Thursday, 31 March 2005

And in Berlin...

The funeral for Horst (or Fred as I learnt he liked to be called) has been and gone, it passed without incident, I only got upset when mum suddenly burst out crying and I mean really sobbing; she also cried out 'I can't stand it' and the genuine despair and pain in her voice nearly sent me to my knees. Grandma called her an angel. She is. I love you mum.

I realised as I watched my cousins weep, as thier Grandfather's body disappered behind the curtain to be cremated, how he was a real Grandfather to them, whereas to me and my other cousins he was a periferal figure and a man respossible for some terrible things. Yet for them his passing was a painful moment of loss, I'm glad that to someone at least he meant something.

A few things to lighten the atmopsphere then, first off we have a caption competition that is always excellent and well worth you posting on, so get the funny word gland in your brain working over time.

My good acting pal John has written a lovely post about 'Diagnosis Murder' which is one of my favourite TV shows (when I used to watch that monster in the corner of our living rooms) so it had to feature as it brought a smile to my face.

I also invested in 'Bob Dylan Live 1975: The Rolling Thunder Revue' for some serious Dylan rock and roll, swirling, biting guitars and howling in the wind vocals and harmonica. Briliant!

Off to Wrexham tomorrow so wish me well in the land of industrial decay and sheep.

Wednesday, 30 March 2005

MORONSDONTKNOWFROMNEWS

Bloody trains.

I am now back in Nottingham, which will be my base for the next few days as I make my way to Horst's funeral (tomorrow) and then off to Wrexham on the 1st April to do 'Thick as Thieves'. All this meant that I had to travel on a bloody train to get here, which actually wasn't that bad apart from a little lad playing on some portable gaming device that made an amazing array of annoying noises in polyphonic sound. Git. I have many more ahead of me (train journeys that is rather than an endless line of children playing games) and look forward to sharing the terror of Midland Mainline with you.

An old friend got back in touch via the wonder of the internet yesterday, it was such a treat to get an email from him, his name being Rich White and this being his website. The last time we saw each other was back in 2001 I think and it was a weird, strained evening due to a large array of factors like: me and my partner at the time falling out, excessive spilling of red wine, my partner making me side with her about how annoying Rich's partner was. This was all mostly under the surface but it was just odd. When Rich made contact he mentioned that night and explained that his father had just passed away. Kinda made me feel crummy. Apologies Rich.

What I love, since I started blogging, is stumbling upon random blogs and this one got started today so make it feel welcome and visit it please. I look foward to keeping an eye on this one...

Tuesday, 29 March 2005

Chocolate Milk

I'm reading one of John McGrath's inspiring books at the moment and I've been so agitated by the excellent content that I was planning on writing some thoughts on political theatre...however half an hour ago Mark, who I'm touring 'Thick As Thieves' with, phoned me and said I was about to be on TV (if you recall the BBC filmed the show we did for the person who won the show on eBay). The BBC news to be precise. So all the angry left wing political thoughts left my head and sat in front of the TV with some chocolate milk and watched myself; giggling like a spazzy child.

Needless to say I looked great (I have to say that) and it was jolly good coverage but I find it bizarre how strong my accent is when you put me on TV.

Back to the politics. John McGrath was a big believer in theatre being a political forum to illustrate the situations that effected the lives of the working classes in the UK and then made work that played to those communities. I share this belief but it seems we still live in a time where overtly political theatre is frowned upon, as if actually caring and putting your beliefs out there for all to see is somehow clumsy and base. We seem to live in a time where wearing your heart on your sleeve is an excuse for people to take pot shots at you; as if believing in nothing is far cooler. I find this disgusting.

What's interesting is that I am in two minds about 'Human Shrapnel', part of me feels that it is too political in it's representations of white, male working class existence and on the other hand I don't feel it goes far enough: too much abstraction of important issues. I also have to remember that this is my showcase for agents and whatnot, this somehow seems to impinge upon the kind of work I can create.

I also fail to see real political theatre going on around me, all of the contemporary theatre I've been to see seems too hung up on performance practice and theory to have any resonance or heart for what really matters: the politics that control our everyday life and decision making. That is the kind of theatre I want to make...that is the kind of theatre I will make, starting with 'Human Shrapnel'

On a political tip the excellent uber-blogger Tim of both Bloggerheads and Backing Blair has created a wonderful party political broadcast you should go have a look at.

