A Forbidden Room

Spirit – Artistry – Community

Performing the Role of the New Mother

I went back to work a week after the caesarian.   It wasn’t by choice. The drafts were due. They were doing test shoots, two weeks later. I was the sole writer, and the birth was so mind-bogglingly unexpected, that nobody really knew what to do. The two blokes at the helm of the project placated me: It won’t take you long. Just an hour of work on each scene, if you do it by next week you can forget about it for a while. I couldn’t say no. There was no-one else to write them, and I didn’t want […]

Clearing the Temple: Kingdom Creativity vs The Spirit of Saleability

  This post has been adapted from the talks I gave at the SPARC National Gathering 2018 and Femelle Creates 2018, after being asked to share the notes. It is rougher than usual, but you’ll get the idea.   When I was a teenager, my creativity was misdiagnosed as awkwardness. Uncoolness. Weirdness. In the environment I grew up in, wearing wacky clothes wasn’t ‘creativity’ it was ‘a lack of conformity’. Writing epic plays about your friends was symptomatic of someone who had ‘issues’. Someone who was unable to be normal.   But then, of course, I discovered that there was […]

The Mountain

  For me, Christmas is about women. Of course, the child is holy, precious and perfect – the child is a promise fulfilled. Yes, we read of strong and complex men, seeking God. They are useful in this story, but they are not necessary. Joseph is required for his lineage, covering, and gracious complicity, but certainly not his seed. Zechariah is first to see an angel, but is henceforth silenced for his stifling lack of faith. Men are led into this story, to behold God and to make safe passage for their families – and men are born, men that would change the shape of all humanity. But this […]

Feathers, Part Two: Hollywood

No matter your belief paradigm, Los Angeles is a furnace. This month it has had this eery sheen. Smudgy bronzer lines the gutters of Hollywood Boulevard. We have red carpet covering that corner where the homeless man was killed by police. Is that a woman putting a price on her body? Darling, no. That’s a nominee. The Oscars are the ultimate reflection of a hope deferred. They are the television show masquerading as an institution, the marketplace pretending to be a temple. The top of the ladder, the dream of every kid waiting tables in WeHo. Judgment day. We see the […]

We Get It

Last night, I went and saw a play called ‘We Get It’. It was part of MTC Neon, and created by ‘The Elbow Room’ – written by Marcel Dorney and Rachel Perks, and co-directed by Marcel Dorney and Emily Tomlins. This isn’t a review. This is my response. I don’t want this play to open, and then close, and have the long-awaited conversation stop. In saying this, I am responding to the aspect of the show that I could directly understand from experience. There were profoundly moving elements I can’t address, and so I leave them out – but not […]

Antinome

Not too many months ago, some friends and I drove along Mulholland Drive at night. We watched the little lights collect together, and the larger lights of mansions hiding coyly behind hedges. I remember seeing one house, positioned like a castle on a cliff. It held the prime real estate of the city – looking out over the entirety of Los Angeles. There were people pouring in to a party. The building glowed – lit like Marilyn Monroe, with soft shadows and curves. It was very simple from the outside. Highly mysterious. It even had a carpark, for fifty or so cars. […]

California: The Search

A spoken word piece and short film, from our road trip through a wintery California. Part 1 of 3. ‘California: The Search’ by Anna McGahan. Timothy’s Journey. Featuring Mt Shasta, Redding, Yosemite National Park. Music by Timothy Coghill All footage shot in California, January 2015. Footage is of the ‘Dream Big’ Road Trip generously gifted by Visit California, in conjunction with the 2012 Heath Ledger Scholarship presented by Australians in Film.