Wednesday, 29 June 2005
I'm grabbing some time at Marie's PC while she's out and blogging a little as I'm addicted to the sensation of posting spiel.
The train journey to Notts on Sunday was hellish, I spent most of it sat on the floor in the vestibule of the train watching a young couple play Top Trumps: Star Wars but it was worth it to catch up with the beautiful Marie when I arrived in my home town.
Today we were in South Tyneside, an area of the UK around Newcastle, Sunderland and South Shields perfroming Thick as Thieves to 30 young offenders in a grimey community centre. The show went down like a rotting dogs arse offered to you as a starter before a main course of human flesh. The "workshop" afterwards (I've put it in quotation marks as it was a half arsed excuse for a workshop) was thankfully reduced to a 20 minute chat with the young people who frankly couldn't be arsed to chat back.
At times like these you feel like screaming and shouting about how their life is in their hands and how they can be whatever they want but instead they'll end up filling in the form that's been perscribed them as working class people living in poverty in modern Britain.
But you don't scream, you just finish the "workshop" and pack the van and go home.
Tomorrow is the last show ever of Thick as Thieves, in Mark's house in Netherfield, where it all began in 2002. It's bascially a massive party and will be a great craic. I'll try and keep you posted on that.
Peace and I'm out!
Sunday, 26 June 2005
I'm also going back to wrap up Thick As Thieves. We've two shows up north for Young Offenders (which will be a right laugh) and then a finale in Mark's house where it all started back in 2002. It's going to be a good night and a good sending off for a truely pivitol moment in my life. I may even weep.
It's also a good opportunity to meet with old friends and hang out.
Mum phoned today, they live in France (and have a place in Kent also) but are moving to another house in Normandy so I'm going over to help them move and also ma wants me to help her sell some antiques on ebay which is pretty cool as I get a digital camera out of it.
Due to bastard hayfever my nose is bleeding. I hate hayfever and yes, I am on drugs for it...they make my heart beat slower and still my nose bleeds.
Saturday, 25 June 2005
It was no doubt set off by the fact that yesterday I finished drama school. We went for some drinks, (I'll never be able to walk past that pub again and not think of what it now means: a fullstop. And as it's right in the middle of London...it's going to happen a lot) I got rather merry but nothing too heavy. Nearly had a fight with a drunk dude, some great dialogue:
I suppose the apprehension and reflection is high because I'm now out there, an actor in London, slugging it out with all the others; pissing in the wind. It's going to be tough, I'm going to be fucking poor but at least I'm doing what I want to do, at least I'm giving acting a proper crack rather than flinching from all the rejection. And I'll be doing it with Marie by my side and with her by my side I can never lose.
When ever I look back I can't help but go along way back, for some reason I've been haunted recently by some dark times in my teenage years, friends I lost, people whose lives took a turn for the worse, some dead, some inside. I could be one of them, burnt out, broken. I carry these people with me, helps to appreciate where I am right now and to honour those who can't go on this journey with me.
I was on the frontline before I used a Bic razor. I was a raver, cocky little bleeder, now I feel blue like Sonic on Sega.
Peace and respect.
Thursday, 23 June 2005
Ariel Sharon is a sweaty (Zionist war criminal) bastard and I too am a sweaty (non-Zionist petty criminal) bastard. For London is bathing in armpit fulls of sweat as it tosses and turns under the intense Summer sun and such is the profusion of sweat that the smallest movement leads to tracts of body juice rolling down my face, legs and arse crack.
But have no fear, this has not stopped my web escapades and discovering the alarming number of blogs that document having a baby. This one is just plain weird, one couple are all dressed in black and another look like they have serious learning difficulties.
This baby blog is more like it, very cool and the baby in question is very beautiful indeed and you also get to see the mother's boob.
I also found a lonely git and a brand spanking new blog where a dude abides.
Tomorrow is my last day at drama school, handing in yet another essay before going out on the beer to get utterly drunk and cry a lot with people I'll never see again. HURRAH!
Before that I'm off to pick up some bargains from the Designer Warehouse Sale so that I look bloody good indeed.
Wednesday, 22 June 2005
A terrible device to compartmentalise your life in reader friendly word-bites so you can spread like a cancer through the blogsphere; spreading your verbose goop to increase site-traffic.
