Saturday, September 17, 2005

On The Road - Rock and Roll Lifestyle Lite

Week one of the tour is over. A week that involved a lot of Ferry trips, two flights in Otters, a visit to a Glasgow Gay Club, and an awful lot of rescuing each other, on stage, out of huge acting Black Holes.

Well we survived, though only just. Quite how, after two whole weeks of rehearsal and one week on the road, the most experienced of the four actors in this show still doesn't know her lines is a mystery to me. I am so glad that I am not involved in the scene she REALLY doesn't know at all, Chris is the lucky guy who has to share the stage with her then. The scene is only 2 pages long but can just go looping around and around in small circles for ages as she searches for a way to get to the end of it. Chris (who knows the script upside down and back to front) tries to steer her through it but it is obviously very hard work for him.
There is nothing quiet so scary as standing up in front of a huge bunch of people expecting, knowing that the person you are acting with is about to screw up in some new, and totally unexpected manner.

For example.

Last show this week, half way through a scene which has run faultlessly for over a week, she just stopped and stared at me - for ages. It was her line next. She had to say:
"If only you had been there, you could have helped"
She stared at me.
I stared back.
She opened her mouth.
She shut it again.
I raised my eyebrows in a vain attempt to communicate the fact that I was waiting for her to say something.
She opened her mouth again and said something.
What she said was my opening line for the next scene.
I thought "Oh fuck it!" and said:
"If only I had been there I could have helped!"
And marched into my next position.

I doubt if the audience noticed. In real, outside observer, time it was probably only a couple of seconds and went past in the blink of an eye but to both of us stood there, knowing that something had gone very wrong, it seemed like an agonising age.
All week, all 3 of us have been propping her up like that. I hope she gets her fucking act together, because if she doesn't, after another couple of months of this I will be ready to commit murder.

We had a night in Glasgow on Wednesday, and, after a huge nonstop chinese buffet meal (in which Emma proved it was possible to eat Jelly with chopsticks) we headed into town to find a bar called Moda for no other reason than Franz Ferdinand used to drink there.
It turns out that Moda is a pretty cool Gay establishment and after bumping into some people we ended up going to another bar then another. I ended up trailing along after a huge bunch of people and three pissed tourists to a Gay Night Club.
One of my pissed tourists then made total embarrasing arsehole of himself - like only a straight person pretending to be Gay in a Gay Club can. I should have left them to it and gone back to the car and waited for them. But we had a flight to catch in the morning and as not getting fired is still pretty high on my wish list I stuck with them.
Sometimes I am so tempted to start drinking again. Five hours sitting around in various Gay and Gayish Bars watching people getting drunker and drunker and making twats of themselves while stone cold sober is not fun. More than anything though, I think I am totally and utterly pissed off that no one tried to hit on me all evening.
No one!
Not a sausage!
Not only am I sober but apparently I'm fucking ugly as well!

High on my all time bad nights out list that one. (Ingrid, if you ever read this, I apologise for not seeing where the evening was going and getting them back to the hotel.)

The Last show of the week was on Tiree is a small island which sits like a cow pat in the middle of the Atlantic. There is bugger-all there. A couple of nice beaches, lots of very isolated farms, No hills and about three stunted trees. There are cattle grids on the roads around the 'Airport' to keep the livestock from wandering onto the runways. There are enough people up there having sex (not a lot else to do on the long winter evenings I guess) to fill up a school with kids but even so we did the show to a total audience of about twelve. The day before there had been 130 bums on seats.

During the workshop after the show we ask the kids "What are you prepared to give up in order to get a good job?". We get all the sensible answers you would expect: "Time", "Going out with my friends", "Lie-ins in the morning" etc. and some weird and surreal ones too: "Kevin's Mum" being the oddest so far.

On Tiree nearly all of the kids immediatly said they would give up living on the island without a moments hesitation. I fully sympathise. It is an utterly God-forsaken place (I suspect the Devil gave up on the place pretty quickly as well; probably took one look and said "Fuck this for a game of soldiers" and went off to pervert somewhere warmer with fewer Presbyterians).

The flights were fun. We travelled in something closely resembling an aeroplane called a Twin Otter. The Twin Otter is, I'm sure, a well-constructed, reliable, robust and supremely safe flying machine but to me it looks like a slightly streamlined cornflakes packet with wings. It's unpressurised, cold and drafty. It rattles and bangs and shakes like 15 badly loaded washing machines all strapped together and stuck on the spin cycle. For a unfrequent flyer like me it looks like a scary way to die with wheels on.

The highlight of the trip for me was looking up to see, through the open door between the passenger compartment and the the pilot's seats, that the co-pilot was sitting reading a newspaper.
It wouldn't have been so bad if he had been reading something small like a a tabloid paper, at least then he could have seen the windscreen of the plane but he was reading The Telegraph, a huge broadsheet. It must have filled his entire field of vision! Everytime he turned a page he had to stretch his arms way out wide. I was scared that he would clout the pilot, who I couldn't see from where I was sitting, on the side of the head and (assuming he wasn't doing a So Duko or something) make the plane crash into the vast, but very pretty, stretches of open water we were crossing.

I am not a good flyer.

In Tiree School Staff toilets there is a notice that reads:
Please do not remove toilet materials from toilets for classroom use
If you require this facility please contact the janitor
I'm so glad I never went to that school. It is now my Birthday and I am going to bed. Happy 46th to me!


Tink said...

Awwwww, happy birthday!!!

Phoebe J. Southwood said...

Happy Birthday, you little galute! If I were a guy, I'd TOTALLY have hit on you at that bar!

I would suggest sabbotaging your lineless actor, but doubtless it would just make her head a-splode and you'd be seriously f*cked. Or you'd find someone who'd ace it and do a great job.

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