I found the exit sign lying face down next to the plants outside, not inside our building as it should be, the double sided tape obviously not strong enough to hold it up. I’d tried and failed on many an occasion to stick it back up, just as I had tried to keep the communal hallway clean, but there it was, discarded, given up as if to say, ‘Fire shmier, you’ll be ok in our building, don’t you go worrying about a little picture of a green man running urgently towards a door, there’s no danger in THIS place’.
The irony was not wasted on me and it just about summed up the last couple of months experiences. You can’t always get yourself out of somewhere until a sign is right front of you telling you it’s time to move on. And then shit happens. Bad shit. Out of your control. A tipping point. Right on your doorstep. We don’t always see the signs until damage is done. And with that elephant fully exposed in the room, I’ve decided to move on to lighter subject matter. Because we have to move on, both mentally and physically and until I’ve put that fear to bed, it will haunt all other creative pursuits and ideas.
So, dangerous living environments aside, I had a dream, sadly not the Martin Luther king variety ( I can’t even get my kids off their kindles) just my banal over active imagination sort of one. I finally got to work with soon to be ex artistic director of Theatre Clwyd, Terry Hands! (Just to point out that I’ve auditioned for him around four times. The last one was around ten years ago and he said I was acting ‘better’ so I reckon I’m almost Bafta worthy by now AND I’ve since trained with the spring onion conservatoire a la Step restaurant.. so my tears are REALLY good.) It was all going so well. There I was, braced with script in hand, the auditorium in front of me. The very real moment I bring it all home to Wales, my Hermione speech? Why of course.Then… (Oh crap, I forgot I was in a dream) we’re in a quarry, somewhere with no audience and err…why is he taking the script off me?..oh we’re doing Jack and the beanstalk? O.k, I’ll run with that. Oh o.k, he wants to recite some of it. Yes please, show me how it should be done Terry. And then, he recited this:
‘Oh bean, this precious bean,
Thou growest bean’…
And on he went. It was pretty impressive, Jack and the beanstalk morphing into iambic pentameter, but I was in a panic. This was not the script I knew. Think, Loo, quick. ‘Erm…erm..I don’t err..actually know that version but how about, how about the three little pigs? Anyone? Anyone want to do that one? I er… know that one. Oh Pig, Oh pig, thou dearest pig…erm…erm…’
Another exit needed. Talk about actor’s anxiety dreams. Doesn’t take a genius to work that one out. Or maybe I’m looking too deeply into things and I’ve been snipping at too many green beans at work…they did seem to be breeding in the fridge.
Onto the real world and the good news is that I’m doing a low budget feature film soon. Its a cracking part playing Louisa Connolly – Burnham’s (Wolfblood, House of Anubis) Mum in working title ‘Time will tell’. I’m off to Holland at the end of March for eight days so it’s something to get my teeth into and should be fun along the way. Hopefully I won’t get there and find that things are totally different from what I signed up for, no fairy tale dreams or beans and giants and although home is definitely not where the heart or art is at the moment, I’ll find some respite in the work I love doing.
Oh and thank you amazing Caroline Baker Duly for sending Reiki across the miles. Your friends always reflect back to you your strengths and not your weaknesses.
When there is violence so close to you, other parts of you shut down, and you doubt your ordinary capabilities such is the hold of fear. There’s flowers still, at the edge of the street brown at the edges now, but the messages still clear behind the cellophane, ‘For the man you wanted to be.’ How do things come to this, for both parties. And that’s how I’ll leave this post, respectively and non judgementally. Sad for all parties. I don’t know what their story was, I only know ours, and we’ll move on as soon as we can. Look for a safe exit.
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
― Frank Herbert, Dune