How does the idea of failure relate to your artistic process?
No experience did more to develop my theatrical ability than studying clown theatre with George Lewis at Freehold Theatre. The Clown lives in the moment of failure, makes discoveries in moments of failure, cuts the shit and opens up to reveal the true self in failure and connects sincerely with the audience in those moments of failure. Failure leads to discovery, not just on stage but in the act of process.
It reminds me of my elementary school art teacher. She would demonstrate her drawing process for the class on an overhead projector. Occasionally she’d make a mistake but then incorporate the mistake into her piece telling us, “Sometimes, class, a mistake can be your best friend.”
That lesson stuck with me my entire life. Adapting, rolling with and incorporating mistakes into my process saved and made me in more ways than I can get into here. Our world sees mistakes as failures, but to me they’re opportunities to take your work places never previously imagined. Mistakes are little failures that breed discovery.
I found the value of mistakes and failure most true when I returned to theatre a few years ago. Clown Theatre lives in failure, and I connect with audiences in all my work through sharing that failure. Every mistake and failure you make in comedic improv is an offer. Even when choreographing my solo pieces I repeatedly fail at many ideas I try, but subsequently discover better ideas.
My process incidentally succeeds through the discovery in failure.
Steven Gomez comes from a world of theatre, clown and comedic improv. He is now studying and developing his own brand of theatrical dance.