Suck it up – Don’t Fuck it up

So I’ve been sucking up a lot of feelings recently about my job, mainly because I love my job, I’m a lucky fucker to get to do my job. I turn up, I work hard, I make things happen, my job is my identity blah, blah, blah. I make good work, it’s not for everyone but for those who like it, it makes a difference to them (they have told me). I am in a position, thanks to outstanding mentors, my producer Maddy and some wonderful supporters, friends & family, that I am (I think) a recognised dance artist, with good reviews, and lots more to say, with improvements to make, with potential, with ambition to make a difference, using dance theatre as my language. Navigating the dance industry, having not trained at a leading dance conservatoire, has meant relationships have taken longer to build, and I have had to make my own path and travel it alone, which is fine, suck it up (It seems to suit my working class, hard done by, chip on my dance shoulder vibe) But I carry that personally and never let it be present in my relationships, if anything I’m too smiley. I have always had a mantra ‘do not be reactionary’, however on Sunday night I found myself in A&E with chest pains a numb arm and a strong feeling that an impending heart attack would ruin everyone’s Christmas.
The diagnosis was actually anxiety. After a month of chest tightness, not feeling very present in social situations, or tanked up just to get through, and not being able to get through simple work tasks it seems the job I love has taken it’s toll. I kind of hoped it was my body that was poorly rather than my brain, and after a bit of a cry I started the process of training my brain to tell my body that I’m OK. Suck it up.
Feeling calmer the next day, I receive an email from a stakeholder (after a 5 month conversation period). They decided we did not have a close enough relationship yet to give me money. They have financially supported me in the past; I think they have just forgotten. Merry Christmas. Suck it up.
And I was going to suck it up but after my near death (imaginary) experience I thought I would highlight other moments this year when I did suck it up.
Being told that my show title’s will prevent me for being booked anywhere, especially rural touring, (we have now toured to 7 venues and have 7 booked next year, including a rural venue).
Being compared to other female artists in a negative way ‘I wasn’t convinced by the ‘Liz Aggiss’ style delivery you chose, though I get the device you were using’ (This is dangerous, it wasn’t my intention, I respect Liz Aggiss, I was performing ‘the self’ and I would like to know if any male choreographer finds themselves been given these comparisons by an AD).
‘I’m not sold on the concepts or imagery’ a prejudgment by a programmer before seeing any of my work live. (I understand it, but have issues on how this supports an artist) (Consequently they did eventually see the work, used their phone during, and didn’t like it. Fine)
After 3 unsuccessful funding opportunities from leading venues, where ‘place your brick’ or ‘stick your post-it -note’ or ‘get on the menu’ game-like structures are used to determine artist’s future’s, only to see the list of successful artist still lack equal representation in diversity, age and BAME projects. I hope I am not the only artists that thinks REALLY? Are we making the right decisions here? Should I suck this up in fear speaking out and potentially harming relationships?
There are more, they are depressing, scary and highlight how much work is still to be done in the dance world to find equal and fair workplace systems that offer diverse independent artists healthy working practices.
At the moment I get my salary from under 15k GFTA project funding. I am grateful to the support form ACE and the brilliant venues that do continue to support me (thank you). It’s not enough to live on and some months I have nothing. That’s not down to bad budgeting or planning, that’s being in limbo while you wait for a venue to contact you, before you can put in the next app. From my first example you can see the difficulties when this doesn’t work out.
I know I am fucking lucky to even be in this position. Not because I don’t deserve it, but because of the state of the arts. I expected it to be hard. I did my Degree, my Masters, my PGCE, as quickly as I could, so I could maintain a dance company and have been working on it relentlessly since then. I am 33 now and I have anxiety.
I know all relationships take work and I am working really hard on having a positive relationship with the arts and with the dance world (I still love you my darlings – I really do). I also believe that relationships work both ways and if one party’s needs aren’t being met, then the balance is off.
That balance needs to be restored, through open and honest conversation and the desire and determination to make it work.
I am taking a break for Christmas to reflect on my feelings and will be in touch when hopefully my thoughts are more concise and less reactionary. I usually send out a Christmas Greetings Card but can only imagine creating a unique ‘Yule Log’ right now.
We will be starting our new show in the New Year, Smack That (a conversation) about resilience and survival, working with women that have experienced domestic abuse in their lives.
Because it’s important,
So with trepidation, inspiration and the themes of resilience and survival, I look toward 2017 taking care with my dealings and sharing my feelings – and continuing to suck it up, so I don’t fuck it up.
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Rhiannon Faith receives ACE funding for new show Smack That (a conversation) coming to you in 2017

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Rhiannon Faith is delighted to announce her new project Smack That (a conversation) has just received funding from Arts Council England.  The project is commissioned by Harlow Playhouse and Safer Places, the leading charity in Essex supporting victims of Domestic Abuse.