Monday, 28 March 2005

Meisner

I forgot that Nick and I discussed many solutions for my acting problems, one of which that I'm going to follow up is the Meisner technique. I've just ordered the book off Amazon as that seems a good place to start and the then when I get the time, start to investigate taking classes in it.

I moved to London (giving up money and my own place and a jolly comfortable life) and went on the course at Central to really make the step up into being a better actor; to really give it a shot rather than compromising. At the moment I feel open to any ideas and new practice I can lay my hands on so bring on some Meisner technique.

Listening

Before I go on, Safa was lovely so if ever you're in south LDN get yourself down there for some top curried scran.

Marie and I were out tonight for our friend Nick's 30th birthday, he also happens to be an actor (a bloody good one) and the current face of the Pot Noodle adverts. You know, the ones about having 'a Pot Noodle Horn'. I must confess I don't watch TV so I've not seen them but Marie tells me they are really funny and I trust her comedy judgment.

We ended up in a lovely restaurant in Islington which served Turkish food and we feasted ourselves grandly. It all went a bit wrong when we started singing Happy Birthday to Nick and the staff presented him with a shot of ouzo and then told him to stand on his chair and dance...and I mean told. Now if you knew Nick this already would be bloody funny but I've never seen a man protest more in an attempt to deny the seemingly inevitable fit of dancing. The protesting from Nick and pleas from the staff went on for what felt like and hour and by the end I was weeping...Nick however was looking very red and I quote, "felt violated".

Nick also provided me with some excellent advice on my acting, that I need to listen more, in fact I need to start listening fullstop to the other performer. In a nutshell, Nick was talking about my selfish tendencies as an actor to make sure I'm great (and therefore lock into what I need as an actor to pull of this 'greatness') even if the piece suffers. This attitude makes me inflexible and not a true ensemble player, more importantly it stunts my growth as an actor.

My next show is 1st April, after Horst's funeral, so that's seems a good time to actually start listening to Mark and responding to what he gives me, rather than marking time through a pre-designed bunch of reactions and moments.

Thanks Nick, I owe you one man.

Saturday, 26 March 2005

Nottingham Bloggers

I was born in Nottingham, in 1976 to be precise, at the City Hospital and then lived (deep breath) in Mapperley, St Anns, Carlton, Netherfield, Wollaton Park (the area, not under a tree homeless...although it got close) and finally West Bridgford before moving off to London and the lovely Camberwell.

So it was with great delight I stumbled upon By the Sea Shore which then took me to this list of Nottingham bloggers, so with that and Left Lion I can get all the Notts based facts I desire just in case I ever start missing 'my manor'.

Off for a meal tonight with the good lady Marie to a place called Safa which is a trendy Indian eaterie. The only downside being that I only have £3.29 to my name so looks like this one will be on her.

Painfully aware that I need to really start work on my performance for the Festival so I have something to bring to the start of rehearsals. I also need to figure out when I'm actually going to be on so I can start inviting all the agents and casting people so I can secure myself representation for my career.

And relax...

Friday, 25 March 2005

Bangers vs Fuckers

I think I'm going to give myself a break over the next few days but before I go and rest up, eat cake and have a shower I thought I'd leave you with something to mull over.

Via Rough Trade record shop I stumbled upon the work of a band called The Coachwhips and invested £7 in their album 'Bangers vs Fuckers' which although lasts a mere 18 minutes is one of the finest damn records I've heard this year. An utterly compelling ball of clattering noise, think Pussy Galore but with better equipment and bigger riffs.

So if you buy one record this Easter, make it that one please.

Thursday, 24 March 2005

A Raft of New Things

I've just completed my 'Individual Scheme of Research' for my Masters Degree and the bit I am most proud of is...

"Indeed there is much talk in British theatre of risk-taking and danger but this, for me, is an empty stance of cheap, soft, un-politicised (it took an aging Arthur Miller to issue a wake-up call to Western makers) theatrical thrills for a mainly bourgeois and squeamish audience/industry. Too much work exists in a poverty-safety zone of actors staying within their boundaries.

