Growing up. It’s a terrifying prospect. When you’re a kid you’re brought up to befriend J M Barrie’s epitome of never-growing-up: Peter Pan. You want to be this boy. You want to go to Neverland, and fight pirates, and learn to fly, and never never ever have to grow up and gain responsibilities. Some people never grow out of this mindset. They do eventually take on board their responsibilities and dress in a suit and tie day-in day-out, but they never lose that feeling of resentment towards the fact that they had to lose that innocence of childhood. That undeniably amazing feeling when you don’t have a worry in the world and get to spend hours on end in your imagination. Too many people have grown up to resent that. Occasionally there are people who decide to channel this desire to never grow up. Who use their childish dreams and imagination to fuel their adult existence. I’m hoping to be one of these people.
It’s strange because when I actually *was* a child I wasn’t all that adventurous. I’ve probably become more of a child in the past three years since being technically adult than I ever was before I turned double-figures. I’ve discovered an unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs and rubber ducks, I have a constant desire to paint people’s faces, and I really really want to go on a bear hunt. More than that though, I feel like I finally *get* my imagination. Sure, it’s dark and twisty, and (more often than not) really fucking bizarre. But at the same time it’s conceptual in it’s oddities, and it has the potential to be breath-takingly beautiful – provided that I can somehow work it out of my head and into something malleable. Something literal and physical.
This right here is why I know that I need to make theatre. I don’t have the overwhelming need to be a performer like many people. I don’t feel like my life would be incomplete if I never again experienced the adrenaline of standing before an audience and receiving their applause for my ability to be another character, or for my ability to hit several notes on-key. I do however feel like I would be empty if I was unable to make pretty things. (And yes I’m aware that that’s quite possibly the girliest thing I’ve ever admitted to, but it’s true.) I do have an overwhelming desire to take tiny insignificant thoughts and ideas and turn them into something that someone else can perform. I do crave the agonising stress that comes with putting a show together – I’m not gonna lie, I absolutely thrive off the back of pressure and high-stress situations. And the knowledge that I can potentially make new worlds through the form of theatre? It’s enough to make me never want to do anything else ever again.
Theatre makes me happy because I can create worlds from my mind. Theatre makes actors happy because they can become another person for a couple of hours. Theatre makes audiences happy because they can sit and forget about their own lives for a little while. Theatre allows you to revert to that childhood mindset of absorption into a world outside of your own. And that makes me bloody happy. So bloody happy.