Smack That (a conversation) is about resilience and survival, where dancers and the women who attend Safer Places come together to unite, celebrate and tell their stories.

For the past few months Rhiannon Faith has run participatory workshops with women survivors through the support of the Safer Places team to create a show that changes the way we talk and think about domestic abuse. The show will be ready for an early sharing in the Spring and touring from Autumn 2017.

Additional support includes Richmix, Openlab at the Barbican, Dance East and Arts Depot.

For any further details about the project or if you want to support in any way please contact maddy@rhiannonfaith.com

#SmackthatAC

 

Rhiannon Faith announces Scary Shit 2017 Tour

Rhiannon Faith will be touring Scary Shit in 2017 to:

SALISBURY, OLDHAM, BIRMINGHAM, HARROGATE, YORK AND DONCASTER

The tour will kick off at our beloved RICHMIX on 28th Jan 2017 so London beauts get that date in your diaries. (tickets are available via above link)

(all other show dates will be announced when online tickets go on sale)

Check back in the New Year for updates.

#ScaryShit

@RhiannonFaith

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Edinburgh- Scary Shit Vs Marmite

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So my husband Merlyn loves Marmite, I can’t stand it.  Lots of people love our show Scary Shit, some can’t stand it.  We never really anticipated how audiences reactions would be so contrasting until yesterday, we received a 5 ★★★★★ lush review followed by another reviewer (yet to publish) thinking the the show was terrible (whoops!).  Within a day we had gone from a massive high to a massive, what the shit?  We were told this would happen, but It’s bloody interesting all the same.  Then when we were feeling a bit Meh(?) we were sent this by an audience member called William Foxton:

The Vagina Duologues
August 18, 2016

  ‘Little did I know when I stepped into the dingy bunker theatre at the Fringe Festival and saw two women dressed like extras in St Trinians that I was in for an hour of raw and outrageous comedy. Unlike other plays, scary shit has an immensely personal feel to it. Rhiannon Faith and Maddy Morgan introduced me to a new type of wacky comedy, designed specifically for the weird and wonderful. The show focused on two friends (Faith and Morgan) as they attend counselling to help overcome their respective fears. This play managed to shock, humour and make the audience think with its touching stories of sexual abuse and awkward interpretative dance. I even learned a few new phobias in the process.

It touched on several issues facing women today and managed to highlight the everyday sexism in our society without sounding condescending or making the audience feel like they were being lectured.

The physical theatre involved was bizarre yet powerful. One section featured Faith running into Morgan who was holding crash mats. I can only assume that this was meant to represent Faith tackling her fears head on, only to be repeatedly knocked down by life. I believe this particular theme truly spoke to the audience.

The friendship between Faith and Morgan was the bedrock of the play and showed me that anything can be overcome with the help from friends and that it is ok to ask for help when you need it.

So although this play was scary in some parts (in that I was worried for the actors mental health), it was certainly never shit.’

Edinburgh can be a wild mistress, but having audiences reach out to us, is pretty fucking cool and what it’s all about, right!?  Nice one William, thanks so much.

Ps. I do like Twiglets (my husband doesn’t understand how, he say’s they are basically marmite) I disagree.

Rhi Rhi x

Scary Shit at The Pleasance Courtyard, Bunker Two, 1.45pm – Book tickets

 

 

Massive Apologies for Cancelled Performance – Go to Ed Fringe… end up having a Head Scan #ScaryShit

So I am aware of the irony that I’m in a show called Scary Shit, then some Scary Shit actually happens…

My first ever run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and 4 shows down, I’m enjoying the show, me and partner in grime Maddy are feeling good, the show team at the pleasance are lush and my team are working their bums off to promote the show.  We are running around the city doing interviews, meeting amazing artists and making new friends.

I now find myself in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary waiting for results for a head scan.  It turns out repeatedly running into a crashmat headfirst, even with a helmet on, can make your body, back, neck and head hospitalpoorly.  We have done the show lots of times without any incidents, and so are all really sad that this has happened.  It is such a massive part of the show that represents trying to break down barriers to help a friend, but it seems quite insignificant, as I am sitting here hoping I haven’t hurt my little brain.

