hello my blog, I feel bad for neglecting you a little (5 days since my last almost-post, quite lengthy gap for me), the thing is, there’s been all this stuff, and it’s been happening at Gladstone’s Library (because that’s where I’ve been living and working all month) and so I’ve been blogging over there instead. I’m sorry. It’s not you it’s me …

No, but LOOK! Exciting news. You know the Chaosbaby stuff I’ve been blogging about (Open Space working, making a show with somewhere between 30 and 60 people and some of them writers and some of them actors and some of them directors and lots of music/physicality/stuff – and a river – no-one, so far, with One Main Title like The Director or The Writer), and tweeting about and facebooking about and generally trying to drum up interest and support …
Well. We got our Arts Council funding.
AND we reached our wefund target for the extra money we needed to make.
All to support 6 days of R&D in July, culminating in a showing for interested (we hope) producer/venue types.
And the thing is … we’ve already been working on this show. In Open Space. Over about 14 days stretched over two years. With working numbers being between 12 and 30 of those 60 people who are on the list of people who said they’d like to work with us and in this way. Different combinations of people every time. And no-one’s been paid for the work and everyone of the 25 who said they’d do the summer dates committed to doing those days of R&D even if there was no money, and we have also committed to making the show itself next year, and we may find then that there’s no money to make it and so we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it … (or swim).

But for now, yay. It will be very nice to be paid to make some work instead of always using other work to support our art work. My book/other writing work tends to support my theatre-making work, other Chaosbabies support their theatre-making work with temp and office jobs. All sorts of jobs. And quite a few came to our Chaosbaby weekends having been rehearsing/writing/directing other shows/companies all week. There’s dedication to the arts!

So – we have funding thanks to ACE and also thanks to the over 111 people who contributed sums from £150 to £5 to support us in making work. And thanks to the Chaosbabies who came together to work on the ACE application – working on it in Open Space, led by one of us who’s had loads more experience in writing applications, with input from all the rest.

And, still … I’m aware some people will not have got funding right now. Lots of people, with equally brilliant and amazing projects, won’t have got funding. There’s very little money, it’s really hard to get funding right now, maybe harder than ever before. And I’ve been those people. I only ever had funding for one thing before, my solo show Breaststrokes – breast cancer and swimming – and the funding I got went on paying everyone who worked with me, not me! Most times I make work like old fashioned (pre-subsidy!) farmers – make the work, THEN take it to market and see if you can sell it! I know that sometimes you can have an amazing idea and it just doesn’t get through somehow. And not getting funding can feel like ‘they’ are saying your idea isn’t a good one. Which I honestly don’t believe is true. As I say, I’ve been the one not getting – much more often than I’ve been the one getting.

Which is why, even though I am delighted and I do feel a little vindicated in our choice to do something quite so extreme, so big, so very Open Space-y (down to, “yes of course your friend should come and work with us if you think she’d be good and would like it. And yes, of course she should bring her 3 year old.”) and so eclectically (slow build over almost 2 and a half years to get to the first R&D?!), my “woop” is ever so slightly muted. Because it’s great, of course it’s great. AND it’s lucky.