I am a little over one week back from New York City and from making a new piece of work out there. It was such a positive experience i am feeling a little blue i must say to be back. I am also missing the room we created terribly...
I found the creative energy and talent in that City this visit to be through the roof and it really has stopped me in my tracks and given me so much to think about as to where my own creative bar needs to be and how that feeds in to the next piece of work i want to make.
Being there for almost six weeks this time, i feel like i really got to a deeper layer than past visits and i had the time to plan and seek out a wide range of creative things to experience; from observing Theatre Companies in training to just walking endlessly and looking up in awe.
A particularly inspiring experience i found through La Mama experimental Theatre (a Theatre whose work i have experienced before and love) was part of the Human Beatbox Festival. It was called 'the hip hop subway series'.
We were invited to meet on the back of the platform of the A train and take the subway train together heading uptown to Harlem. Then we would go back down to Funkadelic Studios afterwards for an end of Festival party and to watch the artists' cypher.
Unbelievably there were hardly any audience there for it but the small group of us that were there (including the artists) really connected and we spent the whole day and night together hanging out, dancing and smiling lots. (our five year old wants to be a beatboxer) The safe and supportive space that was created for everyone to do their own thing that day (even audience) in particular also struck me and gave me food for thought. Everyone was so brave and creatively wide open! Throughout the day and evening I was fed and watered, really looked after and it all was free (amazing that it was all free but that's not right is it but that's another conversation). I really feel like i witnessed something very special that day; something that i was meant to. The experience was all the more brilliant because it was intimate and confirms a lot to me about my own practice. The support we received back for our work a couple of weeks later was also returned with most of the audience and artists we met that day and night coming along to see the opening of our new work too. In fact everyone we met out and about in New York during our time making our work there and who we told what we were up to came through for us to see our work. I found that particularly special! My only sadness is that i didn't get the chance to see and talk to everyone who came to support us on our opening night. I was so busy in the work that it passed by in a whirlwind and i missed some people i really wanted to see : (
The man responsible for 'the hip hop subway series' is super talented and established American Beathymer, Beatboxer, singer songwriter Kid Lucky (Terry Lewis) who is keeping the subway's link to hip hop alive with this work and who needs to be credited for giving ridiculously talented and unsigned talent a platform. But the artist i met that day who has left the biggest impression on me is Seth Hirsch MC | Rapper | Actor and Comedian from Cincinnati and now based in Brooklyn, NYC. All i can say about Seth is keep an eye out for his name and work, he is a supremely talented nice guy and though i only met him twice his attitude and essence were very refreshing and remain with me.
NYC gets a hard time about being unfriendly, not my experience. I was very sad to leave it behind this time but i know where it is and my inspiration levels run high from this visit. You've got to go home so that you can go back right?
NYC you rock!