Surfing or Opera?

Convener(s): Bill Bankes-Jones


Tanja Raaste [email protected]

[email protected]

Rod Dixon [email protected]

Jamie Wood [email protected]

Chris Tomlinson [email protected]

Mark Smith [email protected]

Timothy Bird [email protected]

Theatrical Surfers Group:

Jamie – [email protected]

Laua – [email protected]

Simon – [email protected]

Pamela – [email protected] [?] 07986080047

James Bush – [email protected]

Bill – [email protected]


Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

I set up the group entirely selfishly, in order to help me to work out how successfully to shift my own surf/theatre balance in favour of surfing.  The session quickly morphed into a long, detailed, inspiring and enthusiastic exploration of the common ground between the two activities:

  • Passion
  • Tribes
  • Time: the amount of preparation involved is HUGE in relation to the duration of the activity itself
  • The addiction of intense but rare euphoria
  • Don’t expect too much
  • Both are really hard
  • The more you put in, the more you get out
  • Sense of occasion/both activities are very intense
  • Highly supportive communities (as long as you behave well)
  • A very long time before your next/second chance
  • Surfing is better than working in the theatre (about the only point which didn’t get 100% agreement)
  • It’s all about putting yourself in jeopardy, enjoyable risk
  • About applying rules in an unpredictable environment
  • Both need an open mind
  • Lack of Ego crucial
  • You don’t get bad reviews for surfing
  • It’s a need beyond yourself
  • To work in theatre/to surf depends on instincts that can be learnt
  • A blissful sense of emptiness after it’s over
  • It’ll never be like that again
  • Great and lasting intensity of memories
  • Sometimes you can’t deal with the idea that it’s over
  • Very buzzy/a way of not being able to think about things
  • Theatre=surfing in slow motion


We are going to try out a group of theatre people who want to surf together, and have shared our emails (above) to get it going.  Though the discussion didn’t centre at all on my original dilemma, it was very therapeutic and certainly feels as if it has, in a strange way, if not solved it, helped me to live with it better.