I hunt for love.
Love to be found.
Love to be lost.
A promise in the air.
A path to follow.
I wish, I feel, I run
Cassandra, running. She’s in a business costume. The scene is black and white. She hurries along a faceless corridor. Her shoes are drumming the rhythm of chase on the floor. The shadow of an endless hunt for success is glued to every single movement she makes. Like everyone else, Cassandra is caught in a restless world of material achievements. Earn more money, get that promotion, buy a bigger house.
Cassandra, walking through nature, a tree alley. It’s crooked and windswept. This time she is wearing a blue mini skirt with a grey leather jacket. The scene is in colour. She is fierce and full of purpose. Suddenly Cassandra has transformed from being hunted into the hunter.
It’s me, who is playing Cassandra. Me and Caro are filming my short film, named after its heroine.
It is summer 2011. I’ve only come to Cornwall seven months ago and this is one of my first creative projects I am handling in the new, cornish lands.
Cassandra is everywhere. There is no escape. I play her in my film. I inhabit her in our self-written four women show ‘How desperate can it get’.
As part of the show, she’s very defined, portraying a succesful lawyer, who’s ultimately run by her mother’s expectations. Do this, do that! When Cassandra tries to break out, she’s labelled crazy by her own family. Her mom tells her to take tablets to calm her down.
In the film the character is caught between two worlds. The black and white one, displaying her everyday reality. And the colourful one, breaking through in uncaught moments.
When Cassandra, lost in thought, stirs her cappuccino, within the blink of an eye she finds herself in windswept lands right by the ocean. Cassandra is infused with an airy dreaminess. She hears her own whisper, murmuring its secrets back into her ears.
Wind sweeps land
Dreams to be discovered
And I ask myself
Where are you?
Lost for words
In the other realm
They come and they go
It is always you
And I ask myself
Cassandra’s legacy as a character fascinates me. The myth, she orginates from. Being the seer, who has been cursed by Apollo. She rejected him. Cassandra has the gift, but no one believes her.
No one takes her visions seriously. Cassandra is the crazy and foresaken one.
The difference in my own version of Cassandra is, that she herself even doesn’t believe in her abilities anymore. Denying her visions, rejecting her soul.
It’s summer 2011 and I am happy.
Filming in these beautiful cornish landscapes, fills my very being with joy. The locations we have chosen are breathtaking. There’s the tree alley, close by an old chapel ruin, called Madron Wells. Not to forget the bare leftovers of a mine right by the sea; Botallack Mines. And of course the tucked, away, enchanted stone circle; Boscawen. I am surrounded by nature, having turned my back on the big city Hamburg, where I lived previously.
I feel I can breathe again.
Cassandra is so close to my heart. So, close.
I adore the ending of this short film. It appears Cassandra has escaped the black and white world for good. Dancing in soulland with her hair full of sunbeams. Smiling. Being happy for the first time. Cassandra’s disembodied voice is floating all around her. Teasing. Chanting.
Meeting of the hearts
I am here
Can you see me?
Can you hear me?
Can you feel me?
Has Cassandra finally arrived? Have I finally found a home?
Who knows. It’s a mystery.
All I am sure off, is that I love working with Caro Woods, who’s behind the camera. She’s a brillian artist in her own right.
All I am sure off, is that I feel free, playing, improvising. Creating something new, reinventing myself.
My new beginning shines with with etheral lightness of hope right down on me. I can feel its sunbeams warming my heart. Everything feels fresh, like the first, fragile cherry blossoms, dispelling winter.
My short film ‘Cassandra’ marks the start of a new creative era. An era which is beckoning me to trust all of my intuitive hints, not only a few ones. An era that asks me to experiment more, to dare more, to improvise more.
Now, it is winter 2017. I am still living in Cornwall.
The fresh beginning has long gone. What’s changed is, that I am forging my creative path with more clarity and intention than I did before.
