Sunday, April 20, 2014

so...an actor post for the first time in ages....

I got a job! Woo hoo! I'm two weeks in but am taking the opportunity the Easter weekend is giving me (ie I am not exhausted) to update my blog!

I'm working with Improbable Theatre in collaboration with English National Opera. Phelim McDermott, the director, has directed operas before and gets a skills ensemble involved - actors and performers - to help construct the world of the opera.

We're doing Cosi Fan Tutte -a classic Mozart comedy - and it's set in Coney Island in the 50's - and the skills ensemble are the carnys. We're an interesting combo as you can see!
The majority come from cabaret and circus - we have a contortionist, a fire eater, a cabaret freakshow all-rounder (piercings, blockhead, fire, glass walking etc), a strongman, a sword swallower, a giant, two little people, a fusion bellydancer, an actrobat and then ME! And one other actor who specialises in physical theatre and has worked with Phelm before.

It took me a while to find out why the hell I was there - I couldn't do any stunts or tricks....(I'm the fat lady and the bearded lady btw)....but in the second week it became very clear - this style of devised performance is what I trained in. I'd forgotten how much fun it is to be so physical and creative.

Working with the singers is awesome - I'm blown away by their talent - not only do they have to remember the lines, sing in tune (and Mozart has a LOT of notes) but they also have to act. It's mindblowing. They're also really lovely to work with - we feel like a company rather than us and them.

You can read more about it here  - Dan Ayling our AD is writing a blog. And Phelim is interviewed about it here.

It's always been my dream to perform in the West End and it's coming true. We open at the Coliseum on 16th May. It's such a beautiful theatre - the shining ball on top is something so familiar.
 And it's definitely the biggest gig I've ever played! 2,359 seats! Argh! This is the view from the stage!

I'll try and post more when I have time. I'm just so utterly thankful to be working again and working on such an amazing production - totally different to anything I've done before.....

Thursday, March 27, 2014

So.....

Yet again my resolution for doing a photo a day seems to have fallen by the wayside. Hey ho. My life is chaos it doesn't surprise me.

BUT I have news! Exciting happy clappy news. I've been trying really hard to kickstart my acting career recently - be a bit more proactive. I paid for IMDB pro so now if you look at my imdb page here, you can see my photo. I've done a lot of workshops with The Actors Guild. And I went and saw my lovely agent about why I wasn't getting auditions...and lo and behold 2 days later I'm auditioning.

I met Phelim McDermott whose work I've admired since I saw Shockheaded Peter back in 2002 on the West End. He runs Improbable Theatre Company. And he's directing Cosi Fan Tutte for the English National Opera. I met him last Wednesday - it was a strange audition. This was the brief
We are looking for performers to join our Skills Ensemble for the production. Basically, this is a group of actors and performers who will form an integral part of the production: establishing the world of the opera and facilitating changes of scenery (i.e. moving set/props around), as well as performing routines.
Phelim and set designer Tom Pye have chosen to set the opera in the 1940s Coney Island world of Carnivalesque, Freak Shows and Circus. So, we are looking to people this world with incredible performers of all sizes, shapes and skills. 

It was an utter pleasure just to sit with Phelim who showed me the set design and talked about his ideas. But I just had to be me. And I admitted I couldn't really "do" any freaky tricks - he mentioned they'd seen a lot of glass eaters that day plus a sword swallower - but I talked about work I'd done, devising experience, artists we both knew etc. 

And I got the job! So I must have done something right! So as of next Monday, I'm in rehearsal. And we open on the 16th May. Tickets are insanely expensive and details are here. I'm not sure exactly WHAT I'll be doing in the production - but I'm sure it's going to be amazing. I'll blog when I can about it. It was a mad rush to arrange childcare but I managed it - the universe seemed to be smiling on me as a mum who has SEN kids herself suddenly had a vacancy at exactly the right time. Thank you Karma....


One of the best bits? I get to be on the West End. And go through a Stage Door to work - one of my dreams since I was a little girl. And yesterday I got to go through it for the first time for a wardrobe meeting.....and my heart fluttered. I feel like an ACTOR again goddammit! I've never worked on a stage show this big before. With a live orchestra...and opera singers....it's going to be amazing.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

29/365/2014

Yes! Old pics from the shed. As you can see, this one didn't escape the damp. But I love it. Baby Bert and Baby Me. We've been together since 1991 which is a headfuck really. 23 years. We are so young in this pic!!!

28/365/2014

We're finally getting the horrid shed at the bottom of our garden replaced. I thought I'd be able to clear it out at the weekend but I had to do it today without the help of strong husband. Luckily my amazing Daddy came to my rescue and between the two of us we chucked and bagged up years of crap! I am a hoarder. There were lots of things in there that if I'd looked at closely, I'd probably have kept. But I was ruthless (as you can see) and it's all gone. I did manage to salvage some old photos - more of those later methinks.

27/365/2014

Clogsilk's birthday! I meant to get a picture of her in her funky new hat (what I bought her) but I forgot. The only pic I took was of these rather posh crisps