Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Grand Day.............(rather a long post - make coffee!)

I should be boll**ed. I am boll**ed, but despite that and a few stiff brandies before I went to bed my mind wouldn't shut down so here I am typing shite to the world again. Isn't the Internet wonderful? 'Tis for the likes of me - most people I know are far too busy with their own lives to be bothered listening to me waffle on at the speed of light about things they have absolutely no interest in, and at a time when they would far rather be sleeping or reading or watching TV. They want to waffle on to me about things I have absolutely no interest in - albeit at a slower pace than my manic gabbling. So now us 'tell our life story to the bus conductor - if he'd listen' types can all sit up in the middle of the night and shoot the breeze with a screen, unburdening our souls without fear of getting three Hail Marys, an Our Father and possibly a lecture, or have to notice a glazed look coming into the eye of our reader. We bore nobody because nobody is obliged to read us and we can rest easy when we've said it all.
             I work a lot with children and you really see it in them, this need to be listened to, to be taken seriously, to be comforted and told it'll all be ok and you should never be afraid to talk to someone - someone somewhere will listen, will care, will help you. That feeling doesn't go away as we grow, we manage it better, become more self-sufficient and are able for the most part to deal with the 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune' but we all need a listening ear at various stages in life. That's why I am so glad I write. It is the medium in which I best express myself - without worrying about the reader's/listener's reaction. I'll never know many of those who read me (yes family, I do have the odd reader outside of you!)  and those who do know me know me well enough to understand where I'm coming from as I write.
            I digress. My Grand Day. On Thursday I spotted a piece online about open auditions in Galway for bit parts and extras in an upcoming movie starring Gabriel Byrne. I brought it to the Jemser's attention and suggested he should go for it. He decided he would and then I said
            'What the hell. I'll do it too. We'll have a big day out.' So we did. It was an eerie trip down early Saturday morning as there were patches of quite heavy fog about. I hadn't driven in fog before and must admit it was a bit of a strain. Anyway it had lifted before we got to Galway and we found the Connacht Hotel easily. Busy spot. Some Welsh rugby team, whose name escapes me but who were playing Connacht in the afternoon were staying at the hotel so between them and their entourage and supporters there was plenty of activity. That and the auditions, various other meetings and functions and the usual Saturday traffic to the swimming pool and gym meant there was plenty to look at and listen to. Gosh, I love people watching. Can you do a degree in it? I'd go all the way to PhD if there was!
                 We filled in the form for HoodUp Productions and gave them to the nice young man at the desk, then took a seat on a comfy couch nearby, well - the first one was too comfy for our aul' bones , Jemser remarked that getting out of it was like getting out of a bog-hole! So we settled for the second, firmer, sedate leather couch aimed at we elder lemons. We got chatting to two young actresses just starting out on their careers who availed of our vacated bog-hole sofa, they were really interesting women. Fair play, they are involved in a theatre comapny a few of them set up - the name escapes me but will plug it when I remember it and see one of their productions. They're also writing a play themsleves , about young gay love between two women in Poland after WW2 aimed at the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2016 - great concept and I wish them well with it.
                 I told them we had no idea what the movie we were auditioning for was about (we didn't prpare ourselves at all!) so they filled us in. It's a horror film about a man who returns to Connemara to teach in a rural school and doesn't realies the house he has taken was the scene of several unexplained deaths. Strange things happen and it looks like his daughter may be possessed. Oooooh! On hearing this I decided to change my audition piece. I had intended to perform the famous 'To be, or not to be' soliloquoy from Hamlet but given that the movie was scary decided that the piece where Hamlet talks to his father's ghost for the first time might be better. I'd have loved to record it on the voice changer on my phone and set the change to 'ghost' but...maybe not!
                    We only had to wait about an hour before we were called.I was nervous so asked the Jemser could I go first. He never gets nervous and was happy with the speech from 'The Rainmaker' that I had suggested he read as his audition piece. So - in I went. I've never done this type of audition before so wasn't sure of the protocol so - what the hell - I just was myself. I walked in and shook hands with the four people in the room. Apparently one doesn't do that. Two professional looking sophisticated people one male, one female and two other men who (sorry lads) were more the arty farty end of things, one was a cameraman anyway and the other chap - who did most of the talking, could be a director/writer or something. Of course my form was half arsed. I had mentioned amateur productions I did twenty years ago which they read as me being involved in amateur theatre for twenty years. I corrected him to their amusement and my mortification. I forgot to mention Her Majesty, The Story Queen until the last minute, so had scribbled a bit about her on the end of the form. I neglected to put down my only involvment in a professional piece - Internal Terrains in the Project Arts Centre with the wonderful Natash Davis. The chap who was asking most of the questions thought he knew her and when I mentioned Natasha's boyfriend, a wonderful American musician who I said looked like an exclamation mark they all roared laughing. So far so good. The man said I was lovely and bubbly. No one ever called me bubbly before. I thought bubbly was small and slim and had blondy curls, or small and luscious with good teeth and shiny wavy black hair. I am neither of those people so it's nice to know I have my own large and heavy glowering bubbliness!
