By ELEANOR OXLEY

 

My mum signed me for a Massive Company workshop way back when in 2011. I was 15 and so naïve about theatre. I had grown up with Acting for Screen classes and Shakespeare, telling the stories of others and rote learning scripts. I had no idea that five years down the track it would change me and the way I dream in such a massive way (pun definitely intended).

For me personally, the journey has been amazing and although I’ve been in and out of Massive throughout the years, it’s safe to say I’ve seen and experienced such an enormous number of beautiful people, and even more beautiful theatre.

At the heart of the company is the Massive Nui Ensemble (MNE), created in 2011 when the South and Central Auckland Ensembles joined forces. It’s something I consider myself lucky to have and be part of. It’s a place where not only do you have your cast around you to catch you when you fall, but you also learn to catch yourself. I can admit that throughout my life as a Massive Company member I’ve caught myself several times, whether it be having the realisation that commitment is key, or equally that a lovingness to pretend is such an important aspect of emerging yourself in the work.

Another lesson I’ve learnt from MNE and probably the most impactful to me, is learning to be ugly and embrace the beauty of that ugliness. It wasn’t something I was truly aware of and it took me a long time to understand what it meant, but once I did it changed my confidence and the way I viewed the world. All of these lessons have given me the platform from which I live and breathe daily, even when I’m far away from theatre.

Throughout this week MNE have been smashing out the work at Te Oro in Glen Innes, in preparation for our showing on Saturday night (8th October, 7 pm). I write this on Tuesday, after day two of rehearsals, and we have already transformed ourselves into horses, synchronised swimmers, Spanish dancers and fierce dreamers. I’ve always loved MNE intensive weeks, because instead of dreaming and creating for just one day, we get to fully immerse ourselves and dream for an entire week. The end result is never what you expect, but always so much more spectacular.

The beautiful thing about Massive as a whole, is that the company is always in flux. There is always something new and creative coming in and out of the company; from a new, emerging artist’s show like The Island (June/July 2016) to a Massive Intro Workshop full of new faces ready for a taste of freedom – and that’s exactly what they’ll get.

 

The Massive Nui Ensemble are performing a showing of their work titled Fear of the Fierce this Saturday 8 October at Te Oro in Glen Innes. The showing is koha so just show up!

Join the Facebook event for Fear of the Fierce and check out the website for more info about Massive and to take advantage of the FREE Intro Workshops for 2017.

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