arrogant success.

A disabled actor said had never had a failure as had never had a bad review – they didn’t dare. This means that the day he gets a bad review he will know he has succeeded.

Better to have boos than applause – can take something form it.

Can you fail to learn?

Can there be an ultimate failure?

The only real failure is when you do not have courage, realizing that if had had a bit more courage you could have been better.

Having the balls to risk all. Pushing ourselves.

There is too much theatre that is OK. Failing in our duty as an artist if not take risks.

Then, just as the session had officially closed down… then the personal stories of failures finally began to come out….