I wrote a quick blog post for the fantastic folks at Ausform ahead of performing in Bristol next week, originally posted here and reposted below. A few thoughts about autobiographical material and where I’m at.
I’ve just taken I like the way you wear your hair back into the studio after a bit of a break, which has been totally refreshing. It’s an autobiographical piece, so it’s a story that I’m very close to, but it’s nice to keep looking at that story in different ways and to keep challenging my familiarity with it. Something that consistently surprises me about working with autobiographical material is how much it can change and grow. Like any memory, you look back at a life event through the filter of who you are at the present moment, so each time I perform I like the way you wear your hair, I have to visit the piece with the freshness of the present. It’s a constant back and forth negotiation with the 16-year-old me and the (now) 29-year-old me, which I feel is really the heart of the piece. Hopefully in some small way it will let each person in the audience visit his or her teenage self.
The other thing that has been exciting for me is playing with the pico projector. I use the projector in a deliberately lo-fi way, which feels right for the piece, but it’s exciting for me to communicate a story with its help. It allows me to overlay traces of memory onto the space and to invite the audience into the story in a way that lets the piece adapt to the physical architecture of the space.
I was a total super-geek when I was 16 (baby fat, glasses and dyed orange hair didn’t do me any favours), and the show is about me pursuing a girl I liked (and I mean liked), so revisiting that memory and sharing the details with a roomful of people is always good for a few laughs, gasps and cringes.
I’ve also been taking myself back to 1998 in Mesquite, Texas, which has involved listening to a lot of Paula Cole, Savage Garden and Da Brat.
I’m very much looking forward to sharing I like the way you wear your hair later this month.
I’ll be performing I like the way you wear your hair next week at The Basement, Brighton on the 18th and The Cube, Bristol (as part of Ausform Platform) on the 20th.