At the risk of sounding extremely Edam-like, I decided that the first thing on my list of New Year’s Plans (not Resolutions; they sound as though you’ve been rubbish all your life and have decided, this year, not to be……I mean, it’s true, but let’s not go there) would be to actually enjoy every day, or at least find something that you can say, ‘yeah, that piece of cake’ or ‘meeting whoever for a quick coffee and a bitch about life was really lovely’.
Personally, I spend so much time dashing from one thing to another, not really experiencing anything; just ‘enduring’ life rather than actually ‘tasting’ the coffee and enjoying the touch of hugging a friend. So I’m going to be more mindful of what I do now. I’m going to look up at the top of buildings I pass every day and notice things I’d never seen before (probably walking into a pile of dog poo at the same time, but at least the intention was good), actually taste the food I’m eating and enjoy the twenty minutes of chill-out time on the Tube whilst I read a book.
And I’m sure it will actually make me a better writer and actor. In acting, we’re always ‘chasing the moment” being so involved in that precise instant and the feelings it generates that everything else is insignificant. And in writing, it’s an amazing feeling to slide into your own dimension (Matron!) and allow the buzzing noises of the cafe that surrounds you to melt into the background whilst you inhabit a a world that you’re actually creating at the very moment.
We’ll see if it works.
If it does, then the things I’m currently working on should, hopefully, be of a standard I can be a little bit proud of but, more importantly, will entertain everyone watching or reading.
I’ve currently just finished the first draft of ‘the Midnight Gang’, my fourth David Walliam’s adaptation. As always, it’s a privilege to adapt such a fabulous children’s book.
I’m also writing the teenage version of my novel. It’s currently called ‘Shooting For Rainbows’. It’s similar to the adult version but follows a slightly different story-line and actually ends up continuing the story of Sammy and Davey, so it’s almost a sequel in a way! I’d been asked by various people to write a teenage version in order to give teenagers a straight-acting, football-playing gay role model, and I’m delighted to be writing it. If it helps any young person understand their sexuality, it will have been worth writing. First draft just finished so, hopefully, I’ll have it ready for the spring.
My producer (Alex Pearson Productions) is working on securing a venue for ’20:40′, my new play about depression, which I will also be acting in. We’re trying to get a really good Off-West End theatre as we want to involve celebrities, have Q&A sessions, get mental health charities on board and generally bring the topic even more to the fore than it is already. The play is not all doom and gloom; there’s a lot of comedy (nature’s healer) and hopefully it will help people who have never experienced depression to have a small insight into what a huge illness this is.
And finally, I’m organising a rehearsed reading of ‘Gay Pride And No Prejudice’, my slightly different take on Austen’s wonderful novel. It’s been finished (if anything is actually ‘finished’) for two years and it’s time I did something about it!
On the acting front, the wonderful Peter Mimmack from Heartbreak productions is currently shooting and editing my new showreel. We’ve got one more scene to film; the one where I play a really nasty piece of work (just to show that I can) and I hope to have it on the website and out to agents by mid-February. I’m SO excited about returning to the profession I love after several years out, and can’t wait to do this hand-in-hand with writing.
Hope this year is wonderful for you all.