Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Year's Musings

Happy New Year to all, I raise a glass of bubbly to your collective good health.
Or I would, if I wasn't still at work.
I might anyway, in the spirit of rebellion!
Or I would. If I had any Champagne.
I raise my carton of apple juice to you.

Let us get this out of the way, I have never liked this time of year, really.  When we went to family get togethers regularly I was too young to appreciate the company (Or the alcohol) and nowadays our house gets invaded by my sister's mates, and there is invariably one who will miss the strike of 12 because they are being sick into our bath.

Let me also say that there is something to be said for making the choice to start afresh.  Because really, there isn't - what's done is done, and time pushes forwards, not backwards.  "This too shall pass" and all that, which is a good thing to remember in the very best of times, not only the very blackest days. And so, I think, this New Year's Eve will be different.

It is noticeable, when the sheen of festive childish excitement starts to dwindle, that Christmas and New Year are strange times because of the frantic energy at opposite ends of the pole. At one end, as I mentioned, the child-like glee, frantic and straining under the right to be excited. At the other, I have seen for the first time - total misery, in some cases. Not necessarily from myself, but from those around me. When I started at work my first question was "CAN I DECORATE THE OFFICE AT CHRISTMAS." Not instead of people nudging me to count down the days I have been regaled with stories of what a chore it is to spend the money, how they hate their family, WHY they hate their family, and how generally hard-done-by they are to have a family and people to buy for in the first place.

I had a very good year. I got a new job to support my acting work, and then was almost solidly employed in one show or another. I beat off depression and got off my medication - now I am feeling, as the children have their right to happiness, that I have had bestowed upon me the adults' right to be unhappy.

I do not have, for the first time, a solid plan for 2014. This scares me and I am dreading it a little. I need to make a showreel. I need to move out. I need to find a new agent. I need to find a first voiceover agent. I need to go back to talk therapy and get my mind back on track. I am terrified.
And I am possibly the most hopeful I have ever been. If there is one thing I know it is that I persevere. I will work for myself and put myself first, and while that particular habit has been a curse at time I also believe - crucially - in magic. I am an artist. Art is not supposed to be pleasent, although I derive so much joy I sometime forget this. I go to the theatre to laugh and cry and be shocked freely and without danger. I act to be in the worst kind of danger possible, to be unhealthily infatuated and destructively angry and unimaginably happy in a place where those frightening but more interesting aspects of the human nature are displayed without reserve.

2014 is nothing more than the next scene in my play, if you like. I do not need to force my happiness or success - just like times of suffering do not need encouragement to crop up, as every person will know. And this is what I think about the people I heard declaring their hatred for Christmas or New Year, as I, admittedly, tend to do every December 31st. I wonder how many stand on the edge of November 30th and think, "I don't know how Christmas will be this year. Let's see." And go into it with no expectations that the Turkey will be ruined, or relatives will die, or the kids won't like their presents.
Who knows, you might actually enjoy yourself.

And so, in closing, I would like to publicly acknowledge my own New Year's Resolution - because I'm an old-fashioned lass when it comes to tradition - I will go through this year, as much as possible, without expectations.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

New Year's Eve eve eve eve eve eve


I am out of work and very twitchy indeed. Have been practically living at the radio recently which has been great in terms of company and money, but it's not Opening Number for Act Two.
Things are wobbly to the max.  The dark days are not good for me at all. This is my first winter without anti-depressants in two years, and I can feel it in a big way.  Christmas eve night, I actually had a panic attack.

It's not anything big - just a selection of small, annoying circumstances that wouldn't have been a problem at all if they hadn't all come at once.

Christmas was lovely, calm as usual with lots of food and alcohol, but I'm definitely getting itchy feet.  A change is near and needed.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Good morning!

Desperately, painfully tired this morning.  I'm supposed to be meeting someone for the first time lunch this afternoon, preventing me from going home to sleep - mind you, I have to be back for Faust by 3.30, so there's be no point anyway.  By the time I got home I'd only have a couple of hours before having to leave the house again.

I'm going to head over to Innerspace today, and see if I can sleep in their quiet room or, if the weather's ok (which according to the Weather program at work, is highly unlikely) I can just curl up under a tree in Embankment gardens and sleep there for an hour or two. And hope no one mugs me.

The aforementioned lady with whom I'm supposed to be having lunch has not actually gotten back to me on the subject, which is frustrating. I honestly don't mind if people can't make things - it happens, and it would be hypocritical to get irritated over it - but I wish she'd let me know. Hmm.  We shall see.

In other news, rehearsals are going very well in general.  First run through of Faust tonight and first complete run of Comic Potential on Thursday - so excited that everything is coming together now.  It's been a bit bumpy on both fronts but we should manage.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Post audition glow

Shenanigans at the Radio already this morning.  I have to re-do the demos I did last week (he noticed my edit in one of them, damn it) and I have a choice of two sets of headphones - one pair doesn't work, and the other pair are broken.  Was that gramatically correct? Eesh.

