Fifteen years as an actress and then what?
I've discovered that life can be just as dramatic as
the roles I've played, drama school didn't prepare me for this!
But I love my current cast list, set and script
and these blogs are just a bumble through my life lessons.
Monday, 20 August 2012
Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner.....
streets of Oxford Circus in London last week was slightly unnerving for
me.Not because I have a phobia of
tourists or teenagers with a penchant for TopShop but because it felt
You know those
scenes in movies when the protagonist stays in real time whilst a New York
street whooshes around them to illustrate their confusion or mental breakdown,
well, that was me.Slightly less
dramatic and glamorous, but you get the feeling! I felt like London was rushing away from me
and I couldn’t keep up.
I used to live in
central London; au fait with the pace of life and often seen on a night bus at
silly 0’clock.I had my designated spot
on the tube platform so I could get off at the exact place at the other side (pathetic,
but I know most Londoners will admit to that) and I had my “London walk.”You know the one that leaves visiting
suburbanites agog as you power through any crowd with commuter determination and
detachment, you take no prisoners in order to make the 18.08 train.No “women and children first” you ditch the
weak because they only slow you down; I would leave poor family members in my
wake after they came to watch me in a show on my mission to get to the
tube.Sadly, this is an accurate picture
of my London selfish 20s- self and she had certainly deserted me last week as I
shuffled along with a distinct lack of my usual vigour.
So has London sped
up or have I slowed down?I have been
away on tour for 7 months navigating the much quieter streets of Rhyl and
Dunstable so have definitely been “out of the loop” and London has been energised
by our Olympic love affair.But I think
the best explanation is that I have spent much of August camping in the Lake
There are nearly
300 miles between Kensington and Keswick but it feels a million.But catch a glimpse of the crags and fells of Cumbria
and London doesn’t even enter my mind despite the odd buzz of my iPhone if I ever
find a patch of signal!I have exhaled
for the first time since January and tension has slipped away; you cannot help
but feel insignificant when faced with such natural grandeur and maybe that’s
why I feel weird in London?Everyone
feels very significant there, well, to themselves anyway.
The Lake District is
both tranquil and awesome at the same time, you don’t think twice about waiting
17 minutes for a camping kettle to boil because you are happy to sit, breathe
and appreciate the epic view.People who
know me and now probably guffawing at their computer screens or think I’ve been
abducted, but IT’S TRUE!!The only
stress is over which path to follow on a hike!
Ok, that is a
little bit of a lie, camping can be fairly stressful if you are known to (sometimes)
be high-maintenance, like I am.I
suffered severe dehydration overnight, not wanting to drink too much fluid
before bed because a dry mouth and headache was preferable to the 5 minute
amble to the toilet in my wellies with a torch at 3am.I managed a few decent nights sleep but an
airbed is wrought with problems; your boyfriend ‘claiming’ it is slanted, thus
making him obliviously roll to the centre of the bed as you cling to a free
corner, or waking up with your bum cheeks grazing a mole-hill because the air
bed has failed to live up to its name and expelled all the air overnight.
But the biggest
stress is the weather.The Lake District
is notorious for rain and wind and we were lucky enough to experience them
both.....violently.One night we tried
to drift off with the tent flapping furiously in the wind only to be suddenly
brought to consciousness as the ceiling met my face.Everything was blue as our tent lost the
battle with the 65mph gusts of wind, we were definitely slanting now in fact
the tent was virtually parallel to the ground.My poor boyfriend struggled to hold it up and re-peg it in the rain as I
helpfully screamed that “we were meeting our doom” (high maintenance, much?!)
that night were the new wind breaker whose steel poles bent under the force and
my man’s belief that I may turn out to be a supportive and helpful life
partner!But one look at the view as we
crawled out of the tent the next morning made us forgive The Lakes everything!Like deluded lovers we coo-ed “Look at it, so
beautiful, it didn’t mean it!”
What I'm reading now!
This Londoner has
fallen head over heels in love with The Lakes, it’s my new dream to become like
Beatrix Potter writing on a farm there.Post-Olympics
everyone loves London or as Caitlin Moran tweeted “Everyone fancies us!”It is vibrant and alive and I am not such an
old “ramblers club” fogey that this boost has totally eluded me. Seeing the
Thames lit-up at night thrills me and I still know theatre land in Soho like
the back of my hand, I don’t think that will ever leave me.
So I may be less Oxford
Circus and more Oxford-shire these days but I am OK with that.I’ll take my new lessons of appreciating my
surroundings on my trips to London; breathing and enjoying the view.
Who am I
kidding?Breathing in fumes and only
annoying the people with a “London walk” as I behave like a bemused Japanese