Tom looks surprised in a face mask, like they’ve done something wrong. There’s big letter over the top saying “Self-care (for the hyperactive anti-capitalist) or, how to start a revolution”

I’ve been working on a show called “Self-care for the hyperactive anti-capitalist, or, how to start a revolution” for a couple of months now, I’m basically trying loads of different self-care practices and interrogating how affective they are. The thing is, I had ADHD and some epilepsy-related impairments so I don’t instantly buy into typical self-care, my brain isn’t quiet and yoga makes me fidget.

I thought I was going to find a magical new kind of self-care that worked for me, and I have found some tactics, but mainly I’ve found a big question.

Is self-care just a short…

We all know how difficult it is sometimes to do arts fundraising in a way that’s ethical, there is comparatively so little funding in the arts compared to other sectors that conversations around whether we should take funding can be difficult. They can sometimes be a deciding factor in whether an organisation closes or not, as many organisations have found in the pandemic as they have been forced to make difficult decisions.

It’s becoming pretty standard practice now that most organisations have an ethics policy in relation to their fundraising. Largely the arts sector draws a line saying that taking…

Everyone has a slightly different idea of what drama is but for me I think of it as: the effort exerted by a character(s) to resolve tension. You can replace “tension” with “conflict” or “resolve” with “overcome” if you want, however it makes more sense to you.

I also think there’s 3 kinds of tension / conflict. A character can be in conflict with themself, in conflict with someone else, or in conflict with the world / a big structure.

The more effort a character needs to exert to resolve the tension, the more impact the drama has (generally speaking).

Food poverty is a concept.

It’s a thing you read about in textbooks or newspapers, it’s what politicians talk about in parliament, it’s what people say when they don’t know anyone who is struggling to feed themselves or their family.

For me it’s not a concept. It’s my family and my friends and their kids. It’s my community. I see the effect it has, not through the TV, but just in my everyday life.

Food poverty is what you call it when it doesn’t touch your life. When it does touch your life you call it the harrowing sight of seeing a kid who is hungry beyond how anyone should be hungry.

Then, you stop calling it anything, and you do something about it because it’s not a concept, it’s a reality.

There is strategic value in this.

Once upon a time it was possible to be working-class and lead a relatively stable life, you could experience a degree of financial stability, you had a community, you got to engage in the arts and culture. That’s been largely eradicated now, since Thatcher we’ve been told we have to aspire to be middle-class, it was called social mobility but really it was an opportunity to create a narrative that says if someone is poor, it’s their own fault. …

Photo by Rosemary Ketchum from Pexels

In a lot of places but especially in America right now we are seeing protests from demographics who in recent years haven’t been at the centre of news stories about protests and I’ve started to do some digging into the psychology of it using some ideas from theatre and live performance.

Humans generally like conflict, or at least we like to get in conflict and then resolve that conflict because it makes us feel good when we resolve it. Our love of resolving conflict is the reason why makeup sex is a thing. …

Tom Ryalls

Writer / Theatre Maker in the UK. You can find me at @BoyAndPen elsewhere.

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