Hard hitting, remorseless facts a go-go!

I've tweaked a few things on the old blog, including adding a whole raft of new links that I think are great, please have a browse as the quality is superb and if you've any suggestions (especially blogs and feel free to plug your own) then drop me an email. You also won't have failed to notice the massive MAKE POVERTY HISTORY banner I've added, I hope you get the hint and donate and do your bit please.

I've also added a quote of the day thing under the Blogger icon, apart from it won't be a quote and I doubt it'll change every day but you get the jist.

Wednesday, 23 March 2005

Stand Firm

I've learnt that in the face of idiots, of doubters, of those who are willing to take a shot at you, those you want to destroy you, humiliate you it is always best to stand firm; to stare into the sun.

If you waver, even for a second, they smell weakness and attack with renewed vigor. I learnt this lesson a long time ago, mostly with my fists and then later with my heart.

And by standing firm, in believing in yourself and your ideals you become stronger; to me the best way to become stronger is to take a beating, to withstand the attack and when the dust settles you are still standing.

Tuesday, 22 March 2005

Forums

Workshopped a script at school today that I may be doing at the Edinburgh Festival this year, it was very physical in terms of the approach to the text and therefore I ache like hell. However, I did manage to overcome my fear of skipping (we used a skipping rope game as a warm-up in the afternoon) which has been bugging me for a while and all that remains is my fear of forward rolls (I had a bad experience at primary school, I thought I'd snapped my neck).

Also spending a lot of time fretting about getting agents and what not to come and see my showcase pieces in June. The whole reason I came on this course was to springboard into a better level of acting work and to secure representation and I'm worried that June will pass and I'll be exactly where I started.

When I first started dabbling on the internet I remember my good friend Rob warning me about the dangers of using online discussion forums and indeed I am starting to understand (4 years later) the God awful cess pit those places can descend into when no one actually has to meet face to face.

Their is something compellingly addictive about taking abuse from people who wouldn't even have the guts to talk to you in public but after a while it just gets plain boring and then it starts to make me angry.

Meeting up with my dad tomorrow and having some jars around Shepherd's Market, be nice to chat with the old one and fill him in on all my worries.

New Cross Gate

Did the show for the BBC tonight of Thick as Thieves in a house in SE14, otherwise known as New Cross Gate which is just down the road from me. It should be on TV on Wednesday so keep 'em peeled.

It was alright, we were a bit sloppy and it was an audience of actors so they were a bit tight but they laughed and clapped loads (so much that I thought we'd have to leg it back downstairs and take another bow) and came up after and said nice things.

I nearly ended missing the gig after some 'Passenger Action' in Wimbledon which stopped me getting the train back from Kingston and having to get a bus to Putney and train onwards. It makes me laugh when they announce that the trains aren't running due to a person on the tracks, you can see everyone cursing the selfish, suicidal manic for their act of self-indulgence. We don't even spare a thought for the poor sod or why they did it.

To be honest I always imagine it's some one with poor balance who fell into the path of an oncoming train or a drunk who went out oblivious due to booze.

Grandad's funeral 31st March, 11:50 Bramcote cremetorium, feel free to pop along.

Saturday, 19 March 2005

Horst Hoffmann

Born in Berlin in 1925, began training as a plumber, also a good boxer in his day representing Germany in youth competitions. Refused to join Hitler Youth, family threatened as the desperate drive for soldiers to repel the Allied forces and so he joined and saw action in in World War II aged 19.

Captured and made a POW in Nottingham where he met Beatrice Stephenson, a nurse. The two fell in love and married at the end of the war, eventually having four children. Settled in Nottingham tried a made a living to support his young family, difficult in the face of prejudice against his race, leading to his children being taken off him; he wins them back a year later and stability slowly returns to the family.

And that's just the beginning...

Grandad died this morning in Nottingham City Hospital. Rest in peace Horst. xxxxx

Friday, 18 March 2005

Hanging In

Grandad is hanging in there which is not unlike him but it is causing further distress as the concerns around 'putting him down' start to emerge; ie: have we written him off to early? I wonder what he knows and doesn't as he slips in and out of life.

