Hack Circus












July 2019
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This week I take on a listener's question about prioritising ideas: how do we decide what's most important? Is it better to do dig into one big thing or skim lots of little ones? In this short episode, I suggest it might be all about values, explain why I'm not really an artist, and consider how long-term working can be complimented by 'slight' ephemeral work. I also draw on the wisdom of previous HC podcast guest, Nadia Kamil.

Get in touch if you have any questions around creativity, process, inspiration etc, and I'll give them a go in these weekly monologues.


Direct download: CreativityClinicPrioritisingIdeas.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Sara Green is a dancer, choreographer, movement director and film-maker. She's collaborated with artists and other performers across theatre, film, fashion and dance. Her recent work includes Richard Ayoade’s vignette for Radiohead, short film The Entertainer starring Toby Jones, and Anita & Me, a world premiere for the Birmingham Rep.

In this chat, Sara talks about the differences between working with dancers and non-dancers, and explains how she communicates movement to actors who don't have a dance background. We also ponder ways of embodying science through movement, discuss Sara's history and unique physicality, and talk in particular about the Manchester International Festival commission she's created, Superposition.

This is a bit of a Manchester International Festival special. Sara's commission is a response to an MiF installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Atmospheric Memory.


Sara's website

Superposition video

Libsyn link

iTunes link

HC on Spotify

HC on PlayerFM

Direct download: SaraGreen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

This week's question was about how artists deal with time: do we let the available time decide how 'big' a project is; is that a valid constraint? How do we understand the value we place on time, outside of the monetary value our society attaches to it? And what about our lifespan, health-span and energy-span? How do these incredibly persuasive influences affect things?

I have a go at tackling some of these issues in this short episode. Look out for the interview episode as usual on Thursday, and do send in any questions or ideas for Creativity Clinic episodes: editor@hackcircus.com



Direct download: CreativityClinicArtandTime.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Ben Moor is a seasoned and innovative storyteller with multiple Edinburgh shows under his belt – mostly one-man shows. Ben's work is sensitive and often surreal, as he challenges the audience to follow him on journeys through worlds peppered with delightful ideas.

We chat about Ben's shows, the benefits of doing Edinburgh runs, how the Fringe has changed between generations, where ideas really come from, how to learn lines, and more. We also leaf through his enormous file of ideas.

Ben's website

Ben's showreel

Libsyn link

iTunes link


Direct download: BenMoor.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Making and wellbeing are linked. While it's known that making things improves your mood, I argue here (entirely unscientifically) that you can't make yourself make stuff until you feel like you have some energy to spend. So: getting creative can improve an already OK mood, but it's hard to get off that first block, especially if you've been battling mental or emotional problems that drain all your energy and make any kind of extra activity seem absolutely out of the question. The good news is that, I think, creativity expresses itself in everything we do. If we can make the decision to get up, to talk to someone, even just to push ourselves to think slightly differently, we're building new pathways in our brain and exercising the possibility of hope.

Direct download: Creativity_Clinic_15_Wellbeing_and_Making.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Sophie Rochester is a creative entrepreneur of significant standing, appearing on numerous lists of top business people in her industry. She is known for always being one step ahead of industry trends, and taking her ideas in bold and ambitious directions. 

Sophie has a background in publishing, and founded The Literary Platform: a consultancy and online magazine that bridged digital and storytelling, and investigated the lessons of this union.

An advocate of both making and learning, Sophie's latest venture is Yodomo.co, a start-up committed to delivering the joy of making through online video.



Sophie's LinkedIn

The Literary Platform

Direct download: SophieRochester.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Katie Day is the Director of Birmingham-based theatre company, The Other Way Works. She creates exciting and innovative experiences for small, highly-engaged audiences, and often deploys technology in interesting ways. Her work often uses the real world as the set, with productions set in hotel rooms, car parks and even the audience member's home. Katie's latest production, A Moment of Madness, will be showing at Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF) from the 2-4 August.

Amongst other things, we discuss her lifelong love of making experiences for others, the role of imagination, the therapeutic effects of theatre, how games fit in, and why it makes sense to overlap performance with reality.

Direct download: KatieDay.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:58pm EDT

What kinds of books give us ideas? Do we even get much emotional inspiration from books at all?

This first Creativity Clinic of the new series is a personal reflection on some of the things I've read that I've have influenced my work, and which, sometimes many years after reading, I still draw strength and inspiration from today.

Please send in your questions or ideas for Creativity Clinics to @hackcircus on social media or editor@hackcircus.com – remember they don't need to be direct questions about my own habits (though those are welcome); I'll happily look into any area you're interested in hearing about.

Interview episode coming as usual this Thursday. 


Direct download: CreativityClinicBooksandInfluences.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT