Friends auditioning for summer tours

I bought a chicken. It’s something I understand. I can make a chicken last a long time. Initial meal, then sandwiches, then casserole and stock the bones and vegetable soup. I might skip the stock though as it involves the gas hob so it isn’t an economy option anymore.

Frank came round and helped me eat it. He has an audition tomorrow for a company that I first became aware of advertised on the wall of a stately home somewhere. I immediately got a massive hit of nostalgia when I saw the posters. A hankering for those summers on the road, building Shakespeare out of vans, staying in incredible rooms one night and shoddy fleapits the next, playing the hat game with a tight knit company, seeing strange parts of the country. Learning the van load as well as your lines. Fellowship. Touring theatre. It’s gorgeous, romantic and fun. You’ll come home with new friends and exactly the same amount of money as you had when you left. But it is part of how we grow in this job. Obliquely, if I hadn’t done Private Lives on the estate of Lord Cholmondely in Norfolk, I would never have played Scrooge in Christmas Carol. Work breeds work. And before long if I can’t nail something down I’m gonna be eating my own arms.

I looked at his audition speeches and tried to say helpful things. He was good, and he has three instruments. He’s mercurial and versatile. Oh to be 25 again. I had a moment thinking I should email the company in case they are looking for an “older” member, but then I examined it and knew that I almost certainly don’t want to be on the road all summer even though I might have a blast. Gotta stay available for that elusive big job. The producers would look at my age and genuinely have discussions like “Oh but he’s in his forties, do you think he is still capable of walking?” I miss the Sprite summers, particularly now when it is so cold and dark. But things like that come once in a lifetime. Nevertheless, I’m up for a summer Shakespeare. Considering they are casting now, maybe I’m gonna have to make one myself. So many of the staples of small scale touring have collapsed now. It’s getting harder and harder to find low status joyful work – the work that builds confidence and experience for the makers who go on to be national treasures. No matter what your politics might be, and not even taking into account the NHS, if you love The Arts and understand how they work then please for the love of God we have to get these snakes out of Westminster.

Anyway, I hope his audition went well. Here he is noodling.

Yes my fishtank needs topping up. It’s full of loaches though and they like it brackish.

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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