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Stumbled across an emotion ladder

on Tue, 01/20/2015 - 23:19

By Connie Tancredi-Brice

I’ve stumbled across Abraham-Hicks Emotional Guidance Scale.


Jumping is tricky.

And could end in an oof.


I love to watch the transitions performed, the journeys between steps, the catalysts of movement. I feel relieved when an inert state is unstuck, at least changing and maybe even escalating to hope, passion or love. 


At this moment though, I recognise that it takes effort to go from anger to joy and if one is filled with doubt, enthusiasm may be a long way off. 

Less Talk More Action

on Tue, 01/13/2015 - 11:47


I said yes to writing this blog before I knew what I was going to write. To be honest I’ve typed the title and typed these words and I still don’t know exactly what I’m going to say. Hopefully it doesn’t show too much. I’m trying to say yes to things and then figure out how to do it rather than hesitate.  At least sometimes.

I feel quite ignorant with regards to politics and world affairs. I feel like I have an ok awareness but in 2015 I really want to be more aware and more involved. Not to go on protests necessarily (though maybe if I feel that is a way to make a stand) but to enter into the dialogue. To have a say. To try and make a change. To use my voice.

When you have certain political freedoms it can be easier to take that for granted. But I don’t feel like that’s an excuse anymore. I know plenty of people who are fighting for change, who use their voice and their words. Who do not sit back and say, “That’s happening over there.” Or “That won’t happen to me”. Ignorance is not bliss.

I read the “Daily Mail” app on my phone. It is littered (yes, operative word) with tabloid crap, celebs in various states of undress (posed or intrusively captured as they holiday or something) and gossip about nothing. For a long time I’ve been quite flippant with it.  I have quite a high trash aesthetic (a turn of phrase people who know me would have heard me use often) and I do enjoy brain switch off films and magazines. I still think Maccas for the mind can be ok. But the Daily Mail makes me feel…dirty. It brings nothing really positive. When the first thing you do in the morning is consume something that slanders people or essentially is a poorly written dialogue where there is no value…I keep thinking why?

I’ve said I’ll do it before but hey; sometimes

Putting My Dance Shoes Back On

on Mon, 01/05/2015 - 21:42


Three weeks today I'll be dancing on stage in a new piece of work called Spinning Coins. It's contemporary dance. It's got spoken word; sometimes speaking while dancing sometimes not. It's got strong character. It's got original music and sound (by the wonderful Martyn Duffy). But it isn't finished yet... Likely won't be. Meaning that we're seeing it as a work in progress. Using it as an opportunity to develop ourselves further. 

There are three of us in the piece. Two professional dancer/choreographers and me. We're trying to merge dance/character/text and stretch ourselves creatively. I am feeling stretched. It will be the first time I've danced in a dance specific piece on stage in more than ten years. My body is moving and creating movement quite differently compared with my mid-20 year old self. 

As I get closer to our performance date (which is the 27th Jan by the way at The Place, details to be on social media soon…) I am dialoguing with my mid-20 year old self. Getting some advice from what I used to know, from the ME that danced a lot more, made dance a lot more. Here’s some things I am remembering and encouraging my mid-30 year old self with, mid-20 year old me is saying;

You actually know some more things now, about making new work and how to put it all together. Trust that.

You’re making movement with content, this is something I did, but not all the time. I liked to dance and make dance that was for dance’s sake sometimes. Which is fine. But you’re really trying to make movement and dance at the moment which is aiming to be very rich in content. It’s not easy. But keep going.

And then keep going some more. Be a tough task master, it might feel clunky and sticky but you will find the freedom within the movement. Trust that.

Where we've been and where we're going

on Tue, 12/30/2014 - 20:04


Members of Shaky Isles we asked what 2014 was for them and what they hope for 2015. Here are the responses...

Sarah Robertson

What has inspired me or something new I’ve learned in 2014...

That often my limitations are imposed by myself - when you push yourself or challenge those restrictions, the outcomes can be surprising!

What's my big determination / goal for 2015...

To be making more creative work; Really devoting time to writing (and maybe even performing). Want to be more consistent so a little and often creating rather then one off bursts.

And to be filled with gratitude and joy in my life. And to give that too.

Stella Duffy

What I learned in 2014 – that a cancer recurrence is both better and worse than I’d always feared; that friends and family can be astonishingly brilliant around illness – especially once they’ve had practice; that work is a brilliant distraction from pain; and that, given the opportunity, 3181 people around the UK and beyond will not only want to make community-led, locally-organised arts & sciences events (Fun Palaces) but they’ll be so brilliant at it that 60,000 people will come.

