My First Night at the Opera.

My First Night at the Opera.

Yep. That’s why I was going to Glasgow: the opera.

And you know what?

It was AWESOME.

I didn’t know what I was going to think about it. I wasn’t really excited or dreading it. It was my dad who got me the tickets. He drunkenly texted me asking if I would like to see Andrea Bocelli and since I don’t see my dad all that much I replied, ‘yeah, I’d love to see her!’.

When the concert began my first thought was oh, she’s a man. 

I’m such an uncultured swine.

Then I thought shit, I’m going to have to sit through 4 hours of this.

Then I thought, all these women are so beautiful. AND they can sing. Their long hair MUST be extensions. 

Then I looked at my BF who seemed to really like the girl in the tight, red dress and I thought, why doesn’t he just close his mouth and marry her.

But THEN I started to get into it.

(And my double vodka started to sink in).

I actually knew most of the songs! I realised that HE was the one who played all those big, belter, romantic, Italian songs we all know!!!! Like, the dude who sings Ave Maria!!!!!

There were a lot of songs about a Maria, actually. He must have had some good times with this Maria.

So yeah, I started to get into it. I like listening to songs that I don’t really understand because it makes it nice and easy to daydream. When the interval came on I was in a little pub in Cornwall, sitting by a fire with a glass of wine and writing my sixth novel. I was really good friends with the pub owner too and he would give me free food. I was pretty good friends with the entire village, actually.

Enjoying my time in Cornwall, I was then most disgruntled when my family made me leave my cosy pub to go to the busy bar and get us drinks.

I was even more disgruntled that after struggling back to our seats with quite a few pints, my brother didn’t even return because he’d met a girl somewhere! He MISSED the whole second half! And I was really worried because I thought he’d OD’d in a bathroom (I have an overactive imagination).

But in between my panic attacks, I settled down and got back to Cornwall. One song made me cry, which was a little embarrassing.

And we met up with my brother in the taxi queue so it was all ok in the end.

(I like the way ‘queue’ is spelled. It’s like the ue’s are in a queue).

All that’s on today’s agenda is a big ass breakfast and then I guess I’ll just continue to eat away my anxieties.

(I’ve got another job now – a Monday to Friday one – and the Sunday blues are hitting me hard).

Tattie bye!

A New Kind of Book in Town

A New Kind of Book in Town

20131011-010807.jpg

There seems to be a new sort of story bracing the shelves these days (hehe these days – I’m only 22), stories like Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman and Lena Dunham’s NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL that I sort of have a love/hate relationship with. I love them because they’re bold, shocking, and make me laugh in the kind of way I do when someone falls over (most hilarious thing in the world), and I hate them because they’re bold, shocking, and make me laugh in the kind of way I do when someone falls over (seriously, slapstick’s where it’s at).

I’ll explain. Moran’s book opens with a detailed description of her 16 year old self masturbating in the same bed that she shares with her little brother (he’s sleeping at the time), and while I admire her guts and think it’s a great way to grab a reader’s attention, I also feel it’s a little like Look at me writing about all this secret stuff that we do, but no one talks about, so I’m going to talk about it and make LOADS of money!!!!

Don’t get me wrong, these books are extremely sharp and extremely witty (I wasn’t able to put them down), but they’re basically just diaries. I wonder where the effort is. And they’re another thing that’s adding to this self-obsessed world. They’re like the book versions of selfies and they’re becoming more and more common and I’m worried that one day, OUR IMAGINATIONS WILL BE DESTROYED AND ALL THE STORIES WILL BE GONE!!!!!!!!!!!! We’ll just be watching and reading things about real people doing real masturbating and eating real icing at four in the morning and going to the toilet for real and awkward real sex stories and other real things like that.

Although, that’ll probably never happen. And besides, a lot of made-up stories spring (spring) from real life too. And I also realise that I am being a COMPLETE HYPOCRITE talking about this on my BLOG.

Sigh. Basically, I’m just jealous that these people are getting paid and I’m not.

Fuck sake.

