I’m lying on my back in bed. Over my feet is a tapestry blanket that my grandmother made when she was in hospital recovering from Polyneuritis, before I was born. It’s kind of a horrid blanket – sorry Da. But … it’s better employed keeping my little tootsies warm than sitting in an expensive storage unit costing money.
I’ve been JoyBombing again. I’m now used to a constant stream of influencers while we work. They come and have their photos taken with me, and I have to be careful to keep in costume and character as the reality of me right now isn’t very much on brand. I’m in one of my “wildman of the woods” periods. My hair hasn’t been cut in months so it looks like I’m one of those bald guys that grows it long to comb over. My salt and pepper beard is bushy like a hedge. I’m Rasputin under the cat head. The same people who are smiling at me as I wave at them would be calling the police if I did it without the head on.
I’m careful to avoid the instagrammers unless the head is on, as most of them are hollow shells. I worry they’ll bang themselves and immediately shatter like Easter eggs, leaving just a pile of broken make-up and a phone. So I just stay in the head all day until I overheat, and lots of people take photos of me yowling.
Overheating is manageable now. I’ve remembered the old drama school lesson : “Excited is not exciting”. It can sometimes feel like I have to justify the fact I get to make money on my own terms by exhausting myself in the process. But today, Sexy Cat found meditation, and was giving just as much joy offering snippets of wisdom to passers by, and soliciting their admiration in return.
I don’t have to expend every last ounce of energy I have every time. Although as soon as it got dark I put on Invaders Must Die and we both mashed it up for the entire album and then for about three albums thereafter. I had to keep changing my head as fluffy heads turn into ovens pretty quickly. Weird Frog is the best ventilated but I’m completely blind in him, so the last four hours went by in a blur of laughter and ridiculous dance.
This is a delightful thing to do, this Joybomb job. It does what it says on the tin, it brings fleeting joy to people in strange times, and it’s exactly my jam despite the fact that I’ll never be the posterboy. I’m very much enjoying the fact that the two of us in our little box are just vibing with the project and each other, and finding true laughter as we seek to give it to others. It’s not gonna be my breakout role, but it’s more character and another angle on craft, costume, the nature of performance, simplicity, and letting the setting do the work. Everything is a learning experience if you let it be. But it’s tiring, all this joy. Hence the bed and blanket. Although I’m going to have to have a bath now because I absolutely pong.