Monday, 13 June 2011

Taking Und to Edinburgh

It's been another busy week, but I thought I'd quickly share what I've been up to...
As you may already know, Und  is heading to Edinburgh - woo hoo! However, we could do with a helping hand to fund the show and we're looking into crowd funding as one of the possible sources.
If we use a site like We Fund, we would need to create a video to go with our appeal and at the moment it looks like it'll be me putting it together. So, having never done anything like it before, I've started to play with what we've got (production stills, quotes and music from the show) to see what we can do and to learn how to do it. Below is my first creation - a little promo for the show - it is by no means the final product (I'll post the final outcome on here as well), but I was pretty chuffed with my first attempt:

Thanks again to Matt Chilton for sending me the haunting recordings of him and Seth Guy (if you didn't see the show this is some of the music they created from found objects and if you did see it, it may evoke a few memories), Alex Brenner for the production photography (he also designed our flyer which I use in the opening) and Abi Bansal for her pre-production photography (the black and white photos, taken in the warehouse, where we nearly froze taking them!)
I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Doing it Anyway

If you read my last post, you can see I foolishly thought I would find time to increase my writing. As it is, I have been so busy, my writing has been forced on to the back burner. With this in mind I thought the best piece to start this year’s writing would be a brief post about some of my antics and how one thing has led to another...
There's a book by Susan Jeffers called Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway. I've never read it and with my very long list of books I want to read, it's unlikely I ever will (well, not for a good few years at least). However, it sums up the mantra by which I have been trying to live my acting life over the last 12 months and I have to say it’s worked pretty well so far.

Instant Wit

It began about a year ago with an audition for Instant Wit, the comedy improvisation group. I love comedy improvisation, but equally it terrifies me, especially when auditioning for a group of people who have been working together for years. It was as terrifying as I thought it would be, but they were lovely and although I didn't make it into the group, I did get recalled, which boosted my confidence, and meant I met some brilliant people that I'm still in contact with - I also laughed longer and harder in that rehearsal room than I have for ages!
Show of Strength Theatre Company

A few months later, Sheila at Show of Strength approached me about performing in Trading Local, a brilliant initiative aimed at regenerating local shopping areas. Site-specific monologues, sourced and developed from local writers are performed in shops - not empty ones, trading ones - creating some very 'intimate' theatre!

The thought of performing with no boundary between audience and performance sounded exciting, but I could feel the fear in the pit of my stomach. Once again, because I could feel the fear I knew I had to do it. 

Performing in Trading Local. Photograph Copyright Zuleika Henry

It was an great experience for many reasons, with a lot of strange coincidences, that if you believe in fate, could easily be read as signs.

Serendip Poster

One coincidence came in the form of Sam Randall, a playwright with a new play, called Serendip, about to be performed in Exeter. She approached me after one of my performances and asked if I would be interested in auditioning for her play if she could get me seen. I said ‘yes’ and to cut a long story short, within a few weeks I was rehearsing the roles of Gertie and Ten in Serendip at The Bike Shed Theatre.
Towards the end of the run an old friend, now a director, called me to ask if I was interested in auditioning for a production of a one-woman, Howard Barker piece, to be performed in an huge, freezing cold, empty warehouse on the Paintworks site in Bristol - with a proposition like that, how could I say ‘no’? Well, I thought about it, as the fear of doing a huge show in a short space of time with everything resting on my shoulders was great, but it was such an unusual opportunity, once again, I had to say ‘yes’. 

Performing in 'Und'

The play was Und and I got the role. What ensued one of the biggest acting challenges I have so far faced. Thankfully, the show was well received and soon the challenge will be even greater as we are taking the show to Edinburgh for the Festival. 
I don’t know what the next 12 months have in store, but over the last year I know that by stepping out of my comfort zone, I have developed in many ways, so I hope the offers keep coming and even if I feel the fear, I continue to push myself and do it anyway.