Whoops & Daisy Audiodiary (written version)
Creative Development Audiodiary #3
Haydon and Sam attempt to speak simultaneously, with some degree of success. The effect is a little staggered, with Haydon’s voice leading the text.
BOTH: Hi, welcome to Whoops and Daisy, we love you all, and here’s what we’ve been up to this fortnight.
Electronic zappy transition.
Haydon: Okay, so, podcast number three, the last fortnight we’ve been um, we’ve had a bit of a slow one, haven’t we Sam?
Sam: Yeah, it’s definitely feeling very evident, the difference between when we are in a theatre space versus when we’re rehearsing in our houses. It’s a bit harder to...be playful, and practical when we don’t have...y’know, a clean slate of space to play with.
Haydon: Totally, right? We’re in the PICA space today, and we’ve had um...yeah, it’s been fun to have a play with some different materials and that kind of thing, and it’s definitely felt like a different vibe from earlier in the week.
Sam: Yeah, absolutely, which leads quite well into our first podcast question of what we’ve been up to.
Quick transition sound.
Sam: So, last week, not this week, we had a really wonderful and generous chat with Racharl Woodward, who’s an artist in her own right but also someone that we went to uni with at WAAPA back in the day, and she reached out to us to have a big chat about this project, and really opened up about her personal journey through identifying as an artist with a disability, and also about allyship and advocacy and ‘disability politics’ I guess more broadly. So that was really wonderful and gave us a lot of food for thought, and a lot of just...kind of, one of those really nice conversations that have been coming out of developing this work more generally.
Haydon: Yeah, it was great, and she asked us a few questions about the work itself, because I think Rachael’s been looking at this work, in this field, since she was at university with us, so is very interested in the project and what we’re up to. What else have we been doing? We have been looking at black holes a lot, haven’t we?
Sam: Yeah, we’ve been watching some videos that I think are going a little bit over my head, but we’re taking what we need from it to turn that into a...I guess a theatrical experience rather than a scientific lesson.
Haydon: Yeah, most of today we’ve been just...making a black hole!
Sam: Stapling garbage bags together, putting a big fan on, getting underneath, projecting a galaxy onto those garbage bags, it’s been a lot of fun this morning.
Audio becomes a recording of Sam and Haydon from a previous rehearsal, you can hear a loud fan and the rustling of lots of plastic in between lines of text.
Sam: Oh yeah, awesome!
Haydon: Get in. Get in!
Sam: That’s fricken sick, cause it looks like...um...like it looks like the stuff that’s projecting is like, moving through the air with the bag?
Sam: I wonder if...It would surely have a similar, I can’t imagine it’d be different if it was just thin cotton, not plastic?
Haydon: Yeah, like...so, if you put like...push on of your arms forward so it’s kind of like extending the…
Sam: What? But my arms are forward.
Haydon: Just push one, so it’s kind of like a single point…So...Essentially try and get as much -
Haydon: Sculpture as you can
Sam: Yeah, yeah…
More rustling. A transition. Audio is once again the discussion format.
Haydon: What else have we been doing?
Sam: We also did a little bit I guess of playing with the physicality of what this divided space might be like. A lot of fun, nothing really concrete or character driven or anything but, y’know, what does it feel like to run into an invisible wall and bounce off, and be silly?
Sam: So the second question we’re always asking ourselves is what we’re excited about and thinking about at the moment. So Haydon, what are you excited about?
Haydon: Well I’m really excited about the black hole, and just the potential of that within the show, and how that could really act as quite a climactic moment and um, how that could really build upon other elements of the show. Umm, and I’m excited for this in between period between our two stages of development, we’re going for our second stage in November so I guess what’s actually going to happen in that in between period is that, y’know, we’re not just going to stop thinking about this show, I think. The kind of...research that we draw upon and the references that we’re bringing together and things like, moments like the black hole, I’m excited about how they are going to grow in this in between period, just from having them...being aware of them.
Sam: Yeah, absolutely, and that links quite well to what I’ve been thinking about which is the benefits of development without presentation outcomes. It’s been a conversation that I think a lot of people are having, and something that a lot of people who are lucky enough to be developing work at this time are feeling, that just because you’re not making content to show to someone, doesn’t mean that these long deep conversations and these playful moments and these...I guess, debates you end up having in the room...they’re all actually incredibly valuable and deepen your connection your the work for later. Like in November, when we will have every day, in a space, with our designers as well, which is another thing I’m really really keen...the more we work, the more excited I am about someone with a visual practice coming together with us and helping us realise all of these crazy ideas we’re coming up with.
Haydon: Yeah me too.
Haydon: Okay! So, we’ve only got one week technically of sessions left, don’t we, of this stage of the development, so um, what are we going to do over the next week?