It'll be a busy one today.  Two classes at Pineapple then Faust then Orchestra. I shan't attempt to hide my smugness, I'll enjoy every second. I'm doing lots of Yoga at the moment - I try to go to Pineapple about three times a week and do a yoga class every time.  One of my very dear Twitter pals suggested I do more - It is helping with the "being in the moment" issues I'm currently struggling with, and also doing yoga before or after a good jazz or ballet class, I'm finding, does wonders for muscle recovery and general soreness.

We finished setting Comic Potential yesterday afternoon!  It has suddenly struck me that there is really not all that long to go before the show itself.  Terrifying and exciting.  I need to run my lines for CP every night before bed this week I think - I know Faust completely now, and now the dates are creeping closer I need to focus more on CP anyway. I saw Carla's costume design and love it.  Red blouse, black skirt and jacket, red killer-bitch heels.  YES. I love playing the evil ones.

I enjoyed my audition Sunday morning, too.  It was for a production of Medea - another greek Tragedy, and a wonderfully chilling story.  I saw Headlong's modernised production a few months ago at Richmond and thought it was brilliant.
The creative team seemed very friendly.  Lots of eye contact without being intimidating, and they were attentive to my pieces.  I did Titania from A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Storybook from Faust. (You'll never use monologues in auditions, they said!)  I thought it went well, and that's enough for me - it's up to them now.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Sleep, Rope and Dr. Theatre

Yesterday was pretty amazing.

For the most part.
I overslept, which, to the credit of my phone alarm, has never happened bar ONCE (and even then I managed to not be late for work) - unfortunately I woke up at half ten, and rushed to get to my rehearsal which had started a half hour before.  I was mortified of course, but luckily the Faust/Gretchen final scene in the prison had yet to be set, so they'd spent time working on that.
When I watched it back, I was blown away.  Tom and Iulia are both such amazing actors. I really hope I come out of this project a more open person, and better at what I do from working with them.  I feel more unbalanced already, which I think is a good thing - I know I settle into a comfortable place very easily, and once I'm there it's pretty difficult to move me.  But in a way that was why I took the BDSM Faust job, I wanted something to really push me in ways I hadn't considered.

Anyway I got to try on a corset, which was pretty cool - I've always wanted one, and I think now would be a good time to invest - and a pretty good excuse as well - it was green satin.  Really beautiful. I was looking at some pretty black ones last night before my internet cut out, I'm definitely going to get one of those.

The play I saw in the evening was fabulous.  I know the playwright through my old college principal - they're both lovely guys and having seen some of the writer's other work he truly deserved to have the play done on a large scale.  It hit a chord with me - dealing with nostalgia of bygone days, the elderly and fading - I have always had an appreciation for those bygone eras before technology took over and when there was a proper etiquette with regard to how to speak to people.

Off to an audition, then rehearsal for Comic Potential.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

First-Post awkwardness

Good evening all!

So a little bit of why exactly I'm going to try and keep this blog.

I was diagnosed with depression about a year ago, and I'm doing really well now, much much better in myself and the way I look at life. I've cut down on my anti-depressants and adjusting to leading a positive life slowly but surely.  It's been simultaneously one of the most difficult and absolutely wonderful years of my life - I've met amazing people and learned so much about what life really has to offer.

Now, I want to take it to the next step -  I want to know myself, really and truly which sounds A BIT WANKY I know - there is a lot going on at the moment, and I think this blog will help me get my head around what I'm learning, as well as reflecting and remembering the good things :)

The weather has turned, which means it's NEARLY CHRISTMAS (and I do not care what month it is).  Have been practising my Mandolin a little today.  I'm sorry to say I got a little frustrated, but I ploughed on and did a good 20 minutes picking through Christmas songs. I'll get there.  I keep thinking about my Uke, and how I was when I started out on that - pretty bloody awful.  And while I'm not by any means spectacular, I'm competent and pick up things quickly.

I'm rehearsing for a couple of things at the moment.  The first up will be Alan Ayckbourn's Comic Potential.  I'm playing Carla - a total BITCH which I have to say is FAR TOO MUCH FUN.  It's quite therapeutic to get all that poison out.

The other is BDSM Faust.  A fresh reworking of Goethe's Faust using (obbbviously) BDSM and Fetish themes...which is COMPLETELY fresh ground for me and actually really eye opening.  The cast and creatives are really earthy, artistic people - good for me and where I am at the moment.

I have an audition tomorrow and lots of lines to learn for Comic Potential still - hopefully I will be able to keep this up!

PB x