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Monthly Archives: February 2015

When the idea arrived for L’Assassiner de Faux Faux Amis, one of the bonuses was already having a killer band in place to perform the show. Almost instantly, that fell apart. Our drummer Darren bowed out with health problems, and Catherine elected not to take part. Finding replacements has taken time – I finally locked in the line-up a couple of weeks ago but just had another member unavoidably pull out. It’s been two steps backward for every step forward, and the performance date is a train hurtling towards me.

In my brief moments of despair, the stress makes me wonder where this pressure to create even comes from. I have a good job, a great wife, plenty of friends – why do I quixotically persist with these ever-more ambitious projects?

Intelligent people live their lives as nearly on a level as possible—try to be good, don’t worry if they aren’t, hold to such opinions as are comforting and reassuring and throw out those which are not. And in the fullness of their days they die with none of the tearing pain of failure because having tried nothing they have not failed. These people are much more intelligent than the fools who rip themselves to pieces on nonsense. – John Steinbeck

The ‘nonsense’ he refers to is writing, but could be any form of art (and it’s not just the pain of trying that artists experience, it’s also that feeling of wasting your time when you are not pursuing a creative endeavour). I feel his point deeply – I don’t know where this drive comes from or why I have got it, but I know I will be slave to it the rest of my life.

I’m scrambling to find a replacement now, and hoping we still have sufficient time to rehearse. Personally, I reckon Steinbeck had it easy – he only had to organise himself!

On a lighter note, here’s the image I sent our costume designer to indicate the colour I wanted.

Baby Blue, baby

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NNR

Nick here. As is usual the past few years, I’ve spent the summer wrangling permissions to hold experimental arts events in public and retail spaces around Canberra city. And by me I mean the peerless staff of You Are Here festival. This is my fifth year with the festival and my second as a managing producer, and the people around me are sick of me talking about how much I love the festival team.

Our program is out on Feb 26 (the festival starts on March 18) and I really think it’s our most experimental line-up yet. We’ve learned a lot about how to support artists properly and we’re spoiled by the richness, diversity and just plain quality of art in Canberra.

I’ve had people coming up to me for the last couple of months asking me which vacant shopfront we’ll be taking over as our headquarters this year. The final answer is going to be a particular delight for citizens of a certain vintage- we’re in the old Impact Records site, the big downstairs one. Yes, an even bigger space than the Money Bin last year, which is daunting as all heck.

Every year we try to get better at bringing the ACT’s wonderful creative communities closer together. Every year we smack up against the limitations of our skill sets and resources, but we know that we’ve got it a lot easier that many people trying to do the same thing, and that’s because of our audience. Our audience is savvy, sharp, dorky, silly, supportive, forgiving and unfailingly good to the artists. We’re rewarding them this year with a mix of returning favorites (like Neon Night Rider, pictured above, photo by Adam Thomas) and shake-ups to the format that will test the crowd as much as the artists themselves.

Watch this space!