As we get started, I'm finding that I am running into a lot of difficulty with having the cojones to say "Yes, we've started a theatre company." I find myself having to battle with my inner cynic who keeps saying things like: "Oh, how juvenile," "Oh you wide-eyed little actor," and "Every theatre major says that." Why does this happen?
I think it's interesting that this inner chorus keeps coming up for me despite my total faith in collaboration and this group's ability to create meaningful work while having a wonderful time doing it. Funny that my reactions to this journey are incredible joy followed by fear. Having cojones, turns out, is difficult to maintain with all of the negative feedback internally and externally from a culture that loves reveling in failure. Why can aspiration and drive so easily be spun? I find it so strange that this kind of reaction is so automatic for me.
I am choosing to notice (and occasionally freak out when I forget my Zen) and examine this feeling, and commit to staying focused on desires, hopes, and faith.
I am choosing to listen to this voice not as something that will control my actions, but as something that is letting me learn about myself.
I’m choosing to give myself the gift of taking this seriously (with the compulsory laughs thrown in).

First blog entry down. Whew…that took some cojones.

Oh, the options.

Choices are such a huge part of the day-to-day. Work or rest? Work or play? Stay in bed with the cat/lover/book/soft pillow or, get up and exercise/make breakfast/learn lines before work? Snooze or shower? Clean or dirty? Lunch? Dinner? Is caffeine ever a good idea? Drinking? Smoking? Is Facebook ever a good idea? Which of this crap do I really want/need and which is really just stuff with clever advertising schemes and interesting packages? And now, starting a new company, there are more choices to make. And, it feels intriguing/empowering/exciting to be an integral part of the decision making process.

Choices at hand:
Which festivals we do? What is important to us right now? Which roles do each of us find the most interesting? What are wise first steps to make? Where is the line between being overly-cautions and mindful?
Other creative choices rolling around in my head:

Am I going to get my keyboard out of the closet and start teaching myself to play? (Just watched The Savages and there were some beautiful piano pieces.) Do I want to play the piano? Work on audition pieces? Write? Save up to buy a camera? Or make dinner? Bold or Italics?
Choices I am daydreaming about having to make:

Live music? Drinks before or after rehearsal? Does this event require snacks/drinks/dress-up clothes/donations? Very very long rehearsals or short and sweet? Can we pull an all-nighter (because we want to, not because we have to)? What do we want to spend that grant on today? What do we want/need/feel like working on now?

And, we never know in the beginning which will be the "right" choices. But, we are making them mindfully and we'll see where it goes.

I've been noticing that it's an amazing feeling to be creating the space to say to someone -- I've always wanted to work with you more. Do you want to want to collaborate with us on this project?

I feel pretty lucky because three of the people I would ask are already in the boat.

Good stuff...

And now I can say that, rather than watching HBO (And, because of. I was quite inspired by The Savages), I made my very first blog entry. ever.
big day.


The Process

Hello, all. I'm Meg, one of Inkblot's inklings. I thought I'd take a stab at sharing our process with you all. (At this point, you all might be five people, but I digress.)

Our process in one word is: Collaboration.

In many words: the members of Inkblot are all focused in different areas. We have talented actors, up-and-coming directors, and a few pennyless writers (I would be one of them.) When it comes to writing the script, we host workshops where actors have the opportunity to delve into a character to find their strengths and weaknesses, and then give feed back to the playwright. As a writer, I know one of my weaknesses is connecting to one or two characters and really fleshing them out, and ignoring the equally important characters that haven't caught my eye, yet. This is why this process is so helpful to me.

In the end, everyone involved had a hand in the creation of the project, which is something we have found very rewarding.

Granted, we've only put on one show, but I know when all was said and done, I left a stronger writer and felt creatively content.

We're venturing into our next project which I hope to blog about soon, once I get my ideas sorted out. (I'm such a tease.)

Until then...


A Bit of Background

As we embark on our exciting journey, perhaps some background information would be helpful to our readers.

Inkblot Ensemble began as Antistrophe Ensemble in the summer of 2009. We debuted at the San Francisco Theater Festival with a new play, All's Fair, which then enjoyed a very limited run at the EXIT on Taylor. At that time, the Ensemble was focused on responding the classical dramatic cannon through original, collaborative works of theater. All's Fair was comprised of four vignettes which told and re-told the stories of Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Cassandra, Helen, Menelaus and Penelope in four different time periods.

After that production, we are regrouping, redefining, and moving forward as Inkblot Ensemble, with a broader focus on the power of the collaborative process to inspire, liberate, and challenge us as artists to create meaningful, stylish, honest new work for San Francisco audiences.
We began this self-reflection process with long meetings, a slew of emails, and a few glasses of wine...now we're excited about our plans to document the journey with our new blog.

So stay tuned for posts about expanding our ensemble and deepening our artistic connections, writing a mission statement, beginning our next collaborative new work, applying for grants (eep!), the challenges of collective decision-making, and whatever else we encounter along the way.

Thanks for reading!


Oh the descisions we have to make! Battling against the preconceptions of the spelling of theatre/er. We're American, it should be Er. But, college told me Re. And Misti thinks Re is pretty. But, what about the pretension? The smoking jackets? The cigars and large mustaches? The stentorian acting style? Do we dare? Meg likes smoking jackets, Misti has a thing for Sam Elliot. Amy was, after all, born in England, but somehow managed to be the main supporter for the Er spelling. What?! And, Maria is feeling uncomfortable about changing her spellcheck settings.



Right now, we have Re, but all that can change....