Artists in Residence: Less Sermon More Song

Less Sermon More Song

Interview with Xavier Breed 24/8/2020 (Recorded 19/8/2020):

Here is a first look at our interview with artist Xavier Breed about his mental health journey while studying and working in the arts. Look out for this and more interviews on your regular podcast platforms soon!

From Flinn

Response to podcasts 20/8/2020:

Going into the podcasts there was a bit of anxiety with the anticipation of not knowing what to fully expect, however having Flinn and Katrina was super helpful and allowed me to have a breath of calm
The actual interviews itself were amazing and super fulfilling for me, hearing stories of people’s journey made me reflect more on my own and what I’ve done so far. Also having the two guests Xavier and Miriam being close friends of mine took away the formalities of the interviews and allowed me to feel as if we were just chatting with a coffee.
Hearing stories of my close friends that I had zero idea about and also related to was super eye opening and also comforting for me to hear. As well as opening up a deeper connection with these friends
I found in the interviews we almost didn’t use our pre proposed questions as it was a real discussion where we just went off what was being said and often went over time
Overall these interviews have been a great experience for me to open up and engage in personal conversations in the hopes to heal and address issues out there for many
Also it’s real awkward speaking an “intro” haha and apologies to Flinn for a lot of faffing before we start the interview and also the order of the interview!

From Fa’asu

It’s all good mate!

From Flinn

Thoughts around ‘Professional vs. Personal’ 14/8/2020:

a grid of people's faces, of all different kinds

For some reason the cultures I was raised in,  the United States and Germany, have this really weird notion that there has to be a separation between your personal life and professional life. As though they don’t impact on each other?! Are we so disconnected from our own bodies and emotions as to think that this kind of compartmentalisation is even possible? As such, I always get a bit sensitive around the question of whether or not something is too personal to be shared within a professional realm. I tend to over share, and am learning that although the intention is one of love and openness, my over sharing can have the effect of triggering. Which I obviously do not want to do.  So how do we navigate this conundrum? Not sure. I guess what I dream of is that we have a dance space where people feel welcomed to share their personal life to the extent that they feel comfortable, within a frame of mutual understanding and respect. Dance is too delicate an art to ask that its practitioners ’leave their emotions at the door.’ Bring your emotions into the room, if you feel comfortable. Because suppressing them isn’t doing anyone any good. 


Reflections on creating a mental health resource while being in a mental health crisis// Or// Day 13 of Residency// Day 2 of Re-Lockdown 14/8/2020:

I can physically feel the chemical changes in my body as I start to go into depression. How to provide healing practices- bodywork, somatic movement, talking to friends and family, without diving back into compulsive list-making? Without setting up an expectation that healing should look or feel any particular way. I am so grateful to my collaborators, what would I be if I didn’t have Fa’asu to constantly affirm me? We must cherish people. That’s what I’ve learned most of all. Dance-making and practice must always be for the people- sustainable, supportive, and loving. I’m gonna go now, maybe brew some kombucha and sit in my little garden, watch my dog dig a hole, and allow myself to be IN IT. 


the emergency alert sent to mobiles in nz on august 11 2020: EMERGENCY ALERT. COVID-19 ALL-OF-GOVERNMENT RESPONSE: From midday wednesday 12 august, the AUCKLAND REGION moves to COVID-19 alert level 3. The rest of New Zealand moves to Alert level 2. Positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified in a household in the Auckland Region. If you are in Acukland, STAY HOME where possible, and follow Alert Level 3 guidelines. This will stop the transmission of COVID-19 and SAVE LIVES. For more information on Alert Level 3 and Alert Level 2 go to www.covid19.govt.nz. Issued 11 August 2020 10:12pm

Responses from our workshop 8/8/2020:

I struggle a lot with showing up to things. Discipline…what does that word even mean? In the age of cancel culture, I feel our physical/ virtual presence in spaces has become even more potently important. And yet, gosh it’s hard to leave the comfort and safety of the cocoon I’ve built myself in my home. So I get it, it’s hard. What if I replace my need for discipline with an unequivocal embracing of ‘putting myself in their shoes’-ness. It’s easy to disguise almost anything as a love song. Also, let’s make our self-care practices public! Like, let’s do them in public! 

From Katrina

This workshop was quite integral for our research as this development of our Friday features session had a different demographic that fed into our discussions from other standpoints.I also felt super supported being potentially the youngest one and least experienced one to voice my struggles being a newly graduated freelancer and to find validity and common grounds in things that I have experienced.

The discussions we had considered things that I have found myself pondering for some time now and never literally spoken about out loud or even written, I found my mind racing faster than my tongue could move and getting caught up in stumbles of words and then crept in moments of self doubt, was what I’ve been thinking even legitimate once I’d heard it physically? 

Was this form of self doubt a response in my lack of security as a valid member of the industry being so inexperienced amongst the experienced, how do I find legitimacy without time, where does that source of validity come from and also why is it sometimes not there. Julia Harvey then spoke and told me she still even now has those same struggles about legitimacy and validity in ones self, this further made me think about the sustainability of our industry and also the affects of the self it has or the lack there of.

This workshop not only gave me a chance to voice my thoughts in a physical/digital platform but also connect and align myself with other people in this industry and made me feel more a sense of belonging. I furthermore am left with my questions and concerns that I want to delve into and acknowledge and question.

From Fa’asu

a mind map of handwritten notes, including: Insecurity, the fragility of existence as an artist. Nothing is binary. Scarcity mindset. Contradictions and boundaries. Loneliness that we seem to wallow in.