Friday, January 18, 2008


Last year I spent the whole of the spring and summer involved in drama productions, and when the New Year came in I made the decision that this year I'd spend more time at my writing desk - I've got a raft of stories I want to write and a novel brewing, and you just don't get them written, do you, when you're swanking about in front of the camera or tearing your hair out getting to grips with Photoshop and designing posters and spending all your creativity on press releases and blurbs?

Well, last night was the launch of the Chorlton Arts Festival - now in its seventh year and growing rapidly - an evening for people to express their interest in taking part. Now there's a big emphasis on drama and music in this festival, but there's also poetry and there are talks and workshops, so I thought I should go along and offer something around my story collection, Balancing. (I would NOT take my acting CV, I would not start talking drama projects!!!!)

Well, I'm just about to leave my computer and get ready to go and an email pops through from Julie, a fellow actor from the short film I took part in last summer: was I going? She'd see me there. And who should I bump into the minute I step foot inside the buzzing Lloyd's Hotel but actor Nicola Gardner, with whom I read last year at the Jewish Museum, and already that rush of dramatic excitement is threatening to envelop me (the camaraderie! the transport of instant make-believe!), and then in comes playwright Caroline who says she's making films now, she's just made her first, and she nearly asked me to be in it, but then there was a funding crisis and she couldn't (oh damn! - no, I mean phew!), and Julie arrives and tells me she's seen the producers of the short film we were in and it's attracted huge grants and is causing a buzz and the screening will be soon, and then she introduces me to Emma who trained with her as an actor but is now producing and doing something for the festival and is collecting actors' emails, and Julie says to me, Have you put yours on the list, go on, put yours on, you've got to!

But I WILL get those stories written, and I WILL make a start on the novel. I WILL.

And actually, just being there gave me more short story ideas...

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