It seems this week is all about people asking for money. I get it. We need to move the stuff around I guess. Whatever it is.
The long and short of all the fuckery with the cops is that now there’s a red Nissan Micra parked outside my flat. I’ll be glad of it once my breathing gets back to normal. It means that I have basic freedom of movement, and for the price of petrol I can go and shout at friends through their windows in various parts of the country. Much less of a faff than the tube at the moment, and likely cheaper over time than taking those Ubers (if we don’t take into account the impending fine for the insurance fuck-up. )
Motivation has been slippery this week. I feel like I’ve been booting myself back into the world, back into my flat in Chelsea. Apart from all the energy I spent chasing cars I’ve just been reading my book and wandering around in the Physic Garden. The knowledge that I’m going to have to start finding income streams again is tempered by my iron trust in fate to work its magic. I’ll probably give it a helping hand by getting back on the eBay wagon and so forth. But something will come.
This time last year I had just started a run of work and flow that took me right into lockdown with The Tempest. It was such a beautiful rarity to know for months and months not only what my immediate work was but also what was coming next. It paid off the credit card that I’m about to start racking up again. A year ago I walked through the early morning to a last minute motorbike lesson for the test I (thankfully) failed. I was in digs in Oxford, marveling in the beauty of the world and revelling in all the meaty Shakespeare laid before me for the summer. It was a summer that was to take me all over the USA and help me ground deeper into the weight that I wanted – to facilitate my journey from jester to king, from air to earth. I’ve been floating so long I’d almost forgotten how to tether.
Now I haven’t a clue what’s going to happen. Very few of us do. There’s a Tempest on 11th July -(God love the Creation and Big Telly team)- but aside from that the old familiar actor’s fear : ” maybe I’ll never work again” is amplified by the little voice that says “because nobody will ah ha hahaa”.
Live art, historically, has burnt bright in times of crisis. But it needs to have an audience. The pubs open soon but I’m really not sure how I feel about it. Recently I’ve gained so much in terms of peace from being part of a society that goes to nature to relax.
Evenings have often found me striding barefoot through The crowded Heath, my familiar bag of little hand knitted prayer mats in my hand, smelly things, burny things and thinky things, enjoying the warm winds carrying with them the sound of laughter. Stinky crowded rooms pumping music too hard and selling drinks too dearly – the theory isn’t firing me up at the moment. I’d sooner spend my money watching people take charming risks and telling me a tale together on a stage, as I sit rapt elbow to elbow with a wriggling stranger.
I worry so much for these buildings – the rich and varied network of gorgeous theatres around this country. The masterpieces and quirky gems in small towns – with wide reach, giving needed jobs, honing the craft of the future industry leaders, sharing great skill and passion and beauty even if your aunty hasn’t heard of them at Christmas – Pitlochry, Keswick, Newcastle under Lyme, St Andrews, Mold, Leicester, Frinton, Dundee many many more, so many. The old tiny beautiful buildings kept alive by passion and the Christmas season – gems like Margate and Richmond Yorkshire. I cut my teeth touring. How many friends did I meet in those places watching or playing who are now making work that touches people all over the world?
Not to mention the networks and webs they cast in their areas, these buildings, giving people purpose and employment and joy.
The Globe! I love that building passionately, and it had such a journey to even get built. It’s in a powerful place, visible and so crowded in season. You get the best view for a fiver and you feel like you’re part of something. Even that incredible building is under threat as much from uncertainty as anything else. You can’t start paying people to rehearse if there might not be a show…
Ugh. Better out than in. Something’s gotta shift. I am sick from hearing worrying news now…