His only son is going to speak to him tomorrow, deathbed words to heal years of pain.

It's a crummy business, it really is. Everytime the phone rings I wonder if that's the end and poor old Mark phoned this morning and felt rather bad, no need of course.

It seems the eBay gig thing is now on after being off and on again. In a nutshell we sold the show to some internet geek with no mates who lives with his mum so had no friends to invite. The BBC however were champing at the bit to film it and so a report which is lovely coverage for us. Loath to cancel it we had to search around for a stand in venue and then the BBC were iffy but it seems all is back on. I'll be on the TV again then which is all good.

I bought some flip-fops today in preparation for Summer, I also treated Marie to some pink ones because I love her. I am also going to put in a proposal to the FRESH festival in London to show my Human Shrapnel piece as a warm-up for festival and to get some feedback on it to make it better so I better get cracking working on it.

Thursday, 17 March 2005

Fake Blood

After perking up briefly it seems that Grandad is going to die in the next 24 hours, the morphine is being pumped into him, the medication being stopped, the family is gathering, he is drifting into an eternal sleep, the long battle is over, the war is over, he will at last find peace, Grandma will find peace, maybe our family will unite, he will live on in our memories and in the bomber jacket I own that he gave me and the name he gave me.

I could go on but for now I won't, I'd rather linger here, thinking about what he is doing now, what is occupying his thoughts as he knows he is dying. Into the nothingness then Grandad.

I was brooding on Grandad when at the Black Sheep pub near school I went on a rant about the empty, devoid nature of drama school and actor training; I suggested that it was a vague attempt to mystify and codify the skill of acting so as to make it some how unachievable and scientific and therefore exclusive so they can charge for the privilege of entry.

My rant went un-noticed apart from people liking the word codify so I stopped talking and made jokes and people laughed but really I wanted to attack without mercy and show them that for all the fake blood in a dead man's play performed with an earnestness you only get in the middle-classes you can't beat a bit of real life violence and pain...

Goodnight Grandad.

Wednesday, 16 March 2005

Grandad Hoffmann

And then something comes to put all the pointless fretting about what project I'm doing into perspective, my Grandad is dying as I type, in a hospital in Nottingham.

Mum phoned and told me, she suddenly started to cry which set me off and then it stopped as suddenly as it came; shock I suppose. Mum thinks he may last a few days or a few hours, she has no idea, she also told me not to be rushing up to Notts to go see him but rather wait and see.

So I wait and see...

My Grandad fought in World War II but for the Germans as he is German and where I get the excellent half of my surname from. I've decided that I've got to go to Berlin where he is from and just spend some time in the city of my roots. I'm proud of being a bit German, it was always cool at school to offer insight from the 'enemies' perspective whenever we looked at WW2. I'll tell you more about my Grandad later but for now I just can't.

Just in case you were wondering I went for the piece about loss rather than the piece about stasis, having said that there might be a chance of me doing all three after all that fuss; although frankly who gives a fuck as my Grandad is dying.

Tuesday, 15 March 2005

Loss or Stasis?

Today was an awkward day. As our end of term thing at Central we're putting on a showcase of our work, a festival of new theatre so to speak. And to cut a long story short I have to choose between two friends and which of their shows to do for the festival. Not easy at all.

Luckily I'm doing my own one-man show called 'Human Shrapnel/Our Style is Legendary' and that's my banker in terms of doing what I want to do but I feel torn between the other two projects and no, before you ask I can't do both. Arse. Adding to the awkwardness is time pressure, I need to make a decision now, so any thoughts please feel free to comment and pass judgment. In a nutshell do I do...

  1. A two hander about loss where I play a widowed man and will be set in a house/graveyard.
  2. A ensemble piece performed in a theatre about the stasis between the start of a journey and the end?

The council tax bill also came today, how shit is that?

Monday, 14 March 2005

Lit Idol

The strange jobs you get as an actor. This one is best filed under 'Corporate' on the old CV next to staff induction videos and pretending to be a criminal for law students.

