I’m back home, and running a bath. 4 days in a tent in a field in Oxfordshire. I didn’t shower. I only washed my hands with water and soap once. The rest of the time it was just horrible foamy sanitiser, from the dispensers on the side of the vile plastic festival loos. And occasional face wipes to get off the makeup. There are showers at Wilderness with hot running water. It really is the most middle class festival possible. I should’ve used them, but I didn’t.
There are only a few sound-stages, but the quality of the programming is high. We had Grace Jones on the last night, naked in white body paint at 69 with a bunch of acrobats, and looking amazing for it. The festival has a full orchestra all of its own. They play film soundtracks on the last night. At The Forum, there’s a variety of spoken word and comedy. The folk tent has little known bands who are glad to be there and giving it large. Even the main stage is giving rare chances. On the first night, The Turbans finished their set saying “Thanks. We are not a main stage band.” Then they all took a bow. It was beautifully humble after a great set.
There will be big names from time to time there, but more often smaller yet significant names. The “lost” musician Rodriguez played Cold Fact a few years ago, shortly after the wonderful documentary “Searching for Sugarman” was released about him. I stood next to an ecstatic South African couple who had come all the way from Johannesburg to watch him play. The evening was perfect. He hauled his broken body into a chair and played to a perfect sky. The guys next to me held hands and wept.
I think I’ll keep going to that festival if I can, and make it to ten years. It’s given me many happy times. I’ve made it work with some tricky schedules. It’s only 2 hours from London which makes it rushable. And over the years I’ve gathered a wonderful group of friends that meet there yearly. It’s a collection of international misfits, all working hard in their respective spheres, all using the festival to depressurise.
And I’ve certainly depressurised. I feel great. Ready to get back into the fight. I’m aware of a double headed problem. First, that I have been longer than ever without a good long acting job. Second that I’ve been documenting my day to day, so that’s publicly available information. It’s time to get back to headbutting the wall. I feel I need to invest some money in some casting director workshops or some such, just to get back in the game. I’ve always balked at paying for them, but it works for some people so it must be worth a try. I’ve been at this long enough that I know what I’m doing. Much as I love these festival jobs, I can’t keep doing them into my sixties, sleeping in freezing tents on deflating mattresses among the spiders. When I get paid for all this catering I’ll invest some of my I’ll gotten gains. Meantime I’m going to scrape off the accumulated crust from my body and turn in for an early bed.