The results are good and it turns out I am a little concussed, but brain is fine.  We are making some small changes to the show, and finding ways to take risks and invest without hurting ourselves, and will be performing tomorrow at The Pleasance at 1.45pm.  We are really looking forward to getting back into the festival.  I am sincerely sorry for anyone who was disappointed or inconvenienced when the show was cancelled, please do come back and see us.

Rhiannon Faith x

 

Rhiannon Faith receives Arts Council England funding for New Show & extended Scary Shit Tour Dates

photo 4photography: Paolo Coruzzi at Donald Hutera’s Paradise On Earth
(Intransit Festival)

So happy to announce that we have received funding to begin research & development for our new show.  We have been scheming away and planning a really exciting new project that we will be announcing very soon (show tease).  It’s going to be massive.

We continue to tour Scary Shit and look forward to our summer festivals, and as an Edinburgh Fringe Festival virgin what better way to get popped than at The Pleasance Courtyard! We are there for the full month of August.

(check out all show dates below)

Our gorgeous Maddy Morgan completed her producer training with China Plate’s ‘Optimists’ course and is now taking the throne as company producer.  If you need any info or want to get in touch you can contact her at maddy@rhiannonfaith.com

Thanks for your continued support.  You guys are the best.  Come and see us soon.

Thanks to ACE and the venues that continue to support our ambitions.

Scary Shit Summer Tour Dates

A show about friendship, being a woman and asking for help.
Smashing the UK dance scene with quirky and outrageous dance theatre, Rhiannon Faith brings real-life experiences to the stage.

A courageous experiment, Scary Shit is a show where two young women attend therapy to learn about themselves, the world and imagine a future without fear.

‘Disarming honesty’ (TotalTheatre)
‘Delivered with wit and poignancy’ (Observer)
‘Bold, brave and moving’ (Evening Standard)

2nd June 8pm 2016
Pulse Festival Ipswich
New Wolsey Studio
Book – http://bit.ly/1rmYKJf

22nd June 6.15pm 2016
Off Beat Festival, Oxford
Old Fire Station Theatre
Book – http://bit.ly/1qaYgVA

28th July 6pm 2016
Bedfringe, Bedford
The Studio At The Quarry Theatre
Book – http://bit.ly/1UPiEs4

3-29th August 1.45pm 2016
Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh
The Pleasance Courtyard, Bunker Two
Book – http://bit.ly/1TPeQ7N

10th September 2pm
Bestival, Isle of Wight
Ampitheatre
http://bit.ly/1lleOFL

www.rhiannonfaith.com
Rhiannon Faith

Running Time – 60 minutes
Age Guidance – 16+ (strong language and adult themes)

Trailer – http://bit.ly/1FRvxp4

Supported by Arts Council England, Richmix, ArtsDepot,
The Garage, and developed through the Openlab scheme at The Barbican.

Rhiannon Faith brings Scary Shit to Edinburgh Fringe 2016 with The Pleasance

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Holy Shit we are mega excited to announce that Scary Shit is doing the full run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016 with The Pleasance.  We can’t bloody wait.

Tickets have gone on sale online so you can book using this LINK

Tell Everyone!

We are also gonna be dry-humping throughout the summer as Scary Shit is hitting some wicked festivals.

Book Now. NOW. NOW.

Pulse Festival 2016 2 June 8pm

Offbeat Festival 2016 22 June 6.15pm

Bedfringe 2016 28 July 6pm

Bestival 2016 10 September 2pm

We can’t wait to see you soon babes.

A Merry Christmas Round Up 2015

RHIANNON FAITH’S CHRISTMAS GREETINGS 
WARNING – LONG AND THOROUGH 

XMAS 1

The 12 Months of Rhiannon Faith

On the first month, January
my producer sent to me:
A corrected budget for my GFTA Money

On the second month, February
my designer sent to me:
A pink helmet,
and a sign that said Scary Shit in Gold letters (cause we were making a new show called Scary Shit)

On the third month, March
my funding body sent to me
A rejection letter, that was a shit day, I cried, but then we reapplied and got the money so we were happy again and me and Maddy could start going to therapy for our new show Scary Shit.

On the fourth month, April
a venue sent to me:
a confirmation that we would be performing at CPT (Camden People’s Theatre)
Scary Shit outings had begun.
So had our therapy.
and the sovereign Scottee made me join the Fraff gang.  I would do a few Fraffs over the year and get dry humped by several audience members which I felt ticked the right boxes for participation and engagement.  (Maddy got well jel, as she was the original humper)
and we got archived in the British Library with our previous show The Date.