              I read my piece to the camera, I tried to tone my dramatic delivery down as I've only ever played Hamlet on stage, but not sure how it went. It was a pity I didn't have the piece verbatim as one loses facial expression when one has to read. But I did give the camera a glance or two. I'm not photogenic but you never know I might have a face that fits some mad aul' bat they want for their movie! I don't think they clapped when I finished - there was a silence and I'm not sure if it was a good or a bad silence. Jemser thinks he heard a clap from his perch outside the door. But what odds . Out I came and in went his lordship. From the laughter I heard through the door and the clap at the end he did really well. They told him he had a great face - which he does and his voice and delivery are great.
             I'd really, really, really love to see him getting something in this  movie. I have my writing as  a creative outlet, his singing and playing guitar is his -he claims he's not creative, he's an interpreter;  but he should have been an actor, he is really good. Life got in the way however and we both opted for the security of public service jobs to rear children and pay the mortgage. We have no real regrets about this; things were different in the Eighties, I wouldn't have thought 'being an actor' was a career option and we had neither the connections nor the education to even attempt life as professionals. Although funny enough my dearest friend from my school days told me at my book launch two years ago that I always said I wanted to be a writer or an actor - imagine I just forgot that! Jim and I kept our love of drama fed with regular visits to theatre over the years and taking part in the odd amateur production when it suited family life. The actor Don Wycherly knows Jemser well and he agrees it would be lovely to see 'The General' on screen (long story - y'had to be there!).
              I was buzzing after our auditions, we wished our new found friends the young actresses well and hit the road for the big smoke. We had a grand aul' chat on the way home. Despite the fact we're both retired we rarely spend much time together - and if we're both home he tends to be in one room inventing YouTube while I'm pottering about, knitting, or quilt-making or reading or writing. When you're stuck in a car together you tend to chat. I often forget what an easy conversationalist Jemser is - mainly because, when at home in a routine, we all tend to say the same six things over and over (I have a list of his six things!)
            We collected stepgrandaughter#1andonly en route and brought her home for an overnight. the poor little mite is teething and has a cold so is a little clingy and fretful. She only wanted her Nanny's lap and couldn't sit still even there, so I was moithered trying to find things to amuse her. I pulled out a little box of nursery rhyme board books and she was fascinated by them. I read them ad nauseum until I got bored (no pun intended!) and tried to distract her with a toy. She was having none of it. She picked up 'Humpty Dumpty' and placed it very definitely in my hands. So I read it agian. I stopped and she did it again. Time after time she picked it or 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' up and did the same thing. The books are both predominantly yellow, a colour she favours but I don't care why she picked those particular books, Cara wanted me to read to her. She is one year old. So now I will select books for her to read, I'll read and read to her until she is old enough to pick her own reading material, then old enough to able to disappear into a book for hours at a time. By giving her the gift of words I give her the world. I envy her the joy of her journey - the slowly dawning realization that she need never be alone when she has a good book.
             After she went to bed I had two nice brandies - I thought they might help me sleep. Not a chance. After my grand day I had not a hope in hell of sleeping unless I was pissed and passed out, and I rarely do pissed and passing out anymore, thank the Universe. I heard the wonderful Anthony Cronin on the radio earlier talking about his latest poetry collection. He mentioned something about energy creating energy and I can so relate to that. When I'm writing or doing anything creative I am completely absorbed in I seem to make more energy for myself , but it is an energy that must be utilised when it is created. I should really only start to write in the early morning - that way I have some chance of winding down before bedtime. But I find it difficut to write during the day, there are constant interruptions, noise and stupid distractions like suddenly seeing some ridiculoushousehold chore that becomes stuidly important. At night, in the dead quiet of the house I can write freely, hypnotising myself with the sound of the clacking keyboard.
             Now! Look at all that blether what I wrote. If I was getting paid by the word I'd be minted! Head unburdened now - am off to the leaba with my lovely new book 'The Homesman' by Glendon Swarthout - a great read, movie very true to it so far. Brilliant movie BTW, if it doesn't pick up severla Oscars I'll give up going to the flicks. 'Night, 'night. x 

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