Some Dialogue Since I’ve Been Home

Some Dialogue Since I’ve Been Home

Dad: I need to figure out what to do with your grandad.

Me: What do you mean?

Dad: Well, he’s just sitting through in the office.

Me: His ashes?

Dad: Mmm.

Me: Why don’t you scatter them in the sea? He loved the sea.

Dad: Well, I promised him I’d put bury his ashes next to Grandma’s but I promised her I wouldn’t put his ashes anywhere near her.

Me: Oh.

 

Me: Get your feet off the table!

Brother: What? They’re clean. Smell them.

Me: No! You’ve been walking on the floor all morning.

Brother: Fine, I’ll put on my shoes.

 

Dad: People keep wishing me a happy 70th birthday. How can I possibly have a happy 70th birthday? It’s a contradiction in terms, isn’t it?

 

Dad: So Norm, I was thinking I’d make you macaroni and cheese tonight. We’re going to have beef.

Brother: I don’t eat cheese. I’m vegan now.

Dad: Oh for fuck’s sake.

 

Brother: I go swimming now.

Me: I’ve joined a gym!

Brother: Jesus, I couldn’t join a gym.

Me: Going swimming is practically going to a gym.

Brother: I prefer cycling.

Me: I cycle AND go to the gym.

Dad: I turn over onto my other side to avoid bed sores.

 

Dad: I’ll never be as smart as I was when I was 18.

Dad (to me): You were never smart when you were 18.

Me: I know, I was just thinking that.

Sister: You were nice though.

 

Dad: What are you, Fraser?

Boyfriend: My star sign?

Me: He’s an Aries.

Sister: Oh, fire!

Me: His midheaven is all air though.

 

Me: Dad, what is that?

Dad: What do you think it is?

Me: Grass?

Dad: Parsley.

Me: No, Dad. Seriously, what is it? Is it grass?

Dad: Yes.

Me: Is grass and weed the same thing?

Whole family: Of course it is.

The Pre-Show Jitter Bug

The Pre-Show Jitter Bug

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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:

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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.

Freshers

Freshers

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Is it strange that I am enjoying Freshers a lot more now that I am not a Fresher? I don’t think so. There will be others who think of Freshers as one of the best weeks of their lives, but if I could turn back time…well, I wouldn’t. Although, I’d happily take the first year work load.

So that’s me back in Glasgow. For good. And I’m loving it! Maybe it’s because I know it’s my last year here so I’m all filled up with love – I love my squeaky, taped up bed; I love my crazy carpet that clashes with everything; I love the mice – actually, no, I will never love the mice. They look weird and scary and are getting too cocky for their own good. But I do love everything else and really will miss it come next year. I don’t even want to think about next year – I think I accidentally told the Spar I could work for them, but I’m hoping I passed it off as a joke. I mean, it’s a nice job and everything, but I would like to work somewhere else – got to keep Better Together happy as well. Oh God, I wish I was there for the referendum – Better Together must be absolutely shitting himself right now and I’d love to see what stops he’s pulling to persuade people to vote NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! He’s probably manically burning every single copy of Braveheart.

So now that I’m back in Glasgow, I should get back to the tourist-in-my-own-city blog, although it might just be a bunch of theatre this year – RADA’s made me a tad obsessed. I saw A Streetcar Named Desire last night and holy fucking cow, was it INCREDIBLE. Gillian Anderson was Blanche from her very core and I couldn’t take my eyes off her. On our first day at RADA, they asked us what “good” theatre was and I still don’t know – I mean, I know when I see good theatre, but I can’t analyse WHY it’s good apart from the fact that you get that nice feeling in your tummy. And goosebumps. I almost what to get a bus to London tonight so I can see it in the theatre. There’s a debate in the Theatre World right now about streaming plays in cinemas. Some think it’ll stop people from going to the theatre and that once again, the modern world is taking something personal and making it impersonal, but I am so happy they do it – I would never have seen this play if they didn’t. And I don’t think it’ll make less people go to the theatre as I think theatre lovers will always choose seeing it in the flesh if they can and it just gives those who can’t afford the time and money to travel to London, the chance to see these amazing plays. If you haven’t seen Streetcar, GO BOOK TICKETS. The whole cast was good, but Gillian Anderson was something special – I don’t know how she gets on the stage and does that every night. It’s one of the most haunting plays I’ve ever seen.

