Welcome back to our production diary! In this second entry, we give you further insights into our work in the weeks leading up to our production of The Wetsuitman along with some virtual postcards from Portugal.
In case you missed our first entry, you can catch up here. For those joining us for the first time, we’re Camila and Trine, the creative duo behind Foreign Affairs, and through this diary, we share our adventures and misadventures from the previous week, giving you an exclusive peek behind the scenes of our work.
This week turned out to be even busier than the last, although, we must admit, a bit less exciting – no bubbles this week. Camila also jetted off to her annual trip to Portugal, seeking some much-needed quality time with family. This separation meant that we found ourselves juggling different schedules, trying to strike a balance between enjoying a holiday (complete with waterfall-searching adventures) and fulfilling work commitments for our upcoming production. Meanwhile, Trine held the fort back home, wearing multiple hats and working long hours.
Cascais sea view
A week in the life of FA (aka Camila & Trine)
To stick to the same format (we might change it later), let’s offer you a glimpse of how the week unfolded, as we navigated being apart for more than a week, a rarity for us to tell you the truth. (It almost sounds like a marriage saga, but that’s a tale for another time!) Here’s the rundown:
- Monday: The day was filled with what felt like endless screen hours, diving deep into administrative tasks that left us yearning for the rehearsal room. To add some brightness to the day, Trine had a promising meeting with a potential international partner – fingers crossed!
- Tuesday: More screen time, and an early start at 5 am (quite the wake-up call!). The day also involved a meeting with one of our translators for a play reading, which made the day.
- Wednesday: The screen hours persisted (you get the picture!). Together with our engagement coordinator, Maria, we confirmed exciting speakers and facilitators for post-show talks and a theatre club in connection with the production. Trine also made it to the theatre to catch a rehearsed reading of a translation by one of our mentorship alumni, Marco Young – it was great!
- Thursday: Another day filled with admin and production work, and amidst all the virtual interactions, we couldn’t help but miss each other’s company. The day ended on a different note with Zoo Co. Young Company’s summer performance, co-directed by our lovely Maria.
- Friday: An exciting day of meetings about our future growth as a company – it’s a bit scary but incredibly exciting stuff! And, of course, more hours spent in front of the screen.
- Saturday: Finally, some “face-to-face” time together on Zoom! Up until then, we’d been connecting through various digital platforms like WhatsApp, Slack, Trello, Google Docs and Sheets, Miro, and even email (phew!). It was a relief to have some Camila and Trine time to remind ourselves why we do what we do – to make theatre!
- Sunday: As expected, Trine had a sneaky Sunday meeting, but fortunately, it was a creative one with our production dramaturg and long-standing collaborator, Ria.
Phew! This week was all about navigating the challenges of being apart and finding the balance between work and personal life, virtual and in-person interactions.
Some thoughts on our creative process (or lack thereof)
Amidst the hustle and bustle of this jam-packed week, we couldn’t help but reflect on the challenges of balancing administrative tasks and creative work. As a micro company with (sometimes too) ambitious plans, we’re learning to prioritise the art and creative work, because that’s what truly matters. However, this week was a real struggle.
The screen-filled days and little time for creativity also brought about doubt and a severe case of imposter syndrome. I (Trine speaking) can’t help but wonder if I can really do this… We founded FA as actors and have learned everything else, including directing, through trial and error. One day, I found myself in the director’s chair and never looked back. I’m excited about the upcoming challenge of remounting the production in a “real” theatre, but it also fills me with both anxiety and fear, which took over this week. These conflicting emotions might have unconsciously driven me to immerse myself in screen work, seeking comfort in administrative tasks as a way to cope with the uncertainties of venturing into new creative territories.
The screen-filled days and little time for creativity also brought about doubt and a severe case of imposter syndrome.
In response to this, I’ve decided to schedule artist dates, making sure the production and creativity take centre stage. I’m inspired by Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way, which suggests setting aside time each week for creative work. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. And perhaps this diary can be a way to hold myself accountable (Trine over).
So, this was another full-on week, a constant balancing act – spinning plates and juggling balls (or add whatever metaphor for multitasking you prefer). With only 4 weeks left until the production, the pressure is mounting. However, amidst the challenges, we find ourselves filled with gratitude for the incredible team working with us behind the scenes (Franck, Ria, Deema, Amy, Niki, Lauren, and Maria… ❤️). Their dedication and support are the driving force that keeps us going and inspires us to give our best.
We’re looking forward to the coming weeks, as we continue to work to bring The Wetsuitman to the Arcola. We’re excited to share it with our audiences!
We’ll be back soon with more updates, misadventures, and insights into our world of theatre-making.
Até logo. På gensyn. Until next time.
Camila & Trine
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