How The Field Changed My Work

Rebecca Goldberg, co-facilitator of the Field’s Fall Mixed Discipline session, writes about what Fieldwork has meant for her process. Rebecca is a theater artist and writer who has been a Field member since 2009. Her latest full-length play The Twelfth Story was developed in The Field and will be produced by Annex Theatre in January 2016. 

When I first started going The Field, I had no idea that it would revolutionize the way I make work. I was stuck with the idea that writing was a solitary process and I carefully guarded all of my fragile works in progress until I felt that they were strong enough (actually that I was strong enough) to expose them to the harsh judgement of OTHERS. I’d been involved in so many writers groups that had the philosophy that if you couldn’t take criticism, you didn’t deserve to be there. It wasn’t that critical words destroyed me; it’s just that they were rarely helpful.

The Field’s reflective feedback process was a revelation. I started by bringing in my old tried and true drafts, but now I heard people talking about what I was actually writing instead of what they felt I should be writing. Around week three, I got brave enough to bring something brand new. Getting feedback on work that was fresh and raw was inspiring. It opened new pathways, it inspired me to keep working, and most importantly, I found that giving my work witnesses in its infancy made it live and breathe. Now fieldwork is my favorite and most productive way to start a project, and two of the works that I’ve created in The Field have moved into to full productions.

I was also inspired by the work of others. Seeing the bravery and generosity of other artists experimenting with new ideas, and sometimes new forms, was exhilarating. Hearing people carefully describing what they saw in this work was halting at first. Even very simple reflections such as, “I saw a woman in a yellow dress yelling at the sky” had meaning and the level of feedback quickly got deeper. I learned more from articulating what I saw in others’ work than in the feedback I received about my own.

It’s not secret that I’m an evangelist for The Field, but it’s because I’m a true believer in how it has made me a braver, more productive, and more accomplished artist. I’m so excited for the Fall Mixed Discipline session–there’s still space left if you’d like to come check it out.

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Welcome to Our New Field Facilitator

The Field-Seattle is excited to welcome Beth Peterson to the facilitator team!

605-8x10Beth Peterson is an Instructor of Theatre at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington.  She currently serves on Staff at Seattle Sketch Festival.  Beth is an Actor, Director and Playwright in the Seattle Area.  She has worked with Annex Theatre, Theater Schmeater, Book It Rep, and the former Empty Space Theatre Company.  Her work as a playwright has been showcased in the Seattle Fringe Festival, 14/48 festival, Fringe/ACT, ACT 1 minute play festival, Sandbox Radio and with the Midnight Sun’s Impeccable Peck of Plays..  Her most recent Full Length Play Evil Twin was  produced at EVCC in Feb, directed by Brett Rickaby She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

Beth has participated in two past field sessions and will be teaming with veteran facilitator Rebecca Goldberg for the Fall 2015 Mixed Discipline session. Space is still available. Learn more here.

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Fall 2015 Mixed Discipline Session

The Field-Seattle is excited to offer a 5-week Mixed Discipline Session for generative and interpretive artists from all disciplines to create, develop, and refine their work. How do you know if the Field is right for you?

  • Do you need weekly motivation to create and show work?
  • Are you tired of working in isolation and are looking for peer artists to inspire you
  • Do you often feel that the feedback you get is unhelpful or misses the point of what you are trying to accomplish?
  • Do you resist showing your work until it is “ready” for an audience?

A Field session is not a class. It is a group of artists, facilitated by peer-participants. We do not aim to function as editors, directors, or teachers, but to give one another generous feedback about what we have seen or heard in their work and how it affects us. The Field’s reflective feedback method reveals how a creative work is perceived by others and provides detailed information that helps artists hone their vision. By focusing on what’s happening in the work and how those choices shape the work, Fieldwork respects the autonomy and vision of each artist.

Date and Time: Wednesdays, October 21 and 28, November 4, 12, and 18. 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.

Location: Studio Current (Located in the Pike-Pine Corridor on Capitol Hill. Address and directions provided after registration.)

Cost: $50 for New Participants/$40 for Past Participants and Members of Studio Current

Register: By email at [email protected] at Brown Paper Tickets

The Field is home to dancers, writers, sculptors, photographers, actors, playwrights, painters, filmmakers, and many other artist who define their work as multidisciplinary or post-disciplinary. It’s great for trying out ideas to develop into larger works or to test more developed work in front of a thoughtful audience. Some artists use The Field to experiment with new disciplines, polish new work before a public showing, or read the thing that they scribbled on a napkin to see if they wish to keep scribbling.

