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I’m Dave Brown. Welcome to the second blog from The PaperBoats Platform.

The PaperBoats is an international partnership platform for performance makers interested in pioneering new ways of connecting and creating.

If you missed my first blog, please check it out before you read this one.

Where to Begin?  It’s a question often asked by performance-makers.
I’d known for three years that I would leave Patch Theatre Company at the end of 2015.
By December 2014, I had conceived all the performance work I needed to complete before I left the company. 2015 was about doing the work and handing over.
 Suddenly, I found that I was alert to the need to sniff out my next project.
Alert is right! Alarm is probably more accurate!! It came over me in a wave of panic! WHAT’S NEXT!  “In 2016 I don’t have a project!!!”
I love my creative life so much I couldn’t conceive of not having one.

I’m one of those people who needs a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning! It comes from a deep yearning.

I simply love being led into creative activity fed by insatiable curiosity and the pleasure of collaboration. Is this a familiar feeling?

The Seed: I had been speaking with Dr. Brant Pope and Megan Alrutz from the University of Texas in Austin and Nat Miller from ZACH Theatre in Austin about doing a project.

Their interest stemmed from them wanting to engage their  artists in theatre-making processes for early childhood audiences.

Over my 20 years at Patch, I’d developed my own philosophy and practice of theatre-making. Like most artists, I’ve been so busy “doing it” that I’d not pulled the ideas together in a comprehensive way.

It would be fun, I thought, to conceive a pioneering venture that would require me to provide an “account of things” in the process of doing them.

I could unravel my thoughts on creative practice along the way to making a “show” – something I’ve been yearning to do for some time.

Inside The PaperBoats: I set myself 3 main goals.
1. to use this blog as a way of coalescing my ideas and experiences as a performance-maker using 7 principles of theatre-making
2. to provide an in-depth account and analysis of The PaperBoats performance-making activities as they happen

3. to build a community of engagement and discourse around theatre-making processes and encourage partnership prospects

Within The PaperBoats venture, I’ve conceived a germinating idea entitled Tw2o of a Kind, which has spawned The TuTu Show, a broad-based collaborative production project, which will pioneer the ideas of the platform.

What is a Germinating Idea?   

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”  Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

A germinating idea is broadly defined as an animating idea that activates artful investigation, research, improvisation, provocations, tasks and play in the process of conceiving a project.

It’s the thing that inspires the hunt to uncover the treasures that lay hidden in the nooks and crannies of our minds.

This description makes it sound like its something solid which underpins all things.

In reality it has an indefinite quality about it. It shifts, morphs and evolves continuously. It is the ever-evolving “essence” of a project; the thing that sparks the imagination, engages the passions and delivers outcomes along the way.

We keep on trying to define it and to lock it down but because it has a poetic nature and is often fleeting, it is difficult to capture.

I think we only need to glimpse it momentarily here and there, in order for us to feel its impulses and power. The pursuit of it keeps us alive to the adventure.

Hence, the germinating idea is both an animating idea and an ever evolving framework that defines a project as it exists at any point in its genesis and evolution.
The germinating ideas, as they exist “today” for…
  1. The PaperBoats as an platform
  2. The Tutu Show as the working title for a performance project

… have continually evolved over time and will continue to do so.

Their mysteries will continue to reveal themselves in fleeting moments, which give rise to artistic expression that represents the journey we’re on.

“There drawing about her the souls of poets, the Muse shall rise before her audience, reassembled from ancient temples, and speak the new language.” George Polti
In practical terms, a germinating idea:
  • is usually developed by an artist(s) to frame a venture
  • is used to engage partners, funders, artists and producers
  • is an open and ever evolving invitation to explore
  • is ever evolving and difficult to lock down
  • finds expression through the art
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