I did it because my head is full of ghosts but instead of writing about that I filled in some arbitary questions in the vain hope this could re-connect me to a time long gone and a bunch of people who I deserted because they were costing me my life. No more.
A looped piano riff, hot Summer air, whatever happened to the good old days? Out on the street, drinking white cider, cupping some pills in my left hand, feeling alive and burning with an anger I never thought would die.
I feel you there but I can't see you, side by side, the world was ours to burn, there was blood in our mouths and a lot of trouble in the air. We laughed a lot to stop feeling so damn unhappy at the hand we were dealing ourselves, we ruined a lot of lives and made a lot more: gash with perms dripping like ice lollies in lycra skirts with friendship bands.
Some bad trips, some Michael Jackson bad trips and a lot of Ice-T and Ice-Cube.
See you on the other side brother.
Tuesday, 21 June 2005
10 Years Ago, I...
1. was 19
2. was at Loughborough University
3. was going out with a girl called Mel who had red hair
4. liked heavy metal
5. was overwieght
5 Years Ago, I...
1. was 24
2. had been acting professionally for 4 years
3. was still going out with Mel
4. worked at the Nottingham Playhouse
5. had very little sex
2. listened to people saying nice things about my acting
3. drank two pints of beer
4. wore a vest
5. sweated a lot
1. missed Marie
3. drank one pint of beer
4. said some bad things and some nice things about people on my course
5. danced in front of a Greek and a Japanese lady
Tomorrow, I will...
1. go to too many meetings
2. drink more beer
3. ring agents
4. miss Marie
5. crack one off
Snacks I Enjoy:
3. fizzy cola bottles
4. ice cream
5. cheap cake
Songs I Know all the Words to, Even Without the Music:
Anything in my massive music collection
Things I Would Do With $100,000,000:
1. buy lots of houses
2. buy a theatre
3. buy a ring for Marie
4. make sure my parents never have to worry about money
5. give money to St Dunstans
Top Locations I'd Like to Run Away To:
2. New York
4. Baton Rouge
Bad Habits I Have:
2. rubbing my face
3. eating crap food
4. being two-faced
5 Things I like Doing:
1. being with Marie
2. listening to music
5. buying clothes
Things I Would Never Wear:
1. cheap clothes
2. a mullet hair cut
3. cheap jewels
4. real fur
5. a bad suit
T.V. Shows I Like:
I don't watch TV
Movies I Like:
1. Taxi Driver
2. Mean Streets
3. Raging Bull
4. Star Wars
5. Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas
Famous People I'd like to Meet:
I hate famous people.
Biggest Joys at the Moment:
Monday, 20 June 2005
- Roast scallops salad, caramelised cauliflower beignet, cauliflower pannacotta, aged Balsamic vinaigrette
- Caramelised endive tart tatin, pan fired foie gras, hazelnut croustillant
- Pan fried turbot, potato herb gnocchi, fricassee of peas, walnut and sherry vinegar
- Herb crusted canon of lamb, cannelloni of sweetbreads and morels, spring bean salad, jus gras
- Hot chocolate fondant, Amaretto parfait, vanilla and pearl barley sorbet
I'm also boosting some lovely new links (it's been a while) for you to explore including the lovely Sally (The Lost Girl), an Eccentric World for you and some United We Lay. Enjoy.
Barnaby reviewed Human Shrapnel on his blog and the review is here. YAY! That's cheered me up no end as I stare into the post-drama school future (I finish on the 24th June) and the gaping void that is my (re-launched) acting career.
It's a shame that much of the work at our final festival was so utterly middle class and rooted in a self-indulgency that was vacuous and tepid. Where's the tendons vibrating like agitated pencils? Where's the hearts being worn on sleeves? Don't get me wrong, I'm not a class bigot and there isn't anything fundamentally wrong in being middle class...I mean I'm middle class...but I would have hoped that the work we made would have reached out to different areas and there still seems to be a fashion for work that is not from the heart and stricken with fantasy and lazy imagery.
Having said that I'm a sucker for poetry in my dialogue, so I'm as bourgeois as the rest of them.
Speaking of being bourgeois the meal at Foliage was fucking ace and it cost Marie (whose treat it was) £168 ($319) and that was without drinks! I'll post the menu later people, the food was awesome, utterly beautiful...just like Marie.