Lit Idol took place today at the London Book Festival and was a literary take on the Pop Idol phenomena and even included Simon Cowell's nicer and less famous brother. Five writers had been shortlisted and they would receive feedback 'live' on their books and then the audience vote (albeit their vote only counting as 25% towards the final tally) and then the winner is announced.

Where I came in, and fellow actor Victoria, was reading the extracts to the audience, not rocket science admittedly but amazing how easy it is to fuck up reading. We did a bloody fine job and I even pulled off a consistent US accent for longer than 8 seconds.

My favourite was the one that won, written by the rather cool Otis Twelve (real name Douglas Wesselmann, which is perhaps not so cool) and had the words tit, piss, pee and tug in it so naturally romped home over the other less exciting and somewhat clumsy entrants. And I read it so it was bound to win, right?

Sunday, 13 March 2005

The Mars Volta

Me and my mate Mike Thomas are off to Brixton Academy tonight to take in the sounds of The Mars Volta, possibly one of the greatest bands in the world right now.

The last gig we went to was a near religious experience of uplifting progressive rock that blows the mind. Mike and I stumbled out in a trance and took our respective buses home feeling that we were somehow closer due to sharing that trip.

So here we are again, on the brink of another Mars Volta experience, I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, 12 March 2005

Coronation Street

Just got back from Manchester and feeling jolly good indeed. The show went really well, Mark and I were tight and funny and I was trying to implement some of the excellent suggestions of people who've been to see it, trying to push less (force it really) and let the comedy come as well as letting Barry (my characters) simplicity ooze out rather than working to hard for the stupidity...if that makes any sense at all?

Audience giggled all the way through it and we really had them at the end, I heard a gasp when Mark stabbed me which is pretty cool; from laughter to shock in a split second. They really worked hard for us as an audience and we responded by putting our hearts in to it and bending our backs to give them some good theatre. I think they went home happy.

The audience had some 'important' people in which I didn't really think about until after. There was a couple of casting agents for TV as well as Pantomime legend and top actor of some years experience Kenneth Alan Taylor and also some actors from Coronation Street including Chris Gascoine who used to play Peter Barlow and Trevor Dwyer Lynch who used to play Patrick Tussel.

They all loved it which made me beam with pride and hopefully (not wanting to sound mercenary) one of them may in someway shape or form take a chance on so to speak. Trevor was an especially nice guy (I've met Chris a few times already and he's lovely) and we chatted for a long time about topics ranging from Rwanda through to roles for black actors. He's got a great way with people and also is very straight with all the celebrity bullshit that follows him and Chris around. Hopefully, we'll be doing a show in Chris' house; it'll be a laugh, a few beers and good craic and a chance to hang out again.

What was bizarre is to be around that kind of celebrity, it was quite disturbing at times. You're chatting to your mates and some random just butts in and starts chatting to them as if they know them or calling them by their character name or asking them dull, soap-based trivia like: 'How tall is Ken Barlow really?' Like who gives a fuck?

Some dozy bird started chatting to Chris about whether he hangs out with the other cast members, she was shocked to discover that they don't all drink together or even know where each other lives. As Chris said to her: 'It's a job, like working in a sausage factory, some people you know well, others you don't, some you hate, some you love.' It may sound a little disingenuous but it's true. The only thing he missed out was that it's a fucking great job!

Thursday, 10 March 2005

Off to Manchester

The title gives it away doesn't it? The next leg of the Thick as Thieves tour takes us to a theatre called the Waterside in Sale, Manchester and I'm leaving in a few hours after a chat with my performance tutor at drama school.

As always I'm glad to be back in front of a paying audience, in a proper theatre, working your heart out to give the people a good night out. You take it for granted all this, the privilege of being paid to act and as soon as this tour ends come May I'll be all grumpy and worrying about where my next job is coming from.

The only downer about this gig is that we've not sold many tickets and they've been pretty clueless at marketing it which is a shame. I thought on a tour of venues like this we wouldn't have to worry about audiences but it seems I was wrong. We did get spoiled in Nottingham though, two full houses of people laughing themselves to bits.

Better split...OFF TO MANCHESTER!