XMAS2

On the fifth month, May
my imagination and 15 years of training to be an artist sent to me our show
Scary Shit.  That was handy.
and we got to go to The Barbican and work there and get free lunches.
and our friend Donald Hutera made us do some lunges and stuff in a garden that became Paradise, and the rain held off, which was handy because we were outside.
and we met Wendy Houstoun and made her watch our Scary Shit, and then she stole my wig off me, but it was ok because I had my pink fluffy helmet still.
and my dear friend Bryony Kimmings asked me lots of questions to make sure I wasn’t making a shit show, but a Scary Shit show.
and a Poem came out of me called ‘Holy Shit I Haven’t had a baby yet (a conversation’ and we showed to a lovely bunch at Back Door Banter in Romford, it went well so we kept it in the show Scary Shit.

On the sixth month, June
my panic of being ineffective sent to me:
a Digital Sales and Marketing Officer Roxanne Carney.  She was lush and made the facebook and twitter stuff look easy (because it is really hard if you have slow finger responses) and she showed you the pics of us in our costumes looking scared for our show Scary Shit.
and we got lots of donations from our Kickstarter gang, and we made #ScaryShit badges and we got our designer Alice to make a family of cuddly brains.  It was really hard to send them out into the big wide world, but I imagined as they were quite brainy they should all be ok.
and Joy Griffiths, our therapist, got famous by being on ITV This Morning with Phil and Holly, but she didn’t let it go to her head and was still our therapist which was good because we were tackling some really Scary Shit.
and we made our Scary Shit Promo video with our friend James which was fun and we felt really happy that we could show you what the show was going to look like.
and our therapy started to work and I was able to talk on the telephone to venues and programmers, so I did, and that was good.
and a festival in a Room at ArtsDepot booked us because they liked our show.

On the seventh month, July
my diary sent to me:
more humping at Fraff
a sharing of Scary Shit at Richmix
Meetings with new dance people
a holiday in Brittany, to nurse the concusion I get during the show when I run into Maddy with my helmet on.
3 new French words
2 ideas for how we could make Scary Shit make a difference.
and time to bond with my little sis and beg her to write me a schedule of all the shows I needed to see in Edinburgh the following month.

On the eighth month, August
my job sent to me:
Massive highs
Massive Lows
New friends
Old friends
New audiences
Loyal audiences
New possibilities
and many hangovers from Edinburgh Shenanigans

On the ninth month, September
My true love sent to me:
8 Maids a Milking (their boobs)
7 Swans a Swimming  (in the buff)
6 Geese a Laying (on each other, sexy geese)
5 Golden Rings (no one likes gold ring sting, acquired from a bad diet and too much whisky)
4 Calling Birds ( Oi! Birds!)
3 French Hens ( well now I’m fluent in French I could probably have a natter with a few hens)
2 Turtle Doves (Turtle head is when a poo is popping out of your bottom, FYI)
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree (self explanatory)
Oh and I met some Lovely artist/Dramaturgs at #Test1 run by South East Dance.

XMAS7

On the tenth month, October
my life sent to me:
a residency at The Garage in Norwich
GFTA funding for our Scary Shit tour (first time, as if!)
a Tour
My first visit to Liverpool St Helens for Heart of Glass festival with Scottee
Saying fanny in front of the Mayor of St Helen’s
a follow up recounting of that experience ‘we were battered into comedy submission and for one member of the audience, literally dry-humped into taking notice, by Rhiannon Faith and her stories of romantic and reproductive woe. Feminism dressed pink fur fabric and space-age silver is not to be ignored.’by Joan Burnett
a sense of accomplishment

On the eleventh month, November
my summarising of the year came to me
We had lots of Scary Shit shows, we went back to the Art Church (Colchester Arts Centre) for our Essex family.
We realised we had made a good show.
and we felt proud
and thankful to everyone who had made that possible
and exhausted
and greatful
and excited about the future of Scary Shit
and the future of the company
and we talked about ideas for our new show
and we think the show will be called SMACK THAT

On the twelfth month of 2015
my true love, goes to you lot
Thanks for sticking by us,
Thanks for helping us get better, be better.
Thanks for watching our shows
Thanks for pledging
Thanks for talking about us
Thanks for putting up with us on your news feeds
Thanks for sharing
Thanks for giving us something to make shows about
Thank you

And please have a Fucking Cracking Christmas
…and a Partridge in a Pear Tree.

