My world, your niche

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I had an idea for a project that made a lot of sense to me. I sensed that the subject matter could be regarded as niche territory in the part of the world where I happen to live, but it is what I wanted to emote about. To avoid being discouraged by anyone, I kept the thought to myself for a long while.

On one occasion, I went out for drinks with an associate who I knew from many years ago. In our free flowing conversation, I found myself blurting out my idea to him. His reaction was, that the idea would not be of interest to audiences in this part of the world, so I should focus on finding something different to express. It was my fault for sharing the thought with him at the time, but I was undeterred.

Shortly after that encounter, a friend made it known that there were opportunities to develop new work in an arts venue that she was going to be running. I decided to respond to the call for applications to develop and present my project in her space. After being shortlisted and attending an interview, I was selected to work on my initial idea.

My project was created on long train journeys and in any spare time I had in a busy schedule. Eventually, I found myself going through the process of mounting a production and marketing that same idea to a broad audience. The performance date was at a busy time in the year, with many other shows vying for attention in London, I received a remarkable response from friends, colleagues and associates, many of whom expressed interest in attending the event.

After the performance, I met an audience member at another event. She was under the impression that the show had been attended by my family members, when in actual fact there was only one very distantly related associate in attendance. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learnt in this whole process about what art is for and why artists should aim to speak their truths as much as possible.