I've always ummed and arred about the usefulness of Scratch Nights.
Some performers swear by them. Some performers swear about them.
I used to be impartial, but now I'm screaming about The Power Of The Scratch.
It's not about preparation, it's not about rehearsal, it's not even about certainty, and for a performance artists can be terrifying, but it's not about laying bare your soul either. It's about the raw, the unrefined, the "nugget" as I like to call it, and if you treat it with respect and approach it in the proper manner it can be a very vital part of your R&D.
Last Thursday I performed a 10minute idea-nugget of a thing called "Tiger Face" for an audience of about 50. Some of it worked and some of it bombed. Some of it was funny and some of it was painful, but that's kind of the point.
You can see the highlights of my Scratch on this here YouTube link:
Scratch Nights are there for the brave, the unprepared, the (in my opinion The Forge is open to work in all stages of development) nugget showers. Not for the grounded and well versed ideas. I had a rough idea of something I wanted to play with, so I took it to The Forge, Cardiff's new Scratch Night curtesy of Catherine Paskell (Tweets: @cpaskell) which is held at Chapter Arts (Tweets: @ChapterTweets).
It's an informal, £3 on the door affair which invites audiences to mingle with performers, performers to lay bare there raw materials and for their raw materials to be discussed, questioned, praised and criticised in a relaxed, open environment. There are options. You don't HAVE to have a forum styled feedback, you can just ask for the cards which audience members scrolled: Thoughts & Feelings and/or Questions for the makers of the thing.
If this blog has anyway inspired you then please contact Brent Morgan (Tweets: @dextartuk) for details on his up-and-coming scratch event: Scratch That Itch which will be in Newport on the 21st of Feb at the awesome Le Pub.
Get your nuggets out.
CHAPTER: THE FORGE:
SCRATCH THAT ITCH: FACEBOOK GROUP: