Monthly Archives: January 2015

The redundant parsnip.


Not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous.
synonyms: unnecessary, not required, inessential, unessential, needless, unneeded, uncalled for, dispensable, disposable, expendable, unwanted, useless;

Well as 2014 drew to a close it was suddenly far from ‘beginning to look a lot like Christmas’ as the song goes. The part I played in the advert I filmed holding a tray full of parsnips didn’t make it to the final cut, one slice of a commercial montage too many, even in the giddy throws of Christmas consumerism. To say I was gutted is an understatement. See the dispensable parsnip above, and he was only an extra. This was not because I gave my best performance ever (though I did have a tiny inner objective in the scene to get a tray of parsnips from one place to another, ‘I’m a…a worker…a parsnip mover, my job is to…is to…make sure these parsnips are safe…however heavy’,) and not because it’s the most important thing to happen in the world, at all, but because it was money. As simple as that. Three weeks before Christmas and the earnings you thought you were getting are only a fraction of what you signed up for. The same day I also found out that I didn’t get two other jobs, one, a drama that I was very close to getting and that I really wanted.
I was, however lucky that last year had brought so many positive experiences, in other creative pursuits to cancel out the disappointments. And also, by some Karmic justice, fate decided to run a different advert I did last year to make for the loss. The problem with filming a commercial these days is that you really don’t ever know if you’ll be in it, but you place your trust in there and hope for the best. It creates sometimes a tense atmosphere on set though and you often see actors behaving like meerkat’s, ducking and diving and watching their backs in case things suddenly change and the parsnip holder is now the sprout slicer. Its all about keeping you on your toes, remember to drink lots of coffee. Never mix vegetables and film, that’s what I’ve learnt. Unless of course they help you cry, should you so need it. I really could have done with this lot around 1999 when I was trying to squeeze out tears for Holby city. I could have got an Oscar for my performance today.


And so, moving on to 2015 on a less disappointed note, there seems a lot to look forward to, and when my cold has gone I will start writing/acting/running again (I’m doing a 10k in three weeks). Oh yes I will. I really will. I just need to…erm, finish those chocolates and take some more pictures of vegetables in my chopping job (I promise this was at the end of the shift)and er… must put the port and sherry back in the cupboard and the brandy butter is out of date tomorrow so that needs eating. Then, and only then will I re tackle the Grants for the arts application for our play Can you hear me running ( I’ve created a page for it on this website now) and get going with that. We were lucky enough to have two days work-shopping it just before Christmas with a director and pianist and we’re still very excited about the project.
If anything came out of 2014 it was forming some brilliant, significant collaborations. Jo Harper has beautifully brought a story to life that I never could have written completely on my own as it was way too close to the bone, and Ruth D’Silva and myself are having a whale of a time with our comedy writing. And my other plays created some promising responses.
And with that,I will leave you with this quote. I have no idea what it means, neither does my husband, but it seemed to fit with some sort of vague theme of this post.

Imagination is the real and eternal world of which this vegetable universe is but a faint shadow.
William Blake


No vegetables were hurt in the writing and producing of this post. Any vegetables resembling any real carrots or parsnips or onions have not been affected by this process.