GUSH, GUSH, GUSH.

I’m going to see The Full Monty next week, which is meant to be hilarious. Also, I think there might be naked men on stage – woop, woop! Jokes. This doesn’t make me excited. Nudity on the stage actually makes me very uncomfortable (AAARRRGHH A PENIS, AAARRRGHH A VAGINA; WHERE DO I LOOK; WHERE DO I LOOK?!?!?!?!), but at least I’m not sitting at the front. I really don’t understand the people who sit at the front. A play is so raw, personal, and in the moment – who the hell wants a moment staring them in the face? I like to be a least 50 feet away from any moment.

But as for now, I should really, really, REALLY do some work on my dissertation. I have the scariest supervisor in the whole University and if I don’t have any work to show after FOUR MONTHS, he will kill me, stuff me, and then pin me up in his office like a stag head as a warning to all students.

But maybe I can fob him off with some milk chocolate hobnobs…

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.

A Neurotic in London

A Neurotic in London

I can’t believe that I’ve actually made it and you know what? It was so easy! Definitely not worth the ever so slight panic attack I had yesterday. BREATHE BREATHE BREATHE OH MY GOD WHAT AM I DOING I’M GOING TO GET LOST I MIGHT SUFFOCATE ON THE TUBE I CAN’T EVEN ACT THEY’LL ALL LAUGH AT ME I PROBABLY CAN’T EVEN READ I AM MUCH HAPPIER IN THE SPAR BREATHE BREATHE BREATHE.

Now, I can’t yet speak for the acting and people laughing at me (I’m in London for a wee summer school at RADA), but the journey really was easy peasy lemon squeezy. I calmed down somewhat after a vodka at the pub my friend was working in and then calmed down some more when I got on the KNIGHT BUS (take it away Earl) and had my very own bed. I actually calmed down so much that my tummy started rumbling; having neglected to eat that day, I found that I was pretty damn hungry. But no matter, I just dreamt of the fry up I would get when I arrived and fell asleep going over my lines. I didn’t even panic when I woke up and found myself in London. It seemed like such a short journey that I think my psyche has been tricked into thinking that Glasgow is incredibly near. That I could probably walk there.

TAKE THAT YOU NEUROTIC SON OF A BITCH PSYCHE!

And as for the dreaded Tube, I found it within seconds, although I did walk straight past it at first thinking that it couldn’t possibly be a station because of all the shops inside: that the sign saying “Victoria Station” on the building was in actual fact lying and that it really was just a shopping centre. But I realised my mistake pretty quickly, went back and it was then that I was met with another confused Scottish person:

“‘scuse me? Do you know if this is the station? Jist disnae look like one wi all the shops!”

“That’s what I thought, but I think it is!”

“Alright, cheers pal.”

But then he proceeded to walk in the opposite direction so he either didn’t trust me or completely misunderstood me.

I went in though and sure enough, it was both the station and the underground. I found the line I was meant to be on, managed to use my Oyster card, and didn’t fall down the escalator. I was then confidently waiting for the tube, until it turned up and I started questioning whether or not it was actually the right one. I had one leg in and one leg out, barricading the doorway, before turning to a stranger and imploring them for answers. It was just my luck that this stranger was absolutely roaring drunk.

“Sorrrry. I’m so druuunk. I thiiink – hic – this is the right one.”

She then took the initiative to ask someone who was not roaring drunk and yes, it was the right one.

Then I got off and my halls were a mere ten minute walk away and even though I’m not allowed in them until two o’ clock, I was able to leave my suitcase there – there was someone there at eight o’ clock on a Sunday morning! Then I found a nice little cafe down the road (OK YOU GOT ME IT’S STARBUCKS. I promise I’ll be more adventurous when I’ve settled in a bit and do not smell of bus.) and so here I am, drinking a big cup of tea and about to read my play for the third time just to make sure that I really know what it’s about.

I’ll let you know how tomorrow at the school goes.

If I don’t have another panic attack and die that it is.

P.s. It is absolutely pissing it down. I thought the weather in England was meant to be better than in Scotland? I did not sign up (or pack) for this.

Edinburgh Fringe, Baby

Edinburgh Fringe, Baby

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I wish the Fringe wasn’t so popular – it would seriously help my street rage. I don’t know if it’s because I’m from the country or what, but whenever I’m sharing a pavement with more than one person, a complete monster takes over. Seriously, I scare myself. Ugh. Get OUT of my way. WHY are you walking so slowly? People have places to go, you know. GET OFF THE PAVEMENT JACKASS!!! Oh God, he’s only got one leg. I’m going to hell for sure.

