Saturday, 30 April 2005
We had a cracking time last night, the curry was all good, I opted for Lamb Passanda whilst Kirky took Marie's advice and had the Lamb Rogan Josh which we washed down with copious amounts of beer. I took myself to the brink of eating so much food that I nearly sicked up but I forced back the vomit and carried on eating. Infact, we both ate so much that as we sat in the pub afterwards it felt as if we were stoned...high on curry. As we drank more beer in a fug of food induced madness we played chess...Kirky won...the shit. He'll be back at the end of May for another knees up.
Something over at Burned Out Paranoid Democrat concerning government sponsored censorship of photos got me thinking, I'd like to share with you a couple of links that show the reality of Gulf War V.2.0, for the US troops especially. The first is UnderMars and this collection of images at The Memory Hole. My thoughts and respect to you that fight bravely in a war based on lies and deception and watch as your comrades lose their lives for the sake of oil and profits.
Rather you than me Brother Death.
Friday, 29 April 2005
Where to begin? Wednesday then, in summary (the post that dare not speak its name for fear of being sucked into the interweb void), was bizarre. I spent the first half of the day working on a art installation on a boat that mocks the Conservative party and makes the audience wade through paper, whilst listening to grown men sobbing and a video of me and my friend Pete saying shit...and the second half in the Cardinal Hinsley RC High School for Boys, which is quite a rough school in a disadvantaged area of London. Infact I'll be at this school every Wednesday afternoon for the next few weeks, running drama workshops to boost communication skills and self-esteem. I enjoyed the class, even though the kids were tough but it was strange going from such a self-indulgent environment of making art to then working with young people in an intense, demanding environment.
We did a lot of work on eye contact during the session, active listening and body language and the lads all said how hard it was to maintain eye contact whilst talking, many of them saying that eye contact, rather than being a sign of respect, is only used when you want to intimidate that person. This led to a discussion on eye contact and I suppose I'd never seen it as a weapon before.
Yesterday I was at Our Lady's Primary doing an after school drama club with 5 year olds which was exhausting but fun, there was only 5 of them thank God as any more and I may have collapsed. We just played games and I ended the session on my knees pretending to be an alien.
My good friend Stuart is staying until Saturday, he came out last night to watch me DJ (how dull is that) and we shared a bed and slept surprisingly well, although he did give me a bit of an elbow in the face but I forgive him. Tonight we're off to Safa for some curry and beer and intense man chat. Another good friend, Rich White of counterwork, also came to see me play records (ska, reggae, funk, soul and electro) and we chatted art and filled one another in on what we've been up to in the last 5 years since our paths last crossed.
And I'm spent...
Thursday, 28 April 2005
Tuesday, 26 April 2005
Apologies for a day skipped but as I sat down to write my girlfriend Marie looked at me like 'you're not really going to sit there and stare at a screen and type for half an hour whilst I sit here after you've not seen me for a few days you twat?' My Marie can say a lot with her eyes the wonderful woman.
Before I go on, a warning, the new albums by 'Hot Hot Heat' and Ben Folds are both very weak which is a bloody shame as I've paid £30 for Ben Fold's tickets in May. Apart from his song about Elliott Smith which is pretty fine.
I got an iPod for my birthday, a proper 20GB one that holds 5000 tunes, now I own some 580 albums which, at an average of 12 per album (I mean some like Can only have 4 really long tracks but Minor Threat has got 31 of the densest jams ever laid down), is 6960 songs so I'll have to be selective. Having an iPod and converting my music collection is taking up much of my time, hence lack of posting but I've decided to take my time and enjoy the task of transmorphing my CDs to MP3s.
We've started on the site specific project on the HMS President, with the slight problem that I won't be there for the actual performance due to being in Lincoln doing 'Thick as Thieves' so me and Pete (who also won't be there) are doing some fancy stuff with Conservative party publicity material, the sound of crying and grinding of teeth and hopefully projecting our faces on the River Thames. As you do...