I kind of know where I’ve come from and where I’m headed towards. Improvisation, the ability to act and invent spontaeously in the moment, has stepped out of the sidelines for good. It has claimed its rightful place on centre stage and there is no turning back.
Nowadays I often go on stage with nothing prepared, improvising on the spot. I might talk about my grandma. I might turn into a weird character. I might … who knows.
Often, when I perform, I feel like a child at play. Everything is allowed and it’s exciting.
Bit by bit I am tearing down the confinements of what I should be doing and who I should be as an artist and as a person. Improvisation with all its different shapes, has become my main ally. Finally I give it the honours it so deserves.
Becoming aware of your own creative journey, where you’ve come from and where you’re headed, allows you to see things clearer. It gives you a deeper understanding. It helps you to stay on your own path without being hijacked by someone else’s agendas.
Did you ever notice, that you could view your own life within specific chunks of time, devoted to one or two main subjects? Often we only understand afterwards, when a certain era has ended, what it was all about. The closer we dare to look, the clearer it’ll get. That applies even to the timeframe we are operating in right now.
So, let me ask you, when did your own creative journey start?
What were its main subjects? What are you working on now?
In my opinion the creative journey starts for most of us in childhood. Even though there might be a few forgotten years in between, before we actively pursued our creative talents again.
To give you a better understanding on what I mean, I have devided my own life into four main creative eras.
This is what it could look like:
Me, as a kid playing out stories I invented and recording them with my best friend. The sound of his bubbling aquarium is always in the background.
Me, trying to find my way through a jungle of possibilities. Studying Social Work and experimenting with many different theatre approaches at the same time. Making weird sounds, crawling on the floor on all foors and loving it. I get a proper introduction into what improvisation actually means.
Me, deciding to go to the School of Physical Theatre in London. Deepening one approach in particular, the one by Lecoq. I discover abilities, I thought I didn’t have. I create my first evening filling solo show called ‘Circus of Emotions’. It is exciting and challenging all at the same time.
Me, moving from Hamburg to Cornwall, searching even more. Trying to find out who I am as an artist. Shifting slowly focus from strictly devised material, to pieces, incorporating a bigger element of improvisation, to improvising full stop on stage. Switching between them both.
When I look at these four main chunks, (of course I could have divided them even more) of my creative journey, I sigh with an immense feeling of relief. The times in my life, where I thought I was lost, make sense to me now. Nothing is wasted after all. Even when it felt so much like a detour at the time. I am safe, I can trust my own process as an artist. Halleluja! I can have faith. Faith in myself and in my creative journey.
I find, when bombarded with a lot of self depricating doubts, there is nothing better to do, but to shore up your faith by becoming aware of your own creative journey. It really works. I can’t emphasize this point enough.
I still enjoy watching Cassandra, because it so much reminds me of my fresh, hopeful start I had made in Cornwall. I can feel my insatuable thirst for new creative imspiration.
Would I do things differently now, had I to make this particular film again?
Of course I would. I have evolved. I look at things differently now.
By the way, I still have 10 Cassandra DVD’s waiting to find new, happy owners. They are 10 £ a piece. In addition to the original short film, you get to see an interview between Caro Woods and me, as well as the first version of Cassandra.
Here’s what other people have said about Cassandra.
“Dreamy and beautiful!” Gailelaine
“It’s painful to watch Cassandra as the business woman, so hard, so controlled, so hurrying. And than the opening to the wind, the elements, the land. My favorite moments – the end – Cassandra in such soul radiance and beauty, awakened to the seer, the knowing one.” Petra Gallasch
“I feel that it is the best art film that I have seen in years. Cassandra reminded me of all those wonderful 1950,s and 60′s art films that came over from France.” Mounts Bay Contemporary, Anthony Hepworth-Nicholson
If you want to purchase the film, just klick on the button on the sideboard of my blog, where the beautiful cover of Cassandra is and the DVD will be shortly on its way to you.
Cassandra is awaiting you! Don’t hesitate and get it now, before they’re all gone!