But yeah, other than the street rage, the Fringe is pretty great.

I was there last weekend and I had a swell time…despite being horrendously embarrassed by both my family and friends. Instead of street rage, my Dad suffers from restaurant rage…serious restaurant rage.

“Could I have some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, please?”

Time Frame of two seconds.

“WHERE, is my OLIVE oil and BALSAMIC vinegar?”

“Dad, please calm down…it’ll be here soon, they have to phone down to the kitchen…”

“Phone? PHONE? What, can they not use their legs?”

Dad frantically looks around, while I hide my head in my risotto.

“RIGHT I’m going to go and say something. DISGRACEFUL.”

“NO, Dad, no, please let me…oh look here it is now!”

I wipe the sweat off my forehead as a nice lady lays down the oil and balsamic vinegar.

“You’re lucky”, says Dad in a jovial, but not-so-jovial tone, “I was away to complain”.

That poor girl had no idea how lucky she was.

Anyway, enough about rage. I kicked off the weekend by seeing the one man show, Churchill by the lovely and extremely talented Pip Utton. I met him a couple of years ago. His show was before mine and when he came off stage, I was in the dressing room getting ready. I saw a man, all grey curls and cheeky blue eyes, looking at me in the mirror. I laughed and said, “What?” to which he replied, “I just LOVE watching women put on make-up. The concentration” before skipping away up the stairs.

That was Pip.

The show he did back then was Charles Dickens, and Churchill had the same effect on me as it did. I was desperate to ask Charles Dickens about why he fell in love with Nell, and what was wrong with his first wife before I realised that it was Pip, and not Mr Dickens and so I wouldn’t be able to ask those questions. The question I had for Churchill was how, HOW, can your favourite animal not be cats?!

“I don’t like dogs because they look up at you and I don’t like cats because they look down on you. Pigs know they’re your equal. They look you straight in the eye and always seem to be smiling. I like that in an animal I’m going to kill.”

Oh alright, fair enough.

The next day, my friends and I ventured out to see what we could scrounge in the field of free shows. The first show we saw was an improvisation comedy which was pretty funny, although if anyone doesn’t like audience participation, I would advise you not to go. I’m not a big fan – you go to see a show, not be in it – and so I usually head for a spot near the back to avoid such humiliations, but we were late and I had to sit stuck out on the edge. Perfect audience participation location. I could see her looking at me even though I was finding a spot on the wall extremely fascinating and, sure enough, “Tell me, what’s your name and what do you do?”

Fuck.

Having failed to think up a lie about my life in three seconds, I replied, telling her my name and that I study English Literature. Queue funny, funny jokes about what I expect I’m going to do with my life…but no, the jokes didn’t come. What kind of comedy is this? Maybe just saying English Literature was a good enough joke in itself. There were a few chuckles from the audience.

Hmm…

After seeing a few other shows, and having a snooze in one, my friends and I decided that it would be a good idea to have some fish and chips in the meadows. Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? Fresh fish, crispy chips, sunny meadows, good group of friends hanging out…be like something out of One Tree Hill

Try The Inbeweeners.

It started raining, our bums were wet, our chips were soggy, the fish was disgusting and we were egging our friend on to down some lime, lemonade…and vodka. “CHUG, CHUG, CHUG, CHUG!”

British youth at it’s best.

But we then decided to splash out at night and actually pay for a show. The Human Jukebox. It was about a guy who could supposedly play any tune – that’s what it said on the leaflet – and so of course people went there, ready to give him really obscure suggestions to try and catch him out. It did catch him out and when people realised that there wouldn’t be a show unless they COPPED ON and gave him some well known songs…well, they did exactly that. And he was a pretty talented guy. And funny. Well worth the £9.50. And girls, if you’re anything like me, you will find him extremely sexy. A short ish, bald guy with glasses, and questionable dress sense, multi-tasking like crazy? Oooooooft. It’s getting hot in here.

The next morning, however, my trip came to an end and it was time to say goodbye to the jugglers and hipsters; the buskers and fortune tellers; the tourists and aggravated locals; get another subway and board the bus home. Then get off that bus because it was broken and into another.

Don’t get me started on my bus rage.