Three days is not enough time to make a piece of theatre. Still, we’re trying. I said yes again dammit. I need to examine that tendency in myself. I’ve spent this weekend in a basement talking about behaviours in the workplace and trying to determine how best to present a load of extremely dry material in some semblance of a fun way. Now the evening is here and I’m walking in it, trying to clear my head.
This morning I spoke with an old friend from drama school. We haven’t spoken for ages. It was lovely to catch up. But recently I feel like I fell through a wormhole in 2003 and landed in some strange alternate future. I feel like I’m the dude from Quantum Leap and I’ve landed in older me. Oh Boy. Such lot to do. And what the hell happened? I think it’s become more noticeable to me when I spend my time doing something that doesn’t feed my soul. At least I’m in good company, but I think this will be the last time I accept something just because I like the person offering it. I learnt a few years ago not to say yes until I’d read the script. Now I’ve learnt that I can say no to stuff even if I like the people and think I need the money, if the material won’t bring me joy. I roped in John, my old friend from drama school, who did it because it was me. I suspect he feels the same way. It’s a lovely room, full of lovely people, and we are having fun with it. But it’s impossible to care about the material we have been tasked to put across theatrically because it’s just corporate nonsense. I comfort myself that for us it’s only three days. For the 250 staff members tomorrow, it’s the next few years. They’ve spent a year and a load of cash developing this language. This acronym. This way of making obvious things sound special. As for me, I’ve taken this job, so I must, as always, commit utterly to it. But I know to be more selective in future.
Dan, my old friend, asked me how it felt in London after the attacks. It’s a funny thing how quickly that washed off. Sadiq our mayor has had a lot of flak for saying that terror attacks are “part and parcel of living in a big city.” I know what he means though in terms of how we should react to this stuff. We should just carry on, and we have. It just means that there are more cops visible with guns, but for the bulk of Londoners, nobody seems to feel any more threatened. We’re still out on the street in large gatherings. Three hateful fools are just that and can’t be given any power by letting them change our behaviour.
Now I’m on a bus again. I still think of the bus that got blown up in 2007. But I spend a lot of time on buses. I love earwigging the conversations. “London guys are not so cute. They dress really douchey.” That’s the latest from the two California girls next to me. Mind you they think everything is douchey so I wouldn’t be too concerned, guys.
Right now I’m concerned that this work is douchey. But I’m in company with some lovely people, we know what we’re doing and who we are. We’ve made a frame that allows us to take risks. I’m just going to take ownership of my decision to do this, and do it marvelously, and simultaneously fail and succeed multiple times over the course of one Monday. I’ve done stranger things. I’ve done harder things. It’s just another random madness, and since that’s how I’ve predicated my existence, I have nothing to complain about.
Here’s the view from the bus. One day I’ll remember to try and take good photos.