Saturday, August 06, 2011

F**k it's August already...

My creativity bottomed to absolute zero. Quite frustrating and I also seemed to have inherited a distinct feeling of apathy usually reserved for a Liberal Democrat voter. My British counterparts encourage it, along with cynicism, general moaning and prime time TV cop dramas. It's been almost a year since I returned to the UK and I've done no writing whatsoever apart from my New Year summary. Nadda. Not one ounce. Zip. It's disgraceful, I know. This blog has probably filed a missing persons report on me. Despite my apathy, I have been craving to be creative but not found the inspiration to sit myself down in front of the many 'Steve Jobs designed' items and just 'write'.

So this is me starting again. It might as well be the beginning as I think my previous blog entries were getting on the little self reflective side, so much so, the writers of 'Dawson's Creek' were probably chasing commission on them.

Watch this space.

Monday, January 03, 2011

This Year I...

watched two teenagers simulate sex by my feet ... worked for Cate Blanchett ... organised my first and last hen's do ... had a famous hobbit kick a bottle of my urine ... saw my sister so happy she cried ... gained a new brother ... got a third world disease ... said goodbye to Justin/said hello to Justin ... saw JFK's house and golf course ... cycled on the wrong side of the road ... finally saw Kristin Chenoweth and Angela Lansbury sing ... made some fab new New York friends ... trod the boards of a Broadway theatre ... went to the Tonys ... met Mr Schuster ... cried at a puppet horse ... flew with Jack Bauer ... revisited old friends ... took a 36 hour flight ... left Australia and returned home ... became a lady of leisure ... welcomed my singing teacher to London ... had the best year ever!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

It's Taken Me Until November...

It seems breaking your hands and deciding to move one’s life 10,000 miles back to the UK has resulted in my blog being severely neglected over these past few months. Four entries this year and that is frankly unacceptable. To those of you who have logged on looking for the next gripping installment of ‘The Laughing Buddha’ only to find the same old entry loading up in your browser, I apologise profusely. It must be like flicking through the TV channels only to find the only thing worth watching is a rerun of ‘Friends’ on E4. Personally, it’s quite frustrating as I try and pride myself on being disciplined enough to keep this diary of musings going. I can only blame distraction, apathy and most of all lack of inspiration due to my head being full of half baked plans that I have been urging into realisation. Kicking my life into, well, something that resembles ‘a life’ I suppose.

I find myself in a state of flux (hardly anything new I hear you cry) which is not just a mental state for me but it seems to be materialising in several other aspects of my life like my career, my home and even some of my friendships. Being back in London is unfathomably easy and way too familiar for my liking. It is the mental equivalent of slipping on an old pair of slippers, yet this time I also have my eye on a shiny pair of new shoes (the shoes in question happen to be in a swanky New York department store, on sale and put on hold behind the counter with my name on them, making them especially alluring even though I am stuck on a different continent). My life has moved on so dramatically now, that certain parts of it that once fit in quite easily with my daily routine now seem to be totally defunct or inappropriate. You’d think living out of a suitcase since April and not working properly since July would throw me into further disarray but to be perfectly honest I have never been more happy in my life than right now. Attempting to carve out a new life back in London, not knowing if this next step is the right step forward, is the thing that fills me with the most unease and doubt.

