Leon’s Blog: Street Voices 9

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Six weeks ago when we began our sessions for Street Voices 9, I imagine the eight participating writers were all a little apprehensive about what to expect from the course, and from me as a tutor. It’s the kind of thing that’s bound to make anyone a little nervous. What they didn’t know, was that I was more nervous than all of them! When I told Freedom Studios I knew very definitely the way the course should be led, they had believed me. And at the time, I had believed me too. But this being my first step into teaching of any kind; when the jaws of self-doubt and imposter syndrome are snapping at you, having confidence in your own abilities can be a bit of a struggle. Fortunately the Freedom Studios’ leadership believed, and the participating writers believed, and so I had no choice but to believe as well.

And it has been a revelation! I am blessed to be in a room with eight writers of such talent, and sense of solidarity, and confidence to interrogate the topics in our discussions. Our sessions are filled with not only the sharing of knowledge and experiences, but also with laughter (even at my very badly delivered, already very weak jokes.) We’ve already talked about structure and character, and full-length plays and short plays, and I’m excited to be taking us through topics such as appropriation, industry navigation, pitch writing, one-person plays, dialogue, story; all while mentoring each writer individually on the short play each is writing to be presented at the end of the course. I already know I am going to blown away by each of the plays! I can’t thank Dermot and Mark and everyone at Freedom Studios enough for how they have embraced me, supported me and given me the confidence to do something that a year ago I would never have anticipated doing; and to the group of writers who have been so generous to accept my method of not explaining how we should write plays, but instead to just pass around a tool box that we can all pick from as the work and our thirst for creating work demands.

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