Author Archives: Margi Brown Ash

About Margi Brown Ash

Name: Margi Brown Ash
Location: Australia
Margi works as a theatre maker/director/performer/coach. Her company, 4change coaching, hosts workshops that appeal to artists and those who wish to use the arts to enrich their personal as well as professional lives. Margi also works with groups of creatives and teams to develop presentations, performances and performance art pieces. She works in both the creative and business sector to enhance working partnerships and develop strong group dynamics within the organization. Margi has recently formed Force of Circumstance (FOC) Theatre Company, the first intentional, professional intergenerational theatre company in Australia.

I usually post on my blog, at www.margibrownash.com but I’m browsing 4change website and thought I’d leave a note.

I bet there are many of us running fast, as the year heads to a close…well not quite but almost.
I love the ending of years, a time to look through the months that have passed.

I am presently reading Allan Pease and Barbara Pease’s book “The Answer” and I’m enjoying it. Allan Pease is going to be presenting at the WorkSmart Conference that I am MC’ing later in the week on the Gold Coast, so I am spending several days reading his books. www.peaseinternational.com

The one-liners are really worth remembering, like “A deadline is to your goals what the trigger is on a gun” followed by “A dream is just a dream until you put a deadline on it”. That really had me thinking. I don’t like deadlines, but it is true, as I look back over the year, that it was the deadline that moved me to closure. Not the passion (that was there), nor the conditions (they weren’t bad either) but the deadline…that date that stopped me doing anything except what was required. No dinners out, no theatre dates, no phone calls. And I even delighted in the simplicity of these days. I didn’t have to think about anything but the task at hand.
Another one-liner that I really liked, and learned it by heart. Pease & Pease wrote: “Life begins at the end of your Comfort Zone”. Now this one, this one is worth writing up on our walls, our computer screens, on post-it notes…and everywhere we feel comfortable. Life begins at the end of our comfort zones. That made me feel uncomfortable as I sat in my comfortable chair with my comfortable view and my comfortable dog at my feet. So things are changing. The only thing we can be sure of. is. change.

photo by Barb Lowing

So a new year is about to begin…saying goodbye and hello to 2016-2017

In 2017 we will be conducting a February workshop in Pullenvale where we will focus on our own becoming: how do we move forward and create change in a world that seemingly is heading towards (for many of those in the arts) an uncomfortable fit?
Dates are coming when I work them out.

Margi’s active blog, chats she posts weekly, can be found on www.margibrownash.com

4change coaching will be closed until February 2017: Margi will be in Sydney performing in Prize Fighter at Belvoir Street for the Sydney Festival. Here is a link: http://belvoir.com.au/productions/prize-fighter/

In 2017 Margi will continue to supervise, coach, mentor and counsel those in the arts are wanting more creativity in their private and working life.

Margi’s active blog, chats she posts weekly, can be found on www.margibrownash.com
Some of these posts are posted here in Recent Posts.Margi’s most up to date blog

Belonging and forgetting
October 27, 2016
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Looking up and out of an art gallery in Iceland...lines, circles, windows and blue sky

Looking up and out of an art gallery in Iceland…lines, circles, windows and blue sky

A small post of memory

The constructs of life, the smooth times, the straight lines, the times where we block, the times when we open up to what is beyond.

I am spending most of my days reflecting and writing on what it means to create, construct and dreaming on what home means in the 21st century. What does it mean to belong in this fast paced world where we are so connected and yet, when we stop and think, not connected at all? We still don’t have time despite the fact that we have the world at our finger tips.

I’m reading bell hooks and her book Belonging: A Culture of Place, and I love it when she says ” I need to live where I can walk. I need to be able to walk to work, to the store, to a place where I can sit and drink tea and fellowship.”

It is the word ‘fellowship’ that resonates with me this morning. The fellowship of communion, of connection with eyes and ears wide open. We have created a ‘fellowship’ of women in The Women in Theatre Bridge Club, a group of like minded theatre feminists who want to create long term change. We are all aware of the gender bias in the theatre industry and how women have to have a bigger bag of tricks in order to be noticed when they move from youth to maturity. Women in the theatre industry need to work harder, and be bigger, or not. A case in point is Emma Rice at The Globe in London where she has recently been ‘removed’ from her newly won position as artistic director (one more season to go) because she was too big for her own good. She pushed the boundaries of what went before and the Establishment did not like it. No they did not like it one little bit. Are we all trying to push the boundaries, and are we finding that the Establishment is not liking it? The Establishment, the traditional part of both our communities and the traditional part of ourselves, can be very narrow in its thinking.

As a sometimes academic finishing my PhD which has absorbed me for over six years, I know that the conservative part of me can be extremely limiting. For instance, as I write chapter after chapter I ask myself “Is this academic enough?” and I voiced this doubt to my friend and the gist of what she said was “You are writing your research using your own unique voice. You are contributing new knowledge in the best possible way you can. Only you can communicate your ideas in your way because you have done the research. Your voice belongs in the Academy” and suddenly the whole world opens again. And I start to write again, because of the things that need to be said. Things that others have said perhaps…but as I stare at the image at the top of this post, it is clear that the blue sky is limitless…and I will frame my own experience differently. I am the circle and the square. I am both blue sky and the container. And that is what Home is. That is what it means to belong. We fit in, sure, but we do it in such a way that we are bigger for it. We flow (the circle), we walk the lines, we open windows (yes, in this image you can see windows that can open), we stare at the sky…and like my beloved EVE, the first play of my Belonging Trilogy:

She will dance the war and by the light of a hundred candelabras she dances, spinning on golden wings, she leaves the earth. Her soul opens, she breaks apart and she flies right through that paper window and out into the planets (with appreciation to Eduardo Galeano, 2009).

We must all continue spinning on our golden wings, believing in our ability to contribute to our world in the way we know best and to do that we must listen well to what our inner memories are trying to tell us. My character Eve teaches us that on the hills of Australia we can read the “secrets of the great Australian loneliness”: and I am redreaming these secrets. My secrets include turning the loneliness of the Australian hills into a fellowship with others. The people I can call on the phone and say “Hello. How is it going your end?” And we exchange warm thoughts and hopes and dreams. We grow each other’s stories into stories of belonging and connection. We encourage each other to stand in our own power. To understand our values and know that our decisions are right for this moment, at this time. So this morning I will return to bell hooks, thanks to the fellowship of my friend. I will read bell’s words of wisdom and I will enact my rituals of remembering: I will listen to my inner wisdom.

Together, lets embrace our present moments, seeing them as just that, moments that point to the blue sky above, beyond the straight lines of memory, and out into the stars:

We are born and have our being in a place of memory. We chart our lives by everything we remember from the mundane moment to the majestic. We know ourselves through the art and act of remembering. Memories offer us a world where there is no death, where we are sustained by rituals of regard and recollection (bell hooks, in Belonging: A Culture of Place).