Nice People are Creepy

Nice People are Creepy

Maybe it’s because I’m Scottish, but whenever someone is overly nice to me, I immediately become suspicious and jump to the conclusion that their niceness MUST have an ulterior motive. I know – it’s pretty sad, but I can’t help it. Nice people are creepy.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this view. On the plane over to Canada, I could easily have pointed out who was Scottish and who was Canadian just by their response to the air hostess’s suggestion that we give “the beautiful Macie” and her “cute, cuddly penguin” a wave. The Canadians giggled, waved, and said a big hello to Macie and her penguin, while the Scots bore an expression that was part confusion, part terror. I, being an extremely nervous flyer, wanted to get off the plane. Anyone who made a bunch of adults say hello to a toy penguin could not be trusted in ensuring a safe flight.

Although, having been in Canada a few days now, I do know that Canadians are actually, just nice. It’s who they are. You walk into a shop and they come bounding up to you, smiling, and say, “Hey, how are you today?”, and what’s more, they actually care about your answer. The first time this happened to me, I almost dropped my bag, and ran out of the shop, screaming, “Take whatever you want!!!!!!! Please don’t hurt me!!!!!!!”, but now I manage to stutter a “fine” and then swiftly, but calmly, make an exit.

It’s funny thinking about it the other way around. I mean, if we are scared of Canadians and their friendliness, what on earth must they think of us?! The other day, for example, we were sitting in a restaurant and as I was reading the menu, Dad slapped me on the head, telling me to hurry up and go order. I laughed, but as I got up, the family sitting next to us looked absolutely horrified. I almost had to tell them that it was just a joke and that the slap didn’t even hurt, but that probably would have confused them even more so I just went and ordered.

Hmm…having thought about it, it’s probably us who are the weird ones.

Aaaaanyway, despite this cultural divide, being in Canada has been pretty great. We used to come every summer, but haven’t managed to make it out in the past four years. The last time I was here, I had just finished school, just passed my driving test and was excited at the prospect of university. Now I have just finished university, just got my degree and am terrified of the prospect of full time employment. How times change.

The journey here was pretty uneventful. I’m getting better at flying thanks to Fly Without Fear. It’s a self help book (I know, I’m sorry) that miraculously, helps. I think it’s because it’s written by a pilot and not someone who tells you to just breathe and count to ten. His voice is so rational, calming, and he’s even a little funny – I think I may have a crush on him. But I really would recommend it. If it can transform me from the pill-popping, Rescue Remedy drinking, hysterically crying lunatic that I was, into a calm, almost normal passenger, then I’m sure it would work for you too. I mean, I still have those moments of incredulousness that everyone is acting like it’s completely normal to fly at thousands of feet in the air in a hurtling tin can, but now (thanks to that sexy beast of a narrator Captain Godfrey) I can contemplate these thoughts without having a melt down – like a curious, open minded spectator of a surreal play.

Mmm…breakfast (pancakes, bacon and maple syrup) is calling. My sister thought I looked a little skinny and peaky when I arrived (too much time spent in the pub) so she’s been feeding me up, and I’ve certainly not been complaining.

Do you see Comedy as a Realist or Escapist Genre (or both)?

Do you see Comedy as a Realist or Escapist Genre (or both)?

IMG_1412
Ooh. Divan Beds.

Wow, English Literature questions at Glasgow University make the shittest blog titles. Hmm. They’ve just underlined ‘shittest’ in red. Is it not a word? I would have thought that it is more of a word than any other due to it being a verb (to shit); an adjective (it was shit), and a noun (it was the shit) all at the same time! But apparently it doesn’t exist in superlative form. Shame.

(I’ve just realised that ‘shit’ probably isn’t a noun, but if I take that bit out, my argument doesn’t look as good, so can we all just pretend that it is? Thanks).

ANYWAY. This is the essay I’m trying to write at the minute – whether comedy is an escapist or realist genre – and as with all English questions, I wish I could just write: I DON’T FUCKING KNOW. It sort of is and it sort of isn’t. It depends on what you mean by ‘realist’, ‘escapist’, ‘comedy’, and ‘genre’ and guess what, I’ve looked them all up and EVERYONE HAS A DIFFERENT DEFINITION. But WOOOO, that’s the point of English so I guess I’ll just have to embrace it and answer that’s it both (sort of). Although, are you asking whether it is realist/escapist as an actual text or for the audience? Because comedies tends to mock society and ways of life, but surely, all laughter is escapist so…can comedies as a text be realist (and a little bit escapist), but the effect for the audience be escapist (and a little bit realist)? WHO THE HELL EVEN KNOWS?

