Dear, oh dear!
A good blog (well at least the ones that I enjoy visiting) posts interesting things on a regular basis. To that end, mine is not a good blog! I knew it had been a while since I had written anything but didn’t realise quite how long.
I admit I’ve been a bit quiet recently. Suddenly the blog and Facebook and yes, even my beloved Twitter have all felt too much of an effort. It isn’t that I haven’t had things to say, it’s just that I haven’t felt that sudden need to get out my phone or laptop to share it with the world. I think that may have been the case in real life too as I’m suddenly aware I haven’t been returning personal texts, calls and emails with any real enthusiasm. I’m not depressed or even low, I just feel very tired but not in a physical way……if that makes sense.
However, despite all that, I’ve been keeping pretty busy and that probably explains quite a lot too. I don’t feel tired when I’m working and I’ve really been enjoying the things that have been coming my way. Today, I suddenly felt I must make a note of what I’ve been up to recently so that this blog at least lives up to the title!
I’ve become quite an academic. Well, in the loosest sense of the word, as I’ve spent some time on courses and workshops both on Modern Theatre and on Shakespeare’s tragedies and I feel very knowledgeable now! So even if I’m just involved in a conversation about the weather, I like to drop in little nuggets about Ibsen or Lecoq’s influence on theatre or whether Shakespeare’s Gertrude is villain or victim….
I’ve kept up with the writers’ workshop too, which I’ve loved. With their encouragement I wrote my first script for the group to read. I was stunned at how hard I found it. It’s such a different discipline from writing a novel. That came very easily to me. Basically, I just opened my laptop and it all came flooding out. Writing a script took a lot more thought and I was surprised as the actual writing of speech has always come very easily to me. I was so nervous about presenting it to the group but they are such an encouraging bunch and they said they loved it. They gave me lots of feedback and I couldn’t wait to get back to work on it. I didn’t get a chance to do that though as almost immediately, I was offered the chance to develop a script in collaboration with some others. That project was not as hard as I expected, as I was given the action for each scene and I just had to write the dialogue. It wasn’t difficult but I had to get it done to a deadline and so effectively lost 24 hours of my life as I did it non-stop from 3.30 one afternoon to 4.30 the next, hardly sleeping or eating in the process. I loved it !
I have a friend who had already told me to write scripts like that by laying out the action before the words and he is so right. Actually, I’m reading a draft of his third book at the moment. He’s such a great writer and it is a real honour and a privilege that he rates my thoughts on his work. I need to get back to it as I had to put it to one side with everything that has been happening and haven’t had a chance to look at it again, until now. Look up his first two novels “Sex Lessons” and “Three Way” by Daniel Grant – they’re great holiday reading. In fact, go visit him at http://www.danielgrantonline.com. He’s been very encouraging in getting me to write my first novel but to my shame, that is still in a drawer and I have hardly looked at it this year.
I’ve done more medical and corporate role play and a few more freelancing stints at the Beeb which is all good for the bank account. I never imagined freelancing would work for me as I thought I needed the security of a regular salary but I’m getting used to this way of life and I like the flexibility of being able to get to castings as they came up, which is usually with very little notice.
Castings and auditions are such a strange business. Often, when I think they have been rubbish and I haven’t been able to engage with the panel and clearly haven’t got it, the call comes through that it was successful and the job is mine. But then I go to castings where the role seems perfect and practically written for me and they’re all so friendly and encouraging and even tell me to keep various days free for shooting and I leave thinking that it’s in the bag…..and then I never hear from them again! Maybe one day I’ll get used to the whole business. Unlikely though !
I’ve done a couple of plays – one which involved various states of undress which at my age and size is not the best sight! There is no doubt though, that I am happiest when I’m on stage and I still can’t explain why. I don’t enjoy camera work as much but I’ve been lucky enough to get a couple of corporate filming jobs too.
Wardrobe fittings have stopped being such a nightmare as I have just about got over the embarrassment of giving out my real measurements. I’ve realised that no one actually seems to care…..except me. I will do something about it though, I will, I will ….after I’ve had this mid-morning piece of cake!!
Not having seen many friends recently has made me the life and soul of all these jobs. The filming I did last week, was with a lovely group and we were very loud in our green room. It made me realise that I actually miss my friends and I need to make more of an effort and get back in touch with everyone.
In between work, I’m still sorting the house now that the building work which started in October has finally ended! As a result, I have a new utility room, shower room and bathroom. A new boiler means I’ve also had to add in new kitchen units and change the floor and then, there has been general redecorating and new carpets throughout the house and yet, after all that stress and effort, when the whole place should be shiny and glamorous…..it just looks exactly the same as before!!
I suppose the most significant thing that has happened since my last post was an attack on my son when he was returning to his University campus, leaving him with a severely dislocated and fractured jaw which needed several hours of surgery and weeks of recuperation which is still on-going. He has been amazing. He goes a bit quiet at times and has had some flashbacks to it all, but generally he has been so calm and brave and coping really well with his liquid-only diet, even though he has lost so much weight. He’s still making jokes and playing the fool and has even written a song about the whole thing. I’ve tried to follow his example and be the same around him but when I’m alone I find I can’t stop thinking about what he has gone, and is going through, and it has hit me hard as a parent and I feel so helpless. The police have been brilliant and told my son that counselling is available if he needs it but he says he doesn’t. When I told a friend of mine that yesterday, she asked if I had considered it. I haven’t, because as his family we have only experienced it second-hand but actually, it made me suddenly understand just how much it has affected me. So, although counselling is bit extreme, I do plan to write about it just so I can get it out of my system and then, hopefully, I can move on like he has done because, if I didn’t know it before, I’ve realised my son is quite a remarkable young man