Story Lab, a collaborative 6-day laboratory with leading Australian arts practitioners and thinkers, exploring cross-cultural and cross-artform storytelling practices. We will be bringing you blog posts from the participants over the course of the week. Ildiko Susany tells us about the first day of Story Lab.

The evening is ever encroaching midnight and here I am, my mind still blown from the day’s adventures and my head buzzing with ideas, concepts, conversations, insights, inspirations and revelations.

It was our first day of development and idea-making in Griffin Theatre Company and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre’s Story Lab Program. We began the day with a little sense of irony and a great lesson in adaptation: immediately after our safety induction, sirens were blaring and we were swiftly evacuated to greener pastures. It was actually a most serendipitous affair as it allowed us to break the ice and gain a bit of insight into our fellow practitioners amidst a most magnificent natural backdrop, highlighted by the glorious song of the bellbirds.

It’s hard to believe that in just one day we have managed to fit so much in and learn so much. I feel very privileged to be involved in this program and feel so inspired and so driven to start creating! With each new task or pearl of wisdom, I have not been able to help myself link this into my own practice and project. Not only are we led by a diverse body of insanely experienced mentors (Alicia Talbot, Lee Lewis,Joey Ruigrok van der Werven and Roslyn Oades to name a few!) but the weight of experience, talent and potential of my fellow participants is astounding and endlessly inspiring. In one action-packed, mind-blowing, intensely concentrated day I have felt so fortunate to have engaged in such intelligent, challenging and thought-provoking conversation and discussion.

The key points I have gleaned from this first day include:

– Creating works which are of a deep, genuine interest to you. Or, if for example, you have been commissioned to create a work, find the things in the work which are of deep interest to you;

– Being able to develop your instincts for when you use your ideas, discard your ideas or build on them – and this can always be juggled around;

– Reacquainting myself with the amazingness of Viewpoints and its capacity for creation, for developing your instincts and for building dynamic stories and relationships; and

– Always saying, “Yes, And – “ which allows for a “block-free” creative environment where you are always accepting and building on new ideas and offers.

A big learning curve for us – even on this first day – has been realising the relevance of using each task and provocation towards creating the work we want to create in a completely pressure-free zone.

So then, what is of deep, genuine interest to me? Seeing what the rest of the week will bring!

For more information about Story Lab click here.