05 Aug Q+D Artist Feature: Nicole Charlton Goodbrand
Wow!! Thank you to everyone who has streamed the Quick + Dirty!! The festival is love to stream PWYC until August 15th. Until then, we’d love to introduce you to the lead artists who have taken huge risks and made this festival come to life. First up: Nicole Charlton Goodbrand.
Describe a challenge that transferring your research to film has posed.
There is a particular type of magic that a theatre holds while it is suspended before an audience during performance. The live experience, which is fleeting, ever changing, and heuristic supports a world that has no tangible home, but that lives within our thoughts, beliefs, histories, and imaginations.
When first approached with the idea of shifting my Q&D project from live performance to film I was, regrettably, a little more than apprehensive. Due to my very limited skills in the medium of film, I was gravely concerned that I wouldn’t be able to fully realize my research without the ‘magic’ that a live performance offers, and that I wouldn’t have the practical skills to make it happen. However, after a large amount of contemplation, I was confronted with a reality that I wasn’t quite ready for… that performance, as I know it, will not exist as it once did and I must now choose to be flexible, adaptable, teachable, and capable of change in order to move forward as an artist in this new reality.
This adjustment in how I view, capture, frame, and present my work has been one of the primary challenges that has transpired while transferring my research from live performance to film, as well as learning how to navigate new applications, particularly in the editing process. Furthermore, it has been an adjustment in how to learn to create, arrange, and edit my ideas while looking at them through a different lens.
Share something that has surprised you in your process thus far.
What has surprised me in my process thus far is how, through filming and editing, I have been able to experience the performance from both the perspective of the audience and the performer. Giving me the ability to live inside, and outside of the world I am creating. Essentially, being able to observe the performance from both an objective and subjective standpoint. This has allowed me to use the camera as a tool to enhance the level of intimacy between the performer and viewer and offers me the ability to place the viewer in a position that would otherwise be unavailable to them if they were experiencing this work as an audience member in a live theatre setting.
What have you noticed about considering choreography for the live versus film platforms?
I have noticed many things about choreography for the live versus film platforms throughout this process, however one of my greatest realizations is how location and background are so intricately woven into the overall choreography, image, and tone of a work on film. This is true in live performance as well, but the difference is that when working with film, the location, and the objects within that location, are already there and inherently have a story and a life to them. Where as, in live performance we carefully select the objects (if any) that we bring into the space, giving them weight and meaning that is specific to the work. We choose to give them attention and importance. It has been an interesting process, for me, to learn that the locations and backgrounds I am choosing to film in naturally have their own choreography, which can either enhance or hinder the work and requires an adaptation of the physical movement choreography in order to create a clear and cohesive image.
And, finally, share your thoughts on what it is to be an artist working and creating during a time of social unrest?
The social background, which we currently find ourselves in, is imperative to the art we are making, as it is intrinsically entwined in the narrative of the work, whether we want it to or not. As a caucasian female artist working and creating during a time of social unrest, I have found it a very challenging and difficult endeavour to decide if my art and ideas are needed and valuable to the narrative at this moment. Even as I say this, I see my privilege in having the CHOICE to have my voice heard, instead of having to PROVE that what I am saying is of value. I know that this is a luxury. I know that the challenges I am feeling are necessary and that I will forever be continually confronted with this reality as I move forward as a creator. It is my hope that I am constantly pushed to be to be acutely aware of my privilege and that if I choose to make art, it must strive to respect, enhance, and positively affect every member of my community.
As previously stated, the change in the way performance is viewed will not be the same after this pandemic, and the same should said for how we work with others to create meaningful platforms for all artists to have a voice. What I have learned from this project shifting so drastically during this time of unrest, is that I can no longer exist as I once did and I must now choose to be flexible, adaptable, teachable, and capable of change in order to move forward as an artist, and as a citizen.