More than ever before in my artistic life, I have been asking myself what it means to live as an artist – not work as an artist (that is an entirely different question) – but how should one live?

When starting a project I always let the people I’m working with know a few of my ground rules:
1. Paid work is important. If I’m not paying you upfront, we need to keep your boss happy – please don’t sacrifice your livelihood for a project – don’t commit to a rehearsal or project if you are going to endanger your paid job (unless you want to/need an excuse to escape)
2. Family and friends are important. They are the ones who know you before and after your show (they hold in them, who you are ong term) plus they remind you that there is more to existence than creating art. Don’t forget birthdays or anniversaries – don’t neglect the people you love or who love you.
3. Nothing is a waste of time. If you are excited or worried about the show, call me. We can talk about anything and everything. No need to suffer in silence. Also if you are brimming with enthusiasm, don’t pretend you’re not. Share what you think and feel – during making a work nothing should be wasted, everything informs what we are making.

Perhaps this sounds a bit glib… or obvious… perhaps it is, but sometimes I need to remind myself that it is important to be able to function as a person in society, in while making art.

One director I know told me once that directing for him feels like an impossible harnessing of all the elemental forces in the world, that it feels like an exhausting torrent which is going to leave him tattered and empty.

I don’t feel like that at all.

When I’m directing I feel like all parts of me are glowing, lit up like a dance floor. Yes, I feel adrenilin, but it’s not panic – like going too fast in a car – like eating something you’ve never tasted before – like being surprised by the depth and power of thunder and then feeling the first few drops of rain. It feels thrilling – it feels like love.

I am still trying to find balance in all that I want and do and want to do. My process for making (and living) is still a work in progress.

Here are some extra points I like to remind myself of:
* Just because you’re not in a company or collective doesn’t mean you’re not part of a community.
* Take time off.
* Loving, being in love and being loved will not and does not destroy talent
* You’re allowed to be entertained by things that aren’t high-art
* There will never be a point at which you’ve “made it” – this is a forever pursuit – and as soon as you’re resting on laurels you’re irrelevent.
* Make it, don’t just talk about it.
* When in doubt, be generous.
* The biggest lesson that we can learn from Shakespeare it is that pride comes before a fall.
* Art is not a meritocracy.
* An important part of being a brilliant artist is not being an asshole.
* Don’t shit on the country you’re making art in or for – it lowers your self-esteem and the value of your work.
* Don’t like it? Don’t do it.
* Don’t be afraid of other people’s opinions
* Acknowledge good work – and promote other people’s practice -it’s exciting to share quality. Don’t be jealous. Their success doesn’t make you less talented.
* Play the long game.
* Never underestimate the power of panic. (or pride)
* Nothing lasts forever – not even failure – so what have you got to lose?
* Be kind, be interested and listen closely – you never know who someone is about to be or how they can affect your life.
* Don’t take it to heart, or yourself so seriously.
* Everyone has a bad day, even artists, so don’t be so hard on yourself.