This week, I’ve started work on a new play, the idea for which has been slowly germinating for the past few years. It’s exciting to start work on a project that I’ve thought about for a long time, but when I sat down to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard as it may be) I realised that I was still stuck on the outside of the idea, looking in.
While I know the concept I want to explore, and that the stage is the right place to explore it, I don’t yet have my story or characters. Without these to act as vessels, I’m unable to wander any further into the ideas I want to end up sharing in the script. I feel like a pirate standing on the shore, able to see with my spyglass the endless waters with their potential for new booty and undiscovered land, but no boat to get me there. And by my beard, it doesn’t feel good.
Luckily, I’ve picked up some tricks for getting out of these kinds of sticking points. Instead of entering into the idea in the way I thought I would or using the type of character I’d always envisioned, it’s time to look at the idea from a new perspective.
Last weekend I visited Brisbane’s City Hall with my friend Jami, where we took a little tour to learn about the building’s history and architecture. One of the best parts of the tour was heading right up into the clock tour and peering back down on our city below. Buildings we knew at street level looked like tiny toys, especially Albert St Church, where Jami is going to be getting married in August!
There’s something refreshing about seeing things so familiar in a whole new way, and that’s the approach I’ll be taking with my play, too. The ideas I’ve had floating around my head and journals need a refresh, so it’s out with the old and in with some new ways of thinking about this play. I’ll be throwing any and all ideas at it this week, until I see what sticks best.
Do you find a new perspective helps clear your mind of stale ideas?