Archive for March, 2013

Lack of Motivation

The process of ‘Solo Performance’ has been idea after idea after idea.  The issue is, I feel the need to put on a performance that’s entertaining, a performance that people would pay money to see.  The idea of just appealing to people who understand ‘drama’ and ‘performance’ is uninteresting, I want to create something that leaves a lasting impression on every member of the public.

I have been avoiding my biggest motivation, my mum, due to a slight feeling of discomfort at the idea of using her death as a ‘performance’.  However, after much consideration, the fact is my mother was a performer herself.  She embodies my positive mindset and would be honoured to be used as inspiration for a performance.  This IS what my performance will be on.  The hardships of life.

Edging back to the physical side…

Temptation, human nature, physical stress on the body

While the comedy route felt comfortable, the idea of using the body to express a meaningful message still lingers in the back of my mind. I wish to create a more MEANINGFUL performance, something that makes the audience think and is not a direct message. A message that could be interpreted in different ways.

By focusing on Maria Abramovic, I will hopefully create a meaningful performance with an interesting message.



A 10 minute intense work out, causing physical stress and pain on the body. In this state I will be completely focused.  The audience will be given a strong BB gun with a note on each one stating ‘Shoot at me’. The guns will be strong enough to possibly draw blood or show bruises.  The performance will test the natural human trait of temptation and research the violent nature of man.  I will write down the time of each shot, how many of the guns went off and where they hit me.  Each time I get shot I will put the house lights on and walk over to a piece of projection paper and write everything clearly down. At the end the paper will be projected onto the wall along with a close up projection of my wounds (if any).

The wounds would look simular to this:

Notes:bullet wounds

I would write up a description of how powerful the BB guns are making it clear how painful they will be so it’s obvious to each audience member what they’re in control of.

I will have giant posters around the studio telling the audience to fire at will.



There are many risks included. Getting shot in the face (mouth and eyes) is obviously dangerous. However, I am happy to let this be a factor. Where the shots hit my body will help determine the thought process behind each one and how violent the audience member wishes to be.

The physical stress I am personally putting on the body through the intense workout needs to be body weight only. Any external heavy weights above my head could drop if i’m shot at and possibly kill me.



Whether there are no shots or all guns are shot. I will have an interesting result to back up my intentions behind this piece. Hopefully watching me workout for 10 minutes will prompt at least a few painful gun shots towards me.  The public want to see something interesting.  Each member of the public has the power in their hands to alter my performance and gain a reaction from me. How can they pass that up?



Marina Abramovic does something similar to this in 1974.  In a solo performance called “Rhythm 0”, “Marina Abramovic invited her audience to use and abuse her with 72 objects she laid out on a table.  Some objects could give pleasure, some inflict pain, the weapons included a gun and a single bullet”.  The audience members had a mixed reaction to this, some caused pain, some stopped others causing pain.  Ultimately, Abramovic described the experience as being ‘violated’.





Works Cited:

Halberstam, J., The Artist Is Object – Marina Abramovic at MOMA, Available at:

North News & Pictures Ltd, [online], Available at:

The Innocence of Growing Up

I have always been good at rhyming. However, never really been interested in editing or recording therefore not done much with it. In the process of racking my brain trying to think of an idea that is autobiographical and humorous, I made a rap for the heck of it.

I soon realised that this can be modified to create a form of narration for my performance. Looking back at my notes (and dialogue) inspired by Spalding Gray, I can convey my stories of discovering sexuality in a form of rhyming narrative. This rhyming narrative will come across in a very fairytale like, naive way that will express the innocence that comes with thinking these awkwardly descriptive sexual thoughts that go through every teenagers head at some point. The context including subjects like masturbation, women and sex intertwined with the slow, magical story telling and colourful cardboard props should bring a humorous aspect to the performance.

Here is an example of the narration (very rough idea – not finished): Solo tester 2


As graphic as this is, the concept of Karen Finley’s work is very simular to my narration.  Sending a message or telling a story through song. Karen Ford forces the audience to listen to her vulgar mental images and forces her message into the audience’s mind.  My idea of conveying vulgar sexual text in a ‘innocent’ format would further enhance…




Works Cited:

languedamour, 2012, Karen Finley | Tales of Taboo, Available at:

The Comedic Route…

Possible Content:

  • Personal journey.
  • Change of character.
  • Inspiration – humorous stories of my family.
  • Mind Set – How has my mind set changed. Mind set leads to physical change. Is it all a good thing or a bad thing?

Potential Primary Content:

Sexual endeavours (masturbation), women, depression and euphoria.

3 Stages: 1 – comedic intro, 2 – my motivation, 3- comedic conclusion.         Audience participation? (YES/NO/MAYBE?!)


I wrote a tester script to see how comfortable it felt and if it was deemed successful by my peers:


Text:  “We can’t deny that each one of us goes through a stage in our life where we look back and think, my god, that was me and not only was that me but I knew it was at the time and I had no problem with it.   Now, this could be bias, because I’ve always liked being centre of attention.  But I feel that past Richard Summers-Calvert.  Known more commonly as Richard Calvert back then or, ginger prick.  Could probably one up your past selves when it comes to being a certain shade of… unique.  He was skinny.  Very.  Borderline anorexic.  Photo appears (see right).  He has dyed blonde hair and braces.  His hips were by his armpits for some reason and he was commonly referred to as an overgrown fetus due to the shape of his Little Richarddistorted bone structure.  Adorable.  Like most boys around the age of 13-14.  Richard went through a stage of being into… sex.  Or the closest thing he could get to at that time, his own penis., THING IS, Richard wasn’t 13-14 when this happened.  He was 16.  He was mentally 2 years behind all his friends.  So at this point, all the boys in the school, because he went to an all boys private school, were starting to crack on with the GCSE’s A levels and get down to work.  However, Little Richard had no time for this.  He’d just figured out the magical forearm exercise of masturbation.  Or as he went to a private school it was MASTERbation.  No where was safe.  You name it, he wanked in it. Toilets, The school Pitch, The boarding house, my personal favorite to this very day, the library.  Jokes. But seriously the library.  He even had a standard regime of telling the school nurse he had a headache and needed a lie down… “Richard this is your 4th headache this week….”yes yes It’s becoming quite a nuisance,  I seem to be missing a lot of geography lessons.  I just need a lie down. “  She’d leave him in the bed… he’d turn on his side and look at the wall as if because he couldn’t see the nurse, that meant she couldn’t see him.   And he’d MASTER-bate.

Spalding Gray?

The way in which Spalding Gray delivers his dialogue is energetic, and picturesc.  He draws his audience in with incredible descriptive language and passion to back that up.  This style of speech is similar to that of a motivational speech.

Do I want to give a 10 minute speech on trransformation of the body and of the mind?

Do I want motivate the audience in a certain way.

What are my intentions of my performance?

Do I want to tell a story?

The idea of putting on the character of yourself and conveying that to an audience is an interesting one.  While people assume that you are being yourself, you can plan certain reactions and modify certain emotions creating a new identity in yourself.     Talking  about young Richard Summers-Calvert as a HE even though he eventually became what I am today would insinuate a difference in character.  THEN and NOW.




Works Cited:

iamtheuseless1, 2009, Swimming To Cambodia ~ Part 1, Available at: