A year ago today I was in smalltown Indiana, watching old folk do scenes from Macbeth and Henry V in a home. Then we did our five person Twelfth Night, and I doubtless got tipsy on Pabst Blue Ribbon and fell asleep in a hotel room with an alarm set for the first class of the day. We had a pretty disappointing Halloween a few days later. We were in the Christian heartland of Indiana, and there’s nothing in the Bible about Halloween. Denton Texas provided a much livelier example of American Halloween some six years previously where we went to a frat party, so my high hopes were dashed by Winona Lake, where it was just a stinky bar and a man in a stetson howling into a microphone.
I occasionally look back on my blogs from last year to remind myself how quickly everything can change. I found myself thinking about the fallout of Brexit and worrying from afar about how things would be when I got back – would my movement be restricted? Ha. And then some.
Less than a year ago, five of us were flying to a different state every week. We were going into rooms full of strangers and getting them to throw balls around, visiting old folk, standing on stages facing rooms full of people sitting next to one another. We’d play foursquare and then hug each other properly. It all seems like visions of another lifetime. I adore traveling for work – it’s pretty much my number one thing to do full stop. Seeing new places and acting? My two big ticks. Can’t easily do either of them right now, although I’m giving it my best shot.
On set yesterday we had to limit numbers, be very careful about masks, sanitise our hands frequently, be two meters apart… To the five actors in Indiana we would have looked like absolute neurotics. But if I was to say I’d gone into an old folk’s home to talk about Shakespeare today you can be sure I’d get a barrage of messages asking what the heck I thought I was doing. People wouldn’t be pulling punches. People very quickly get very nasty about this disease on social media, I’ve noticed. Nothing directed at me yet, but the tone shifts FAST. It’s a nasty insidious little disease. And it’s not helping anything if we forget to be kind to one another. The less we are able to connect the more we have to try to connect. It serves nothing to sit in the endorphins of our own sense of doing it right, and to throw stuff at the people we think are not.
Anyway, I haven’t left the house. I did some writing and some cleaning today. That’s it. That’s all she wrote. I made the corridor neater. So now I have a nice kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and corridor. This is called progress.
I’ll be ready to take Airbnb guests right about the time that nobody in the world is coming to London. But I’m gonna keep plugging at it. Tomorrow is another worky day. So much to do…