Wednesday, 9 March 2005

Death Disco Results

My set was a little bit too mixed up I fancy, the students were not yet ready for full on Grime but they loved the epic 8 minutes of Soft Cell's 'Tainted Love' and the Northern Soul section had them hopping.

The good news was this time they agreed to lower the lights and put the disco lights on and thus people danced...well a little bit.

A person came up to me mid-set and gave me a firm handshake saying he loved the groove but I also had two drunk girls trying to convince me to play tracks 4 and 5 of their CD which I didn't and they got angry and slagged off the tunes saying it was all retro 80's bollocks and stormed off with their CD.

Tracks 4 and 5 on their crap CD turned out to 'Son of a Preacher Man' and 'Stuck in the Middle with You'.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Death Disco

Tonight I'm DeeJaying at the Central School of Speech and Drama's Student Union. Lovely. My preferred method of attack is to begin with ska, roots and a bit of dub before blasting them to bits with a wall of deep funk and soul rare grooves. The end of my set tonight will degenerate into a bit of Grime and Electro I fancy but who knows what'll happen.

The last time I DeeJayed there they refused to lower the lights for all the people who wanted to dance so we ended up with everyone nodding their heads to the beats and wiggling in their chairs.

I find it bizarre how if people like the tunes you play they nod at you in some ancient gesture of musical respect, not a word is spoken, apart from one bloke who came up to congratulate me on my ska and rocksteady numbers. That's why I do it man, for the love of a fellow connoisseur.

Tuesday, 8 March 2005

Still on Patrol

I spent tonight exploring the place where I'll be performing a site specific piece at the beginning of May (Friday 6th if you're interested). I'll be doing a show on a boat moored on the Thames just near Temple tube. Site specific is always a winner, you could do anything on that marvelous boat and people would still walk away happy, the secret of site specific is not doing too much, let the space wow the audience and you reap the benefits...That sounds mercenary but fuck it, I'm taking advantage of a decommissioned ship for fucksake; that can't count.

Actually, I'm not going to be 'in it' in the traditional sense as I'll be in Lincoln performing 'Thick as Thieves' but I'll be in it via what we call mediatised performance: video, projection, sound, 2d images etc, so it should be interesting.

Not far from the ship is a memorial to the submariners that died in the Second World War, it was covered in wreaths and all of them carried the words 'Still on Patrol'. There was something so unbearably poignant about that statement, the idea that they were still out there somewhere, still searching for enemy U-boats, or perhaps left searching forever with all their fallen comrades.

Monday, 7 March 2005

Mayfair

I have this thing about going on 'adventures' around London, by adventures I mean walking around bits of the expanse that is LDN. I'm sure I'm not alone here but when I tell people about these 'adventures' they look at me a bit weird. I'll let you make your own mind up.

It was Mayfair's turn today, a slab of land sandwiched between Oxford Street and Piccadilly. Marie (bless her, she humours me on these 'adventures' which is why I love her) and I strolled around, eating our sarnies outside the US embassy on Grosvenor Square as well as having fun exploring the rabbit warren lanes of Shepherd's Market.

The nearest I got to adventure was nearly buying some flip-flops but I thought it was a little bit too early just yet. I did however re-discover the joy of 'Looking For Today' which features on the Black Sabbath album 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath' and rocks like a bastard.

In the evening Marie paid for me to go to 'Festen' which is on at the Lyric in the West End. It was alright for a play about a dad having sex with his children, highlights included Paul Nicholls characterisation which was wonderful in an odd way, rigid but shifting body posture and a halting but firm dead pan delivery; nicely echoed by one of the supporting characters whose name I can't remember. The set was also excellent and nice to see a bit of dignified minimalism in the West End.

Sunday, 6 March 2005

New York New York

It's the weekend so Marie, my beautiful girlfriend and wife to be, is with me in Camberwell. Last night we booked a holiday to New York which is just brilliant and we are both really excited even though it is 9 months away...That's correct, to get the best deal we've booked it 9 months in advance and we'll be jetting off to NY on the 16th December for 5 nights of fun. This is where we'll be staying if any of you are looking for a bargain hotel in the Big Apple but please don't stalk me.

