Recently I’ve been thinking about solo endeavours.
To be a writer needn’t necessarily be a solo endeavour – the loner image is untrue or, at least, overemphasized. Any writer knows this.
[If you’re a writer and you fit the loner image entirely, you may want to look at other writers and start investigating people more. You need to know people to write people. You need the drama.]
Writers have many options that don’t leave them working alone – TV, film, opera, art-song, (especially) theatre, etc.
To be an actor means rarely being alone when working.
There is, however, one way for an actor to attempt it – to be a disembodied voice calling into the darkness.
Imagine a Beckett monologue written for radio, recorded and left playing in the woods.
Now imagine that device is very small but has a nuclear battery and will last for thousands of years. You’d have to be looking for it to find it and even then, you’d have to be very lucky to.
That is how I feel about my Shakespeare’s Sonnets project.
Though I’m lucky and I’ve a few followers on Soundcloud for it, I hope the project to be both found and the unheard thing in the wilderness. I’d make this site a wilderness. The backwater of the net. Where free is interesting.
There are (possibly) better, more expensive, more expansive versions out there with more voices shouting louder but I’d rather be the singular voice; there for free and there simply for the sake of finding my understanding of the works.
Shakespeare was a playwright and poet and actor and director and producer and financier. He could have been more too but that’s not spoken of quite so loudly.
Some would argue that in my project, I’m in discussion with Shakespeare’s voice. They might argue that there’s a dialectic between his writing and my interpretation and they’d be right.
I’m not working entirely alone.
But the man is dead and so I rework his words to be my voice. My voice is not his voice. If not the project, then my voice works alone. It keeps working alone.
And there’s the measure of Shakespeare.
He kept writing whether the sonnets were heard or not.
His poetry wasn’t celebrated until later in his life yet I find his youngest sonnets some of the most intriguing to read, to learn; to analyze. I love the Sonnets because they were his quiet, his unfound, his gift to someone that’s then lost or discarded – none of the negatives mattered to him, he kept writing.
Like much poetry, the sonnets are a dense crystallization both of the thought and the experience. The poetry and the man.
Their charm is in their composition, what they tell us about him, and the opportunity to be a lone voice.