To be honest, I probably have the skeleton of my essay right here. I’ll just have to flesh it out and remove the expletives and aggressive capitals. And sarcasm.

THUS, I shall venture forth into Essaydom. Hmm. They’ve underlined ‘Essaydom’ in a red as well, but this time, I’m SURE this isn’t a word.

At least my degree has taught me something.

The Pre-Show Jitter Bug

The Pre-Show Jitter Bug

IMG_1528

I should probably clarify that this is not the theatre that I will be in tonight; this is the Kings Theatre in Glasgow and I will be performing in some dingy, cellar bar. Although, it is small and cosy. Although, that actually scares me when I’m on stage. It’s like, BACK OFF audience and give us some room. I just don’t like it when I can see their faces:

audience
Is it just me or is this one creepy ass audience?

But alas, there’s always the hope that the lights will be bright enough to blind you.

So yes, today is the day that I will most likely make a massive fool of myself. Every time I do a show (which hasn’t been that often) I think to myself, No more. I’ve had my fun. It’s been a wild ride, but enough is enough; then right before the lights go up on stage I think, What the hell is wrong with me?! WHY did I think that this would fun? Never, ever, EVER, again will I do this, but then after the show I’m all, Wooo!!!! That was Awesome!!!! When are the next auditions?!?!?!?!

So yeah, I’m a bit messed up.

This play is called ‘Love Potion No. 9′ and it’s a comedy about how drinking a love potion can have disastrous effects. For example, my character, Boof (what the hell kind of name is Boof, anyway?) accidentally drinks the love potion, kisses a coffee table and falls madly in love with it. Yes, that’s right: tonight, ladies and gentlemen, I am going to have to declare my undying love to a coffee table.

*Cue Tumble Weed*

But that’s not all: I’m also going to have to french kiss, man handle, AND straddle this coffee table. The smell of Mr Sheen just drives me wild with excitement, apparently. And then, even when I drink the anti-love potion (the one that will cure my infatuation), I’m still friggin’ in love with it! The play ends with me asking, ‘Why do I always fall for the strong, silent type? If only the table could show me that she loves me, things would be different. Then someone pulls a string and the table turns towards me, thus declaring her love. Bla bla bla, happy ending, blackout to ‘Unchained Melody’.

OH THE NERVES. MY NEEEEEEERVES.

Och, it’ll be grand I’m sure. It won’t be the end of the world if I do make a massive fool of myself (lord knows I’ve done it before) and there’s a new episode of The Fall on tonight so that’ll be good – it’s like Mrs Hudson says to Sherlock, “Ooh, a nice murder; that’ll cheer you up, won’t it?”

Yep.

I’ll let you know how tonight goes. Thinking of my blog always makes me feel better about things: like, if something shit happens, at least it will make a good story.

Lights Down.

Can Peter’s Friends Be My Friends?

Can Peter’s Friends Be My Friends?

I kept telling myself that one day, soon, something will happen that will be so good, that I will have no choice BUT to write about it. And last night, just around half past ten, it happened. That’s right, I watched the greatest film known to MAN/WOMAN/CHILD/HORSE (SEA AND LAND). Peter’s Friends. Ever heard of it? If you haven’t, stop reading RIGHT NOW and watch it.

(Sorry, I’m being so bossy).

It was my dad who asked if I wanted to watch it with him, but I was already tucked up in bed and ready to sleep so I thought I’d just watch the beginning to see if it was something I would like…1 hour and 47 minutes later, I was dancing around to the credits. It’s probably one of the best depictions of friendship I’ve seen – even better, dare I say it, than Friends.