Still not sure? We’re offering a free information session on September 30. Contact us by [email protected] more information

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Spring Mixed Discipline Session to Begin March 30

The Field-Seattle is excited to offer a new Mixed Discipline Session for generative and interpretive artists from all disciplines to create, develop, and refine their work. How do you know if a Mixed Discipline session is right for you?

  • Are you looking for a weekly deadline to lend structure to your artistic practice? Artists bring up to 10 minutes every week (or can elect not to present). You can bring peices of a larger work or present the same 10 minutes with refinements to get new perspectives from week to week.
  • Do you find that working in isolation is making your work less joyful? Field sessions create a generous, thoughtful community of artists who share work, often resulting in new artistic connections and collaborations.
  • Are you resisting sharing work–or starting work–because you feel it (or you) is not ready for an audience? Work can be presented at any stage of development, allowing a safe place to present work that feels vulnerable or fragile. Early exposure to an audience can help new and unformed work come to life.
  • Do you find yourself shut down or defensive when you receive feedback on your work? Does the feedback you receive seem unhelpful or misdirected? The Fieldwork “reflective feedback” process respects the artist’s primary role as creative decision-maker and leaves it to him or her to decide whether and how to make use of the feedback.

A Field session is not a class. It is a group of artists, facilitated by peer-participants. We do not aim to function as editors or directors, but to give one another generous feedback about what we have seen or heard in their work and how it affects us. The Field’s reflective feedback method reveals how a creative work is perceived by others and provides detailed information that helps artists hone their vision. By focusing on what’s happening in the work and how those choices shape the work, Fieldwork respects the autonomy and vision of each artist.

Facilitator Rebecca Goldberg is particularly interested in exploring how artists with different backgrounds perceive and learn from each other’s work. What does a poet have to say to a painter? How can a dancer help illuminate the work of a playwright? What happens when we experience the work of other artists as peers and maybe even begin to experiment with new media in our own work?  Experiencing and articulating your thoughts about the work of other artists helps to define your aesthetic and gives you a fresh perspective on your own creative process.

Here are the details:

Meets Weekly: Sundays, March 30 to June 1, 11:30 am to 2:00 pm (9 weeks; no meeting April 27)
Location: Studio Current on Capitol Hill in Seattle – 1417 10th Ave (between Union & Pike, down the hall behind the Sweatbox Yoga Studio)
Cost: $90 for new participants/$80 for Field members (past participants) and Studio Current Nuts and Seeds
Registration:  Here or e-mail [email protected]

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Winter Session: Playwrights and Actors Starts February 2

As an actor, are you looking for an opportunity to practice and get feedback on your audition for the coming TPS Generals or to hone your cold reading skills? Do you enjoy the challenge of responding to new scripts with the playwright actually in the room?

As a playwright, are you feeling isolated or looking for structure? Do you sometimes feel defensive or shut down when others talk to you about your writing? Are you interested in non-directorial feedback that is centered on observation rather than correction? Have you been wishing for a forum where you can show your work and receive feedback in a safe and supportive environment?

As a theatre artist, are you looking for an ongoing forum to practice your craft? Do you want to deepen your observational and interpretive skills in a supportive community of peers?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, then The Field-Seattle 2014 Winter Session for Actors and Playwrights may be for you!  This is a special six-week opportunity for playwrights and actors to gather together in a safe and supportive studio environment, to share work, and to learn and practice a discipline known as reflective feedback.

When: Meets Weekly, Sundays, Feb 2nd to Mar 9th (6 weeks)

Time: 11:30am to 2:00pm

Where: Studio Current on Capitol Hill in Seattle, 1417 10th Ave (between Union & Pike) Suite C.

Co-Facilitators: Karen Kinch and Nancy Calos-Nakano

Class Size: 12 participants max

Cost: $60 for new participants, $50 for Field Members (past participants)

The Field’s reflective feedback method reveals how a creative work is perceived by others and provides detailed information that helps artists hone their vision. By focusing on what’s happening in the work and how those choices shape the work, Fieldwork respects the autonomy and vision of each artist.  The Fieldwork “reflective feedback” process respects the artist’s primary role as creative decision-maker and leaves it to him/her to decide whether and how to make use of the feedback.

