And a Happy New Year!
Yes, it’s been incredibly quiet on the blogging front from me, however i’ve been up to my armpits in off-line ‘real life’ stuff.
Towards the end of last year I was in a real state of flux. I’d recently finished a part-time stable job that was very helpfully supplementing my income, and at the same time had been given notice by my landlady. yowzers.
Long story short, I found a new place (in Brixton, South London) and have a new gig – I’m a film extra! Since November I’ve worked on two major movies and have had a blast on both of them, as well as been paid very well indeed. It’s re-fired me up to be more involved in productions (film, TV, stage) and that’s where I’ll be focusing my efforts for the foreseeable future.
To any performer who has had snide remarks said to them…
Things have also been getting good with my ukelele group! I joined in Sept last year and over Xmas took part in their festive hootenanny – I had the chance to lead everyone in a few songs on the main stage. And I had a strange deja-vu moment, one I’ll share with you now as it may help – for anyone who has been judged for being a performer.
Many years ago back at university, I played guitar & sang in a few bands. One night me and my then-boyfriend went to see a friends’ band play. During their set, they asked me to come up on stage to do some backing vocals. I rocketed to the stage and had fun. I then joined them for a couple of other songs. When I re-joined my boyf in the crowd afterwards, he told me I was an ‘attention seeker’, and that weekend when we were visiting his parents, he told them about me and the gig, saying I liked to ‘steal the limelight’ and that I was ‘hogging the stage’.
Those phrases stuck in the back of my mind, and sub-consciously ate at me.
I played in bands less (stopping altogether, eventually) and began to tone myself down.
(You’ll be pleased to know that me and the boyf didn’t last)
Fast-forward to the ukelele hootenanny.
After going up on stage to lead everyone through a couple of festive songs, I came back to my seat in the crowd, and the guy next to me (who I didn’t know) says ‘Well you like the limelight, don’t you’.
I didn’t know what to say. Was that a criticism, an observation, even an affirmation? My immediate response was to take it the way my ex-boyf had said it – almost as a put down. But this time I chose to respond differently.
Just then the ukelele group leader called out ‘we need a female singer to come up and sing the women’s parts on this song’.
So I waved my hand, stood up, turned to the guy next to me and said ‘Yep, it’s time for me to get back in that limelight’.
I wish I hadn’t previously let other people’s judgements about me being on stage get in the way of me being where I’m meant to be, doing what I love to do. I suppose it was a ‘test’ in how much courage and faith I have in myself as a performer – that it’s ‘okay’ for me to enjoy it and want to do it – that it’s not about me being an ‘attention seeker’.
So for anyone reading this who might have come up against the same comments from others, please don’t start turning your back on your performance space! If you love it and it makes you feel alive, then you’re meant to be there. Who gives a fig what others might think about you. Life is too damn short.
Other big and exciting news is that I’m on the battle list for Street Star – a big European street dance competition being held in Stockholm at the end of February. I’ve taken part in battles here in London in front of 100 – 300 person crowds, but this is a big step up – there’s likely to be at least a thousand people watching.
I suppose the thing that means the most to me about it is that I only started dancing this style (waacking) two years ago, with no idea of where it would lead (if anywhere). I couldn’t have even dreamt that I’d be getting on a plane to compete & represent the UK!
So this blog will likely still be a bit quiet – from now til then I’ll be training, booking the hotel, and hopefully there’ll be another film job.
A year ago I had no idea that I’d be going to international dance competitions,playing in a music group again, and making money from acting in blockbusters (being on set with Kenneth Brannagh and Kevin Costner LOL). Funny how life turns out. Never say never…