By Connie TB Girvan
Shaky Isles Theatre Company rehearses and works in Open Space - condensed it’s 5 W’s, 2 feet, Surprise, bees and butterflies. Expanded it’s:
Whoever comes is the right people
Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
Whenever it starts is the right time
Whenever it’s over it’s over
Where it happens is the right place
Bees (cross pollinating)
Butterflies (still observation)
The law of two feet (walk your two feet back in, or somewhere else)
Be prepared to be surprised
Here are 7 tips I have found useful.
1. Trust the process
This is just chatting.
Nothing is happening.
We’re having too much fun.
These are often reactions people have (myself included) in the early days of an open space process. I tell the grumbling voice to quiet down. I remind the grumbler that the philosophy “if it’s hard it’s good so if it’s easy it’s bad” is bosh and just to calm down and trust it.
2. PREPARE to be SURPRISED!
What does preparation for openness look like to you? For me I find thinking and saying phrases like “I’m curious” help. Also breathing before I speak as I’m apt to hop like a cricket to share my thoughts. You can’t plan the surprise but you can sit up and look around.
3. They are the right people even if you don’t like them
But I wanted the shiny, cool person, who has lots of ideas, likes my ideas and can climb trees really high! Instead who came to my session: Chirpy McChirpness, Clammy Shyshush, and TiredCynicalMe. There might be magic or there might be not be, but there probably is.
4. Take notes
The moments whisk one into the other and the playing is flowing. Write that stuff down! I will forget but want to remember. So type it, write it, video it, record it.