A Field session is not a class. It is a group of artists, facilitated by peer-participants. Our aim is not to function as editors or directors, but to give one another generous feedback about what we have seen or heard in their work and how it affects us.

If you have questions or to register for the session: Contact Karen at (206) 938-0897 or [email protected] Payment may be made by check or money order payable to Shunpike by the second week of the session or by credit card via our website.

Online donation system by ClickandPledge

 

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From The Field to The Stage: Me vs. My Subconscious

Publicity Photo from Me vs. My Subconsicous

Publicity Photo from Me vs. My Subconsicous

When I walked into my first Field session, I had no idea what I was going to work on. For the first couple weeks, I coasted by with bits of things that I’d written before and that was ok, but then one night I had a dream that seemed to be screaming at me. On impulse, I wrote about that dream and, even though it seemed silly to bring in something that I’d scribbled in my notebook an hour earlier, I refused to talk myself out of showing it in that night’s session. Even though it was rough, the feedback told me that other people were intrigued by this idea too.  I started wondering what happens next and I brought in a new section the following week.

By the end of that 8-week summer session, I had a (very) rough draft of a solo performance show that I called Me vs. My Subconsicous. I took it to a longer works session that fall and developed it further. Bits were presented at showings for our invited audiences at the end of several sessions, as I kept refining and working on the next draft. I started working outside The Field with a director. As the script developed, the showings in Field sessions became less about reading the words on the page and more about creating a performance. People saw the work out of order and out of context. Several people saw the same section again and again. I submitted one section and was accepted to have it shown at a festival in Key City Public Theatre in Port Townsend. I refined it some more. A section came with me to the national Field Network conference for a public demonstration showing. Locally, I performed sessions at Stone Soup’s now (sadly) defunct (XX) Fest and at Annex Theatre’s Spin the Bottle. A reading of Story by Robert McKee for a film class led to a whole new revision.

Finally, I looked at the script and called it finished (ha!) and I decided that it was now or never:  Time to Produce. I run a small theater company called Blank Stage Theater and my producing partner and I agreed to make Me vs. My Subconsicous our next production. If I thought that performing in my first solo show was going to be hard work, and add to that all of the details involved in self-producing…well, let’s just say that that last 3 months have been some of the most challenging in my life. But last week we opened a fully produced performance, with props and costumes and beautiful lights. There are projections and music. Others have believed in this project and invested their time and talent, and still others have climbed up the four floors to the theater and paid money to see it, all because of the validation and encouragement I received when I first presented two pages of text in The Field nearly four years ago. The lessons that I learned during this process would fill several other blog posts, but the one that I want you reading this right now to hear is that if you have a dream–figurative or literal–about creating some art, you totally should do it. And, for me, The Field was a pretty great place to make it happen.

Oh, and if you want to see the finished product: Me vs. My Subconsicous runs one more weekend (Dec 12-14, 2013) at Theatre Puget Sound’s Theatre 4 (in the Armory Building at Seattle Center).  Tickets and more information are available at http://mevsc.brownpapertickets.com/

 

 

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Announcing The Field-Seattle’s Fall Mixed Discipline Session

Facilitators: Karen Kinch, Nancy Calos-Nakano, and Sophia Wheelwright
Time: Meets Weekly on Sundays, October 13 to December 13, Noon-2:30pm
Location: Studio Current on Capitol Hill in Seattle – 1417 10th Ave (between Union & Pike, down the hall behind Sweatbox Yoga Studio)
Cost: $100 for Non-Members/$90 for Members (Past Field Participants)

Online donation system by ClickandPledge

Are you a choreographer who wants feedback on your newest dance? A writer who needs a regular meeting to help keep you motivated to write? If you’re an independent artist—whatever your art form—participating in a Field workshop can help you grow as an artist by giving you a weekly opportunity to show work, receive feedback and find language to describe your work.

The Fieldwork Method originated in New York over 25 years ago. Workshop sessions are designed to provide support, structure and community to help artists of all genres and disciplines to more fully immerse themselves in their creative process. The Field’s reflective feedback method reveals how a creative work is perceived by others and provides detailed information that helps artists hone their vision. By focusing on what’s happening in the work and how those choices shape the work, Fieldwork respects the autonomy and vision of each artist.

