jim morrow

where did January go???? by Sarah Deller

I remember thinking I'd be spending a lot of my time at the beginning of this term doing school work. Hahahahahaha. I don't know where the time has gone but somehow I am behind in school and I still have a lot of obligations to fulfill. 

Last week I did a sweet workshop with Ann-Marie Kerr. It was phenomenal. Some parts of it reminded me a lot of neutral mask: I felt open and responsive; it was so simple and so true. And then a lot of it was very challenging. I love entering a sort of raw, primal space in myself. Some of the workshop allowed me to access that space in myself easily, but there were still parts of the day that were terrifying - falling forwards, for instance. As determined as I was to do it,  something in my head kept getting in the way.  And equally as important as trying things myself was watching my peers explore. It was moving to watch such dear friends of mine tackle challenges and face fears and so on. The collective support in the room was incredible. I'll never forget climbing on my friend Nick to touch the ceiling. After a few attempts, I looked down and suddenly I was being physically supported by every person in the workshop. And then I touched the ceiling. Haha. 

And we're still doing puppetry! And I still love it so much! I wish I could explain it! I think it touches on that same sort of "primal" thing I mentioned earlier; I enter this sort of driven, focussed space.  But with this added layer of intellect... I just really, really like working on one thing in such a focussed and dedicated way. 

My main priority lately has been writing, though. I've been working on fiction every day. It's so wonderful. I love it in part because I can do it on my own, and really accomplish something in a short amount of time. Even if it's two shitty poems, I can complete them in one night without relying on anyone else. Really nice feeling. 

It's been hard for me to concentrate on school because at the moment I'm so much more interested in personal projects. As Laura and I were saying yesterday, in an ideal world school would cater to those projects, but sadly it doesn't a lot of the time. It's so hard to force myself to do readings and research for school when there are readings and research I'd rather be doing on my own...

perhaps puppets???? by Sarah Deller

Today we had our first puppetry workshop with Jim Morrow and Struan Robertson from Mermaid Theatre and it was amazing.

I didn't really know anything about puppets. I still don't, but I knew even less three hours ago. I made some marionettes in high school and that was a lot of fun, but that was pretty much the extent of my experience and knowledge. But I was on board from the beginning, when Jim spoke about puppets in a really intriguing way. He talked about "objects moving through space" and there was something really - clean, almost; pure; essential - in that phrase that impacted me. 

Working with the puppets today was everything I could have wanted. We were in groups of five, manipulating "doughboy" puppets, which are approximately 5 feet tall. We had to get the puppet to walk across the room and perform various simple actions. It was a huge challenge, it was detailed work, it required collaboration and a lot of thinking. It was necessary to plunge in, but also to constantly observe and consider and experiment. And it was so imperfect! It was amazing to work on a sequence again, and again, and again, and improve every time (or not!), and know that there was still so much room for improvement. Really, it was the most fantastic, thrilling experience and I want to be doing it again right now.