Don't be a P.A.M.
20 March 2016
by Connie Lane
Upon arrival at NSDF (in its 60th year no less) a friend of mine observed that the twisting corridors and the long winding stairs of the SJT were like a maze or, to coin the phrase she used, a "labyrinth in peach". I found this description really fucking funny and, to feed this comedic comparison, I decided that this newly named, mildly distressing system of peach, orange and other colours needed an equally mildly distressing monster to dwell within it. This is when I came up with the NSDF monster: P.A.M, otherwise known as the elusive Passive Aggressive Minotaur.
Now, P.A.M isn't a specific person. She can take any form, and she appears wherever one may find an overly sassy attitude or anyone who may be overtired or overstressed. And unlike the minotaurs of the tales of Theseus, who live in a cave and eat virgins, she isn't a fully fledged monster. P.A.M. shouldn't really eat anyone, virgin or not, or at least I hope she won't. She just happens to be someone you don't really want to be around.
At NSDF we have an amazing opportunity to work with new people with passions that are the same as our own, to discuss exciting and new ideas and to watch new theatre. Yes, with the early mornings and the undoubtedly late nights, it can be easy to sometimes snap, be grumpy or, as with a particularly charming taxi driver I encountered, roll your eyes an excessive amount. But honestly, we're all in the same boat, we're all tired, we're all working hard, but also we are all so so lucky to be here and to be in a safe creative space where we just get to do awesome stuff. There are more and more cuts being made to arts' budgets; people don't see the value in "art" any more. Here and now, in the cloudy, windy hills of Scarbados, we show them why art is important. Art is powerful, art is dangerous, art is a gift. I know the venues may be a trek to get to, but we are so lucky to have these spaces to use. The workshops may start early but we have some of the greatest theatrical minds in the country here to chat with us. And your performances may not be the same as when you first performed them, but you have a cast, a company, a Tech Crew, a Management Team, a whole bloody festival, who will back you up and help you in any way they can.
So basically guys, don't be a P.A.M. Please, don't be that guy. Because trust me, I know my Greek mythology. It doesn't end well for the Minotaur.