— From CB —

We’re two people on stage or in a living room, just sitting there. Is this what theatre’s come to? Shouldn’t we have some decoration or spectacle or something to make it worth the ticket price? Oh, but there’s no ticket price, just a hat by the door at the end of the show. Can it really be theatre if there’s no ticket price?

If we could have a view behind us, another world hiding.   A painted silhouette of the Pyramids, Stonehenge, and a city rooftop, as we did with Comedying in 1972. Or shadowplay of the French Revolution or Vietnam or Gold Rush country, as in Marie Antoinette (1985) or Carrier (1992) or Long Shadow (2004). But we just sit here on two chairs and talk and sometimes play with dolls.

When we started out, it was me, her, and two chairs. Then it got bigger, a larger ensemble, then a theatre, a staff, foundation grants, subscribers, computers. And now we’re back to me, her, and two chairs. Will somebody take the chairs away?

Sometimes we still do spectacle, with projections, puppets, and all the trimmings. But the urge now is to strip down, strip down, till all that’s left is Presence. Then we can tell the stories nakedly, as we would to a lover in bed. And the stories, though fictions, grow full with truth.

In our memoir Co-Creation, we tell the story of our five-year-old son, listening to a conversation among theatre people about the dire challenges of theatre. He printed out slips of paper (being damned advanced for his age) and circulated among us, handing them out: “This is a ticket to Here. Right now.”

That’s the only theatre I still want to make or to see.

— From the Fool —

I decided to try bitcoins, which is money that isn’t money, given the fact I didn’t have any money. So I looked it up to see what it was.

What it is, there’s a ledger called the block chain, and if you do stuff there you get bitcoins from the coinbase, and you can get computer stuff to do stuff, like a reference client or a bitcoin core. Good if you have a full node too.

But everybody else is trying to do it, so you do a mining pool, which splits up the stuff, and you put it in your wallet, just like money if you had any. Then you can get money. Unless you get screwed, so you have a hash function. I’m not sure where you find one.

Some people buy the things and store them up, like gold or pork bellies, but it’s hard to store pork bellies, I bet. You could get rich that way, but if I wanted to be rich, I’d corner all the toilet paper. You’d have a pretty long line of customers.

As far as making money, the bitty stuff might not be the best idea. I might run for President, and rich guys would pay big bucks to elect a fool.

— From EF —

Tomorrow we start leading an intensive workshop at the Ko Festival. Intensive, as in six hours a day for six days: “Shape-shifting Your Story.”

That suggests working on stories, once they show up. But where the hell do they come from? My experience tells me that it’s like trying to catch a cat. You don’t get far by chasing; you have to make it want to come to you; and that generally involves something like leaving a door open and pretending you don’t notice. Sardines help with cats, not so much with stories.

We have some tricks that have worked well over the years, but I’m still in the dark about what the source is. Like dreams, stories don’t arrive with passports. An audience member asked how we write collaboratively. I explained that I am the one who sits by an audio recorder, runs off at the mouth, and then finds out what I said. Conversely, CB hammers at the keyboard. That describes the transmission methods but still doesn’t identify the source.

In workshops, we sometimes get small groups to tell each other real experiences, then the group chooses one incident. They get a very short time to work and immediately perform it. Panic ensues, but a first draft happens, and usually it’s really interesting.

Getting rid of the gatekeeper is the start. Fall asleep and dream. Stay awake and tell the bugger to take a hike. Say the first word and see what happens. Leave the door open and turn your back. Trust the unknown.


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© Bishop & Fuller 2014





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