The idea of sitting behind a desk and working for someone else fills me with so much dread I’d rather vomit onto a porcupine then lick it up. I have to be creative. I cannot and will not settle for anything less. Sounds dramatic and I suppose it is. For the first time in my life the thought of permanence and routine bores me - this used to be the safety net I would seek out and hold onto desperately to in order to give my life structure. I don’t know what the antidote is but I know I need to step out and embrace my creative side again. I need to be embrace the unknown and allow creativity to flow back into my bones. It scares me as I really don’t really know how to achieve this. I feel like a priest who’s been asked to become an atheist or a dog being ordered to meow. I know what’s involved, I’ve seen other people do it, I just don’t have the tools available to make it the transition. I read the fantastic book ‘The Creative Habit’ by the choreographer Twyla Tharp which has been a great starting block for me as it’s practical and full of sound advice. No airy fairy crap most self-help books insist on preaching. I realise it’s just inexperience and fear that holds me back mostly. Practicality is also an issue, I simply don’t have the funds to suddenly be a full time writer or performer. I went to a talk given by Stephen Sondheim, a musical theatre hero mine and to many other theatre fans. He spoke about his mentor Oscar Hammerstein II and it made me think how envious I was the had someone in his life who saw enough potential in him to be something greater than he was. I’d quite like a mentor. A guiding and enthusing force of good in my life. I can lend my talents towards many things but my concentration and impatience tends to let me down. I am reminded of this constantly with the random notebooks full of ideas stuffed in various bags and boxes of mine, the half finished documents and scripts on my computer or the songs yet to be memorised and technically mastered. I do wonder if it’s cynicism, perhaps indecisiveness or even age that stops me from committing or just a life long habit I have failed to keep in check. To be great at one thing when I have the urge to do a hundred million things all at once. ‘Focus’ is the big word I need to remind myself of over the next few months.

Sorry, what was that?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Couple of Screws...

Those who know me know that last year I had an accident. Quite a big one. I broke my hands. Yes, that's right - in the plural sense. In fact, I broke eight bones in total - both wrists that now have what are affectionately known as 'Herbert Screws', some other small bones in my left hand and most significantly my left arm, which needed a 'Wolverine' style plate bolted into place. I only realised today, I never wrote in detail about how this happened but to cut a long story short: I was on a date.

You'd think this would have been quite an ordeal for me, well it was and quite hideously painful too (strange how I curiously never imagined broken bones to be that painful until then) This aside, the episode wasn't that surprising given my track record with dating; just ask my friends. So much so, when news of my injury reached my best friend back home in London, it didn't illicit a sympathetic and frantically worried call, no quite the opposite really. As I lay in the hospital bed with my arms bound in plaster and bandages, with my iPhone on speaker mode balanced precariously on my chest, I could hear the faint unimpressed voice of my friend Dan say "Richard, it's time to write that book now."

I've toyed with the idea of writing about my dating escapades every now and then, I've even posted a few of them on here - but a whole book? Too self indulgent and self deprecating perhaps? It sounded like a crazy idea before and too 'Bridget Jones' for my liking but now I'm thinking it might not be such an idiotic idea after all. Gay fiction in general makes me want to hurl into a cheap plastic carrier bag in front a room full of strangers and the only gay biographical authors I do admire are David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs. I'd have to have some message beyond "Hey look at the crazy dating antics of this guy, ain't he hysterical?!" Writing something bigger than a few paragraphs is what this blog has been leading up to I suppose; the trick is for me is to stop thinking and actually do more and just sit down and write goddamn it. Am I capable of doing it? I just have to let go of being such a perfectionist and allowing myself to be distracted by, let's face it, everything.

Where to start?

Here's the wonderful David Sedaris reading and extract from his last book "When You Are Engulfed In Flames":

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Move On...

"Stop worrying where you're going - move on. If you can know where you're going, you've gone. Just keep moving on." Dot professes to the confused artist George in the Sondheim musical, 'Sunday in the Park with George'.

Over two years ago I moved to Australia. Two years of radical change. Two years of self-discovery. Two years of rest and recuperation. Two years of growth. Two years that needed to happen. If my life was a movie, this would be the penultimate scene right before the end, where phrases like "Well, it's certainly been an adventure!" would be uttered and people would starting hugging each other goodbye as they march off into the sunset. This isn't the kind of adventure I've had at all really. I've still not seen Uluru or been to Western Australia, I've done a few touristy things but certainly not conquered the country or anything - I doubt I ever will either. I'm quite happy for the multitudes of backpackers to continue sampling Australia's sights and sounds I've missed. My adventure here was about prioritising my life, which I admit sounds as thrilling as a tax return party organised by Accountants of Dagenham, but honestly it's probably the best thing I've done with my life.