What I hope for 2015 – to stay healthy; to grow in my learning around my Fun Palaces work and to share the brilliance of (true) arts-for-all as widely as possible; to value and show my gratitude to loved ones; to seek out brilliant surprises (the rubbish ones will come anyway, sometimes it helps to look for the good ones).

Happy 2015 Shaky Isles-ers, I look forward to whatever we make (wherever we are) this year.

Mary Price O’Connor

I did , for my development a few things that turned out to be good choices in 2014. 

I set up my company - The Moving Theatre Lab and started working / making under that name. 

I did two dance classes a

Golden Reflections

on Tue, 12/02/2014 - 16:45


Have you noticed how golden the light is at this time of year?    Everything looks as though it’s been touched by heaven, or Midas, or both. By mid-afternoon the trees are illuminated, standing bare and proud in the divine light.  And of course, they have every right to - they may look void of fruit or leaves, but buried in their core is life, just waiting, for the next year - a single streak of green, that will bring whole new abundance in 2015.  

My alarm has been getting ignored a little later every day for the past week - the dark does not entice me out of bed.  I’m tired, it’s been a long year - not as hard as a lot of people’s, I know that.  But I’ve worked harder than in any other year, at lots of different things.  The limited daylight is taking it’s toll on my emotions, tugging the string to my tear bucket more often than usual, and frequently at ‘silly’ things.  I’m less motivated than I was earlier in the year and feel sleepy a lot.  I’m generally uninspired and find it takes me a little longer to get going in the mornings. Does anyone else feel like this in the mid-winter?

A couple of months ago, on the brink of autumn, I felt sure and ready to harvest the rewards of a busy and hardworking year, I felt as though I’d sown lots of seeds, surely some things were bound to come to glorious fruition?  I was expecting something grand to happen, yet as the year began to roll up and curl over in to winter, I was left waiting, every now and then the small glimpse of a golden opportunity would arise, but nothing concrete, nothing here, now or tangible.

Mothers Who Make

on Tue, 11/25/2014 - 14:35


I am a mother who makes. Who has always made. My first child was born in 1991, I subsequently had two more. Lorcan is 23, Lily is 21 and Sian is 17.

When they were little I took them with me to rehearsals, I breastfed Sian whilst playing piano for childrens’ ballet lessons. Sian came to my string quartet rehearsals, to rehearsals with performance artist Houria Naiti. She danced to the music. I left them with their father when I had gigs. I paid a babysitter for the zone between when I left and when he came back from work. I taught violin and piano from home, I took them with me when I taught at other children’s houses.

My friend was performing at Riverside with Paines Plough when Lorcan was about 9 months old. Ken Campbell, who was performing his one man show in the same venue did a daytime performance for them and I took Lorcan.

When Lorcan was 18 months old his father and I were involved with a show and Lorcan came along to rehearsals. He enjoyed the spacious rooms at Fulham Dance Attic. I left him at the crèche at BAC whilst  I did some R&D there at a similar age. I played in a band throughout my pregnancy with Lorcan and was filmed a video with another band playing violin when I was very pregnant with Lily.

In 2003 their father set up a silent film society. The children  came. I accompanied, he projected. The children helped and watched. They saw about 40 silent films over a period of three years.

Was I  “successful” ? No. was I “known? “No . Did I have an agent? No. Did having children stop me being creative? No. Was it easy? No. Is it ever easy?

The children were apprentices to my creative life. They were companions. I was always prepared. Toys, books, drawing things. Snacks. I didn’t stop working I didn’t stop mothering.

Being Outside My Comfort Zone

on Wed, 11/19/2014 - 16:23


This is the first blog I have ever written- and I find the concept really quite terrifying. But, something I have learned quite early on in life is that challenges are what drive creativity and energy.

I’ve been assistant stage-managing on a West End show for the past 11 months, and it has shown me how easy it is to get stuck in a lazy uncreative rut. So, when Miss Emma Deakin was asking for volunteers for the weekly blog, I thought this was just the challenge I needed to push me to do something else, something outside of my comfort zone. Those who know me will know that I don’t have much confidence in my own creativity or voice. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a self-deprecating person in any way, and I think I’m relatively confident in life. But, I have never been an overly creative person - but maybe I think that because I am a manager. Is it possible to manage something and create? Or do the two contradict each other?