Sam: Well, I guess this is the part where we’re going to catalogue and reflect on everything we’ve been doing for...I guess it’ll have been about 7 weeks at that point, and make sure that we’ve got it all documented in some form whether it's a sketch or a note or a list, just so nothing does drop off in that gap. And also figuring out what we do know enough about to communicate to Pavan, who’s our composer, who’ll be coming on board for November, and also to whoever our designer is.
Haydon: Yeah, so I suppose ending next week with a clear ‘brief’ for both of those designers, both for ourselves to really clarify those things, but also as a means of articulating those things to come on in the second stage of development as collaborators.
Sam: Yeah! And also starting in earnest our search for who that designer will be, now that we know...I guess, ‘enough’ about the form that we’re working with and enough about the aesthetic of what we’re working with to make sure we’re bringing on the right person. We can start having those conversations with a lot more I guess depth than we could’ve 7 weeks ago.
Haydon Great! Well, I’m looking forward to the next week.
Sam: Yeah, me too, but I’m also a little bit sad cause this has been really fun!
Haydon: Yeah, but it’ll still be there in the back of our heads, constantly -
Sam: - It will be -
Haydon: - niggling away -
Sam: - it will be, and we’ll get to spend so much time on it in November.
Haydon: Totally. Can’t wait.
Sam: Me neither.
Creative Development Audiodiary #2
Audio is of two people speaking to each other. Sam has a clear, higher voice, Haydon has a deeper and more masculine voice. The tone is conversational.
Sam: Hello! We are back, with our second audio diary.
Haydon: Yeah, and this is for the last two weeks, so week 3 and week 4 of our development.
Sam: Yeah! So, we’ve had a really big two weeks, there’s been a lot. There’s been a lot of discussions, we’ve done workshops, we’ve done a lot of playing around.
Haydon: Yeah, that’s right it started off with us playing with a bunch of oobleck, which is cornflour and water, which was a lot of fun actually.
Sam Yeah it’s very tactile, it’s very weird, it’s got a lot of really fun potential, and it was good to kind of keep the hands busy, free the mind up and get a bit playful.
Haydon: Totally. This week we’ve had a bit of an intensive, haven’t we, over the last 3 days, been focussing kind of 9-5 on this.
Sam: Yeah at the blue room, we’ve had space, which has been really wonderful. So, as well as that we’ve been at Subiaco Arts Centre where there’s been the Performing Lines lab, and a couple of workshops this week on Awakening the Senses with Sensorium, kind of being taken through their process of different stations, and then today a Small Group Discussion on Disability and Inclusion. And while those aren’t directly working on the show it really feels like it’s contributing to the broader professional development that we’re seeking to really engage with this process as well as we can.
Haydon: Yeah. In our sessions over the last 2 days we’ve come up with a bit of a draft plot, haven’t we, um so that is good. And it’s a bit different to what we thought it would be initially.
Sam: Yeah! So y’know, if you were listening last week our goals were to get stuff in the room and start playing, and to come up with our narrative imperative, so tick and tick.
Haydon: Look at us, kicking goals!
Bubbly transition noise.
Haydon: Okay, so what have we been thinking about this week, Sam?
Sam: Well, what I’ve been thinking a lot about is how much I care...about this work. And when I say this work I both mean this show and I mean the work of accessibility, and the work of... y’know, enabling and increasing access...and...it’s wonderful to care so deeply about something but I’m also really grappling with how much it’s making things feel a bit fraught for me. Like, I keep imagining when we start ideas testing with kids, of just the worst case scenario and of really messing things up. And, yknow, we need to - I need to move past that, because to make this good we are going to have to learn and be prepared to fail, and be prepared to put an idea in front of kids that causes a meltdown or that’s totally of no interest to them, and that’s got to be fine because that’s how we’re going to make it good. But...it’s been on my mind a lot this week.
Haydon: Yeah that reminds me of something that Frankie actually said in the workshop that we did, and also what I’ve been thinking about, is that idea of ‘Scary-Safe’ in this work that we’re making, and how we can provide that type of experience where...yeah, we do want to offer something that’s challenging for the kids that are coming through as audience members, but we also want to make sure that we’re not going too far, and how to, I guess, walk that line in a way that is also challenging us as the creators of this piece.
Sam: Yeah, last week we talked about not wanting to patronise anyone, and I think it’s linked to that. We - we want this to be fun! There’s fun that comes from a bit of risk, and a bit of daring, and this doesn’t need to just be gentle and coddling and wafty, there can be a bit of edge, a bit of risk, a bit of fun, but only if we’ve set up that safe environment for the kind of ‘scary’ risk taking that the kids are in charge of.
