BerlinRebecca Scott is an Australian theatre director living in Berlin.
How are you coping with not being able to perform?
I suppose I first felt I had to accept my own disappointment with the situation and then turn my attention to looking after other people and focusing on the positives. Last year I formed a theatre collective called Monstress Mess with Lucie Aron and Judith Shoemaker. With a lot of careful planning we raised just under €7,000 through crowdfunding to put on our debut production in May this year. We were two weeks into rehearsals when the first lockdown started in March. We had worked so hard to raise that money and to put together a talented team of artists so of course it was disappointing. For me the most difficult thing as the director is to manage the momentum of the project. There is so much energy, focus and camaraderie built up preparing for/and starting the rehearsal period - when there is a long break the balloon is deflated and when you eventually get back to work you have to blow it back up again.
What do you miss during the corona pandemic?
Hugs. Cafes. I struggle to work at home. Even to sit on a chair properly at home is a challenge. I love to work in public with other people around me. Having regular paid work. Getting together with groups of friends and dancing. Going to the theatre or seeing live music. My morning bootcamp classes. The only thing that ever got me to exercise!
What have you been working on creatively during lockdown?
I had one directing project this year with Platypus theatre. I was very grateful to be working and to be in the rehearsal room. We were very lucky that our premiere was only four days before lockdown number two. The rest of the year when I have had no work I used the time to reflect, plan, read and watch. I started an instagram account and a website. I thought that the best thing I could do when I had no work was to reflect on past work. It has been a nice encouraging trip down memory lane and now I have a better portfolio.
Although one of my productions couldn’t premiere, I have been gifted extra time to go over my vision and further interrogate my ideas. I’m also working on two other projects for next year: developing a new play with English playwright Charlie Dupré; and preparing for a research and development period for a show for teenage audiences on the topic of communication.
Any recommendations on what do in Berlin during lockdown to fight boredom and stay sane?
I’m trying to stay sane by finding a balance between structured time and not putting too much pressure on myself. Some days I win the battle and sometimes I lose. For me, boredom is not the issue. The issue is being alone with all the ideas in my head and having to organise and manage my progress on them relatively alone.
I think for artists, or anyone who works for themselves, your work is never over. So for me its very easy to fall into the trap of being so overwhelmed trying to decide what to work on next, that I end up not getting any work done at all - watching something silly on Netflix or getting lost in social media. I am spending my time trying to develop a routine so that I am not exhausted by constantly making decisions about what to do next. Everything in me wants to fight against a routine! I'm finding it to be a very difficult process. I'm trying to fill the routine with things I really love to do and to include exercise. Its very important for me to actually schedule guilt-free time to chill.
What are you looking forward to most when the pandemic is over?
Being able to commit to plans. Knowing what the next few months will look like and how much money will be coming in. Dancing with friends! Going to the theatre. But mainly hugs…I love hugs.