Make ’em laugh, make ’em cry

I never mean to make people cry, but it does happen – at least twice this week. But I ended the week by making a lot of people laugh, so perhaps that’s ok.

Monday was emails and prep, end of month accounting and invoicing. And in the evening a rehearsal for the play; much better than it was last week.

Yet more emails on Tuesday (will they never stop? Actually, I’d be in a bit of a mess if they did), and the final Artlift session in Tewkesbury, where I saw some beautiful mosaics produced by the participants. Honestly, I don’t know how they do it. I bought some trousers for one of the characters in the play (charity shops are wonderful!) and had my session with my group in Cirencester; it went really well. By the time I got home all the emails I had dealt with had been replaced threefold by new ones, so I had to deal with them; and I did another lesson in the incredibly boring online training. Honestly, I don’t know how they do it, making something so mind-numbing.

I had a session with the lovely people in the hospice on Wednesday morning; they really enjoy my visits and they come up with some great stuff for the poems we write as a group. More prep, more emails, more unbelievably dull online training, and some practice, and then the dress rehearsal for Rocks off, my new play. The first runthrough was dreadful; they managed to leave out about three pages of dialogue and still make it 10 minutes too long. The second attempt was much better, although they were still having problems with their lines. By the end of the evening I was convinced that our performance on Sunday would be a disaster.

On Thursday morning I had a full-scale practice for my talk to the Lydney WI, and went to the last Artlift session in Brockworth. And then off to Lydney. I’ve never given a talk to the WI before, and I have to say it was all much as I expected. I talked for 45 minutes, about slam poetry and how I came to be involved in it, all interspersed with poems – some funny and some sad. During one of the sad ones I noticed one lady crying; she had recently lost her husband, and the poem struck a nerve. I spoke to her afterwards and she was ok – she said that the poem had got it exactly right. I wouldn’t mind doing more WIs. In the evening I did loads of prep for this week, and managed to stay awake through another online training session.

I had a good session at Cheltenham hospital on Friday morning, although a lady I was working with started crying. She liked the poem, though. I spent most of the afternoon and evening on Artlift stuff.

Saturday was half a rest day; I only worked in the morning, and in the afternoon mooched round Curry’s with The Bloke, looking at electronic devices. As you do.

And on Sunday – well, Sunday was the day that my play was on at the Worcestershire Theatre festival. We were on last, but we had to get there by 11:30 for a technical slot, so I stayed more or less all day. We had one final runthrough in our dressing room. And wow! They did the play better than ever before, and the audience laughed in all the right places. When it came to the awards, we were shortlisted for best set and won the Best Comedy award. Whoo-hoo! Although we’ll never do it again, which is a bit of a shame. Never mind.

And this morning I woke up in the small hours with cystitis. So – mostly bed today, with a trip to the doctor’s to get a prescription; and I gritted my teeth through a taster session I had to do this afternoon. It’s no laughing matter, cystitis, although I’m not crying either – so I guess that’s ok, then.


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