New Years Resolution

I made two New Year’s resolutions this year. One was ‘Fuck it’. This is because I tend to analyse and over-analyse things and tie myself up in knots over difficult decisions instead of just doing what I know is right. The other was ‘Nike’. Not necessarily because I need a new pair of trainers ( which I do ) but because I recently found out that it’s Greek for ‘just do it’, hence the adverts I suppose, he says, rather obviously. I’d like to report that, so far, I have spectacularly failed to live up to either.

On a very sad note, I recently found out about the untimely death of Bernard Shaw     ( in December 2008 ), this country’s leading voiceover expert. I took a couple of Bernard’s classes at the Actors Centre ( he always began with “ Hello, I’m Bernard Shaw; I’m the Ann Robinson of the Actor’s Centre! ) and then got to know him at his studios in Canterbury where he directed, recorded and mentored me. He was terrific. Straight forward, honest, hugely talented and, unlike the Ann Robinson TV persona, an extremely nice human being. I think the only good thing to come from his premature death is the fact that his verve, energy, enthusiasm and larger than life character prove that life cannot end with the demise of the body. How can that sort of person stop existing? They can’t. Simple as that.

I have been busy writing. I’ve now completed the adaptation of ‘The Secret Garden’ for Heartbreak Productions. This will set off for a three month national open-air tour in May. I’ll post all the details or a link as soon as I know them. I’ve loved doing it. It’s a beautiful, darkly honest novel and has been a pleasure to adapt for the stage.

I’ve also finished the first draft of my second play, ‘The Moon is Halfway to Heaven’, which I’ll be editing and doing rewrites on during February before sending it to London Fringe venues for a possible summer run. The play is the story of a lifelong friendship between Jamie and Paul, beginning in 1920 and ending in 2002, with each scene depicting a different age. It will be a huge challenge for the actors ( one of which will be me ) to play all the ages from seven to eighty-two. The two extremes will be OK, it’s the mature bits in the middle that will be the problem!

Imminent projects include a one-hour mockumentary about a touring company of actors and the relationship dynamics and problems that arise. How the hell I cram that into one hour I don’t know. This is for Heartbreak and to be filmed in the late spring. Also, for Heartbreak , I’ll be working with homeless people in devising a piece to be filmed for the BBC. More on that later.

And finally, my showreel is nearly ready. Its currently being edited by Andy Cardy from Sanus Visual Productions, whose doing a terrific job with it, and it should be on the website in the next couple of weeks.

Anyway, thank goodness January is over. At least in December we have Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and in February we have March up next and the prospect of spring. But January is just dire. I’m going to ban it. It won’t happen next year, we’ll just go straight from December to February. We’ll probably find it skulking around Norway in a huff.

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