You can all vomit now.
Saturday, 18 June 2005
Barnaby came tonight and we had a chat after the show, which was both brilliant and weird, when someone who has just been a blog buddy suddenly exists as a three-dimensional human who happens to be bloody cool. Ace. And I reckon he liked it which always helps; even though he had to put up with a talkative old deaf lady who sat at the back.
Old people shouldn't be allowed in the theatre.
So tomorrow is the final show of Human Shrapnel, the adventure comes to an end, for now. Nostalgia is already running thick through my veins, Marie will be watching, so it will no doubt all end emotionally and I'll miss playing out that veteran's life. Think of me at 16.30GMT and spare a thought for ex-servicemen across the world.
Posting will no doubt be light over the weekend with Marie being here, why the fuck would I want to look at a computer screen when I've got my baby to play with? On Sunday we're off for a posh meal at Foliage in Knightsbridge to celebrate our love and our future together.
See you on the other side.
Friday, 17 June 2005
Big thank you to all my trusty readers who've posted cool comments of support in my moment of theatrical crisis last night. You'll be glad to know I feel a hell of a lot better today.
Both shows today went very well, excellent audience responses and a real sense of dialogue between us; of communication. I softened my approach slightly to let them in to the piece more and this worked with a director who came to see it complimenting me on just that. Had some great feedback from other such important people on the quality of the writing and the acting and someone told me they thought it was the best show at the festival.
How things change in 24 hours.
It seems I also mis-read the audience as I received an email of a man who came to see it last night who was a veteran of Gulf War 1, he thanked me for being brave and taking on that subject matter and ended his letter with the phrase: you were right.
I swear to God I wept like a baby.
Wednesday, 15 June 2005
Yesterday's premiere of Human Shrapnel, as you may have guessed, went damn well and I got a bit drunk and basked in the glory like a human shaped seal. Today was somewhat different and very distressing.
The matinee was fine, I was a little under par as I hadn't prepared well due to the theatre not being ready but it went well and the audience seemed to like it. The evening show however left me crying with rage and frustration. I'll explain...
For those of you that don't know, Human Shrapnel is a one man show that I've created with ex-servicemen from past conflicts and soldiers currently serving in Iraq. It exists to shed some light on what happens to men when they leave the army, especially those from a working class background (which is much of the British Army and the US military I believe). It doesn't make for pretty viewing as it doesn't pull any punches and it asks the audience to think about their own attitudes to conflict and veterans; as well as reflect upon the circle of violence many soldiers are trapped in.
I've put a lot of work into this play because it matters to me, I care about those that have laid down their lives for us, those that fight so we don't have too. I may not agree with the reasons for war but those that fight it I respect and Human Shrapnel is dedicated to them and their struggle.
Now, I break myself in two on that stage, I work my guts out and give my all to tell the story, to do it justice and tonight all I got from the audience was cold indifference as I slogged my fucking guts out. Now I may be wrong but I've been acting for a while now and you can't help but feel an audience and this was one way traffic, me to them and them just not buying into what I was doing. I felt humiliated, like I'd bared my soul and they'd objectively decided it was rubbish.
I sat in the dressing room and smashed it to fucking bits: I lay myself out there for you and all I ask is you take my hand and come with me.
Now, I know what you're thinking: 'Maybe Human Shrapnel is a pile of shit DHG? Get over yourself!' Maybe it is. All I know is a lot of people who saw it last night or the matinee today, people who work in the industry or the teachers at my school, people who know their theatre, have told me that it's an outstanding piece of work and that I perform it excellently. And I know it's good and that it contains a story that needs to be told.
I tell you, it's really knocked my confidence and my priority is to build that back up and move on to tomorrow's shows and hold my head high and plough on into that audience and put my heart out there again for it to be stamped on.
Monday, 13 June 2005
I've discovered some more like minds through this post and trust me I'll be linking to you as soon as I've time to fiddle with my blog. We have to stand up, stand tall, we have to fight for our respective nations before they are sucked into a greedy, desperate, by any means necessary world of corruption, big business and war for money.
This is not the world for our children, it is not a world built on kindness, love, support and generosity. It's a world built on back stabbing and grubby battles to be top dog. It has no time for weakness and cares not a jot for equal rights as a given rather than a treat that has to be earnt. It believes in the survival of the fittest and that was fine when we were primordial creatures emerging from the swamp (or if you're a neo-con we came from Adam and all the ladies from his rib) but we've moved on, we have to aim high and become all that we can be.
