There is a large pile of books beside my bed that could seriously be mistaken for a bedside table. Yep, someone went on a spending spree after discovering The Book Depository. I have just finished reading, A Director Prepares written by Anne Bogart. It includes 7 essays on Art and Theatre with chapters on Memory, Violence, Eroticism, Terror, Stereotype, Embarrassment and Resistance. Anne talks candidly about what drives her, providing insight into the commonalties of the artistic process and the numerous mistakes she has made which have ultimately initiated professional and personal growth. Theatre makers may be familiar with Anne’s popular movement training system Viewpoints, which draws inspiration from modern dance techniques. She is also the artistic director of the SITI Company, founded with Tadashi Suzuki in 1992.
As a dance theatre maker, I found the final chapter very inspiring. Anne talks about resistance and how it should be cultivated, how every day we fight our natural resistance to get out of bed, to get ready for work, to do all the things that need doing. Every single act has a varying degree of inertia to overcome, even tasks we enjoy. However, she believes resistance can also be a creative ally for artists by generating energy, intensifying commitment and when overcome can yield elation. The bigger the obstacles overcome, the bigger the joy.
Her advice is to meet resistance head on, to embrace it as a necessary part of the creative process and for theatre makers to keep on making work they believe in:
“Do not wait. Do not wait for enough time or money to accomplish what you think you have in mind. Work with what you have right now. Work with the people you have around you right now…do not wait for what you assume is the appropriate, stress free environment in which to generate expression. Do not wait for maturity or insight or wisdom. Do not wait until you are sure of what you are doing. Do not wait until you have enough technique. What you do now, what you make of your present circumstances will determine the quality and scope of your future endeavours. And at the same time, be patient”