Haydon: Totally. Another thing I’ve been thinking of is how we go from now forward, how we actually approach making particular moments within the piece, and y’know whether you start with a particular plot point in mind, and therefore create a sensory experience or moment from that, or whether you actually start with the moment itself, and then work out where that kind of gets hung within that plot, or that framework that we’ve set up.
Sam: Yeah, and we kind of raised this with Frankie and he said they work in both ways. And I think that’s...it’s really rich, but it’s also quite tricky to be flipping between the two ah...places of starting and between the two ways of thinking. It’s been really fun and tricky at the same time, coming up with this ‘‘plot,’ this ‘narrative imperative’ that needs to function in such a different way to when I might be writing a play, or coming up even with y’know, a devising framework for something else. Because the plot can’t really hang on really conceptual, nuanced ideas of plot retention and twists and turns, it has to be quite experiential, and you have to allow a lot of time for each...kind of ‘beat’ to move through, so we moved quite far away from this ‘Epic Serum’ that we thought was going to be the plot, and now we’re kind of in a...in a parallel universe kind of place.
Haydon: Mmmm. We thought that might be a bit too conceptual right? The serum? Which is yeah, why we kind of moved away from it, and I think that’s a good thing.
Sam: Yeah, just to kind of quickly summarise where we’re at now, it’s like: We’ve blown up the lab right before the show starts, and Whoops & Daisy are stuck on each side of this lab in kind of two different dimensions, and all the stuff in the lab has been transformed weird on one side, and how it used to be on the other, and the kids are kind of there to help us fix the lab up.
Whooshing into a squelch transition noise.
Haydon: So, for the next fortnight, I think one of my main goals is to work more practically on how we can create some sensory moments and experiences that sit within our plot framework that we’ve created. How about you?
Sam: Yeah! For me it’s, alongside obviously that, with you, it’s starting to think about how we can bring some of these ideas and objects in front of some test audiences that we have access to, and to make sure that the ideas are sound, and it’s not just us getting excited, and that these interactive parts are actually of interest to kids, that holds water so we know whether to take them into the second stage of the development or if we’re barking up the wrong tree
Haydon: And I think for the end of this development in general, we really do want to put this in front of a test audience, just some of these moments that we’ve created, so that is going to be a bigger goal for us, which we’ll probably talk about next week...or, next fortnight.
Quick squelching transition.
Sam: Finally, I just want to say that there is so much more that we’re thinking and talking about outside of what we’re able to fit into these sort of 10 minute summaries. So if anyone’s listening and is really keen to hear more, or to tell us something, or share or engage, we’d love to hear from you; Instagram, Facebook, email us, there’s so much to talk about.
A squelchy bubbly sound.
Creative Development Audiodiary #1
Audio is of two people speaking to each other. Sam has a clear, higher voice, Haydon has a deeper and more masculine voice. The tone is conversational.
Sam: So here we are making our first instalment of our reflective audio diary for Winter Nights.
Haydon: That’s right, hello to all our fans listening in.
Sam: [Laughing] So we’re going to do a bit of a preamble as this is our first one. Haydon Wilson and myself, Sam Nerida of Static Drive are making, well we’re developing a show as part of The Blue Room Winter Nights supported by Barking Gecko, an all ages show, and the way we’re kind of I guess tackling this is we’re hoping to make a show that is chasing after universal access. So, a show that any child can come to see, no matter what kind of multiple or complex access needs they may have, or if they’re just your average Joe of the street, any kid can kind of come in and find a way into that work, I guess.
Haydon: Yeah, that’s the goal isn’t it, universal access, and that’s what we’ll keep coming back to. This is over a two stage development, so we’ve been having sessions over the last 2 weeks both just the two of us and mentors, Frankie Italiano he’s our formal mentor, and also your mum as well.
Sam: Yeah! She has worked in the disability sector for 30 odd years now, across Cerebral Palsy, and she’s a speech therapist, and now she’s a practicing autism therapist. This audio diary is our reflective process, fortnightly instalments where we’re going to talk a bit about what we’ve done over the past fortnight, what we’re thinking about, and what we’re hoping to do in the fortnight coming up.
Haydon: Yes, awesome. So, this audio diary is going to be a combination of impromptu, spontaneous voice memos from our sessions, things that come to mind in the moment, spliced together with more reflective moments like we’re having now. So we just finished our first two weeks and this is I guess going to be a reflection on some questions that we want to keep coming back to over the next 4 podcasts of this first stage of development.
A bright and bubbly sound effect transition.
Haydon: So what did we do over the last 2 weeks, Sam?
Sam: Well we tried to do some science experiments that actually did not turn out the way we wanted, at all.
Haydon: Hey, but that’s science right?
Sam: That’s science...the scientific method...We had our first mentorship session with Frankie Italiano from Sensorium, which was amazing, to have a chat with him about what he’s learnt from making this kind of work.
