This is renowned Shakespearean actor Al Barclay checking in with you from Waterloo. Hello. I should warn you that I’ve consumed a large quantity of alcohol in a short space of time. Ah yes. My work tonight? Oh I had work. Work. I had it. Is it work? Yes, dammit. Yes, it’s work. (It was hard, if I’m frank. The unknown is tricky. It’s why I decompressed into this delightful ebullient state of mind that you find me in. I always have a hand on the tiller. Although right now it’s not the steadiest hand.)
“Good evening,” I cried to those beauties with their plates of thoughtless meat and their tasty tasty clothes. Oh they all looked so correct. All the women in glorious dresses or trouser suits, expressing all the colours, delightful. Homogenous men in drab colours, aping Beau Brummel, the man who killed colour, slouching in the same old shape and pallette centuries after the poisonous shitbag died of Syphilis.
My job? I’m the interference. Even though I’m in a uniform. My threepiece is navy blue. An acceptable colour for a man, according to inherited convention. I’ve got my tophat and my green ringmaster coat in a carrier bag but these humans aren’t ready for green yet. Man in green? Pervert. Navy is the way forward here.
I stand up in front of these humans I’ve maybe even met before at a film premier connected to their company in LA two years ago. The context is way out of whack and I’m clean shaven. Still I avoid self naming, as a casual Google search would bring the curious into a thought-hole of my own creation after 777 daily blog posts not including this one. Plus I don’t like promoting myself. Probably more of the latter than the former if I’m frank. Maybe I should’ve grandstanded…
I realise just before I start talking that there’s no lectern, rendering my bullet point notes useless. I can’t stand there visibly reading from an iPad. I’m a “renowned Shakespearean”. I want to share Titania’s speech about how the seasons are topsy turvy. It would be current with this week’s weather. “On old Hiem’s thin and icy beard / an odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds / is as in mockery set.” But Titania is one of the only parts in Dream I haven’t played over the decades. I find myself cutting it entirely for safety. I didn’t want to appear as anything other than totally certain, and I’m not certain about Titania’s lines despite multiple Oberonning over the years.
When you stand in front of that many people, and then you inhale their attention into a singularity, you really need to know your pinpoint to remain the shining tip of the pyramid. Thankfully I do, but dammit I’m not – yet – as internationally celebrated for my work as would be helpful in that context. If even 10% of the audience knew me from off the telly box – doing any old stuff – I could’ve been considerably looser with my content and we all would’ve enjoyed me talking more. As it was I had to use discipline and lots of adrenaline, which takes time to wind back out.
I tell them tales. Tales of life and the art to which I’ve committed my headspace. Tales of the war between the ones who fear and the ones who breathe. As the pyramid tip I sparkle.
When I pass the Rameses mic to the client, I pass him an attentive room with it. And then I sod off and walk to Vault. And at Vault I decompress way too quickly, pull in more pints than I’m comfortable counting, and generally put it all away. Now I’m off to sleep. Zzz
Only took one photo today…