At present I am sitting in a hotel room in downtown Winnipeg unable to sleep because of jet lag. Its 2.16am Canada time, 8.16am London time.
I am here because of FEMFEST – a festival of women playwrights and performers who battle hard to get their work produced because it is a very masculine dominated industry. Dare I say it, but a bit shameful?
Later, I intend to interview Hope McIntyre who set about making this possibility, for this festival to have life of 9 years when others have folded. I am privileged to be here because Hope took a risk. She saw some of my work on YouTube, Like the Travelling Light blog had a short conversation with me on the phone and spent her hard won funding money to get me on a plane to be artist in residence for the festival. I’m honoured. More to come…
In December 2010, I got a call from producer, James Robinson from BBC Radio 4, to write and perform a piece of poetry for performance for a radio project called Verse Illustrated. Cool opportunity.
The piece is about a frustrated artists who is stuck in a loop of dead end temp jobs and her infuriating current boss who haunts her every waking and sleeping hour…
I really wanted to do a piece based on my incessant insomnia and my geeky obsession with the internet. I surf for random information which I know will, at some point, come to be of use to me. (or it could be down to my innate need to info hoard.) So, in the beginning of July 2011, when I still had not completed the piece (due end of July for the recording session), still not sleeping and still info hoarding, I began to realise that the piece about being dogged by a looming work project, I had entitled “The Deadline” was becoming a reality for me. (Though James is nothing like the boss in the piece.)
So by week 3 of July, working quite hard on numerous projects, generating lots of mental activity, I got a renewed awareness in my need for a holiday, a flagrant shrugging off of responsibility and recognising that sometimes it really is best to write what you know, I dug around in the memories of a trip to Goa and called on the rebel within and came up with this piece in matter of days… with rewrites and redrafts of performance. It was also nice to play Kalimba and work with music for a piece of my own work. The Deadline. Broadcast August 2011