Goat Island’s Letter to a Young Practitioner is a collaborative piece of writing by a group of artists, we were asked to go into our performance groups to read and reflect on this writing. The letter is a personal and intimate letter to a young artists gives us advice and “lessons if you will” (Mitchell et al, 2000).
While reading we found that a lot of the lessons were new to us and could be useful to keep in mind when creating our performance. The biggest one being “#3. Make small plans” (Mitchell et al, 2000). We tended to over complicate our ideas and then get muddled in what we are doing and then we would go round in circles. Goat Island in this letter told us to “dream the smallest thing you can think of and try to perfect that” (Mitchell et al, 2000). By focusing on the smaller things we were more easily able to create the bigger picture. In our performance by focusing on the narratives and not thinking of the bigger plan everything came together a lot easier.
The next lesson that we took from this letter relates quite closely to the third piece of advice. This is to “#5. Work slowly.” (Mitchell et al, 2000). We found that we were moving so quickly that we were missing important details. For instance when it came down to writing the directions to each piece of artwork we didn’t go into enough detail as we didn’t spend enough time on that section.
This letter has taught us to spend more time and to focus on the smaller issues. By following these lessons our work will be of a much better quality as we will have given it more care and attention.
Mitchell et al (2000) Letter to a Young Practitioner. [online] Chicago. Available from: http://www.goatislandperformance.org/writing_L2YP.htm [Accessed 15 April 2015]