Rhiannon Faith

XMAS5

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR

Rhiannon Faith Receives ACE Funding for Scary Shit Tour

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Rhiannon Faith is delighted to announce a successful Arts Council bid for future tour of Scary Shit 2016-2017.  The grant was made possible due to the overwhelming support from their Kickstarter Backers and their ongoing relationships with supportive venues, The Garage, Richmix, Arts Depot, Openlab at the Barbican Colchester Arts Centre and Proteus Creation Space.

Rhiannon Faith and Maddy are super grateful and they can’t wait to take Scary Shit on the road. They will preview the work on 21st Nov at Arts Depot.  Book now as spaces are limited.  Keep looking out for future tour dates with guest speakers including (This Morning’s) Joy Griffiths, addressing CBT, Biomedical Sciences & Art and the importance of placing Well-being into the National Curriculum.

Special thanks go to their Kickstarter Angels: Daniel Collins, James Webber, Brenson Humphreys, Emily Andrews, Tony Burch, Gary Martin Rolinson, Giulia Buvoli, Hannah Summersfield, Tom Malone, Maureen Hankin, Ellie Wilcock, Rosie Franklin, Rosie Milsom, Jenny Langley-Hoole, Johnathan Wakeham, Kate Ulrick, Mark Robinson, Hannah Bruce, Toby Davies, Miriam Grant, David Orton, Max, Gudrun Vickery, Rachael Glynne, Rima Garsys, Katie Lau, Katie Harris, Anna Malone, Cleo, Sarah Holtam, Wendy Houstoun, Joy&Dave, Fran Symonds, Jodie Fink, Paul Burns, Paul Hankin, Erin Griffiths, Lucy Loveheart, Claire Summers, Ariadne, David O’Hara, David Andrew and Lisa Wright.

Many thanks to Joy Griffiths, Alice Barbero, Bryony Kimmings, Wendy Houstoun, Claire Soper, James Webber, Poppaea Bicknell, Roxanna Ross, Donald Hutera and Jih-Wen Yeh who have helped them get this far with a show they are really excited about.  Onwards for #ScaryShit

 

 

SCARY SHIT amongst other things is about asking for help

Hi Gang, Rhiannon Faith here.  In the run up to our final sharing of SCARY SHIT before we embark on a tour I just wanted to share a few bits and bobs with you.

There is lots going on. Me and Maddy are working well-ard.  We were selected by Openlab (supported by the Barbican/Guildhall) to perform a 20 min mash-up of Scary Shit last weekend.  It was at the end of a full week rehearsing and  getting the show ready and was ace to test stuff out. We have been in the studio with the formidable Bryony Kimmings (Award Winning Artist) who tells me when I’m waffling to much or dry-humping too long.  We also have the pleasure of working with Wendy Houstoun (Superstar) I literally nearly wet myself with excitement! Spoilt much!

SSParadise5

photo by Paulo Coruzzi behance.net/paolocoruzzi.

The force that is Donald Hutera (Dance critic and performer, curator) invited us to Paradise On Earth: Give or Take an interactive performance full of encounters and exchange with a community of residents in a Sunken Garden.  It was delightful. We handed out giant sized marshmallows and performed bits from the show (Crashmat) Lucky I had my helmet on as we were on a concrete pavement!  There were so many lush artist’s there, we had a blast.

So we have a show this Saturday at Richmix 8pm.  We have been ruthless and decisive to create a show that really looks at the issues we are trying to tackle.  How do you ask for help?  Me and Maddy had to learn how to do this to try and tackle our anxieties and fears.  We realised it would be a lot easier if CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) Mindfulness and Well-Being was embedded within the primary curriculum.  The science of the mind is surely as important as photosynthesis?We are on an adventure to see if we can help to make this happen with this show.  We are at the beginning of this journey and are contacting charities, placing coping strategies within the work, and becoming a lot more confident when we talk about how important it is.

Obviously Joy Griffiths (ITV Therapist) has been instrumental in this.  She makes everything so clear and relatable when talking about fears and feelings. Our 1:1 therapy sessions with Joy play a big part in the show.

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Maddy’s therapy session with Joy Grifiths captured by James Webber and Poppaea Bicknell Webber.

So now we are really good at asking for help here goes… The show is pretty much made, now we want to tour it to reach new audiences.  We have to raise money to make that happen, honestly even with ACE support you have to raise about 50% of the cost yourself.  If you can please donate to our Kickstarter (6 days left) and become a patron of our art, we would be made up.

You help by coming to watch our show.  So please book a ticket and we will see you this Saturday 8pm at Richmix, London. Book Ticket

Alice Barbero has made the most beautiful creations for our costumes.  We are so excited for you to see them!  See you on the other side!

Love and Anarchy

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