Instead of talking about important things like Trump losing, how difficult it is to get replacement bulbs for old style Christmas lights, how Anne with an E is too emotional to watch, how two hospitals in consort forgot to send me my blood test results, how the enormous choice of bike lights is daunting, I find myself obsessing about my stupid creative projects. Should I feel guilty? Probably – but my colleagues have had proper experiences of guilt that made me realise that it’s an emotion I don’t really ever feel – (Don’t bother to ask why we were discussing it) – That said I can’t rid myself of the feeling that what I actually end up producing creatively isn’t really very good and I think I feel guilty at spending time making shite that nobody is interested in. When I was in the depths of illness it didn’t matter and I didn’t care, but now that I have got used to wearing the same tired holey, illness vest every day it has become a bit of an issue.
That’s the problem with so many ways of seeing how creative other people are.
Pinterest and YouTube are bursting at the seams with people’s creative endeavours and I have to say too many people are pretty good at it. Youth seems to be a factor- the average Etsy entrepreneur appears to be about 30, your average soundcloud contributor about 20 and your average YouTuber about 15 which is a bit depressing. Despite a sense of hopeless unlikely-to-become-famous-now-or-even-noticedness, I seem to have an overwhelming urge to try to test my creative chops by putting on shows. I can only assume that since dropping out of theatre, well really it dropped me, I am left with residual ‘show-off withdrawal’ and that manifests itself in pathetic attempts to recapture the opportunity to ‘strut my stuff’ in public in anyway I can.
So I do feel guilty at putting all this nonsense out there. I genuinely don’t expect anyone to watch or listen – I wouldn’t watch or listen to yours – that is unless you were my children or partners in which case I would because I can bask in their glories, they being my progeny and therefore by extension their art being mine. Hah! – but I feel good once it’s out there – even if no audience ever witnesses it I can move on
So here goes.
This is a video of the broadcast I made on Halloween night from ‘the red telephone box that talks a bit like me.’ https://k6.gravityisahat.com/wp/ I am glad I did it because it should help me make something better the next time – but it’s not much cop.
Here are the things I got wrong and the things I have learnt from both the live broadcast and making the video
- Ultimately it’s quite boring and I don’t know how to fix that – I guess that’s the hard bit about art.
- Don’t set up an expectation for one thing (in this case something scary) and deliver something else – unless it’s better than expected (this wasn’t)
- Profit from silences and stillness. I am scared of silence and stillness so I rush to avoid them
- Out of sync only really works when framed by in sync. Ever since being a teenager unconsciously soaking up the post 1960’s ‘everything is art and nothing is art’ philosophy, I have been enamoured by serendipity. Serendipity results in several asynchronous sections in the video, but do I like them?
- Transitions and effects are only for the desperate – I don’t like what I did at the end but I had run out ideas and patience
- Earnestness is off putting and comes across as fake – hmm hard one cos in a way this project is full of earnest aspirations – it’s not ever going to be Instagram friendly – let’s celebrate that at least.
- Are you acting? If so learn to do so. Never could, never will be able act – but I enjoy trying
- Too many ideas too quickly – very tricky as in a way this piece is boring because of long sections where nowt happens but to dress it up will fall foul of item 3
- Randomness only works some of the time. See item 4
- I cannot rely on controlling the audio mix to maintain attention. Yep the mix is a law unto itself due to variables I can’t control in the phone box. Mainly how close to the ear the listener holds the handset.
- Rely most on what is said and when – this follows on from 10. The script is key and is for me is by far the hardest thing now that the tech issues are largely resolved
- Fragment the samples – not such long chunks. The music is a relief but I need to be more sparing and cleverer with my use of it.
- Use literal background effects sparingly. Let’s face it, the blitz sound track is embarrassing
- Video edits are millisecond specific so take the time to get it right. Can’t be bothered just now but appreciate it should be done in future.
- Videos need a bespoke sound design not just the live recorded performance duplicated.
The things I got right.
• Dispassionate security cameras suit the mood
• It is audio collage mainly. I think that’s the genre
• The occasional funny bits please me – I like the raspberries
• The mix of personal memories and cultural memories is a good starting point
• The three voices have potential – yep happy with that
• Making myself do the broadcasts by announcing them in advance is a good idea. I have learnt so much and feel ready for the next. So good