Post archive

She's got a ticket to ride.....

Well I now have a ticket for Madrid anyway.  I am so looking forward to seeing the city for the first time.  My acting career has taken me to some really lovely places around the world.  Some people think that all of an actor's life is glamorous etc and for some famous people it is that way.  I love to combine acting with travel as I can't justify spending money just for the hell of it.  For next week I look forward also to seeing a lot of interesting films and meeting new people. The film world is so small.  Sometimes you chat to someone for a few minutes in a queue for a screening and they end up being a friend you are in touch with all the time. The weather in the UK continues to be stunning - for how long?.....

Psychomanteum summer!

My new feature film 'Psychomanteum' is going from strength to strength.  If you look at the Awards page from UK Film Co - here is a link -

 http://raybrady1.wixsite.com/ukfilmco/awards

you will see how many laurels the whole film has by now as well as many more for each individual short film within it.  You wait so long for any film to be completed - it is not a simple process but how awesome when it finally comes out and gets an audience!  Everything comes to he (or she) who waits!

The Beatrix Potter Trail

is returning - we have been on location to the Lake District and it was so amazingly beautiful.  We found out so much more about Beatrix Potter's life and times - there is still a solicitor's office in Windermere with the name 'Heelis' in the title.  Her husband was a lawyer, William Heelis.  As I looked at one beautiful view after another I couldn't help feeling how much Beatrix Potter gave to us.  Without her conservation of the Lake District it would be built up and completely different.  Thank you Beatrix!

It's funny how

in London the weather goes from quite cold to suddenly hot summer.  There isn't a huge Spring.  Maybe it's a geographical thing but in any case the hot weather is now here and very welcome.  I have some location filming coming up soon in a most beautiful part of the UK but I won't talk about it yet.  Last year I worked on a wonderful short film 'Samsara' by Inspired Toad films and it is now finished and on the festival circuit!  I have been sent a link to it and it is wonderful!  As soon as there is a poster I will share it.  My other short film 'Toby' is screening at Hidden Shorts in Deptford this week and also my new feature film 'Psychomanteum' has also had screenings in the last week in Florida - wish I had been there and also has new Official Selections at Genre Celebration Festival in Japan.  So this year is really flowing along well.  What will this week bring?

May 2018

has been amazing!  I went to Cannes again for the third time and got so inspired.  I also talked about my upcoming projects - my feature film 'Psychomanteum', five shorts and my webseries 'The Beatrix Potter Trail'.  There were so many amazing moments - one that stands out was seeing the remastered 'Space Odyssey 2001' at the Debussy Cinema, one of the few cinemas in the world that can accurately play the sound design of Stanley Kubrick.  It was just other worldly.  I have seen 'Space Odyssey' before of course but never in a cinema and to be in front of such a huge screen....  And the intermission is so smooth.  Is this the only film with a formal interval?   It is the only one I have been to.  I attended Masterclasses with Ryan Coogler and Christopher Nolan!  I also saw one of my heroes - or sheroes - Jane Fonda present a new documentary about her life called 'Five Acts with Jane Fonda' - her words on the current political climate were so inspiring and it was amazing to be there.....
Luckily I came back to the UK Premiere of 'Psychomanteum' at Romford Film Festival which was awesome and 'Toby', one of my short films that is on the circuit right now has won awards at Brighton Rocks and Top Indie Films - so very little readjustment needed.  Half term has been very busy with work and I hope that the summer will be just as good as Spring.  I'm sorry to be late updating my blog but I have been so busy!

Making a Better World

is my new web series and can be found on my YouTube Channel Kate Sandison.  In it I interview a Drug educator of over 50 years experience, Mr John Beasley.  It was wonderful to hear about John's career and opinions and his work in the heart of London in the swinging sixties - he even, to his regret, interviewed Jimmy Savile twice which he discusses.  I hope if you are interested in preventing drug harms you will have a look!

The central philosophy of the series is the belief that if everyone aimed to leave the world a better place than they found it the world would soon be improved beyond belief.  I think he's right.

Yesterday....

it was so mellow and sunny - I took a long walk and snapped away with my camera.  There is so much to see in every bit of London without paying any money!  Sometimes I feel impatient that things aren't proceeding more quickly for me but to be honest, this time ten years ago I would have been thrilled to have all the things I have now.  It's good to keep a perspective and make plans.......

Auditions

After spending a lot of time this year on 'The Beatrix Potter Trail' web series and a new one 'Making a Better World' and some films for Hope UK the drug education charity I work for I am now getting acting auditions again so maybe I'll have something new in the pipeline soon.  Because of the time lag between making films and their release I have now got 1 feature and five shorts out on the circuit but it seems ages since they were made.  Hopefully there'll be some news soon!

A busy week!

In which I had quite a bit of work and went to Paris!  It was amazing to see the Rodin Museum and the Eiffel Tower again for the first time in years.  I also visited the home of Noor Inayat Khan in Suresnes which was amazing. The representatives of the Nebahkt Foundation couldn't have been more helpful or kind.  It was very touching to once again follow in Noor's footsteps and learn more about her family who all sound remarkable.  It's so easy to take things for granted and forget how tough life can be.  I have a friend who visited Auschwitz recently and she found the most terrifying thing was the telephones in the offices there which looked very modern.  It wasn't all that long ago.  Noor was executed in Dachau concentration camp after being arrested by the Gestapo who regarded her as extremely dangerous.  I hope soon there is a Blue Plaque for Noor.  She deserves it certainly.

Happy Easter!


