Interviewing myself

I’ve been spending a lot of time over the past few weeks talking in different voices so I thought for this first blog it would be appropriate to interview myself:

HP:                  So Hetain you’re looking very handsome today.

HP:                  Thanks.

HP:                  Only joking. You actually look quite tired. I take it you’ve been busy lately?

HP:                  Oh… Yes, very busy. For the past 3 weeks I’ve been in Nottingham working all hours making a new piece called Be Like Water. We just previewed it last week at Curve, Leicester.

HP:                  I see. How did it go?

HP:                  It was probably the most intense making period I’ve ever been through for a single piece of work. Its been in development for the past 2 years, and during these 3 weeks, a lot of energy went into it from the whole team. I was happy with the preview. It needs a bit of work before the premiere in November but there is time.

HP:                  Great. I saw on your website that you are also currently touring your previous piece TEN. Was it easy to step back into this after the making period of a new piece?

HP:                  Yes and No. TEN is really ingrained into my memory now so it was easy to perform, even after what had been a 9 month break from it. However we had a bit of a nightmare in that one of the performers dropped out a few weeks ago so I had to find and train someone new, all during the making period of Be Like Water.

HP:                  Yikes. That must have been quite challenging switching your head between the 2 things at the same time? I hope the guy who dropped out had a good reason?

HP:                  I’d rather not go into that now.

HP:                  I see.

HP:                  Also I’ve been having to go back and forth from London as I was showing some video works at Dance Umbrella and Frieze Art Fair at the same time too. Quite a grueling schedule.

HP:                  Do you ever think that you should stop complaining about your schedule? That maybe you should be grateful for the support you’re getting that allows you to be able to do all these things at the same time?

HP:                  Yes, fair enough.

HP:                  And that there are lots of good artists out there struggling to find support to make their art…

HP:                  Okay okay I get the message. I am very grateful to be in this position.

HP:                  So give me 2 memorable moments from these past few weeks.

HP:                  Ok. After last weeks preview performance of Be Like Water, a girl and her dad (who I had never met before) came over to me to tell me how moved they had been by the piece. The dad, then insisted on giving me a hug and very paternally told me that he was very proud of me and that he’s sure my parents will be too.

Then the following day I was in Bournemouth performing TEN. We had a tiny audience, which I initially felt really dejected about, after all the time we’d invested in making the show happen. However their enthusiasm and engagement during the show and in the post show discussion really lifted and inspired me and the other performers. I felt really proud to have gotten in my car and driven so many miles to take art to people. Everything seemed worthwhile again. I think things like this provide fuel for quite a while.

HP:                  Good to hear. Have you had time for anything else at the moment?

HP:                  Well I’m also hooked on an excellent book at the minute- 1Q84 by Murakami. I’m relatively new to reading novels but this is really beautiful and inspiring. Makes me want to write a novel.

HP:                  I’m sure its not as easy as all that. But I’m also sure it won’t stop you trying. Good luck.

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About Hetain Patel

Hetain Patel is a visual artist and performance maker whose practise crosses a number of art forms. His works have been shown in institutions including Bodhi Art, New York; Sydney Festival; Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai; and the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing. This year he completed new commissions for the Tanks at Tate Modern; the Southbank Centre; and John Hansard Gallery, Southampton. Hetain undertook a week of research in Sadler’s Wells in 2012 with eight dancers, and is due to premiere a new theatre piece, Be Like Water, at the Royal Opera House, London in November 2012.

One thought on “Interviewing myself

  1. Is this how it goes Hetain? Meglomania to the point of self interviewing? I see world domination ahead, and we have only just started the New Wave journey…Be afraid, be very afraid EG

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