In my experience so far, it depends on the company you are working with. There are directors and designers who welcome ideas and input, and others would prefer you to sit in the background and speak as little as humanly possible. The absolutely beautiful thing about working with companies like Shaky Isles are the inspiration and experiments every single member of the company makes from the first day of rehearsal to the last second of the performance. Expectations was a year ago, and I still think about how much the production affected me.  Not so much because of the material of the piece, but how everyone in that company made me feel that my creative voice was something actually worth listening to. I’m usually the person sitting in the background being amazed at all of the astounding things that people create.


on Wed, 11/12/2014 - 07:40


[A bit on Pendulum: Two friends seek spiritual salvation in India from their hedonistic and disconnected lives, in advance of the impending collapse of the cosmos.]

In January 2013 I asked an acting pal of mine if he wanted to make a feature film with me. Scott and I had acted together recently on an improvised film, and I had respected both his skill as an actor and his tenacity to learn more about technical filmmaking. He said ‘yes’.

In September 2013 we began shooting Pendulum in London, with some scenes including an extended cast of 35 extras (or supporting artists, as we prefer to call them on set), and 20 odd crew.I was completely out of my depth, and have remained just about gulping down air from an endless tide of learning until the present day.

In committing to making Pendulum, I wanted to follow in the myriad paths of American Indie filmmakers who pulled the resources at their disposal. Gareth Edwards and Ben Wheatley are two Brit filmmakers whose debut films has cemented their individuality, and allowed them to carve beyond enviable careers. Individuality comes from obstacles; I believe, from now an exponential vat of experience, that real creativity comes from challenge, difficultly, and from asking ‘how?’

By asking ‘how can we do this?’ we went on to fly out a crew off 11 to India, to shoot Pendulum, our backpacking, character-driven sci-fi

The resources at my disposal included the following: I had a tiny bit of savings, my parents lived in London so I could move back in with them for 18 months and save on rent money, my degree meant that I could raise funds via private tuition (a job that was not always time-consuming, allowing me to get on with making my mo-o-o-vie), my filmmaking-partner Scott was also able to raise some funds,

You've Got a Friend

on Tue, 11/04/2014 - 11:03


Lately I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a friend. And more specifically, a good friend. I’ve been wondering if I am a good friend and how to be better. I’ve realized during my musing that like most things in life there isn’t a one size fits all answer. What it means to be a good friend to me might be completely different to someone else. The fiercely independent person might see someone who respects their space as a trait of a good friend whereas someone prone to loneliness might really value the friend who makes contact daily.  This might seem pretty obvious but it wasn’t something I’d really thought about. I think friendship can be one of those relationships that we can take for granted at times. I know I’ve been guilty of that and have also been guilty of someone who takes from the friendship more than I’ve given back. Friendship communication lines are sometimes not as open as they are within a romantic relationship which is funny really as friendships can last for years and in my opinion are never a substitute for love; They are also love and something to be nurtured, worked at and something that brings you joy.

I had my hen do at the weekend and celebrated with a bunch of my good friends.  I’ve never had one group of friends who all do everything together; the friends I have I’ve met through a variety of ways and all of the people who were with me I have known for at most seven years (as I met them all in London). I have friends back in New Zealand and Australia but I don’t have any friends I’ve known my whole life (well excluding my siblings).  I think sometimes it’s this fact that has made me think I might be a bit of a rubbish mate. How come I don’t have someone who has been through it all with me?

Being the Peacemaker on your Journey

on Mon, 10/27/2014 - 22:33


Conflict, I learned a while ago is not always a bad thing.  For my entire life I had believed conflict to be a terrible thing, and avoided it at whatever cost – the cost often being my artistic or personal thoughts, ideas or beliefs remaining unvoiced.

Conflict is conflict, it is neither good nor bad, conflict emanates waves, and the way we choose to approach those waves determines positive or negative outcomes of conflict.  Some conflict results in great wars.  Some in tiny arguments, which we laugh about soon after.  But if we carefully choose our response and approach to the conflict in our lives and in our relationships with others, we have the power to open up spaces for growth, development and learning in those relationships, and to strengthen them.  It needn’t be a bad thing.

This also applies to the inner conflict we often experience on our own journey. 

I soon realised about two years ago that if I wanted to stand a chance of succeeding in the arts then it was time to start working hard, seriously hard.    Time to lock up my dreams of being ‘that’ artist - the one that raves barefoot in fields several nights a week, drinking too much wine, and writing the occasional half-play,  knowing that the ‘big break’ is just around the corner.  I used to berate myself for my naivety back then, for wasting time, but have come to feel that that was all part of my journey too

I no longer believe in ‘big breaks’.  I imagine the people we perceive to have had ‘big breaks’, felt as though their 'breaks' came to them quite slowly, little by little, through hard work and patience.  And then continued hard work and patience. If they felt their 'break' came at all.

The truth is that you just have to work hard day in day out, pasionately.