Quiet Monday

Back in the afternoon to Moorgate – one last journey to get back my tools. It’s funny how close the building I’ve been working in is to my old drama school. I partly love it, partly hate it. I wonder what the fresh faced cadet would’ve said about me working as a carpenter twenty years later. If you’d told him, he wouldn’t have believed you.

Here are my tools after a week. I really punished those kneepads.


But I’m coming to feel that this is what it means to be an actor, properly. Split focus.

I’m doing some filming on a series with a name to conjure with, under NDA. For a fortnight I’ll wake up and get on the tube through all the rush hour paranoia in order to spend my body tearing up floors and taking down walls and ceilings. The next day someone will pick me up at home in a car with blacked out windows and I’ll go off and pretend to be someone else for considerably more money than I’ve earnt in that fortnight. But I guess I’ve got a bankable skill now in that I’m unruffled on set and know how to focus on my work and turn it in. That took time and maturity.

But there are many days in the year and it’ll be hard to make sure they’re all spent using that skillset, even though that’s the dream.

I’ve always had an advantage with the ability to just turn my hand to something else for a while without question. This time it’s been carpentry and wrecking. I’ve learnt a great deal over this fortnight. The world of wood is much more comprehensible than it was. I want to try to apprentice myself making things now I’ve apprenticed breaking them. Maybe I should start by putting new doors in to my flat…

At the same time I’m glad to stop for a while and focus on gentler pursuits like putting actors into roles and helping find drivers and PA’s and so forth. The next few weeks will be a good opportunity to get work for people I know are reliable. I’m helping a group of people I love make a large scale thing. You’ll likely hear a lot more over the next few weeks, but once again NDA. I seem to be signing them left right and centre these days.

I treated today as my second day of weekend – (Monday is the actor’s day off after all.) The diary is empty of timebound obligations now for a few days, so I can focus on my freelance stuff and do some writing. I’ll be making a lot of phone calls tomorrow and making things happen for myself and other people. I’ll need to make sure I move my body a little bit. All this carpentry has helped the weird left shoulder thing be less forward, but something is still going on there, I still feel it twitching, I still can’t sleep on my right without the weight of it causing me discomfort. God knows what I did. I suspect I’ll never know now. But at least it’s just an annoyance rather than a huge pain now…


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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