Exciting News: Edinburgh Fringe

Hello world,

First of all, apologies for my lack of blogs lately, I’ve been rubbish in keeping it topped up. The good news is though that I have lots and lots of exciting things all on its way so I was just giving you a rest; the calm before the storm if you like. The first thing is that my blog is in the process of having a nice spring clean – a bit of a makeover, so look out for that! Now for the other thing…

Earlier in May I applied for Fringebiscuit’s (http://fringebiscuit.blogspot.co.uk/) first Young Writers Scheme, largely just for the challenge of applications (I’m proactive like that you see…). A week or two ago, just as I was making my way through a mountain of ironing, just as I was thinking I’d never hear back from them, I checked my e-mails to find a lovely acceptance offer to be the top 10 ‘brave, young writers’ to work their socks off at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival (the biggest international arts festival) whilst getting a great amount of inspiration, encouragement and support by professionals in the arts and writing industry. What an amazing opportunity! I’m so excited to be heading up to Scotland for the whole month of August, living with nine other keen, young writers and reviewing the biscuit out of all the fun at the Fringe. I’ll be reviewing, interviewing, workshopping, blogging, theatre-going (obvs!), writing all sorts of cheeky things and generally just having a fantastic experience. Yes please.

It’s still sinking in and thank you for all the lovely congrats and comments I’ve already received – it means a lot. I’ll be keeping all you lovely readers up to date along the way, so please jump aboard and I’d love to share the experience with you – feel free to get in touch. Also, a lot of the work and publicity that Fringebiscuit are all about is on and through the power and mystery of twitter (Hazar!) So please follow them (@fringebiscuit) or myself on twitter (@kellypunton). I’ll soon try and get you the other nine biscuiteers to follow on twitter too as I’m certain they’ll be worth following!

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. — Gustave Flaubert

 

I find it hard to define myself as a writer: perhaps its not even necessary to define myself in that way. What I do know though is that I have a passion for writing (and reading – it works both ways!) and I’d love to see where that might take me. I don’t just mean that in terms of a degree, a career, a salary, a pension – oh no, I’m thinking much wider than that. I want to see whether it can be an integral part of who I am, whether there’s a wage attached to it or not, whether its plain sailing or most likely not. It’s not about a job or a title, whilst that is what I’ve felt the world is telling me it could be. It’s not the flashy name and prestigious one-hit-wonder or best-selling ‘writer’ that I want to be. As I said, I’m thinking much wider than that. I am a writer simply because I write. I want it to first and foremost be about character, intregrity, relationship, experience, passion, whatever else it needs to be called. Then whatever name badge I’m given as a result, whatever car I drive and house I live in because of it, I’ll know it came from a real place. Nice thought hey.

I don’t know how good I am at writing novels or plays (I might have a go) but what grips and holds me as a writer is more about the power of our voices. It’s that its a colloboration with yourself and other people, it’s a discovery, it’s a lesson, it’s a journey and it cannot be done alone, or at least I don’t want to do it alone. I’ve often had a sort of tag line to my writing in recent years which as been about being on a journey to ‘find my voice, one day at a time’, hopefully in order for others around us to also find their voice. We are fed all sorts of voices and some are good (some are really good in fact) whilst a lot of others are blurred and confusing, meaningless or destructive. I think that sucks, but I also think it’s pretty hard to know what to believe, what to think, what to say, what to write – but that should not stop us. There’s so much to live for, so much to learn, so much to delve into. It’s all out there, we’ve just got to find our voice. I really hope that this opportunity will be another step towards learning more about what it means to be able to communicate, to be able to write, to be able to have a voice – especially when I know so many of us struggle to know what it is we are to say. There are times when it really matters that our voices are heard and we can say what we want to say. That’s a bit about where I am. I’d love for you to join me.

 

 

kpunton.com

P.S. Please share the great work that Fringebiscuit are doing for others like me, maybe even people like you! http://www.sponsume.com/project/fringebiscuit-young-writers-training-scheme

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Royal and Derngate Work Experience

Good evening Bank Holiday People! Any of you following my journey closely may have realised that I have not posted this weekend. Fear not! I am still hard at work I can assure you. I thought I would just give you all a quick update before I start posting again.

The past two weeks and also the rest of this working week, I am working at a fantastic theatre in Northampton. Any of you interested in taking a look or giving it a visit: it’s The Royal and Derngate theatre. I have been working with their arts team, which are responsible for all sorts including producing great shows, working with all ages of the community and being very creative! I’ve been doing stuff in and out of offices, workshops, holiday clubs, rehearsals and performances. It’s been busy but so much fun! And I still have another week to go!

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I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to work in the theatre. The only reason why I gained this work experience opportunity was because I was proactive and passionate to research around theatre in and around this region. I found an event that was asking big questions about how we can nurture theatre in the East Midlands.

Surprisingly, I was the only student of any type represented at this event. I had no contacts in the theatre but I was still not just going to this event alone because of my practical need to network. I paid a small fee for the event and got myself to the venue. I did not do it because I was paid to do it, told to do it or even advised to do it. I went because I have been fascinated by this thing called theatre for a few years now. I have been convicted by its power and potential. I was saddened that there were not more students or younger people at this event; it made me wonder whether there is even a next generation that is proactive, passionate and pursuing theatre in their worlds? I’m pretty convinced that there is, because I’ve seen some of them, heard of some of them, even met some of them. Obviously, this was only one event and it certainly is not or should not be the only event of its kind. I’m not sweet-talking my ego because I managed to show up somewhere. I’m just saying, for my student peers out there… The world is out there, you have to go and see where you can grow and shine.

For recent years, the student identity has been one of struggle and tension; fees, strikes, joblessness, competition, debt. It’s like I’m being told to equip myself for this dog eat dog world, one big fight for survival. In reality, the creative arts industry can be made of the same stuff. What I am learning though is that I do not want to compromise or undersell my heart for justice, equality, diversity and collaboration, particularly in my personal areas of interest – creativity, communication and education.

So for all those of us worrying about the big wide world, the real world and all that, let’s confirm that our identity does not have to be in the fluctuating, unpredictable and scary world of the twenty-first century, and instead we can make a true commitment to dreaming and co-operating with each other. There is more to life than salaries and promotions, like growing and learning with each other, sharing each others passions and convictions. There is so much more power and potential when we share ideas, share time, share resources and share talents. As I said, whilst I’m working at this theatre, I’m thinking a lot more about what some of this stuff means, but one thing I certainly know is that it couldn’t work by itself. It’s poetic and romantic, but it’s true. We really do need each other.