Monday, May 04, 2009

4th May
Spent the afternoon in the technical rehearsal for "Leave to Remain", which opens in Thursday.

As a writer, I always find the tech a bit dull. Obviously, because there's no role for the writer at all. And I always feel so deeply illiterate visually. So I tend to avoid them.

But as a performer, it's such a different thing. You can relax, in a strange kind of way, while others look after things. And there's a kind of pleasure in that.

And try to get back at home in the script that suddenly feels so unfamiliar all over again in these new surroundings.

We are blessed to have Charlie Nowolskielski, of Theatre Alba, designing the lights. There is something very comforting about his passionate presence, his fierce desire to have the stage looking its best.

And the stage does, in fact, look gorgeous.

All we paid for were the tea lights... someone was interviewing me over the phone this morning to compile a profile of me for Creative Scotland. These are the people organising the business course me and Suzanne are attending, that have us thiunking about cash flows and profit margins.

I thought this morning we were clearly a model company in terms of cutting costs: spending nothing on a director, nothing on design, nothing on costume, nothing on the set.. and performing, book in hand to cut down on rehearsal time.

But we'd still have to fill the theatre at £20 a ticket for at least a fortnight to have any hope of recouping the costs of our labour.

The interview went well; the journalist seemed a lovely person, really well informed, up on this blog and the website, full of admiration for what I have achieved.

And then a little later this morning along came someone else, again really positive about what i am doing, willing to help set up more writing groups.

And on saturday a really lovely young woman appeared to give me a makeover, of all things, for a lovely photographer coming to do head shots of me for an interview carried out last week by two, and I need a synonym for lovely at this moment, young women wishing to interview me. Because they, too, are really impressed by all I am and what i have achieved.

This is all wonderful and gratifying, of course, but a bit of me, fortified by old habits of (what? modesty? self-depreciation?) makes me quite surprised and even suspicious of it all.

It's as if many years of guarding myself against disappointment has left me unable to appreciate success...

And I found myself wondering, as I walked up the High St. to the theatre for rehearsal, why it is people seem to be noticing me all of a sudden.

In a bad way, as well as a good: yesterday on the way back from church another someone in a group outside a pub said "Excuse me" very loudly to me as I passed.

And suddenly I couldn't bear to have it pointed out to me yet again that I'm a "bloke" and so walked on.

This kind of thing hasn't happened to me for years, and I don't understand why it's starting again. Do I look different? Is there something in the air?

And I felt cross this morning, walking up to rehearsal, to find myself feeling wary and guarded as groups of people approached me. Reflecting, a little ruefully, on all the years when I was younger and so desperately longed to be invisible.

I've obviously made a very bad job of that...


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