I've just phoned up the Conservatives head office, masquerading as someone who actually likes their foolish policies and they are sending some stuff to me in the post but I reckon we'll be needing more than that so I've phoned my local Tory candidate, Jessica Lee to see if I can get a job load of propaganda. Funnily enough turns out she was born in Nottingham and went to Loughborough University like me...small world.
Sunday, 24 April 2005
I bought 'Room for Romeo Brass' last night, such is the joy of the internet and being able to buy whatever you want at any time of day. The reason being that our technician for 'Thick As Thieves', Jim, was in it and it's one of my favourite films of all time, some amazing performances and so I bought it...for a mere £5.99. Bargain. And I recommend you do the same at that price.
Better get off and get my bus to train station and back home. Mind how you go.
Saturday, 23 April 2005
Well the last show at the Leicester Haymarket went really bloody well indeed lads. We really sold out, as in people sat on the stairs of the theatre to watch the show. Fuckin' ace! And the very full house got a great show, Mark and I were just wicked, really on form, like it used to be in the old days of Edinburgh or when we turned a shop into a theatre. We played, enjoyed ourselves and fed off one another's games and acting mischief. Mark said that we must remember the feeling of tonight and put that into all the remaining shows. I agree. It was a wonderful feeling and as I stood there waiting to go on I remembered (again) why I love acting and how much I wish I could save these moments for when I'm out of work. You can't help but take it for granted.
As we did the get out I said goodbye to the theatre and to the scene of another triumph. I've figured out that we have another 10 shows left before it really is the end of something that's been going on since 2001 and provided such memories and amazing experiences. For now I'll bask in the feeling of tonight...although having said that it's already slipping away...
Thought I'd post another excerpt from my new show that'll be on in June: 'Human Shrapnel', as I'm just in the process of finishing off the script at the moment. This show will act as my drama school showcase (along with a site specific two-hander) so I'm under pressure to make it really good as this should be my springboard to getting an agent and getting better quality acting work. I'm on draft number four now and already I keep wanting to tweak it.
I reckon I'll post bits and pieces of it here over the next few weeks so please feel free to let me know what you think about what I've written. The section above comes near the end and is a bit of a steal from a fantastic rhyme by Wiley on the Run the Road compilation. I hope he doesn't mind.
Last night at the Leicester Haymarket tonight, we sold out last night and have already done the same for today so it will be a fine send off. Marvellous.
Friday, 22 April 2005
Oh yes they are, very good for you, in fact they are crucial to your survival so how about getting involved at some level or another. Or maybe you'd like to bask in dangerous apathy that leaves you crippled in front of the TV with a beer and some pizza and being archly ironic, aloof and non-committal.
American readers can turn to the burned out paranoid democrat and UK readers can head to backingblair. Read, be inspired, get angry, put a poster up in your house, talk to your mates about it, whatever. Just get involved.
There was a shooting near my house in London on Wednesday, at the local mini-market where I get my pesto and Ben & Jerry's. I was amused to read that the shop assistant bopped the attacker on the head who shot the other shop assistant in the groin...Ouch.
And for all your time-travel perscription drugs why not head over to here and be amused and slightly alarmed at the same time.
Be seeing you...
Thursday, 21 April 2005
We have a pre show talk before we do our play at the Leicester Haymarket this afternoon, it'll be fun watching the lady in charge of making it run smoothly (who may I add is called Adele and is lovely) try and stop Mark from talking. Not that Mark talking is a bad thing and he did promise me last night that he'd let me get a few words in but he can go on and go down many a bizarre side route of dialogue. I just hope that he doesn't underplay himself and his work with that working class lad made good attitude of 'anyone can do it with a bit of hard graft'...as that's not true.
It'll also be fun because the ego gets a boost from a whole room of people coming to talk with you about how you 'made it' so to speak and to possibly inspire others to do the same. And I've attended enough pre show talks in the past so I've earned my due in terms of giving one!
I shall leave you with the vague hope that Donald Rumsfeld will quit this summer.
