Still in Cornwall

20190606_005924 I’m still in Newquay sleeping here, although I could’ve flown home tonight. “If you fly me back tonight will you be able to cancel the hotel room?” “No it’ll just be empty.” “Well I’ll stay in it then. Fly me out tomorrow. The day’s blocked out in the diary anyway.”

I sat this morning downstairs in The Headlands hotel and began the long process of completing a working VISA application for the US. They want to know everything. I had no idea how old my parents would’ve been had they still been alive but the application form wants it so now I do. Turns out dad would’ve been in his nineties and mum in her early seventies. I have friends who are older than mum would’ve been now and we still do silly fun things together just for the sake of doing them. Then there’s the whole bit where they want exact dates of previous trips to the US. And digging out my Social Security number, which I had issued last time I came over.

With the Atlantic Ocean to my right hand, I sat and filled in forms for the whole morning and much of the afternoon. I THINK they’re all done now. I hope so. I’m sleeping in a beautiful hotel but they want your firstborn for a cup of coffee. A little part of me thought I’d go to the Minack and finally see this theatre carved into the cliff that I’ve turned down badly paid jobs at for decades. A friend of mine is doing one as the best part in a tricky play. I didn’t bring my driving licence and I fly early tomorrow…

No I don’t fly early tomorrow. Lies. 10pm Call from the unit mid blog. “Al, will you stay here? We need maybe to shoot the interior on Friday of the publisher office for the bad weather?” I’ll do what I’m told when I’m put up in such a glorious hotel room. So I’m staying here in Newquay. This also changes my chances of getting my ass to the Minack to see my friend working in a pretty place for magic beans. I will almost certainly be able to work out a way to see him earn those beans. I never want to pay the producer to see an actor working for less than what they should get. I’ve asked him what he’s paid and I’ll make my decision on his reply. I might lose some cover days by staying here, but I’ve had a glorious time, and met some excellent humans, and this job is not a job that cuts corners regarding actor’s pay.

I’ve spent the evening with the actor who’ll be my takeaway from this job so far. He’s got ten years on me. He’s a prettyboy dissolving into character after 20 years and trying to figure the change. I’ve always been the dissolve, never the pretty. The dissolve is my home. “You’re a character actor,” said the few of my parent’s friends who even engaged with my decision back when my parents were actually alive and I had their elsewise ambition for me to fight. I had to fuck three years at university despite a drama school place. Then the only actor they knew got wheeled out to discourage me. I’ve never thanked him for galvanising me as much as he did that night at the Chelsea Arts Club when he had been told to discourage me. I still don’t know if he meant to discourage or obliquely encourage. He did his best to balance humans. Jack Hedley and I should be friends. He probably feels he failed in his job to discourage. Mum was using every tool in her box to make me “get it out of my system”. I even got “You’re not even ugly enough” from one of my her many boyfriends/hangers on. All in a (maybe) careful attempt to discourage the idiot child from the stupid bad bad bad idea. But yes. I stuck with the idea because I’m an actor. Stet. And for the short term, it’s working.

There’s a fallow time ahead at some point inevitably. There always is. But thankfully not for many months. So meantime I’m finishing having a joyful rich time here in Cornwall, filling in VISA applications for my late summer. This is going to be an amazing few months.


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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