Earlier this year, In the Moment were invited by Two Ridings Community Foundation and the Investment management firm, Brooks MacDonald, to perform at a charity dinner to raise funds on behalf of The Arts for Change Fund which supports voluntary and community groups, and small charities in York and North Yorkshire.
Two Ridings Community Foundation has generously supported Out of Character in the past, so it was a good opportunity to thank them. We performed an excerpt of a show we are currently working on, followed by testimonials by the group of the positive impact that making theatre has had on their lives (see below).
The evening was a huge success raising £5000 which will be used to provide arts or other cultural activity to enrich and change the lives of those who are excluded or disadvantaged.
'Can I say once again a huge “THANK YOU” to you all, plus the cast from In the Moment for giving up your time, and creating such a fantastic performance at our dinner on Friday evening. I hope you felt as strongly as we did that the message came across loud and clear to the guests.
We had lots of feedback afterwards, all of it positive, and the testimonials in particular seemed to have resonated with everyone'.
(Ian Savage: Development Manager of Two Ridings Community Foundation_)
Testimonials by In the Moment.
In the Moment gives me the opportunity to interact with interesting people towards a common creative goal (Lorna).
It has changed my view of who I am, and the strengths and potential I have (Jamie).
It has changed the course of my life when doors were closing, it was the one door left open. Taking the risk, I took the path as a way of life and now I don’t miss those closed doors at all (Imi).
Being part of In the Moment has given me an outlet for my creativity and imagination (Chloe).
At In the Moment, everyone’s ideas are of equal value. We are a team, an ensemble, and most of all friends (Anne Marie).
I feel that drama has given me a purpose. I like working with people. I live in my flat alone and look forward to coming to the weekly sessions (Joe).
For me, it is a safe place to grow and share who I am. To turn suffering, into something valuable (Adam).
In drama, I find myself.
No longer am I drifting, floating far away from my physical body.
In drama, I am heavy, substantial, full of substance; I am me.
Heavy, flesh and bones, here, present, connected with others.
I am me, and others reflect me back to myself.
I am alive, and being alive is something very rare for me. (Anne Marie)
Engaging with theatre has a profound effect on my life.
A light in the dark penetrating my depression and enabling me to see my qualities and potential in a new light.
The chance to explore and inhabit different aspects of my personality and human nature.
Providing the roots for my creative self to grow and a stage to share the results.
Allowing me to interact, share and create with a group of interesting, empathetic and artistic people.
The opportunity to play and imagine free from the restraints of boundaries and judgement.
Devising, improvising and performing reduce my tendency to over-think and place me 'In the Moment'.
The positive effects of engaging with theatre spill over into my normal life providing fluid foundations to be built on as I continue to progress.
Above all engaging with theatre has given me a new love (Jamie).
Imagine a theatre company full of people with mental illness…
It doesn’t sound much fun.
Maybe people flying off the handle at the slightest knock,
Weeping and rocking in corners,
Exchanging stories of woe and turmoil.
But it’s not like that at all.
“Fake it TIL you make it”
That’s what they always say.
For me theatre (professional pretending) looked like a promising way to break myself out of a skin too tight and a world too foggy.
But by the first fortnight I realised
There’s no point faking it when you are among professional fakers.
The expert nodders to questions like “are you okay?”
The unrelenting, all weather, smilers.
And on week two I thought-
I have finally found a safe space.
We sit in circles so there are no sides.
We are a team, an ensemble but most of all friends.
We are equal in value and our ideas don’t just test the water- they sail.
We are thinkers and writers and performers.
We paint pictures people don’t see because they’ve never had to look.
We bring for others the enthusiasm, the confidence and the guts we all feel we lack.
We will try anything.
And when we stand before you, our audience.
We are not mentally ill.
We are experienced
We are creative.
We are building performances from the rubble of the walls we have knocked down.
We are strong.
We are listeners and appreciators
Of the skill and the effort made to get out of the door.
We smile and laugh with each other as a means to say thank you.
Thank you for coming out of the rubble and using the mind you feel smothered by to dance
And to entertain.
For creating a parody for the pain felt inside.
‘Fake it TIL you make it’
But what we have in theatre studio 4.
Is something that can’t be forged.
We are In the Moment (Imi).
By Jane Allanach Artistic Director of In the Moment