Earlier this year, I was approached by Maite Gonzalez and Ananda Payan to come on borad as a director and writing/acting tutor for their first play: Katharsis.
Ironically I have learned just as much from them as they have from me. They are brave, honest and raw. They scream at the page until something appears, something that speaks to the soul; the deep things we want to forget and the everyday habits we overlook.
Neither of these girls have been formally trained and they need not be. They listen to their instincts and are training themselves by simply doing what they love and following the lessons that 'trial' and 'error' bring.
My years of working with young people has helped reach an understanding that they know what to do without needing much guidance...they just need the space and the support to do it.
I find this work so inspiring. Stories like Katharsis express young growing voices that speak of the cultural sensibilty of our times, right now...stories about young people living in Barcelona in 2015 - of how these young people have to work in Starbucks, in clothing shops, cleaning, folding t-shirts, greeting customers and following 'Star principles' of service whilst masking the deep depression that they face as they are told their country is still in an 'economic crisis' and that they should pursue jobs that are stable - anything but the arts.
This a new age of story telling. This is a new form of expression. It needs no precedence...classical text cannot express this state of being: this chaos in the soul.
This age of storytelling is humble. It is young artists creating theatre to express their stories. Even as a younger artist, I doubted this simplicty. A great friend of mine recently reminded me: sometimes we complicate things when the answer is so simple.
If you think that you are not an artist or an actor or a photographer or a writer...it is simple : you are just not doing it. That is all.
Some people will argue that you need to be talented but my belief is that you need to be tenacious. To not give up when people tell you that it is difficult. It is a matter of perspective. If you think something is easy...the action becomes easy.
As these girls have shown me, what we need to do is to continue to create and to be creative against all odds. Yes, they are both talented and driven but more importantly they believe in themselves and their work. They believe enough to let their work come to life and to engage with it. I have met many people who are artists and when I ask them what they do their voice becomes small and they say...."ah well I used to act" or "I take photos..." "I used to dance but I am not a "dancer" etc. I usually follow their answer with an automatic reaction of me hitting them inappropriately on the arm because they are artists, they are creative and they want to do the work but apparently we should not admit that for all the connotations it brings.
'Life shrinks or expands dependingon our courage'
As Anais Nin has previously said and as these two young artists have shown me. For that and many other things, I thank them deeply.
I am fortuante to see these girls perfrom their first play tomorrow. I look forward to the future. I have met many many wonderful artists along the way and I look forward to seeing more work their work too and to hearing their voices in this new era of playwriting.
Playing as part of Procreacio Resedencia, Centre Civic Sant Marti
Thursday, 28th of May, 8pm