Assistant Director diary by Pinestone Oni.
Day 1 and my brain is so close to exploding. All the research was so eye opening and makes me so excited for which direction the show could go. All three presentations were so different; the soundscape and abstract performance of the group discussing discrimination; the talk-show nature and I went with for our discussion on democracy; and the online messaging platform hopping that Squid, Whale and I conceived to simulate internet blackouts. Super excited to see what direction we take over the next few days, what we keep, develop or rework.
Today solidified what I already knew: that I am not made for a career in the visual arts as an artist. Nevertheless, I am quite proud of the mask I managed to salvage together. Yes, it is super uncomfortable and I can barely see anything while I’m wearing it, but the anonymity it gives me is empowering.
Revisiting the Rag and Bones man from the online workshop was super interesting. The different layers of storytelling we explored before and after looking at character motivations opened my eyes to the different directions the show can take.
Watching the progression of the movement sequence as a third party observer let me notice small things that have the potential to be expanded upon. Each movement sequence was beautiful and had their own meaning. Seeing everyone learn each other’s movements really brought a sense of community and connection to the room.
Hearing the two different community interview transcripts gave an interesting insight into the different perspectives of moving to the UK with a BNO. Pineapple's interviewees’ nonchalant attitude towards moving to the UK, with the goal of returning to Hong Kong confused me. There was no sense of urgency, I suppose, that made me wonder why exactly they wanted to/are planning to leave, especially since X feels like he is being made to by Y. Shrimp’s interview was also confusing. There seemed to be quite a few contradictions in Z’s testimony.
The movement exercise Shrimp led, expanding on this morning’s movements, was amazing to watch. You could cut the tension in the room with a knife and I just wanted to jump up and help those that were being beaten up.
Watching and experiencing the Bouffon performances was so fun. I’ve never experienced something like this before and the ability to let loose and insult people however I wanted to was liberating. It was also really interesting to think about how Bouffon would fit into the final piece. Returning to some of the movement stuff we did the day before, which was quite intense and juxtaposed the work we did on Bouffon. However, the two against each shows how we can make light out of quite a stressful situation.
The spa session at the end was actually really relaxing as well. The games and breathing exercises were a nice way to round off the day and recalibrate for tomorrow for the final session.
The final day has finally come! Though it may feel slightly bitter sweet, the knowledge that we have come so far, yet have so much further to go is quite a comforting one. Reading more of the transcripts was eye-opening. I’m very happy that everyone enjoyed the one I did and the interesting insight offered by my interviewee. The different opinions to the events of Hong Kong and the different attitudes wass kind of a shock to the system. Being in a room full of like minded individuals for days, it's easy to forget that there are other similar, but slightly different opinions.
Returning to Bouffon, I see much clearer characters coming through as the performers lean into the craft more. I definitely see a future for Bouffon in the show and I really hope we can find a part for it.
Rounding the week off by attending the protest outside the embassy was a perfect choice. I truly felt like an important member of the group. All the anxieties I had at the beginning of the week, of not feeling like I would fit in, have completely disappeared. I cannot wait to see where the show goes.