It may seem odd to be reflecting on my experiences so early, especially when the festival doesn’t even start for another month. However when I look back over what has happened so far I cannot help but write about it.
The first thing, that may also seem, odd, is that I have managed to see so much more of the city that I call home through my time with 24:7 festival. From New Century House, to Oldham Coliseum to Sale’s Waterside complex, I have got to know this great city of Manchester that little bit better. I find myself falling into a pattern which roughly involves, work, eating, sleeping and playing guitar. All usually in the same place(s), so to get a new view having lived in the North West for coming on 5 years is liberating.
Secondly is the number of people who are committed and adore the arts. From the management team at 24:7, to my fellow placement holders on the FITD scheme to my writer for the play To The Dam, there is a seemingly never ending pool of creative minds who all want to help and get involved. I have started a book of names to help myself keep a concise yet brief note of all people who could help me with my career and it’s safe to say I could fill a book in a week.
This brings me nicely onto my play To The Dam. A play about someone finding themselves seems, yet again, oddly appropriate for my own life. John Clarke, as aforementioned, the writer is a charming, fascinating and passionate individual. He is a self-confessed hater of writing ‘stories’ instead he writes about experience and individuals, creating an image of people that is there to make what you want from it which is fresh and a pleasure to read and work with. Through my meetings with him and our work together on To The Dam, it is clear that we both want this play to reach the height we know it can, and for our individual careers to improve as a result. What else can I say in this instalment other than seeing my city, getting to know the various groups of arts based people as well as the individuals who put the hard graft in to make it work has been an inspiration and a driving factor all of its own. Also, a lot of things in my life come across as odd.
Sam – June 2014