On Wednesday 5th October we showed some initial ideas for the piece to a small invited audience at Residence, as part of a monthly work in progress event. Residence is an artist led collective that we’re part of in Bristol.
This was a opportunity for us to discuss our ideas and to show some moments that we have worked on. It was also just a chance for us to show some of our research. We listened to some of our audio recordings and unedited interviews, to get a sense of what these are like for an audience to hear.
It was interesting to see what themes were picked out from the showing. The idea of the wilderness, and of ‘The Wild’ was a key topic for discussion. We all spoke about why there are people looking for Bigfoot; why there is a need to search and why we have the desire to discover something wild. Perhaps we want to believe that there can still be something unknown that transcends our everyday experience.
Another key theme which came out of the showing was the sense of place, and of how important this is to the piece. We want it to be clear within the performance that the events and experiences we refer to are not entirely fictional. The piece documents a real journey and real experience, and is very much connected to the people that we met. We also want to convey a strong sense of how we found America to be both a familiar place and a foreign place at the same time.
We spoke about being scared. It felt important when we were away to be scared, to actually experience places that were truly wild and so slightly dangerous. We were scared of the bears and the dark and the things that we couldn’t see. We were scared that we might actually see Bigfoot. It feels important that we use this in the performance that we are making, to make it explicit that it is rooted in real experience, and that we were genuinely exploring. The question came up of how could we make an audience scared? Is this something that we want to do?