On stage

What a strange life I live! Partly at home alone at my desk; partly working with people whose lives I might change; partly on stage – showing off, my mum would have said.

Monday was mostly a desk day – lots of prep, but with an excellent rehearsal in the evening. Tuesday was emails, and a good session at the hospital, and then a really boring time doing some online safeguarding training. Honestly, I don’t know who develops these courses, but they don’t seem to have met any real people ever. In the evening we had a TADS meeting, and a production meeting for the play I’m directing.

On Wednesday, I did yet more prep, and had a session with my Cheltenham Artlift group. They are so good! They’ll have a go at anything I ask them to do, and are all really supportive of each other. In the evening I saw Robin Hood, which was an absolutely terrible movie; the horse trainers are the only ones to come out of it with any credit.

Each day I was doing some gig practice, and I did loads of this on Thursday. In the afternoon I had a session at the school in Birmingham; the kids were a bit better this week, but they’re still quite difficult to handle. In the evening I headlined at Dear Listener, a poetry evening in Worcester, and that went really well – great audience. In the evening I wrote a poem – I’ve decided to do a whole sequence of the sort of poems I can’t stand, just to show how easy it is, and so far I’m writing one every day. They don’t take long to do – drivel never does. I did the school writeup and answered some emails.

Friday was busy! In the morning I went out with my set builder and associate director to see TADS props and set elements, which are stored in a barn. Very useful! I took the trophy we won at the Worcestershire one-act play festival in March to be engraved; it’s huge, but fortunately I managed to park near the shop. I did my weekly finances and the TADS meeting minutes, prepared for this week’s rehearsal and the Artlift group, entered a competition, and did lots of prep for the Birmingham school.

On Saturday I actually managed to do a little bit of tidying. When I’m as busy as I am now, my house becomes an example of the law of entropy, and I really don’t like it – but work has to take priority. I did some work on the TADS website in the evening, and more prep for the Birmingham School.

And on Sunday – well, I didn’t get my usual breakfast in bed (I know, I’m very lucky). I left early to get to the Shrewsbury Literature Festival Poetry Brunch, where I was appearing as my prize for winning their slam last year, with two other poets. One guy asked how I remember all my poems. People often ask this; they seem to think there’s a trick to it, but the fact is that I practise and practise. It all went very well, and I sold quite a few books. I had to hotfoot it from Shrewsbury to Swindon, where I was headlining an all-female line up – Ooh Shehive. It was a good evening, although it went on for rather a long time. I didn’t get back until 9, and by then I was just ready to lie around and do nothing.

This week it’s all a bit easier; no performances at all, so no practice – hooray! But I’ve got lots of email to catch up on, and a house that looks as if a family of cats lives in it. This week, the house will be my stage, and I will perform housework. At least I don’t have to practise that.

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