The Performance

What I felt worked:

It felt natural to include some theatricality to the performance, especially when the narration was played.  The positive narration was naturally relatable to me, especially the first one about my Mum, so I felt like embodying the ‘character’ that was involved in each section of narration and react to the conversations as they would.  Another example is when the negative narration was played.  When the ‘character’ was told they had cancer, I was struck with the bad news and even paused afterwards, taking a moment to look at the box of weights behind me and seemingly question whether or not I can truly do this.

I have constantly questioned whether or not to include music. I chose not to, I felt that it was a better performance to keep simple.  It kept the focus on the main aspect of the performance, the physical display.


What I felt could have been improved:

I Possibly could have made it clearer to the audience that each situation was aimed at everyone, no one in particular.  Some of the audience were aware that the first narration was personal to me, therefore they assumed that the rest were as well.  However, the effect stayed the same and therefore left a different impression on each audience member depending on their knowledge of me as a performer.


My experience of the performance:

Walking in, I felt confidant.  Confidant that i’d get the right message across and confidant that the lighting and narration’s timing would be precise.  The only thing I was unsure about was the last ‘journey’ where the weight was incredibly heavy.  I stood in place and my confidence grew as each aspect of the performance fell into place.  Even the simple image of placing a giant clamp into the box rather than a weight looked powerful due to its rusty exterior and uselessness in this situation (like negativity).  Each spotlight made me naturally improvise which led to a relaxed feel and allowed me to express genuine emotion.  When I started pulling the final weight, I realised that it was doable. Until I got to the bottom of my final corridor of light.  My skin on my hands had torn off and I was covered in sweat.  the image seemed perfect.  The realisation that I may not be physically able to pull this weight all the way however was taunting me.  However, this is what I wanted and fittingly the message of my performance ‘Keep Moving Forward’ pushed me on to pull the weight all the way.  Have one final glance back at the weight I carried, and walk out the theatre.  While I couldn’t see what the audience saw, I felt like it went well.

Final Tech Rehersal

While explaining my intended use of lighting to the technicians, I decided to alter the shapes of my spotlights into a rectangle shape that would shine down stage.  This represented a lit platform to walk up into and subsequently, only lighting my body partially, creating a more edgy effect.  This symbolised that the positive place in your mind is not ALWAYS extremely positive, rather it is a stage where you can at least see those positive thoughts and focus on them in times of need.  The Dark blue spotlight stayed the same as a blurred profile.  The blurred edges represented the difficulty seeing the end, the difficulty of seeing anything past this negative place in your mind.

I filled the box with many stage weights.  While I had to get a large amount of weights to truly express genuine physical stress and exhaustion.  I chose not to add up the weight and write down how heavy it was as that was not the point of the performance.  The point is that the weight is extremely difficult to pull.  In reality it doesn’t require brute strength, it requires mental fortitude.  Therefore the heavy weight is just a heavy weight.

At the end I decided to include floor lights to shine a dim light on my body.  This led to me deciding to perform topless to help create the image of a physical journey through my mind.  I also chose to wear formal trousers, representing a clean, well kept character.  This is more relatable to as an ‘every man’  allowing me to embody not just me but other people as well.

The Weight

I will use this rough, messy box to carry the weights around the performance space.  I considered painting it then decided that it is more suited to my performance as it is, representing decay and general negativity.  I will attach a carpet to the bottom to prevent it scratching the floor.Box

The weights used will consist of unkempt weights, possible covered with scrap metal to signify the ‘Crap’ you’re carrying around and its uselessness.WeightsRope

The rope will be tied to the box firmly and well be kept long to further add to the difficulty of the performance.

Back to Studio 1: Potential Performance Text?

Issue with Steep Hill:  While the image is a striking, powerful one.  It represents the idea of ‘Penance’, rather than a physicalisation of the minds journey.  Performing outside also limits the use of lighting and sound which could be utilised to define my message, aid narration and generally make the performance clearer to my audience.


Back to Studio 1 (revised idea):

The room is fully lit.  There are weights at various points around the room.  I walk through the doors tot he studio with an empty box trailing behind.  I stand in the first marked space and gradually fill the box with all the weights.  Blackout.   The narration starts.  A dark blue spotlight appears on me.   More Weights added.  Character narration is played.  Motivational narration is played.  Another spotlight (Clear) appears.  I start to drag this heavy weight to the next spotlight. The first spotlight slowly turns from dark blue to an extremely light blue and then clear when the positive character narration is played.  By this point I should be situated in the next spotlight.  It suddenly turns dark blue.  Weights are added.  This repeats for 3 separate spotlights.  The ‘house’ lights come on and I begin to empty the weights from the box and then leave the room with the box trailing behind.  There are still weights in the box.

This is a very rough idea of how to incorporate text into the performance, to help elaborate and isolate the message.  However, considering the economy of expression, I will words to a minimum and let the physicality tell the majority of the story.

The only grey area is where to finish the performance.  Relating to William Shakespeare, Deo Laus states, “what you accomplish on the stage for whatever brief period of time determines through which door you exit the stage” (2010, p.575).  This is extremely indicative of my performance.  Without a clear exit/final position, the complete meaning may be lost.

Tzveta Kassabova’s solo work utilises all the space on the stage.  After researching her work, specifically ‘The Maze’, the intentions behind where and for how long I moved on stage, became clear.

‘The Maze’ stood out to me for various different reasons.

  • Initially the lighting used resembled my idea of using dark blue to represent confusion, loneliness and negativity.  The lighting change throughout also resembled a similar journey as I will be portraying.
  • The fact that the piece is about being trapped in a maze is very similar to my message.  I am trying to convey the negativity that streams through the mind when confronted by obstacles in life.  When trapped in a maze, these same thoughts are evident; feelings of confusion, loneliness, ‘no hope’.
  • She makes use of the stage, moving around every space to help represent her journey.  I currently plan on moving from corner to corner, therefore maybe I should consider the use of the centre stage and if my ‘journey’ doesn’t have a direct path.





Works Cited:

Deo, L., 2010, The Bible Tapestry, Volume 2, Xlibris Corporation

Kassabova, T., The Maze, Available at:

Change of Scenery?

Considering changing the stage.  Rather than performing in Studio 1 and limiting myself in terms of space, I could drag the weight up Steep Hill.  Also the idea of ‘life quotes’, while motivating, limit the idea of motivation.  Motivation is deeper, something that is more powerful when ignited within, due to a person experience or not.  Therefore, maybe I should simplify the performance and allow the audience to create their own opinion of whether it is motivating or not.

If Performed on Steep Hill:  This prevents me needing the audience to influence the weight and resistence on my body, therefore I can concentrate on battling this grueling performance all on my own, focusing ont he solo aspect.  I will put a set weight at the end of two long thick heavy ropes that I will drag all the way up steep hill.  The length of steep hill will be an incedible endurence excersice, and the gardual increase in steepness is perfect to represent how the hardships in life increase.  By the time I reach half way I will be exaughsted.  On the ropes I will keep the white napkins tied along them that will have Cancer, depression, fatigue etc written upon them.  Napkins are a means of cleanilness and therefore having them dirtied will represent toxins and negativity for the mind and body.  I do not wish to put a time limit on the performance if possible, I merely want to keep going until I reach the top of Steep Hill.  I will post certain quotes and messages along steep hill for the audience to read and allow for their own conclusion of what my performance is about (possibly relating it to something in their life, although this is just a bonus).

The energy needed to complete the performance will be extremely intense, representing life’s hardships and how they can be extremely taxing on the body.  Completing the performance will represent mind over body and how the power of the mind can force the body to achieve or cope with extraordanary pressures in life.