So take my hand and let's march on the repressive Conservative world and take it down with the force of our ideas and the honesty and decency of our beliefs.
Sunday, 12 June 2005
But my combatative nature is strong and so I ambled over to provide a left-wing (read: decent, kind, sensible, humanist) perspective on issues such as the aforementioned Political Correctness, use of stereotypes and bullying. Dissent, however, is not welcomed by neo-cons and now when I comment, it is deleted whilst the sycophants crow over the foolishness of my words. Now I know how the Democrats feel...
Then more blogs of hate came appearing from the interweb ether, whether it be sarcastic anti-semitism or a young man just starting out on the road to conservatism with the motto: I HATE LIBERALS. How very kind, intelligent and compassionate of you.
Cranky Yankee has already placed his cards on the table with this eloquent de-construction of the conservative credo which I urge you all to read (even you Red!).
I'll leave you with the wise words of the conservative leader George W. Bush: "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."
Well if you put it like that George...
Friday, 10 June 2005
The guy who wrote Shopping and Fucking came tonight, he seemed to like it, he's called Mark Ravenhill. The second show tonight was really good, the whole audience were in tears, utterly consumed by the story, playing out their own personal tales of loss as they viewed a fictional one. Acting in Fade to Black has been an excellent experience, an opportunity to fully flex my acting muscle that will be further explored during Human Shrapnel which begins next Tuesday. This is the big one people.
Getting a lot of sex spam recently, some bastard must be putting my name of some erectile tissue issue email list. Emails with phrases in like: "It's the way the sek's crumbles" and "15 minutes or less to feel the largeness going on"
Largeness going on? That's one of the grooviest phrases I've ever heard for having an engorged cock. Brilliant!
Thursday, 9 June 2005
The recent events have reminded me of something that happened to me a long time ago and forgive me but I'm going to recount the tale but heavily mutilate the details to avoid lawsuits.
I worked at this place for a long time, never let them down, highly trusted, I busted my balls for them and always went the extra mile. Then one day an ex-employee of the same company came back; he had a reputation as a nice guy but with an eye for the ladies, he was married and had a kid and stuff.
Trouble is I knew that he has been making in-appropriate advances to another woman who worked there, very full on, explicit letters, gifts, coming on real strong. Sexual harassment. Now the girl doesn't want to lose her job and most other people in the work place know about it or similar stuff this guy's tried to pull in the past (he's a repat offender) but he's a valued member of staff and seemingly a nice guy.
But I can't stand it, it makes my skin crawl. So I decide to do something and with the woman's permission I get the evidence and make a complaint to the boss, which I do. Next thing I know I'm pulled to one side and told that as of next week I'll no longer be needed and as I'm not on a contract there's nothing I can do about it. Reason given: no work and too much staff. So I turn to my mates who've I've been working with for years for some support and they all wish me luck for the future and say there's nothing they can do.
I learnt something that day and I still get angry now about how I was treated and thinking about how I stood up to do something right and ended up losing my job. Trouble is, I made a promise to myself to keep standing up, no matter what and to keep taking the shots because sure, I'll fall down often but I'll always get right back up.
You're right, one day I'll bleed to death before I can stand up again but I'll know in my heart I was doing the right thing.
Wednesday, 8 June 2005
I hate the word racist...I much prefer the words 'I'm right' or
I hate the word anti-Semitic...I much prefer educated in the evil ways of the Jews.
I've got to laugh and make bad jokes about it otherwise I'd cry. Melanie has decided that the best way to promote discussion on the issue of racism is to delete my comments and have a nice chat with her pals who all agree with her. It seems a blow has been struck for freedom of discourse and it kinda reminds me of the Bush regime. Don't like what someone's saying? Pretend it never happened. Brilliant!
Today's shows went well, a lot of people came forward with praise and that's what it's all about as long as the audience leave happy...or in our case weepy. Although, same pattern as yesterday with the final show being the best in terms of emotional connection. My top lip is sore from blowing my nose a lot due to tears.
