Man. I’m sad.
I first went to that flat in Hampstead what… Fifteen years ago? Longer.
I met her through work. Another recent graduate. She was RADA, I was Guildhall. We made sense to each other. Instant friends. There were loads of us on a strange job. I’m friends with many of them to this day. We’ve stayed in the same game, and even back then we were jobbing actors who could be found. Dan. Ellie. Jimmy. Annette. Sylvia. Aja. Tom. Lee. Humans. Lots of them. More than I’ve named and I know it. We were employed by a very enthusiastic man who was creating things to appeal the lowest common denominator. We ended up at The Globe for a Frost Fayre event, but by the time we got there we realised that the taste of our employer was so bad that whatever he was pitching was going to be a carcrash. All we could do was fight for our little corner. We all tried our best. It was an early realisation, for me, that the client often hasn’t got a fucking clue. There were loads of genuinely skilled artists involved in that company. Nothing we made was any more interesting or challenging than a wet fart.
Still, I made friends, and often I’m told “it’s about who you know”. My Hampstead friend, like my Earl’s Court friend, is incredibly private. I seem to have lots of very private friends in performance related jobs. I am drawn to the misfits. Always have been.
We got on. We started to make things. We got buried in immersive crazy “egoless” things. “We are making art,” we told ourselves as we deliberately didn’t put our name to any of the things we made. It’s taken me this long to realise we should have been putting our names to our work. Because it was good, and it was relevant to all the things you call immersive now, and we have no paper trail because we were more interested in the making than in our brand. Arguably we still both suffer from that malaise, and I say that knowing that I write words in public every day. Facebook is trying its best to demoralise me. I’m thinking I should share this. I just don’t and because it feels like an intimacy instead of a sales pitch.
Hi, person. Hi and thanks. That’s another example of how mister slappycheeks zucker makes us insecure about our simplicity.
I’m just making noise here but I’m not aligned to any factions. I sometimes have to remind my friends that they are on the campaign trail but I’m not. If I’ve got an ideology, it’s balance.
Either way it doesn’t really matter. I’ll carry on until I stop. You might read. You might not. I know there are humans who have tuned in and out multiple times. I like making this noise.
And my Hampstead friend hates it. She’s another of the humans in my life who will never read one of these. But I pulled all of their stuff out today. I finally emptied the flat. Oh God it was sad. We have had happy times. She had 20 years.
The card stuck to the ceiling from the durational close up magician who came back for whisky. The first time I had grits. (My Hampstead friend is from Georgia. Grits matter.) Freedom Coffee, with a gun on the package. Astrological calendars from funeral parlours. Silly fridge magnets found too late to pack. Big bags of Mardi gras beads from New Orleans. The heath the heath the heath. Magic. Hex the snake.
My friend. One of my many angry fun different friends. Squeezed out by an oblivious and utterly self serving landlady. I enjoyed a stay there over lockdown summer when my flat was rehab central and I had to be elsewhere.
It’s done. We got everything out. Fuck. I’m exhausted. My eyes are streaming. I’m so tired it makes no sense and I have to run a workshop tomorrow at 11. Fuck you, work.