I like performance because it gives you immediate access to people. There is a real sense of engagement that’s often missing from the relationship between writer and reader. In fact, as a writer, it can be hard to even know who (or even if) your reader is.
Since 2004 I have been performing my writing in various capacities, from short sets at spoken word nights and writer’s festivals to collaborative writing installations and, in 2009-2010, my first full length show.
Actually, for years my attraction to performance was more theoretical than embodied. I wanted to work in performance the way that someone who has no idea how to hold a guitar but loves rock solos might want to be in a band.
The first time I entered a poetry slam I threw up on my shoes but since then I have received commissions from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, The Red Room Poetry Company. In 2005 I co-wrote and performed in a Sydney Festival show called Slamming which received this review in the Sydney Morning Herald:
“Work like this gives the lie to the stereotype of a passive, button-pressing generation, and the other stereotype of poetry as a dead, musty form. This work is passionate, deeply enjoyable and demands attention. More please.”
In 2010 and 2011 I performed my first solo, long-form spoken word show Meet me at The End as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, and the Critical Animals Creative Research Symposium. The show is set on the last day on earth and ran entirely from DD batteries. Steve Smart said on Rhum media that “This show is sensitive, thought provoking, amazingly written.”