Went to see another show tonight that's on at the festival called 'En Route' by a company called Knavish Speech. It was great fun, full of play, humour and wonderful moments. Perhaps the best part being when one of the actors whispered into an audience members ear who then had to speak the words out loud...Trust me, you had to be there...
I'll leave you with the word complicity and the thought that if you watch someone do a terrible thing do you stand there and watch and pretend nothing has happened or do you raise your hand and say enough is enough?
Tuesday, 7 June 2005
First night tonight of Fade To Black and it went very well, by the final show (we do three shows back to back at 5pm, 6pm and 7pm) I was in the "emotional fascism zone" and wept a lot as I cleared up pictures of my dead wife. It proved to be an intense trip for the audience as they stumbled out crying into the London night. Tickets are going fast but if you are based in the capital and want to come go here to book your free tickets. Be nice to see you.
Onto more pressing matters then, that's right you guessed it: blogs. Three pressing blog issues have come up for me, the first is where an earth has Antony Mouse gone? He either is having sex a lot with his new girlfriend or studying too hard for exams or perhaps thinks blogging is for losers. All I can say is post to let us know you're safe young man.
The blog world is full if right-wing, neo-conservative maniacs who believe in free trade and killing Arabs but That Dude From Philly is kinda lovable in an annoying way, even if his blog turns my stomach it's worth it to see the Balloon Pirate smash their imperialist bad math to bits.
The third and final blog is a lot more problematic and I'll tell you why. See, I like Red a lot, she's a fine lady and without each other we wouldn't be in the blog world at all, we both stumbled upon each other at the right time and blossomed together. Cool. Trouble is she links to Melanie who, God bless her, is a racist. Not in a bad way, like thinking all non-whites are sub-human or that the Jews run the world, but in a far more insidious and essential way, rather like how my dad's a big old bigot.
Now I've read other parts of Melanie's blog and I can see why Red linked it in the first place, it was good old, down home, funny, female based fun; the kinda stuff Red links to a lot. Fair play. Little did she know that she was linking to someone with those kinda views. In my heart of hearts I wish Red wouldn't link to her. Maybe that's wrong of me but that's how I feel and I needed to speak out. Love to you Red.
As I type this Melanie has just left a comment with some dictionary definitions of Afrocentrism and Black supremacy, which only go on to expose her whole messy belief system. It's so entrenched it saddens me.
Monday, 6 June 2005
It's emotionally draining to be honest. Fiona (who plays my wife and is present in the room as a ghost. See Truly Madly Deeply but gender reversed) and I spend most of it in tears or on the verge of breaking down and it provides a real challenge to an actor to maintain that kind of emotional intensity without it becoming a draining, emotive pathos-blackhole for the audience. Or emotional fascism as one tutor beautifully put it.
You have to question yourself as an actor and ask whether it is possible to reach the required level of emotional intensity again and again, the director is trying not to over work our emotional triggers, hence no rehearsal today but eventually thinking about your dad dying or Marie being murdered only goes so far.
I was discussing the problem with another actor last week over a few beers and they made an astute observation. In theatre, crying is a middle class thing, a self-indulgent act by those in touch enough with their feelings to reach the desired state of distress. Working class people cry alright but it has an emptiness about it due to being worn out with crying and also why cry when you can get angry. Wild generalisations I know but there is a grain of truth in it.
Fade to Black is very middle class.
But still, it has some wonderful writing in it and the audience are in for a depressing but beautiful theatrical experience that they won't forget quickly.
Sunday, 5 June 2005
IS THAT CLEAR?
*cough* *wipe spit from mouth* *adjust trousers*
First off is Goody's book meme...
Total number of books owned:
Last book bought:
"The Spirit of Terrorism" by Jean Baudrillard
Last book read:
"Baudrillard. An Introduction"
Five books that mean a lot to you:
None of them. They are disposable and absorbed into my cranium.
Tag five people to continue this meme: NO! FUCK YOU! THE CANCER STOPS HERE!
*ahem* *regains inner focus and sense of purpose* *deep breath*
And here is Jodi's Trio Meme dispatched like a tramp's face into the sidewalk...
