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We are in an era of profound change that urgently requires new ways of thinking instead of more business as dual; capitalism, in its current form, has no place in the world around us (Klaus Schwab, founder World Economic Forum)

This week marks the beginning of a new year of FOC/4change. For the first few months of the year I was enjoying beautiful Sydney and now I am back at Metro Arts 109 Edward Street Brisbane for the rest of the year.

We are setting up a space on the third floor of Metro Arts to host workshops, group and one-on-one sessions all with the objective of increasing our productivity and our health.

All together, we are changing from a society whose organising principle is the pyramid or hierarchy to one whose image is a circle. Humans are linked, not ranked. Humans and the environment are linked, not ranked (Gloria Steinem)

“It is the job of the artist to open doors and invite in prophesies, the unknown, the unfamiliar; it’s where their work comes from, although its arrival signals the beginning of the long disciplined process of making it their own.

“We transform the unknown into the known, hall it like a fisherman, artists get you out into that dark sea”

Rebecca Solnit
“A field Guide for Getting Lost”

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Community Dance Classes, Brisbane

PHLUXUS2 DANCE COLLECTIVE
COMMUNITY DANCE CLASSES

Phluxus2 Dance Collective is an award winning and boundary bashing dance company founded in 2006. Our work explores complex movement vocabularies that turn traditions of performance on its head, literally. Creating work that transforms perceptions of performance and space, through the translation of beautifully abstract stories. With our community classes you get access to the best dance professionals currently working in Brisbane!

Enquires to general@phluxus2.com

Its soon to be Autumn, a time of consider and reflect as we prepare for quieter days

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Painted by Flo

As I write the heading to this post i realise that in Brisbane winter does not mean quieter days, because there is only a slight variation in temperature. The extremes go, and we are surrounded by bright sunny days, late teen to mid twenty degrees (celsius) for most of the time. It is when i do outdoor workshops at Pullenvale because the weather is so fine. I plan on a days workshop in late May, a day of contemplation and dreaming. We will consider where we are at half way through the year and what it is we are needing, be it quiet time or planning time, reflexive time or connectedness. While summer has had its way with us we have been busy at FOC Headquarters and have created new outdoor spaces where we can work.

The year has sped, i bet it has for you too. I have spent a lot of time in Sydney and now will be spending much more time in Brisbane, working with local theatre companies on work that zings. End of May will see Niz Jabour and I work on his piece RAIN. He has presented it in Bagdad late last year, and now we will do a version here at La Boite first week in May. Mid May Leah Mercer is coming to Brisbane so we can begin to re-rehearse HOME for our QTC season in July. In June I will be rehearsing and performing with Pluxus2 Dance Company in Paratrooper Project at Judith Wright Centre:Click on the link to find out about their community classes throughout March.
Then in July HOME returns to QTC.

WHAT IS ON OFFER AT FOC:
1. MAY 30TH 10-6PM: Day workshop at FOC Headquarters, Pullenvale: Who am I becoming?. We will tell stories, meditate, draw, collage, move, indwell, create. We will eat, drink tea, walk, create. We will connect, laugh, smile, connect.

2. HUGE GARAGE SALE: SEPTEMBER, 2015. This monster garage sale is a fundraising event at FOC to raise money for Oxfam. Bill (BBA) is cycling in Sri Lanka for many long days, November 2015, in a fundraising bicycle ride. I thought we could have a huge sale so that we all contribute to his efforts to raise money.

3. PRIVATE SESSIONS: FROM March 2015 I am back to regular sessions at both Pullenvale and as soon as I can, Metro Arts, downtown Brisbane. Sessions are for artists who want to improve both their professional and personal lives. I use a narrative creative arts framework to help create new ways forward.

So contact if you want, on 0410515637 and leave a message. You can also email me on 4change@iinet.net.au

Margi

a chat about actors and living…

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I’m writing this after seeing Birdman, an astonishing movie about an actor and his theatre production and all that comes with it…such investment in a show is something I think some people may not necessarily understand… we get to see the backstage of Broadway,the tensions between actors, directors, producers and we get to see inside the head of the producer/writer/actor/director of the play… Look up Birdman:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJfLoE6hanc

What it has done for me is given me permission to reflect on why we choose theatre in the first place. It makes me think of the difference between celebrity and artist (a primary theme in the film) and how most of us do not fall into the first category, rather we bumble along creating work that not too many people see and then we move on to another show…and another…and another and wake up one day and wonder what it is all about. what was palpable about Birdman was the glaring evidence of fragility and edginess of the artists. No one seemed to know too much about who they were becoming. The Health of the Actor. Something that is very topical right now.

I could not attend Australian Theatre Forum this year, the first one I have missed. It was, on all accounts (tweets, Facebook and friends) a great gathering. They held a session that I wished I could have attended, about health and the artist: Keeping theatre makers safe. Richard Watts, who edits/writes for Arts Hub wrote a terrific piece about it:

In 2013, a nationwide study of actors’ wellbeing was conducted, surveying 782 of the 8000 actors working in Australia. The results of that study… were frightening… the study revealed dangerously high levels of alcohol abuse throughout the sector.
‘When our psychologist colleague came to report on those findings she actually looked quite shocked. She basically said to us, “this population is basically drinking itself to death.” The level of alcohol use among actors is not just significant, it’s very significant,’
‘We also asked actors about their warm-up routine and every actor has a warm-up routine, but what do you do to warm down? And the overwhelming answer was “we go out for a drink”.’

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Actors, it seems, drink themselves to death, evidenced in Birdman and evidenced after most shows we either create or attend. Alcohol seems to have become a currency of sorts, a ‘warm down’ ritual and that seems to work for a while but as the actor ages so does tolerance to alcohol…the more is not necessarily the merrier.

How do actors stay safe? I think Birdman has awoken in me the dangers we all face each time we step on and off the stage, and how we deny the effect that our characters have on us, both mentally and physically.

I am spending half my time in Sydney now, gently growing 4change coaching here in Forest Lodge, a quaint part of the inner west of Sydney, walking distance to everywhere and hundreds of dogs. I wonder how actors afford to live in Sydney? It’s hard enough in Brisbane. But when I see shows like “The Crucible” produced by Sport by Jove, a Sydney theatre company that produces classics often staged out doors…(The Crucible was set in the Everglades in Leura, an hour and a half out of Sydney in the Blue Mountains), I understand the attraction. Not only was it a stunning environment in which to watch such a brilliant classic, it was a sensitive and transformative experience for the audience.

I wonder why we don’t do more outdoor theatre in Brisbane? I know we have a couple of companies performing outside (Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble perform in Roma Street Parkland and the first Shakespearean company Grin And Tonic performed outside for decades) but I would love to see more. Thank goodness for festivals like Anywhere Festival! And sometimes the Brisbane Festival.

I wonder if actors feel healthier playing out of doors? I know I do. Nature heals both audience and actor perhaps. After spending several hours sitting on hard chairs in an environment that can be described as nothing short of stunning, watching the actors use the last rays of sunshine before the electrical lights came on, hearing the birds apparently responding, the wind, the smells. Everyone was so friendly, generous. The actors related warmly to their audience as they sold their raffle tickets and helped us find our seats.

So maybe the answer to health for the actor is to work outside more, drink a little less and chat with their audience. Without the audience, there is no show.