Getting ready for getting out

And suddenly I’m embarking on a regular existence for a while. This will be unfamiliar. I will rise in the morning at the same time as many many other human beings in this city, and I will be forced to put myself onto those angry morning tube trains where everybody hates you. I will follow my drama school footsteps to Moorgate Station, alongside all the unfortunate souls who push buttons in front of screens all day in the square mile while pretending they actually care about that company they hate.

I won’t be pushing buttons though. I’ll be derigging cables. I’ll be packing lights. I’ll be smashing walls in and carrying stuff to skips. I expect I’ll be cold and tired a lot, but I’ll be in good company and in all likelihood there’ll be music playing. I’ll have to make sure I take care of my shoulder as this is likely to be as physical as I make it. But irrespective of the fact I still don’t know what’s wrong with it, I suspect that careful usage is going to be better than no usage at all. Even if over about two months now there have only been two days when I haven’t been woken up by pain. I need to get my body up and running again. 4 press-ups in 7 seconds is shameful, bad shoulder or no bad shoulder.

I’m quite looking forward to the regularity of this coming fortnight. It’s nice to be an ant for a bit, and get stuck into some actual labour rather than the usual pretendyface stuff I do. It helps ground me. And it’ll likely make me fitter.

Today we went to a meeting about the lovely tour we did in the good old US of A. The University of Notre Dame has a beautifully located London premise just off Haymarket, and we all gathered in there to discuss what went well and to express any concerns we had about things.

We went to so many different places on that tour, and had such immensely different experiences in all of them. But looking back it’s clear how remarkably well looked after we were everywhere we went. Four out of the five of us were there for the meeting and when we were gathered in the foyer it immediately occurred to me what an excellent working unit we happened to have become. Despite wildly varying worldviews and priorities, the five of us formed a very positive company that cared as deeply about the work as we did about one another’s welfare. I was sad not to see Katherine as it felt like a family reunion missing one member. Still it was lovely to revisit that group. Often in this industry you form a unit, share some very deep experiences, and then never ever find the same people in the same room again. Companies are made and exploded and remade job to job. The repertory system of old is mostly deceased. The chance to repeatedly work with the same actor is rare and precious. It’s what binds me to Jack. We’ve got an extremely detailed shorthand given to us by chance and time.

But it’s past twelve. The bath is run. I’ve lined up some sleepy-drink tonight. My breath mask and gloves have all arrived and they fit. It’s time to wash, dose up on painkillers, drink the sleepy drink and sleep on only my left side once more… How much longer?


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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