Three screen-names I have had are:
Three things I like about myself are:
My massive cock
Three things I do not like about myself are:
I am too tolerant of other people
I am selfish
I have my internal violence under control
Three things that scare me are:
Moon faced children
Three of my everyday essentials are:
Three things I am wearing right now are:
Calvin Klein pants
Three of my favorite songs are:
Spank Thru by Nirvana
Oh Marie by Louis Prima
Blackbird by The Beatles
Three new things I'd like to try in the next 12 months are:
Being on TV for longer than 15 minutes
Less time on internet
Being really famous
Three things I want in a relationship are:
Two truths and a lie are:
I've killed someone
My best friend's dead
I kill children for a living
Three things I cannot do without are:
Three places I'd like to go on vacation are:
Three kids' names are:
Ethan, Mimi, Angel
Three things I want to do before I die are:
Kill someone else
Three celebrity crushes I have had are:
Three people I nominate to complete this exercise are:
See above for response to that dumbass question.
MAN, ALL THAT MEME SHIT HAS GOT ME PUMPED! This is better than when I used to inject steroids to make it easier for me to attack people.
On a non-meme tip I spent a lovely weekend with Marie but now I'm back alone again in my room and I miss her so much. I love you Marie.
Friday, 3 June 2005
Our final festival of work at drama school starts next week, so it's a tense time. Fade To Black is first (7th-11th June) then the week after is Human Shrapnel (14th-18th June). The website is here so go visit and if you live in the UK why not come and see me, as it is free.
I'll fill you in more at a later date, have a good weekend.
Thursday, 2 June 2005
Imagine, if you will, being at the bottom of a pile of 11 year old boys who decided to rush you because "they were bored".
Have you imagined that? Good. Now imagine how you'd get out from underneath them. Brute force? Shouting? Witty remarks? Bribery with sweets?
I have a question that I want you to answer for me: how many 11 year olds would it need to take you down?
I've been giving this some thought and I reckon I could handle 6 before I'd topple, maybe 7 at a push, depending on how determined they were. I expect to see your answers below or I'll set the children on you...
Wednesday, 1 June 2005
I thought I'd leave you for a while after I dumped all that sick ass p0rn on your minds but now I'm back and I promise not to mention p0rn in this post...
Red threw down the meme gauntlet to me and I respond in regal style thus:
- The total volume of music files on my computer is... 20GB of some of the best damn tunes you'll ever here spanning jazz to punk rock, funk, blues and even a bit of Justin Timberlake.
- The last CD I bought was... "MEZMERIZE" by System of a Down and I swear to God you gotta by this fucking album because it's just some of the most intense and expansive heavy metal you'll ever hear and it shits all over Metallica. Sorry Red.
- The song playing right now is... B.Y.O.B by System of a Down where I stole the title of this post from. If you see Bush or Blair please ask them that question.
- Five songs that mean a lot to me are... Damaged II by Black Flag because it saved my life and when I need to vent 29 years of anger and pain I use this track as a conduit. For No One by The Beatles as it's just one of the best love songs about a relationship being an empty, drab sham of a love affair that I know of. Cold Sweat by James Brown as he invents funk, which is a pretty cool thing to do. Fuck The Police by NWA as this record came around the time of me deciding to become a gansta and it fuelled my violent, drug induced rages and acts of crime and violence across Nottingham. Funhouse by The Stooges as this song represents the beginning of my musical awakening and is one of the densest jams you'll ever hear and it makes me want to spaz out and just throw myself into the beat of the drums.
- Which people are you passing this baton to, and why? Col.Dr because I reckon he'll have some top tracks up his virtual sleeve and Rich White because he used to like heavy metal and I'm curious as to what he likes now.
ENOUGH OF THAT! What the hell have I been up to? Good question and I have no idea as I decided to experiment with crack and it's all been a blur.
Only joking, there was no crack but there was Ben Folds and a gig at the Hammersmith Apollo which was like a trip down memory lane as he played some old Ben Folds Five Stuff. Had a wonderful night swaying to his unique brand of melodic, piano driven pop only spoilt by him playing songs off his new album which remind me of Billy Joel. Not good.
Today was interesting as I spent all day in a bullying workshop so I can deliver said workshop in schools across the land to stop kids whacking one another in the chin and guts when they have low self-esteem and want to take it out on others. How we're expected to help kids when our world leaders behave in that way I've no idea but I can at least attempt to halt the downfall of mankind with said workshop.
Met some lovely people who I'll hopefully meet again, that's if I didn't put then off with my comprehensive knowledge of p0rn...