This morning Marie and I entertained ourselves by looking up 80's kid's TV shows, Marie is a big fan of Charlie Chalk and turned me on to the wonders of the theme tune to The Poddington Peas which will be featuring in my set when I DJ at the Central School of Speech and Drama this Wednesday. I'll let you know how that goes down with the kids.

Saturday, 5 March 2005

My CV

I have a slight headache after the beers consumed (6 pints of Grand Union Gold) last night and I got told that I'm a man with a big soul (which I took to mean as a good thing) as well as walking home with my housemate Leila and watching in horror as she fell arse over tit in a puddle of ice, or as she called it 'stacked it'. Am I the only person to have never heard the term 'stacked it' before?

I thought it'd be useful if I posted my acting CV for those that are interested, just so you can see what kinda stuff I've done. So here ya'll go...

DOB: 17.04.1976 Eyes: Green Hair: Brown Height: 6ft 7in Build: Medium

Training: Central School of Speech and Drama

TV:


  • Behind the Banner, Presenter, Channel 4, Director: Sunandan Walia
  • Fastest Milk Float in the World, Presenter, Carlton, Director: Al Clark
  • Emmerdale, Lenny, Yorkshire, Director: Tim Dowd
  • Peak Practice, Jury Foreman, Carlton, Director: Alan Grint
  • Dangerfield, Charlie, BBC, Director: Richard Houlthous
  • Heartbeat, Buster, Yorkshire, Director: Graham Moore

Film:

  • Thick as Thieves, Barry Ireland, Wellington Films, Director: Iain Gray
  • Weirddoug Goes Camping, Shaker Man, Hard Graft, Director: Mark Whiteley
  • Making it Big, Dan, Wellington Films, Director: Al Clark
  • Boxed In, Lionel, Wellington Films, Director: Rachel Robey

Theatre:

  • Passenger Action, Passenger 1, Embassy Theatre, Director: Arnaud Mugglestone
  • Thick as Thieves, Barry Ireland, Hard Graft, Director: Keith Hukin/Sara Poyzer
  • Sing-A-Long Sound of Music, Priest, Sing-a-long-a, Director: Graham Baxter
  • Jamaica House, Bobby, Nottingham Playhouse, Director: Paul Sirett
  • Free From Fear, Dad, Blurred Clarity, Director: Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
  • LINK, Jamie, Blurred Clarity, Director: Daniel Hoffmann-Gill
  • Macbeth, Porter, Nottingham Playhouse, Director: Jeremy Stroughair
  • Heaven of Davids, David, Nottingham Playhouse, Director: Matt Aston
  • The Home, Henry, Blurred Clarity, Director: Christina Kiff
  • Hobchob’s Choice, Hobchob, Blurred Clarity, Director: Christina Kiff
  • Carnival, Phil, Blurred Clarity, Director: Christina Kiff
  • Bedders and Pike, Bedders, Hard Graft, Director: Sara Poyzer

Radio:

  • Voiceovers for BBC Radio Nottingham

Corporate:

  • East Midlands Development Agency, Staff Induction Video
  • Nottingham Law School, Trial Reconstructions/Bar Assessments
  • Framework, Corporate Video

Skills:

  • Professional playwright/writer. Experience of directing. Stand-up comedy (worked with Lenny Henry and Alistair McGowan). Experienced drama teacher and workshop provider also creative writing workshop provider. English teacher. Project Management. Youth Worker. Stage technician, stage electrician and stage manager. Play reader for Nottingham Playhouse and New Perspectives Theatre Company
  • Voice: Baritone
  • Accents: Nottingham (native), Strong Northern, Scouse, Scottish, London, RP, General American
  • Sports: Swimming, Basketball, Football, Cricket
  • Other: Full Clean Driving Licence

Friday, 4 March 2005

A Spaniard in the Works

Jesus wept, I really need a beer. I've not been out now for about two weeks but tonight's the night and I'm off into Camberwell to stock up on some booze in my guts at the very fine Castle pub.

I've been looking at some pictures from the New York club scene in the 70's and it left me a bit wistful for a hedonistic nightspot experience. I heartily recommend visiting the link above but beware that some of the people out clubbing in the 70's couldn't keep their penises in their pants whilst having a good time. As you do...

