At this time of uncertainty, the feeling that you are heading into the unknown may be strong. For recent graduates it will truly resonate – graduating in itself is an immense moment of change and upheaval and adding a global pandemic to the mix may amplify the unknownness even further. For this first blog on Tripp's Virtual Hub, three practitioners, and graduates of the BA Professional Practice (Arts and Creative Industries) programme at Middlesex University, share their thoughts on ‘transitioning into the unknown’ offering proactive and thoughtful perspectives. Lorien, Serina and Sophie’s artistic discussion offers a point of connection for practitioners and artists across all fields and (we hope) will be a provocation for your own thoughts and conversations.
Published here are the first parts of their entries, and please feel free to journey to their separate blogging spaces to indulge further. We welcome and encourage responses to the subject matter, so do contact us if you wish to share your thoughts and ideas with us.
So what's next?
by Lorien Tear
Honestly I have spent the majority of January feeling completely lost and wondering what to do. I have completed a 50 mile running challenge, baked cakes and bread, looked into multiple new progression routes, including becoming a paramedic, completed multiple art pieces, watched unhealthy amounts of Grey’s Anatomy and felt generally down...
And then I returned to the arts and it may not have solved my problem of not knowing what is next but all of a sudden the storm cleared and there was focus again. There are so many reasons using the arts, in this case, acting, can help. For me there's the act of setting a goal, the discovery, the improvement, the reaching out and networking and hopefully the achievement.
by Serina Faull
I ask myself this most days. Now that my intake (September 2019) have unofficially graduated from our BA (Hons) course, where we submitted all of our work nearly a month ago, the question ponders as to what we do with ourselves; now that the workload of studying has diminished into thin air. Many students all over the world may be feeling lost post-graduation, especially due to the unprecedented job climate which has been made even more tricky to navigate through during these pandemic times.
Studying professional practice allowed me to discover the value of my practice and its newfound potential for growth. As I was preparing my final oral presentation, I really wanted to hone into how I will use my research project to carry myself into the future. What transferable skills from the course can guide me into this transition period? The unknown is a concept that we have had to emerge ourselves into, however uncomfortable that may feel. It seems as though this course was made for this pandemic! Every skill that is taught in BA PP: self-reflection, learning cycles, community and connectivity, is more relevant and prevalent now than ever.
I am guilty of over-thinking.
I am guilty of being a 'worrier'.
I am guilty of trying to run before I can walk.
I am guilty of trying to take control over things I have no control over.
by Sophie Coster
So what is the answer? Well, I don’t think it’s nearly that simple but I do like the following quote, spoken by John Allen Paulo: “Uncertainty is the only certainty there is.” (Paulo, 1945, as cited in Hayes, 2020).
A quote which for myself prompts an air of acceptance. We know what we resist persists and the struggle to fix, correct or control is almost a pointless pursuit.
I must reference a conversation I had with a fellow ex performer, who only yesterday described that they were starting to feel more at peace than they had done in years. They account this relief to the acceptance that things just are just as they are. What can we do about it? For my friend, each day previously was spent scouring auditions and comparing success to others in the rat race of theatre. Perhaps the fact that work is so scarce for EVERYONE in fact takes away that torture of human comparison, thus enforcing the reassessment of our priorities.