I spent the afternoon and much of the evening with Michael Schupbach, the puppet designer for MacBeth, as we did last touches on the puppets. I am pleased to say that, barring disaster, we are finished.
We went out for dinner afterwards and a much-deserved beer. I think both of us felt like we’d been leaning into a galeforce wind that got suddenly switched off. Sure, I have other things on my plate, but I’m actually not pressed against a deadline for the moment. It’s liberating but also disconcerting. I keep feeling like trying to correct for that wind and losing my balance, you know?
One of the interesting things, for me, about building or designing is that it uses the same part of my brain as writing does. It’s the part that solves problems and tries to come up with a coherent language for whatever story I’m trying to tell, whether it’s physical or a verbal. I’ve noticed before that my productivity in writing goes way down when I’m designing but not when I’m performing. It’s not that I can’t write, but the creative drive is being spent elsewhere. You know?
When I’m writing, I walk to the subway and I’m thinking, “How do I get him out of this…?” but when I’m designing, I’m thinking, “How can I make this stand up…?”
A director once said to me, “I want you to start with a blank stage and then create the universe.” That’s the creation process in both fields in a nutshell, isn’t it.