I'll soon be having a new housemate, Pepe who is from the Canary Islands, he looks to be joining our household in the next few weeks, hopefully he's lovely and will cook me lots of Spanish dishes and clean the bathroom. We can but dream.

Right better get ready for my out and line my stomach with soup and bread.

Thursday, 3 March 2005

Personality Blanket

Another day, another World Book Day workshop, this time in deepest East Ham at a lovely girl's school called The Plashet School which has a marvelous covered bridge linking the two separate sites that looks like a piece of modern art. Once again I was in a school with a 87% non-white population and if I sound like I've got a hang up about this I haven't; it's just coming from Nottingham I'm not used to such diversity.

It was fun but tiring, the sessions were an hour and forty minutes of keeping 30 young people happy and entertained with the concept of reading more books. You go try it and see how hard it is...

While we were doing the story telling game one of the students came up with 'Personality Blanket' as the title for our story. I like the sound of that, a blanket that gives you a personality (for some reason I can't help but think of that chap in Snoopy with a security blanket, I suppose if you took that away from him he wouldn't have a personality...Snoopy scholars go discuss!) but the kids decided that the blanket sucks out your personality and turns you into a zombie.

Re-reading Antonin Artuad's 'The Theatre and it's Double' at the moment which is an inspiring if somewhat wayward text that is more poetically formed theory then practical handbook but his melodramatic, hectic thoughts on actors use of breath are intriguing to try out.

A good actor friend of mine is having some difficulty at the moment with the creative process of the people he's working with and his issues with the vacuous and self-indulgent nature of their work has really struck a chord with me. I think that spiting the audience with your bourgeois performance theories and being afraid of anything that remotely sniffs of narrative is not only naive but is for me empty, theatrical posturing of the worst kind.

Wednesday, 2 March 2005

I seem to have lost some Norwegians

I teach and run workshops whenever I can, especially when the acting work is short and funds are running low. They are (usually) fun to do and a good place to keep my acting skills sharp and most importantly I get to work with young people.

Now go ahead and beat me with a stick for spouting a load of whimsy but I love working with children, it's all that energy, imagination, openness and power. On Tuesday I was running a workshop at the Villiers High School
trying to convince Year 7 kids (12-13) to read more books. Now this school is in Southall, in West London, a part of the capital I had yet to visit. Well it certainly is interesting out there, it is virtually mono-cultural, in the sense that the majority of the population are from India or Nations nearby in the sub-continent.

Now I live in London, in Camberwell to be precise which is mainly a African/Afro-Caribbean area but there is mix of students and a Chinese community as well as Greek Cypriots and I enjoy living in such an ethnically diverse area but Southall isn't diverse, it's just...well...Indian.

I spoke to one of the teachers and he explained that they regularly get visitors in from other parts of the world to broaden the cultural horizons of the students, which I think is an ace idea that a lot of predominantly white schools could do with taking on board. However, the day I was in the school they had 'got in' 15 or so beautiful teenage Norwegian girls who study at a college in Oslo and he had misplaced 2 of them somewhere in the school.

Needless to say I helped him un-earth the darlings and had the delightfully, disconcerting presence of elfin, Scandinavian females watching my class.

The workshops went really well, the kids had fun and came up with some cracking stories including 'Bus Hell' and 'The Flying Coat' which hopefully they'll be writing up.

As I left the school I noticed a few of the Norwegian ladies slipping off with a couple of the lads from the school, no doubt off for a bit of broadening of their cultural horizons.

We're on...

As in the royal we as in me, Daniel Hoffmann-Gill. Been writing online under various guises since 2002 but never as me and never on a blog...so here we are.

I'm planning on writing about acting, teaching and any other stuff that comes up in my life that I think is vaguely interesting. I'm quite nervous.
It'll be absorbing for me (and proberly no one else) to see whether I can manage to write coherent, useful stuff without the crutch of an alter-ego to rest on, or whether my writing will become inhibited and tedious by the fact that I can't hide behind a false persona and shoot my mouth off like a web uber-troll. Hopefully this will have lots of implications for me both as a person and as a writer.

So basically this is a public experiment to see if I'm an asshat or not.

Can't wait to find the answer to that one then...