Surprises and squids

The Surprise at Chelsea. It’s my local.

The surprise is the price. It tells you it’s at Chelsea. You should be expecting high prices. But it’s six quid for a pint. Bastards. And they chased us down the road.

I met Fabian there. He lives in my block, renting one of the flats below me. We’ve been trying to connect for a while. He’s a Lancashire lad, 26 now, down from Manchester and trying to hit the acting game as best he can. He has a similar skin tone and eyes to me. He speaks with a Lancashire burr. I see common ground. This industry is darkly objective enough that I can see him hitting some of the same obstacles I hit. 2002: “You’re tanned to be posh”. I was told that by a gatekeeper. But … the industry has changed since then. The arbitrary barriers have moved, perhaps.

I try to advise him as best I can, but it’s hard because he’s set himself up against the idea of a training and I honestly think that my practical training at Guildhall is the only reason I’m still working. I was noisy, opinionated, clever, privileged and not beautiful. I needed skill and to learn kindness, because I was never going to inspire charity, and there weren’t any Spaceys hoping to help me into their show for perks.

Guildhall gave me contacts and perspective, even while it changed my confidence. But my confidence was Boris. Guildhall leveled me out. I can thank them for my humanity. They taught me to be a company member and to understand things out of my frame.

I still don’t work enough for my own happiness. But I would probably have pissed off a lot of people and pushed myself further to the weird edges if I hadn’t been taught kindness. I just have to try to remember to be compassionate – that just because MY journey was from intellectualism to instinct, it doesn’t mean that proudly left brain intensive humans are in some way under-evolved.

So yeah. I had a few expensive pints with a neighbour after a day of running workshops. Then I decided to switch on the telly. None of it worked. I honestly don’t think I’ve switched it in for three months. The PlayStation needed to be unplugged to communicate with the controllers. The remote was out of battery. Eventually I got it all plugged in and functioning. How many hours of swearing do the people who manufacture devices cause by purposefully selling them with the shortest possible cables? Still, I got it working, and I fell into Squid Game just because it annoys me when there’s something cultural that I am lost on.

I’ll probably go a bit deeper, before a reasonably early bed. More workshops tomorrow. Glad to be busy. I’m not as good at being busy as I was. But I’m clocking back on.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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