3 down, 10 more to go

I’ve been here three days. My cynicism is running at an all-time high. I’m trying to keep it under control but it’s hard to stay really open to all the new things we’re doing when the voice in my head is yelling ‘oh come on, this is a load of old wank’.

It started Tuesday night when we had to make a mask for one of the masterclasses. I hate craft projects. I’m not proud of the lopsided ashtray I made in pottery class at primary school, or the big wooden key with the mispositioned drill holes or the jeans that I tried to take in on the sewing machine but instead turned into jodhpurs.

As with most craft things I started making my mask without any clear idea of what I was going to do and then I kept adding stuff and fiddling with it in the hope that an extra adornment would turn it into something brilliant. It didn’t. Maybe it’s just missing a tag that says ‘Made by Margaret H Gallant, Aged 6’.

Tomorrow we’ll be wearing our masks and answering questions in the character that it represents. I hate my mask so I suspect my character will be a complete arse.

I really just want to start writing but instead we’ve been doing all these character development exercises. The instructors/mentors are incredible, all solo performers in their own right and with very different cultural perspectives – from Australia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and the US. I’m trying to embrace it all but it’s a struggle. Today I didn’t really want to create a picture with leaves and twigs or accept someone elses interpretation of it. I didn’t want to make sounds or explore the space or find my secret hiding place. So what do I want? To sit at a desk and write for 8 hours? I can do that at home – at least I could if I wasn’t lazy and unmotivated. I think there’s some old saying that we resist what we most desire. This was clearly thought up by an idiot but I suppose there could be something to it.

The group is definitely starting to bond, as we like to say in Cali. We at least know each other’s names and I’m sure it won’t be too long before we’re all crying and hugging and having breakthroughs together. It’s kind of like army bootcamp where you bond over your shared misery and experience. Except we get lots of food and sleep and the drill instructors are all supportive and huggy. Damn them.