Not many people get to dissect their life and personality under the cold light of day but "snow globing my life" as I like to call it, has allowed me to do just that. Routine, fear of insecurity and delusion cloud most people from ever having to face this head on and is usually only reserved for for teenagers or 40 year olds going through a midlife crisis. For example, I realise I will always be more comfortable knowing I am doing the exact opposite to everyone else. I loathe it when something I love becomes popular with the masses so I prefer to move on - do something different. I also know I am my most happiest when I'm performing, working within the theatre, understanding 'an audience' and this is something I intend to rectify when I get back to city life.

I get annoyed when people assume I hate Sydney because I want to leave. Why would I want to abandon such a great lifestyle to return to noisy, expensive, economically unstable city they ask? I still think Sydney is a great place to live and fulfills a purpose with it's sun-drenched, hedonistic, carefree lifestyle which the city's inhabitants relish daily. This city has given me a tremendous amount and shown me I'm capable of achieving anything, that spontaneity has it's own unique rewards. You can get drunk on culture in London and thrive off the buzz of New York and a few years ago too much of this 'city life' became overwhelming but I now sorely miss this, I really do.

So, next steps? Well, they're partly out of my control. The one thing I'm sure of is that I have to move on.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Going Home...

At the end of "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" the Pevensie children grow up to be great Kings and Queens after their adventures with Aslan, only to find themselves back in the real world after stumbling across the old lamp post that once brought them to the magical land of Narnia. Even though they have lived a lifetime, nothing has changed since Lucy first stepped through the wardrobe. Australia it seems is my Narnia. I've done a million and one things, grown personally and then some but back in London things haven't changed. I almost felt as though I was bragging unnecessarily when I told friends what I was doing with my life now, as if I was Edmund describing to a row of confused faces, how I slayed a White Witch and befriended a talking Lion.

It's only been two days and I can't quite process how I feel to be back yet, it's been ridiculously familiar but strangely divorced at the same time. Certain elements of my life here have either changed or feel redundant, whether it be my old bedroom or favourite cafe, banter between particular friends and so forth. There's certainly a small amount of personal grieving that comes with the fact nostalgia is the only thing that has kept certain experiences alive.

Thankfully, certain friends have never waivered, their faces beam like giant lighthouses guiding me back safely to what was so great about my life here. These are the people I have longed to spend even just five meager minutes with while I was in Australia. Their news - comforting, their friendship - easy.

So here I am, back in London after two and half years. Right now, and without sounding too new age, I feel as though 'my journey' isn't complete yet. I'm not ready to come home, if I can help it. New York is the definitely the next destination, I just need to secure that opportunity and it will happen. I'm ready for it. If I did have to return to the UK, it wouldn't be so terrible, it would just be harder as I'd have to make a conscious effort to move myself on and not slip back into routine. I've achieved so much since breaking away from my old life, so it would frustrating if I let it take over once more.

Like Edmund and Lucy, I'd like to ensure I have a few more trips back before I have to grow up and settle back home once more.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

This Year I...

... became permanent ... created a laughing buddha ... began looking after Glinda and Elphaba ... moved to the most famous beach in the world ... broke both my hands on a date ... got osteoporosis ... had my mum fly 10,000 miles to nurse me ... caught up with some old friends of Jerry ... hit a top C ... watched John Bucchino tinkle the ivories ... got a lawyer ... had physio ... made friends with Brazil and Adelaide ... saw Patti coming up roses ... chipped a tooth on a creme brulee ... was moved to tears by a singing bipolar grieving mother ... saw old friends in the Big Apple ... celebrated my first Thanksgiving ... experienced 30 mins of New York ice hockey ... hung out at Hollywood star's home in LA ... flew with Jack Bauer ... met a boy.