This project began when Skatz & Dawn visited community centres and village halls to meet with the diverse communities of Leicestershire and hear their stories in Jan/Feb 2013.
They asked a simple question, “Who in your life has inspired you?”
At some of the story gathering sessions, Skatz wrote songs instantly, especially when he was at sessions run by Vista, the organisation which helps people who have visual impairments in Leicestershire. Some of these songs appear in the play. In fact, the words to the majority of the songs in the play are arranged from the actual words people used to tell their stories.
Leicester is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the UK and is rich in diversity, so Skatz and Dawn tried their best to meet as broad a spectrum of people and cultures and ages as possible. There were interesting and exciting people from many many countries. There were gypsies and refugees. There were people with different religious beliefs. There were people from many parts of the UK and from many parts of Leicester too, some who had travelled far, some who had never moved.
They found differences, of course. But what they found most of all was that in spite of these differences, most of us have very similar aspirations. We all need someone to tell us we are worth something, we all need love, and we all need inspiration.
The story gathering sessions have been a huge inspiration on Skatz & Dawn, not only from their perspective as artists wanting to produce a show, but from a much more personal perspective of people who need the ‘charging up of the soul batteries’ that defines inspiration.
It has been a fascinating journey, and now they have created the show, it will hopefully inspire more souls. Certainly the people who have had visits from the Father Used To Say team are still talking about the stories they shared with each other; they’ve learned things about themselves and their friends that they never knew in spite of knowing them for a long time in some cases.
The next step is up to you in some ways. Share your stories of inspiration with a friend, or on this site. Come to see the show. Skatz will be taking the show with him when he moves abroad in August 2013, and plans to collect stories from the communities of South West Kerry in Ireland to create a new show all about them. Watch this site for more news of that.
And above all, seize the day, and inspire someone by doing something positive. The world needs it, and you have it in you. x