There is a poem by Yehuda Amichai, which I keep coming back to. I think it is because it keeps me grounded in what is valuable to me. I came by it by chance when I was a child before I knew “performance” or “design for performance” nor that there were people who did it;
Once I sat on the steps by a gate at David's Tower,
I placed my two heavy baskets at my side.
A group of tourists was standing around their guide
and I became their target marker.
"You see that man with the baskets?
Just right of his head there's an arch from the Roman period.
Just right of his head."
"But he's moving, he's moving!"
I said to myself: redemption will come only if their guide tells them,
"You see that arch from the Roman period?
It's not important: but next to it, left and down a bit,
there sits a man who's bought fruit and vegetables for his family."
(From "Tourists" by Yehuda Amichai)
I value people and stories they have to tell. I value their trust sharing their stories with me.
I value people’s capability to be an effective presence in the room, inspire integrity, accountability and have the wisdom to lead with empathy. I value work that questions character and motivation and ignites thought about how we each fit into the world around us from the most personal and intimate space in which we find affinity, to that which we observe and wonder what it could become.
I design stories crafting characters and spaces. My working title is “A Designer for Performance”. Sometimes that means designing scenic elements, sometimes designing costumes, and other times designing both. I’ve also designed and crafted the odd puppet.
Moving from place to place I have had to adapt to each distinct culture. Each new code of conduct and viewpoint, and I can confirm that Culture Shock is real!
I have learned to step back and observe the varied methodologies of performance in pursuit of conveying stories as forcefully as possible, and the potential of these stories to entertain, rouse discourse and encourage awareness.