Wednesday, 20 April 2005
It was during this journey that I went about airing my beef with Jim and Mark relating to feeling bullied by some of their behaviour during the tour. I won't go into to details but Mark told me he loved me (I love you too Caz) and Jim defended himself but it seems we have at last cleared the air and hopefully we can get on putting on a bloody good show without any upset.
More good news today as the show I did at drama school last term, 'Passenger Action', has been put forward to appear at the BAC which will be a wonderful career springboard in a great venue.
I shall leave you with this movie of a disabled man with no arms and legs dancing.
A job that slowly kills you
Bruises that won't heal
You look so tired and unhappy
Bring down the government
They don't, they don't speak for us
I'll take a quiet life
A handshake of carbon monoxide
No alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises
This is my final fit, my final bellyache with
No alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises please
Such a pretty house, such a pretty garden
No alarms and no surprises (let me out of here)
No alarms and no surprises (let me out of here)
No alarms and no surprises please (let me out of here)
Thanks to Radiohead for thier kind permission to reproduce these fantastic lyrics.
Tuesday, 19 April 2005
Some 25 years have passed since Ian Curtis of Joy Division died, there has already been a great many words written on the matter and I shan't add to the dross apart from to say that the first time I heard 'She's Lost Control Again' I thought the world was about to end in a hail of urgent, gritted teeth-in-the gale despair that compelled me to dance like my life depended on it.
The birthday beers went very well and I had the great pleasure of the company of a good actor mate of mine Joe Alessi, who always brings laughs wherever he goes and also has a damn fine taste in music. So here's to you Joe with your crappy old phone but wonderful sense of musical history, may Val Kilmer enjoy working with you as much as I do! I'm travelling from Lisbon to Texas! YOU'RE NOT ON THE TRAIN!
Yesteday was busy hence no post, back to drama school and working hard and in the evening went to the National Theatre to see Henry IV Part I. It was okay, Michael Gambon stole the show somewhat as Falstaff (to be expected I suppose) but he was inaudible for large parts of the first act...which is not good. Matthew Macfadyen as Prince Hal however was a wonderful mix of posh goon and young buck, so go see it just for him I reckon and the chance to see Gambon in action is always a blessing.
It's my dad's birthday today and legend has it that my mother was hanging on in there so we'd share the same one, however the merciless nurses induced her and out I popped.
I've decided to tweak my links (again) and I get the feeling this will be a constant process of weeding out, so welcome It's What the Bag is For and Social Delinquency For Beginners. And with that I'll be off to pack as I jet off (or more accurately slug along in a train) to Nottingham and a 4 night stint at the Leicester Haymarket.
Sunday, 17 April 2005
Last night we performed in a house in Upton and the show went really well, I was half pissed on 4 cans of lager and the audience were drunker than I was so it was laughs all round and a fair craic. I do like doing shows in people's houses.
The only downside was the endless double-act banter of Mark and our technician Jim which is annoying the hell out of me and to be honest I'm starting to find upsetting. It's taking the shine off the tour, getting in the van and wondering what shit I'll have to put up with as Jim joins a long line of pseudo working class lads who seemingly side with Mark in an effort to push their credentials at my expense. It's not far off from bullying and I'm tired of it, the pair of them constantly trying to get the rise out of me. I wonder what they want? For me to lose my temper and say some nasty things? Seems like Jim makes a living out of winding people up and I suppose as a short arse he's had to learn to use his gob but it's wearing thin, I'm not his enemy, he doesn't need to posture like this to prove anything to me. He's making himself look base and ignorant in my eyes.
So I'm going to have a word with both of them and draw a line under this behaviour. I just hope they listen.
Tonight Marie and I are out with friends in London at The Castle pub for a few beers and some food so if you're around, join us. We'll be there from 7pm.
