This is my very first blog post!!!
Firstly, a huge thank you for stopping by and having a read. Secondly apologises for those who visited my previous site only to find one front page and a series of the dreaded 404’s (“this page does not exist”) for almost a year. Finally, I managed to get my act together and a grasp of the constantly evolving technology to do this. Yay!!
This blog is an opportunity for me to air my thoughts and feelings about things in more than the 140 characters on Twitter! The subjects, people and things that inspire and move me. I will share with you my view of the world…Also the things I hold dear for one reason or another. Basically my ramblings, which I hope you’ll find interesting…. look I’ve started already!!
Anyway, here goes.
During the rebuilding of this site, I have to say I found it to be a really interesting, enjoyable and cathartic process.
As I collected all the material from my career over the years it brought back some incredible memories. Looking at the various jobs, the people I worked with and I’ll even go as far as to say, how I felt at the time. It was a bit of a research project, one that I have learnt from and has left me feeling rather positive.
I can remember feeling at the end of every job (as regular as clock work) “you’re never going to work again!”. I think I shared these thoughts with a lot of actors….that sense of insecurity. Clearly a misplaced negative thought process, that offered more harm than good. Lesson one…Stop that nonsense!!
Comedy of Errors (RSC) rehearsals taken from the programme.
Throughout the rebuild I realised I didn’t really have any images of my early career in Theatre. It wasn’t necessarily the done thing, to seek or take photographs while you were working. So I went about a quest to find some. I contacted a lot of the photographers who took the photos from the original productions only to remember, that back then, things weren’t done digitally. A few of them came back and said they’d lost the negatives etc… Goodness, how we’ve come a long way in image capturing. We live in a culture now, where we can readily take photos from a smart phone, fairly good quality images to boot.
I clearly had lots of fun!! Rehearsal shot of the play Shoot to Win, image from programme.
Not to mention the expectation we all have. The presupposition that we chart our lives via photos… pretty much on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, I think the ability to take photos whenever we want is rather fascinating, something I welcome with open arms. When you look at the bigger picture (no pun intended) and delve into the history of photography from the days of the Daguerrotypes and Calotypes in the 1800’s. Where the subjects had to hold absolutely still for a fairly long period of time. Now, what we can capture any given moment with spontaneity. Like mid action shots in shows….. It’s something now I will always do It’s pretty darn incredible. I will be sharing my passion for photography in other posts. Oh look I’m off… I digress….
Lesson two: that which we are afraid of, tackle head on. One of my fears being computer technology. I kid you not I struggled with cutting and pasting shortcuts for years…. really!! And through time and letting go of my negative internal dialogue of “I can’t”. Thinking it was something for the youth; my silly irrational phobia. Well, “I can” and “I did”. The process of learning about myself plus a whole bunch of transferable skills…. what a joy!
The collating of my various reviews (which at the time I didn’t read), thankfully. During one of my first jobs a great theatre actor offered a piece of advice which struck a cord with me. He said he NEVER read his reviews whilst he was doing a show. Whether the reviews were good, bad or indifferent. They are all just opinions. Opinions that potentially have the power to change your convictions, leaving you second guessing yourself. That is something I have held on to from that moment to this. Whilst I gathered past reviews for this site(to of course pick the best ones, lol) there was enough distance. I came across some horrific write ups of some of performances. Which, had I read them at the time would have left me feeling crushed!! lol…
Oh so young and somewhat naïve. My first ever acting headshot on graduating from LAMDA. Photo by Geoff Shields.
Lesson three: trust one’s instincts. My instinct to take heed of something that I knew would prove to be invaluable.
This has served as a stark reminder of the amazing people I have met and worked with along the way. I have been fortunate enough to learn from some seriously gifted human beings, whose work I totally respect. The wonderful opportunities I have had to work on some incredible shows. The joy, the pain, the laughter, the tears…. I wouldn’t change a thing.
I would recommend this process or something similar to anyone. Even if it’s not for a website but the collating of materials from past activities, like a good old fashioned scrapbook. There’s definetly something positive in reflecting on the past, in order to be in the moment, appreciate the present and look forward to the future. It’s a great way to remember your wonderful experiences,what you’ve learnt and how far you’ve come…
One of my favourites quotes……
“If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday”
Pearl S Buck.
I hope I haven’t rambled on. I’m sure, in time I will LEARN to be more concise!