This is a strange space to work, and the shows are extremely hard so far. In previous years my voice has sometimes ended up tired, particularily at the end of a Saturday 2 show day. I’d normally have the confidence of previous experience that it will hold up. But after some of the rowdiest audiences I have ever experienced, and working in a very cold room, for the first time I’m worried. There’s a show at six tomorrow and then I’ve got a day of full vocal rest. I’m in an uber home how, and I’ll be cutting out booze until this is clear. But I’ve got the whole of December to play. I need to be able to turn up. So I’m essentially going to become a monk and take a vow of silence. A steam monk. An alcohol free steam monk at Christmas. It doesn’t help that there’s no warmth at home outside of fan heaters. I should’ve sorted that by now. You reap what you sow. I feel a little sick with nerves about it.

Outside of that concern, which I’m hoping will lose power if I speak it’s name, the shows are still fun even though it feels like a different beast this year. Our team is jumping in with both feet and getting involved across all aspects of the work. Brian was on the bar for a while, and I watched him through the curtain. It was delightful. He was charming if slightly baffled. Cast and crew are all getting stuck in with the business of realising this bonkers entertainment. You’ve likely already got the sense of the variety of duties on offer. Jack and I are already shutter-masters. Oh we get those shutters up and down like a shot. Like a SHOT.

But I just had an experience that helps me put things into perspective, perhaps. The stage manager messaged to ask if I had the back door key. I immediately started running scenarios whereby I might have lost the key to a padlock on the front door that I’d opened… I started feeling anxious about that. About it being my fault. Then I realised she was referring to a key that I definitely haven’t used all day. And then it hit me.

I’ve had a bad day. That’s it. Brian cut his thumb really badly. My voice is damaged. The shows were hard. It’s been dark and cold. That’s all. Bad day. I don’t get that often. I am usually excellent at finding the positive. But that capacity is temporarily gone, so I’m running worst case scenarios with opportunities to blame myself.

I’m writing this now with a towel over my head and a load of hot water and honey on my lap. It’s in a container of course, rather than just all over my legs. That would be weird.

I almost dropped my phone into the pot. That would’ve compounded it. But yeah. I think I know it’s name now, this thing I feel. But it doesn’t stop me from feeling it, and feeling a bit shaky, and all the things. But hey, It’s okay to be low. I’ve kept myself upbeat for long enough, I probably needed a drop. I’m giving a lot of energy out. Hot bath, early bed. Pickle has just joined me under my towel and is nuzzling me. Beautiful gentle tiny beast that she is.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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