Saturday, 16 April 2005
Re-reading theatre practitioner Jerzy Grotowski's book 'Towards a Poor Theatre' at the mo and one section struck me as particularly profound in relation to blogging:
My meeting with another person, the contact, the mutual feeling of comprehension and the impression created by the fact that we open ourselves to another being, that we try to understand them: in short, the surmounting of solitude.
The dude with no hair pictured above with Grotowski is another theatre legend, Peter Brook and he came up with a pretty fine phrase as well that I'd like you to carry with you today:
Never stop. One always stops as soon as something is about to happen.
So taking that thought from Mr Brook and marching remorselessly on I'd like to draw your attention to my personal aim to remove Tony Blair from the Labour leadership but to retain the Labour party in power. Simply put, 'Labour in. Blair out.' With that in mind, Tim at backingblair has created a marvellous bit of flash to remind us of the reality of the conflict in Iraq. I urge you to watch it and think long and hard about what has been done in your name.
Friday, 15 April 2005
Please don't ask me how I got to discover a website that provides a very informative guide to sodomy laws across the globe, because you wouldn't like my answer. The website itself is fascinating with the US map of sodomy here and the world map of sodomy law on the home page providing much sodomy for thought...*ahem* I meant to say food...May I re assure all readers that there are no pictures of sodomy on the site and if you want that kind of thing just type it into the conviniently placed Google bar to your right and down a bit.
Due to completing essays I treated myself with a trip into London town and to the Designer Warehouse Sale, where I snaffled a couple of bargains, including a Juicy Couture vest and some Evisu jeans for just under £100 for both. Smashing.
Thursday, 14 April 2005
Indeed it is Mr Gramsci and that's what I've done as I've struggled through completing my essays for my Masters Degree which are now, as I live and breath, finished. HURRAH!
To celebrate I went out for a few jars of ale with drama school pals and I am now relaxing with some Cherry Coke and some broken biscuits (at 99p for 700g) in front of my PC before I doze into a blissful and deeply compelling sleep.
I shall leave you with a picture of broken biscuits and a reminder that the 17th April is my birthday, I shall be 29.
Wednesday, 13 April 2005
I've much to do, essay to write, house to clean and also preparation for starting back at drama school on the 18th April as well as getting my act together for THE MOTHER OF ALL MAIL OUTS to agents and other such important people...
Speaking of which I sent my one man show (which does not involve me dressing up as a bee or being a woman) off to the Hampstead Theatre with a view to getting a chance to test it out on an audience there and a bit of coverage in an excellent theatre. I'll let you know if that falls flat on it's arse.
I've added some further excellent links to your right so make sure to give them some attention and also I have a picture of a boy with a knife for you here. I also realised that I talked about Halifax and didn't post a link to that fine city where the kids ignored us as we acted our faces off. Not that I'm bitter.
Maybe more later after the essay is cracked off.
Tuesday, 12 April 2005
The show at Kenneth Alan Taylor's house where Amanda Holden was present went very, very well indeed. Many important people were there and they loved the show, in fact I'd say it was the best Mark and I had done it for some time (on this tour at least) and we were, virtually, perfect. It was a wonderful experience and a great thing to be part of, one of my best acting experiences. Amanda enjoyed it so much that she is bringing her mum and friends to see us when we're on at the Yvonne Arnaud. Maybe you could join us?
After the wonder of that show we were, by Monday, brought shuddering back to earth with a show for young offenders in Halifax. As Mark and I slugged our guts out on stage the young people talked on mobile phones, chatted to each other and dis-respected our efforts. I've worked with young people for some time so I'm used to this kind of shit but for some reason it really got to me and after taking my bow I stomped off and brooded before running the workshop where, to add insult to injury, half of them walked out whilst I was in the middle of teaching. Jim (our technician) came up to me and said how he didn't know how I could do it, I didn't have an answer for him.
I'll end on a joke. A prostitute is running short of money and not getting enough trade to live so she decides to do 'a sale' and offers her clients a deal where she'll do anything for £10 as long as it is only three words. So the first bloke says: 'Suck my cock' and she does. The second bloke says: 'Go on top' so she does and the third bloke (a Yorkshiremen) says: 'Paint my house'.