So basically, a group of friends (or, to be more precise, a crazy cat lady, sex maniac, over-protective mother, alcoholic, and a nice guy) who haven’t seen each other for a while get together for new year. Fights and fall-outs; make-ups and break-ups, and a secret revealed two minutes before the bells is probably the height of excitement in this film as nothing much really happens. The characters (played by Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Imelda Staunton, Kenneth Branagh, and Stephen Fry – isn’t that just the best cast in the world?!) start from a place of self-loathing and end in a place of self-loathing with a bit of loathing each other in between, but in no way is it depressing. Funny and heart-warming, the film ends with the thought that you may not like yourself, your friends might not like you that much either, you might not like them, but you all still want to be in each other’s lives because, you know, you LOVE each other.

I actually felt so warm and fuzzy inside after watching it that I sent my friend a recording of the opening scene – “Some friends, you know you will have for the rest of your life. You’re welded together by love, trust, respect or loss…or, in our case, simple embarrassment.” This friend then replied, “Fuck off, Josie.”

I feel he would like this film.

Anyway, enough gushing. Time to get on with this damn essay.

First Day at RADA

First Day at RADA

Wow. I don’t quite know where to begin and so I shall take good old Lewis Carroll’s advice and “Begin at the beginning.” After my last blog, I read my play again and, at the risk of sounding like a complete drama geek, it literally gets more exciting with every read. Stephen Fry once quoted someone (terrible that I don’t know the name of the person he quoted…I suppose I could google it…NOEL COWARD) who said, “Work is more fun than fun”, and that’s sort of how I felt when I was working on my monologue. I was all like, I’m learning so much about my character, I’m totally going to be able to be her, this is such a good play, I’m so friggin’ HAPPY! BUT THEN. The lows hit and I was all like, What the hell am I thinking, I’m never going to be able to do this, I’ve got my character all wrong, I’m butchering this playwright’s language…FUUUCK.

So yeah, yesterday was a mix of highs and lows. But when I eventually got to my halls, someone (who’s also on the course) knocked on my door while I was practicing my monologue, and being the friendliest person in the world, she immediately put me at ease. She’s from Canada and since meeting her, I’ve met people from New York, Brazil, Cyprus, Germany, Holland, Mexico, California, San Francisco, and LA, which is SO COOL. Scotland just sounded lame when I introduced myself in class, although it did mean that I could make a little weather joke:

Teacher: It’s freezing in here.

Me: I’m from Scotland so this is practically tropical for me.

I know, right? I should be a comedian.

But anyway, back to the people I met. They’re definitely unlike anyone I’ve ever met before…

“I live in New York, but then I met this guy here and I don’t know, I definitely wanna hit that and I think he’s looking for some Kit love, but I don’t think he’s for dating, you know?”

Me: Oh…

“I’m just texting a friend about a show. He’s a director. I used to go out with him and now he’s got a show in the West End.”

Me: Wow…

“I’m so glad we get one on ones because then they’ll see how talented I am and put me on Broadway!”

Me: Oh…

“No, no, I haven’t done much. I mean I used to read the news, and then I got into theatre and now I’m part of this film company back home.”

Me: Wow…

“I really like this guy, but now he’s said to me that he doesn’t want to have sex anymore because of his religion and so it’s either marriage or nothing and I get that, but I’m 22 – I don’t want to marry, but I really like him…”

Me: Oh…

“Oh” and “Wow” were probably the only words I said all day, until I had to introduce myself that is. As for the actual school, HOLY MOLY. It’s actually a lot smaller than I thought it would be, but then I guess that’s why it’s so good – so much one on one attention. When we got there, we were led into the theatre where the lead dramaturge (who wore stripy, yellow socks) welcomed us and introduced us to all the tutors who work or have worked in the profession. They seriously know their stuff. We then went off to our movement class (I can’t stretch for shit), then it was time for lunch (chicken korma), then it was acting class (sight-reading other people’s monologues), and at the end of the day, voice (jumping around like imps in a forest and BREATHING).

I LOVE DRAMA SCHOOL.

So yeah, the nerves have definitely subsided somewhat and I’m mostly just feeling excited now, although I’m still absolutely petrified about performing…but it’s a good sort of fear – I think. I was going to do some more practice tonight and try and apply some of the things I’ve learnt today, but I don’t want my monologue to become stale or closed to changing or even improvising a bit. I think it’s good to keep it fresh. So I’m just going to read the play one more time and get to know my character a little more.

I can’t believe I’m such a geek.