Saturday, 15 September 2012

God Love Her...

Show Name: God Loves a Trier
Artist: Victoria Bianchi
Venue: Arches LIVE 2012
Date: Mon 17 - Wed 19 Sep 2012 | 8.15pm (1 hour) | Studio | £8/£6

Description (from Arches website): Are we capable of seeing things through to the end anymore? What happens when we don’t get immediate results?

Finding herself at the age of 23 without any particular talents, Victoria Bianchi will attempt to learn three skills previously given up on – playing the piano, speaking Gaelic and tap dancing – as she invites the audience to call in and embrace their own notions of talent, success and failure in a society obsessed with all three.

Gareth K Vile: What has been your route into making theatre, and how does your piece express your roots?

Victoria Bianchi: I think the reason I started writing my own work was that I tried everything, and this just seemed to fit best. I have done a bit of musical theatre; some acting in classical plays; some directing; as well as starting (but not completing) degrees in psychology, law and languages. None of these things seemed to quite fit, but when I started writing my own material it just worked for me.

Maybe because I like to talk a lot - I'm turning my penchant for chatting into a career. All of these stops and starts, well that's what God Loves A Trier is all about. Why didn't I keep working at these career paths? Why didn't I commit to any of the hobbies I've taken up at various points, like dancing or ice-skating? Were they wrong for me, or was I just being lazy?

GKV: Are there other artists or work in arches live that you feel have an affinity with your piece- and why?

I think that #neednothing by Rob Jones and Michael O'Neill has something in common with God Loves A Trier. Amongst other things, I'm trying to figure out what impact the internet and TV have on young peoples' ability to put the time and effort into learning. We have everything we need at our fingertips, and it's so tempting to just mess about on Facebook or watch a whole TV series in a day, rather than working hard and learning a skill. 

#neednothing looks at the power of social media specifically, and its powers of manipulation. I think that there are other works that, like mine, are about finding yourself at a point in your life where you don't quite know how to fit in to society, two that spring to mind are Peter McMaster's Wuthering Heights and Lucy Hutson's Make Do and Mend Myself, although these are more concerned with gender than my work. Peter and Lucy are asking how to be a man/woman, I suppose I'm pondering how to be an adult.

GKV: It's interesting how you've describe your life so far,  and now you are making a work about how we can be distracted... But aren't you articulating something special about the way we are now socialised... And is there really a problem with being eclectic?

I don't think there's anything wrong with being eclectic, as you put it, but I've found that my habit of continually trying things out then getting bored with them has left me without any real skills. If an eclectic person has a few different things they are alright at...well that's not me, because I can't do very much at all. 

You know, I think I started to make this show because I was studying in London and it felt like everyone around me was bilingual or a gymnast or something else amazing AND they could make theatre. So I guess I started to want to create this show because I wanted something I could show off about. It was only when I started to write it that I realised it was a reaction to the point I'm at in my life - the transition from student to worker bee - and how I've gotten to this point without becoming exactly who I wanted to be. 

It's all about personal satisfaction, if you're happy with having little bits and pieces here and there that you can do rather than being outstanding at one thing then that's great. God Loves A Trier is about me realising that I'm not happy with that state of affairs - that I'm not satisfied with my current self.

GKV: But in an age where information is so freely available, and distraction is just a mouse click away, can theatre cope with such swift turn abouts as the net offers?

I have never seen the internet and theatre as being rivals, I think the internet can be manipulated for theatre and vice versa. It's also important that you know I'm not condemning the internet. I love the internet. I love TV; I love fast food; I love all these little things that make our lives easier and more fun. 

I can't really blame these things for the fact that I never stuck with any of my hobbies. I didn't have the internet in my house until I was 12 or 13, and I had given up on ballet, tap and jazz dancing as well as learning the clarinet well before that. Internet surfing or watching TV, they're my guilty pleasures, and I'm going to keep them around for the foreseeable future. 

I'm just hoping that I can find more of a balance now, find a pursuit that leaves me with something to show for it, rather than just being able to recite what's happened to the cast of Friends since it finished. The work I make is always a conversation. I'm not telling the audience what's right or wrong, I'm not trying to send out a message about how they should live. I'm just talking with them about where I'm at, because I reckon that's all anyone can really do.

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