(Insert drum roll here)
Saturday, 9 April 2005
Young, white, male working class blues. Trapped in a life where if you can't work hard enough because you don't want to or you just can't bring yourself to break your back you stay trapped. You make just enough to live by doing 40 hours to go out of a weekend and come back with a bit of change before it all starts again. Enough to drive a man to drink.
Mark phoned me yesterday and told me that tonight's show at Kenneth Alan Taylor's house is full of 60 plus people who work in the industry I'm trying to shoehorn my way in to, including Amanda Holden. Not that I'm trying to shoehorn my way into her...heh...
I'm involved in an interesting discussion about memo boards that I'd like you to have a look at, have a good weekend.
Friday, 8 April 2005
I've avoided mentioning the Pope until now and then I discovered this picture on the marvellous Bloggerheads and just had to post this damn image which make me weep with its irrevenrence, piety and pathos. I hope you like it.
My internet connection went down at home today so this is being typed elsewhere so the post will be brief and I'm off touring Thick As Thieves tomorrow so bloggage will be light for the next few days. We have a very important show tomorrow, lots of important people there, we must be good. In light of that I thought I'd leave you with a few things before we part...that's if I can't cram in a post tomorrow before I get in the van.
I've been struggling to get a DVD of me acting off to agents that have requested some footage of me, I've now learnt that a DVD may work in a DVD player but not in a PC. I have been struggling with said DVD and my PC trying to get it to work and to copy it but to no avail. I collapsed in a frustrated heap and just put the damn thing in a SAE and stuffed it in the post with a nice letter to return it to me.
May I point you in the direction of this blog which documents all the crime that occurred in LA in 1947. There was a lot of crime in LA in 1947 and my favourite quote is:
"Officers Jacobsen and Sheets dragged Ahlberg from the bushes, divesting him of a knife with which he had threatened his victim. At this point, the crowd became brave, and cried out 'Let us have him!"
Wish me luck.
Thursday, 7 April 2005
If you're not Marie then carry on reading because have I got news for you? Well, no I haven't but dammit that won't stop me. First off there is no sign of life on the best blog in the world ever, we wait with baited breath for that beast to kick into action. On a blogging tip I am a little cross (read jealous) of David Duchovny's blog getting placed as a 'blog of note', as if he doesn't have enough publicity already and his blog is only of note because he is David Duchovny.
I think that the holler of DECREPIT MEN SEEKING YOUNG TARTS should be a blog of note and although I'm not decrepit yet and not in need of a young tart I think it's a damn fine idea.
As is singing along to 'It's a Small World' (that's right, the song on the awful ride at Disney) right here and if that doesn't entertain you enough then will this do you greedy remorseless bastard?
CAN YOU PEOPLE STOP IT AND GET INVENTIVE WITH YOUR BLOGGING BEFORE I SMITE YOU WITH MY FISTS!
Apologies to Jodi whose rambling blog I actually quite like but the rest of you can all go to rambling hell! And I think I've just found the best blog ever...
Wednesday, 6 April 2005
I've been such a lazy sod today and thus limited things to post about. I could bore you with the nugatory details of my day but instead I'd rather give you cheap laughs here and here and here.
Don't say I never give you anything...
Tuesday, 5 April 2005
I did my first mail out to agents and casting people last week and I've had the first few responses coming in already which I'm chuffed about. This was a trial run of 30 Midlands and Northern based important people to gauge responses before I do the big one in a few weeks time for London based agents. It helps being able to invite them to both my showcase in June and Thick As Thieves so hopefully I can secure some kind of representation from it and start building a career. I must fight building up my hopes and keep working hard at getting an agent that I can connect with to make a living and make bloody good work...in that order...
