It’s February and suddenly I’m thinking about Christmas. The last few days I’ve been pinging questions to Brian and getting answers about things I haven’t thought about for many a year. Producing things. It’s a different world. When I shot out the gate from Guildhall I immediately produced a load of stuff, sometimes for my friends and sometimes with myself in it and sometimes just for kicks. Then mum died and etc etc for about a decade before I woke up and looked around at the wreckage and wondered who this person was that I’d gently forgotten about in favour of wine and rage.
Thankfully while I was stumbling around I managed to bump into quite a few interesting kind and creative people who didn’t mind the mess of me. I found quite a colourful existence while I was sad. And today I bent over with my creaky knees and picked up a dusty old ball with the word “producing” on it, blew off the cobwebs and tried it for heft.
Hereford is where the forces beyond our ken are pointing me right now. To the centre of town and a venue. Once again a Christmas Carol, but unlike the last few years where nobody but Brian and Rebecca thought about it until late November I’m trying to start the ball rolling in February. I’m gonna extensively rework it, make it wider and wilder and employ quite a few more people in the process. This thing might not end up being called Christmas Carol at all, but some sort of Dickensian hullabaloo of party and delight that isn’t bound by a short season and could play with tweaks in late June. Fuck it, why not? The actor in me says Scrooge but the producer is thinking about the bottom line and the bums on seats. In the faraway time I blended both roles – actor and producer – but I miscast myself. I’ve learnt better now. I know what I’m selling and I’m bloody good at it, and if the mountain won’t come to Mohammed then Mohammed is just gonna build himself a mountain in Hereford.
If we are allowed by then that is. That’s the new magic “if”. By December either everybody will have had these bad mix and match vaccines with too long in-between and died or lived as they please, or there’ll be measures in place to let live arts come back as plague death rooms where liberally minded people are sent to infect themselves and you have to sign a waiver and give your soul to Boris Johnson and note how many gold teeth you have before entry. Either way I’m building towards it being possible, and devil take the hindmost. Somebody has to start employing actors or the packaging industry will start to suffer because all the cardboard will have been eaten. I’d prefer it if the person doing the employing is like myself or Brian and not like some of the buckets I’ve spun my heart out for in exchange for a thwack in the nose and a shiny penny. It’s useful that I’ve got a friend who knows the score. He’s got a million irons in the fire but he picks up the phone to me. Haphazard boozy Al, well done sir. Good choice of friends.
Now it’s funding application time. Oh hell. Oh double hell. I can barely fill in my measurements.