The Normal versus The Natural

I’ve just come back from training with LISPA as part of the London International Mime Festival on the ‘Poetic Body’ and ‘Devising Theatre’. Amongst many inspiring moments, one statement stuck with me: “The Normal versus the Natural”.

What’s the difference?

This question was asked mostly in relationship to how our bodies behave but I think it applies to many other things; one of them is your journey as a director or a theatre practitioner.

Natasha training with Lume Teatro in Brazil

Natasha training with Lume Teatro in Brazil- http://www.lumeteatro.com.br

One of the most wonderful things about our jobs is that we choose our own path. Perhaps, there is a ‘natural’ path, which comes when you listen to yourself, stop for a moment, be still and look around. Maybe there is also the ‘normal’ path, which may be something more about what you think you should do or what people around you are doing.

It can be daunting; to know what choices to make, which path to take, when to make choices, what happens when you don’t feel that there are any choices, or, you don’t know what you’re looking for in the first place.

But, within these journeys, what remains essential is your underlying reason for making the choice to be a practicing artist. For me, I can’t imagine anything more incredible than creating a living, breathing  canvas which is shared and captured for a moment in time with a gathering of people. It’s almost incredible. Certainly it feels that at times this verges on the impossible but, despite the difficulties and challenges faced within this vacation, to paint a live canvas is utterly fulfilling and enriching.

A photo from Natasha’s most recent production, a parallel production of the musical, ‘The Scottsboro Boys’ at The Young Vic Theatre

A photo from Natasha’s most recent production, a parallel production of the musical, ‘The Scottsboro Boys’ at The Young Vic Theatre

We work with people, we create stories and sounds and different textures from bodies and voices. We play in a space, which is full of colour and mess. We take inspiration from everything around us. We rely and trust people to bring the performance to life. The director doesn’t exist without the company and material in which is being lived and created.

I have heard many words of advice along the way but one that feels relevant for those on the StoneCrabs Directors Course and in fact all directors who are in the early stages of their careers, is to enjoy this time; maintain your goals and wishes for the future but be present and content with where you are, whom you are with and what you are discovering now at this very moment.

Natasha Nixon

Director and former StoneCrabs Young Directors Graduate

This year’s Young Directors Festival Play.ground will be at The Albany from the 27th February- 1st March. For tickets and more information, click here.

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