The Field’s framework is great for developing works in all stages of progress. Mixed Discipline sessions give us the joy of seeing the work of other artists whose perceptions may be fundamentally different from our own and hearing how they receive our work. If you’ve ever done a Mixed Discipline session in The Field-Seattle, you know how exhilarating this can be.

The Fieldwork “reflective feedback” process respects the artist’s primary role as creative decision-maker and leaves it to him/her to decide whether and how to make use of the feedback.

A Field session is not a class. It is a group of artists, facilitated by peer-participants. We do not aim to function as editors or directors, but to give one another generous feedback about what we have seen or heard in their work and how it affects us.

Sculptors, painters, fiber artist-makers, musician/composers, dancer/choreographers, actors, singers, glassblowers, playwrights and poets—all are welcome!

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Starting from Nothing

I’m starting a new Field session in less than two weeks and I’ve just realized that I have absolutely no idea what I’ll be working on. There are drafts of two projects that need revising. There is this weird idea that I had while riding the bus the other day but, honestly, I don’t know.

This state of mind is actually one of my favorite ways to start a session. With something old that I haven’t thought of for awhile or with something so new that it’s pretty much just scribbled on a napkin.  I’ve created two of my dearest and most ambitious projects in just this way…showing up at The Field with absolutely nothing and waiting to see what happens.

-Rebecca Goldberg

Summer Session Co-Facilitator

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Registration for Summer Mixed Discipline Session Now Open

Facilitated by Rebecca Goldberg and Nancy Calos-Nakano
Tuesdays July 9 to August 27, 7-9:30PM (No Meeting on July 30)
Studio Current (Located on Seattle’s Pike-Pine Corridor)
Cost:  $60 for Field Members/$70 for New Participants

The Field-Seattle is offering a 7-week summer session for artists of all disciplines to show work and receive generous, non-directive feedback from peer artists in a collegial and supportive environment. The Field’s framework is great for developing works in all stages of progress.

Mixed Discipline sessions give us the joy of seeing the work of artists whose perceptions may be fundamentally different from our own and hearing how they receive our work. If you’ve ever done a mixed discipline session in The Field-Seattle, you know how exhilarating this can be. Sculptors, painters, fiber artist-makers, musician/composers, dancer/choreographers, actor/singer/glassblowers, performers, playwrights, and poets…all are welcome!   

About the facilitators

Rebecca Goldberg is a “slash” theater artist (director/playwright/actor/producer) and a member of The Field’s Steering Committee.  She is co-director of Blank Stage Theater, which produced David Auburn’s Proof in 2011, and recently directed Pandora and the Box for eSe Teatro’s Nuevo y Solo. Her plays and solo theater work have been seen at Annex’s Spin the Bottle, Seattle SWAN Day at ACT, Key City Public Theater, Stone Soup, and Theater Babylon. Her creative obsessions are new work, ensemble-generated work, and multidisciplinary collaborations.

Nancy Calos-Nakano has worked in the Arts & Entertainment industry since 1977 in various genres and in numerous capacities.  She has been involved with over 120 organizations and a board member to many.  Currently, an arts advocate, teaching artist and program developer for Cultural Art Projects, she sits on the NW FolkLife Festival, Trusted Advocates, Seattle Storytelling Guild and RockIt Beacon Arts boards.  Nancy’s work focuses in diversity, as well as multi-ethnic heritage organizations such as Mavin and relishes the cultivation of partnerships and collaborations.

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Field Showing This Sunday!

The spring session is finishing up with a bang!

FINAL FIELD SHOWING

Sunday June 16, 5-7pm
Studio Current
1417 10th Ave. #C
Seattle, WA 98122

Please join us to see what we’ve been up to these last 10-weeks. It has been a stunner of a session. We will have some light snacks. We’ll be showing excerpts and material that we’ve been developing these last few weeks.

PARKING CAN BE A CHALLENGE IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD, LUCKILY THERE ARE MANY WONDERFUL BUSINESSES TO VISIT IF YOU ARRIVE EARLY. INCLUDING: ELLIOT BAY BOOK COMPANY…..one of the best bookstores in town with a delightful cafe in the back.

For more info please email: [email protected]

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