I am reluctant to write down my ideas of performance for fear that they will be taken seriously. And for fear that they will cease to evolve. None of these ideas are fixed. Anything we can say about it falls short of it - but there it is, this elusive thing that pulls at us. An ecstatic state of play that allows us to explore with each other and with our audience, through untethered silliness, the profound absurdity of being.
Tim calls the thing we are searching for, and sometimes find, “the thing.”
~ John Gilkey
who are we and what are we doing ?
We do not belong on stage.
We invite ourselves when and where we are least welcome. We sneak, connive, lie and cheat our way onto the stage. For what? An audience.
Our desire to play with and for an audience overrides everything else.
We are asking the audience to play a game. “The game of game against non-game.” Them’s the words of Alan Watts. We challenge those who take themselves, or anything, too seriously. We challenge the public to enter into our world and play our game. A game that is not vertical but horizontal. A game that includes rather than excludes. A game without any purpose other than the state of play itself.
-- This is our subversive act. To put in so much energy, to be so committed to the thing, whatever it is.
Some schools encourage you to play to the highest of your intelligence. We’re afraid this has caused a separation of mind from body and resulted in intellectual exercises rather than fully committed performances.
We look for the value of your idiocy. Turn us onto the logic of your illogic. Create a world beyond reason where your game ushers us into the absurd and communicates with us not in a rational language but a musical one.
The secret paradox is this : The more you can be you - the more honestly and uniquely individual you allow yourself to be - the more universal you become. That requires vulnerability, humility and generosity.
“Your limitations make you the wonderful disaster that you are.” Nick Cave
what is an idiot ?
You are the thing that fucks things up.
Of all the things on earth, we have the greatest capacity to fuck things up. More than any plant, animal or rock.
We are dumber than rocks.
-- But performance is an art. So, we might say that this thing we are looking for is the poetics of idiocy.
The Idiot exists out of time. Because of this the Idiot creates her own time. She exists between the tick and tock of the clock. Between heartbeats.
The Idiot is a state of conflict within a situation of harmony.
You are a game. If you play hard enough you will disappear. Don't say it until you feel it but do say it before you think it.
Dance your words. Speak your dance.
There is genius in your idiocy.
what can i expect ?
The Idiot Workshop is a class and meeting place for performers, comedians, dancers, artists, musicians, and others who might be looking for the thing. It is the deep end, a place to be surprised.
We learn the most when we are having fun, when we get lost in that way, and discover ourselves somewhere else, beyond the edge of our normal emotional range.
Classes consist of a series of passes on stage. We perform for each other with a series of prompts and challenges, a series of tasks. We try to entertain and surprise each other and learn from what we see.
We do not pretend or make fictions. We are who we are, and we acknowledge we’re in the same room with the audience and each other. From that we look for the game, and once we find it, we play for as long as we can.
how can i do it too ?
This is not a place for hyperbole or claiming some virtue that nothing else has.
Of course we reach for extraordinary things, and yes, things happen here which are deeply beautiful, but this is simply a structure and a place, to explore the state of play, to explore the capacity for fun, to explore silly and strange impulses and follow where they lead us.
We help to develop and refine your voice in this space, a voice driven by you, not a character so much as a heightened sort of self, your sense of play and absurdity, where you remain grounded in who you are, in ways that are known and unknown. Your whole self and experience, all you bring to a room and on stage, is available.
There is no limit to the frame of reference.
This is not teaching you to succeed in anything. This is not to get a career or job. This is to get on the path, and the path is circular, and we always start over.
Playing from an unfiltered place, reveling in the joy of fucking up - without ever letting the 4th wall materialize -
you will be forced to play from the bottom of your intelligence.
It gives permission to find meaning in nonsense,
and that nonsense is often the place where sense begins,
what opens the door to an unhinged expression.
It lies in the unconscious, illogical, absurd place of movement, speech, being, and play.
It is to find the place, and make a space, where your creative self is available, visible, and totally at stake.
" Theater takes place all the time, wherever one is, and art merely facilitates persuading one that this is the case" ~John Cage