Haydon: Uh huh
Sam: We had a mentorship session with my mum where she talked about her experience in the disability sector and gave us some kind of, provocations and thoughts. We did a bunch of brainstorming about non-competitive game play in shows, and types of sensory activities we could maybe offer to kids
Haydon: Yeah, we talked about maybe unpacking the world that we’re playing within, the laboratory setting, and what that might actually look like as well. Oh, and we went down to the Cultural Centre didn’t we? We went down...there’s some kind of sensory percussion instruments that were installed there, they were there for a couple of years, we went down there to have a look and have bit of a play and they weren’t there!
Sam: No, so we just had a bit of a play in the playground instead and wandered on back. Here’s a bit of the chat we had on the way home.
A splash sound effect transition.
Sam: Anyway, I was going to say I like what Frankie said, or I guess his experience of performing the work to multiple ages, that the content didn't need to change, the tone of it just did. That’s kind of what I have experienced in doing the sessions with kids with autism, I very rarely had to change the content it was just the way I explained it, sometimes the intensity of the ask. If I was a game where we had to come up with 10 things I might ask the younger ones to come up with 3. Yeah, just the approach to it rather than the content, which is nice to know that we might have some more freedom in the age range.
Haydon: A lot of that comes from the actual, the way you play the characters, and how you’re engaging those kids. The older ones I think feel very patronised if you're in that particular mode that sometimes you fall into when you’re performing for children
Sam: Yeah for sure
Haydon: So, I think that’s something that’s very dependent on the group.
Sam: Absolutely, I think there's also, at least I remember as a kid, I felt a real joy in feeling like I was in with the adults, like that they were treating my like I was older than I was, cause y’know like “Oh, you get it, if you were a bit younger you wouldn’t get it, but I can tell you, you’re smart enough for this” I think that’s a really satisfying energy for kids to come into contact with,
Haydon: Says a lot about you
Sam: [Laughing] Yeah, or maybe that just speaks to who I was as a child a little too frankly. But, definitely erring on the side of...especially with this kind of work, the last thing we want to do is um, patronise anyone.
Crackly splashy sound effect transition.
Sam: So what are you excited about? What are you thinking about at the moment?
Haydon: Yeah, excited about a lot of stuff, but the main things I guess I’m thinking about at the moment is...How we can make a multi sensory work...that is really accessible to all needs, while also not being over-stimulating or making it an overwhelming experience for some of those kids who might come through. I think another part of that as well is...well I guess we're taking a lot of information in from our mentors at the moment, and not letting that be...not letting that overwhelm us, in terms of all the things that we’re thinking about, and getting stuck in that analysis paralysis...yeah.
Sam: Yeah, absolutely. What I’ve been thinking about and quite keen on is ah...well summarised in another little chat we had in rehearsal.
Short, wiping sound effect transition.
Sam: I think it’s quite exciting, actually, to start thinking...it’s really useful for me as a maker to be thinking in more dimensions...I’m saying dimensions when I mean senses, but um...than just the... 1) conceptual, cause that’s where I’m mostly stuck, but even then the visual...beyond the visual I think is...that same thing as we've been trying to make a certain harmony, but there’s a note wrong, because the distillation of that experience is we want something to click into place and be finally correct -
Haydon: What about our deaf audience members, Sam?
Sam: But that’s why it’s a light, AND a sound, like, what is the most satisfying experience of a harmony being wrong and of finally getting all the right notes and of a light being off and finally coming on, maybe something’s been out of reach the whole time or... something that’s been spiky that turns soft
Haydon Mm, yeah, chemical reaction
Sam: That’s fun
Haydon: I am looking forward to our next multi-dimensional work though, I must say.
Haydon: Look out for Static Drive 2021
Squelching sound effect transition.
Haydon: Okay so what are we going to do for the next 2 weeks, Sam?
Sam: Well, ah, I think we’re going to buy some actual stuff, some of those kind of fun, tactile toys, so we're going to have some actual materials in the room, I’d love to start playing around with those in real life, in 3D. I think that will tell us a lot. And, I think I’d really like to settle on I guess what we’re terming from a process perspective our ‘narrative imperative’, a term we learned from Frankie. Kind of you know, the ‘why’ of what we’re doing, like are we trying to create this epic serum, or are we trying to uncover what happened at this abandoned lab, or are we trying to y’know, bring a monster to life or something.
Haydon: Uh huh, or restore the lab or whatever it might be -
Sam: Yeah, yeah. Lock that in so we can kind of take a couple more steps forward and start giving some more context to these tactile experiences.
Haydon: Yeah and I think once we have that framework in place it’ll be easier to work on things like that non-competitive game play and find out how they might actually fit within that structure.
Sam: Yeah. I’m really excited!
Haydon: Yeah, me too.