Throughout the EE process, I undoubtedly enjoyed researching into my chosen topic. This is because it started out as a simple interest I gained through participating in a workshop led by my teacher on Balinese masks. I was pleasantly surprised to see how my interests in Theatre can lead me to undertaking an investigation. Through my research, this topic has become far more appealing to me, and is something I will take forward in my life. Nevertheless, I do acknowledge points in my research where my approach was lacking – where I could have carried out more extensive primary research. Perhaps an inclusion of a mask workshop led by myself, with participants consisting of my Theatre peers. This may have led to a more comprehensive research process, through which the evidence used in my EE could have been vindicable. However, my inquiry into various credible secondary sources, and my practical exploration in a professional Butoh workshop, provided me with a more wholistic perspective that I utilised to my advantage when in the process of writing my EE. This project has had a profound impact on my perspective of Theatre and its real world implications.
During my research, I found a number of sources with a range of personal anecdotes and experiences derived from several mask workshops with different leaders. Furthermore, I successfully conducted a face to face interview with an experienced actress (Alys Hill) with the theatre company ‘Zen Zen Zo’. One challenge I face now is that I have found it difficult to form a cohesive argument in correlation with my research. Therefore, I was writing too much about the context of the theatre traditions that I explored. My supervisor felt this was unnecessary, as it wasn’t helping to address my ‘RQ’. I’ve learnt that I should rather begin my paper by using the research I have gathered that relate to my ‘RQ’, instead of focusing on the context of theatre traditions. As a result, I’ve realised it’s important I expand the number of sources I use, as this would allow me to continually reference my research throughout the entirety of the paper.
From the beginning I displayed heavy interest into the idea of mask work in Theatre. Since my short experience with mask work uplifted my personal value of Theatre, I thought it best for it to be a contributing factor in my EE. However, I found myself confused as to what specifically about the use of mask is relevant to people not necessarily within a Theatre context. In our first meeting, we discussed my interest in mask in the hopes to find a source to it – therefore discovering that my interest actually stems from a bigger concept of ‘trance’, and the idea of an actor losing themselves through different aspects in Theatre. This discovery allowed me to realise my initial focus was simply too specific to be able to write a meaningful EE. Ultimately, the discussion helped me to acquire a more holistic understanding of my interests, allowing me to research into a considerable amount of material (books, excerpts, etc).