I'm also trying to bash 'Human Shrapnel' into shape (with Marie's help, the title's for you baby!) so that I have something ready for the start of my final term on the 18th April. I'm also trying not to get distressed about the impending election that Blair gave the nod for today, see here for the tactics required in order for us to get what we want. And on a political tip Anne Widdecombe will be online tomorrow at 1pm so please hit her with some virtual webchat fists.
Now I know I've plugged MORONSDONTKNOWFROMNEWS to death but I love it, it shares my humour and it deserves your love as well so go there and revel in the shambolic joy of the place.
Monday, 4 April 2005
It made me stop. It made me think and then a word came into my head: truth. I pulled out my camera phone and documented it before it was removed by the City Council. I looked around to see other people's reactions to it, they too had stopped and were chatting about it; it had stimulated some kind of discussion and shaking of heads.
I've been thinking a lot recently about politics, about our responsibilities as citizens in a society, about buying into the political process and empowering ourselves, to make our voices heard rather than sulking off in a fug of apathy and nihilism. I've been thinking about protesting and public demonstration, about strikes and about any means necessary to make your point, to have your voice heard and to win back politics from the safehouses of Westminster and the White House and make it something that matters to all of us, rather than the elite few.
After all, it's always belonged to us...politics that is.
I believe that the blood of all the Iraqi civilians needlessly killed, as well as the blood of all the soldiers whose lives have been lost in fighting a flawed and disgustingly corrupt war is on my hands, on our hands. We have to do something, we can't have the world laughing at us like they laughed at America for voting in that animal again. I wonder if we'll have the guts? I hope so.
Anyway, the Death From Above 1979 album is really good if you like the sounds of drums, thrashed bass and fuzzed out synths mashing into a brick of music that careers towards to your head like debris from a riot.
Sunday, 3 April 2005
This is John Birch, he was a very mediocre cricketer and I thought I'd give him some fame.
Now we'll get on with this post properly by drawing your attention to the new links in my links section ("really, they're in your links section you crazy bastard?"), one of which is Barnze and his musings. Now I've linked to Barnze because he's a Nottingham chap and he frequents one of the messageboards I use a lot and he's a bloody good bloke. Now he's only just started blogging so take it easy with him but he's posting new stuff like buggery so go pay a visit please and get a bit of Nottingham on your PC.
And I think that's it with it being a Sunday and all.
UPDATE: On my web trawls I discovered that The Opinion has linked to me and didn't tell me so I've made up for that oversight and linked yet another damn fine blog in my blog roll.
WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END?
Saturday, 2 April 2005
Not that I'm interested in celebrities, I go out of my way to be aloof and positively ignore them (unless I know them of course) but other people are fascinated. You can say, 'Oh I've just done some work with young offenders and really made some breakthroughs with their offending behaviour' and people nod and smile but you say: 'I'm doing a show in someone's house and Amanda Holden will be there' and they get all excited and think it's brilliant and want to come with you.
It's a strange, seemingly compelling thing, we'll have to see how it all turns out. Which reminds of something that happened in the van on the way to Wrexham.
We (me, Mark and Jim) got cabin fever being cooped up in the van and started screaming hysterically and shouting APRIL FOOL and making crap jokes. Jim was making some half arsed jest and we all got very excited about the idea of 'aborting the joke', we then screamed some more and shouted words like:
- Bail out!
- Pull out!
- Abort! Abort! Abort!
Sure you can imagine the rest. You really shoudn't put that many men together in a small space should you?
Friday, 1 April 2005
Actually it was really hard work (in a theatrical sense that is, not in a steelworks way which is proper hard work) but good fun and nice to be back working with young people again, even really difficult ones. I think many moments really hit home and the workshop raised some important issues about offending behaviour. The silence when Mark's character stabs me was priceless, we shut up a group of hard and rowdy kids with a real moment of friendship being betrayed.
And we must have done a good job as we were asked back to work with the really tough kids at a later date, something Mark and I can't wait for...
We have three shows coming up next week starting on Saturday which should be a right laugh, full of booze, comedy double acts at their best and celebrities...well Amanda Holden...but more of that later.