Camberley

I was working in Camberley recently and had some time before my train was due to take me back to London so I thought I'd look round to see if there were any local monuments or things of historical interest and I found the Camberley Obelisk.  This red brick tower on top of a hill overlooking Camberley is a bit of a mystery.  Not much of it is left and what is there, about 30 feet of it, is padlocked shut and sadly covered with spray paint graffiti.  You have to puff up the hill to get a good view of it but it is very interesting.  It was built by John Norris in 1765-70 though his reasons for doing so are not clear.  It is possible he used the tower to signal to his friend in High Wycombe, Sir Francis Dashwood, intelligence about the American War of Independence as they were in touch with spies in Paris.  I wondered if it was also a sort of private memorial that only he knew about?   I love history so much - it is all around us.  You never know what you will find out next.  If you have time in Camberley then I recommend visiting the Obelisk.  Amazing to think as you look down at all the new houses at the bottom of the hill that all that land was once heath and the Obelisk was a big landmark.




And the award goes to....

It's human nature to love being rewarded or praised and in a difficult business like show the stakes are probably even higher than usual.  I was thrilled to find out this week that 'Psychomanteum', my next feature film, has already had three festival mentions in America and Japan - I was also very excited that a short I worked on over a year ago is now on it's way to film festivals too.  I suppose with praise and positive feedback comes the chance of more chances and eventually success!  But it's also strange how quickly you get used to something nice and just want the next reward.  Someone important once said that actors are only happy to be cast in a role for the first five minutes - after that they are calculating, worrying and feeling annoyed they didn't get more money!! Oh dear - it smacks of the truth I'm afraid.  My friend was once on a tour during which the unfortunate tour manager accidentally copied everyone into an email listing each person's salary!  Rage and recriminations all round - kind of glad I wasn't in on that one.  But that's showbusiness......

So it's Spring!

Well I don't know about the change I mentioned in my last blog.  Things seem to be going along quite normally.  Two films I worked on last year 'A Temperance Tale' and 'John Tregenoweth - his Mark' are now edited and look really good.  Last week the heavy snows in London were quite something - it was a bit like wandering along in some kind of weird film.  Now it's all melted away and life is getting back to normal.  I'm feeling like taking long walks and throwing off winter.  I'm finding auditions are a bit slow right now but maybe that will change soon.  Have a good week!

Strange feeling....

that something is about to unfold - but what?  It seems like a typically cold, drizzly February in the UK.  I know these sharp cold spells are good for keeping down bugs and making the climate healthy but I don't like them!  And what could be about to happen?  And to whom?  The last episode (for the time being) of 'The Beatrix Potter Trail' is going online tomorrow and my colleague Nadine's new book 'Kensington Garden Kingdom' has come out - Nadine was interviewed on Sky News about it!- but what does this feeling relate to? I think i'm just going to hibernate till April......

Hollywood Hills!

My web series 'The Beatrix Potter Trail' has another Official selection at Hollywood Hills Film Awards - how awesome!  January is passing by peacefully.  I have been filming a new short 'Puffy'!  And doing a lot of Spring Cleaning.  I went to The Ivy restaurant again - Very nice!!  I haven't done much walking this month as there hasn't been time.  My next feature film has a new working title 'Psychomanteum' and an American distributor so this should be a good year.  I wish I could think of something witty to say but I'm a bit cotton woolly today.  I feel very lucky to be in this era of the Internet.  With all the pain and negative things about it, it has also enabled people to be in charge of their own destiny to an extent that never would have been possible in the past.  I know some colleagues who have told me that 20 years ago they were begging the big studios to sell them little offcuts of film to make movies with.  Even so it was thousands of pounds for a few minutes of film!  Imagine that in the era of I-phones!  Show business remains in the control of a few people but you can still put your work out to the world - how frustrated many creative people in the past must have been when the few powerful individuals that could have greenlit their work just didn't.  Now there is a mountain of unreleased films, unread books and unlooked at art but at least people can sing their song.

The Harvey Weinstein debacle has been really shocking and is changing the way many organisations are doing things. I feel very fortunate to have not suffered physical or sexual abuse at auditions as some of my colleagues have but I have lost many opportunities because I wouldn't have sexual relations with some writer,  director or actor!  No matter how tactfully or subtly you deflect invitations you are just rather grandly ignored from then on as if they're on Mount Olympus and you are a servant.  Peoples' pompous self importance is funny at times but these individuals also have a very real effect on peoples' lives and careers.  I have seen recently some of these people from my past  become rather friendly and bantering again I think because they are afraid of my speaking out about them in the light of all these developments.  I have also had really vitriolic bullying from people who I have turned down.  Nowadays with pinhead sized cameras and tiny microphones I suppose this behaviour is becoming rather unwise.   And despite bullies and saddoes you can still persevere - no one controls everything even though they would love to.  Sad people - but onwards!

Hello 2018!

Well - I haven't posted in quite a while - my December was crazy busy.  The run of 'Earnest' went really well - we were largely sold out all through  the run and it was fantastic!  My web series 'The Beatrix Potter Trail' has been getting more views - I filmed and edited the Christmas episode in 24 hours and although a bit hectic it was great fun.  The flat where we filmed is just round the corner from 'The Boltons' where Beatrix Potter's London home was in Victorian times.  It was just beautiful - very inspiring. Then I had some work as a storyteller and doing craft demos which was great but it led to a very lazy Christmas!  Now the New Year is here and I already have an audition to work on which is great.  For some reason today I decided I had to repaint the skirting boards in the kitchen - why today?  I have no idea. They do look a lot better so I suppose it was a good instinct but oh it's so cold outside.  I think my Spring cleaning urges could lay off a bit.  The trouble with painting your house (I did the sitting room just before Christmas) is you start to see what else looks a bit tatty and you have all your brushes and leftover paint and it just goes on and on. Now I have my eye on the kitchen chairs!  What next eh?

Earnestly Happy!

We have had an amazing first week on 'The Importance of Being Earnest' at the Brockley Jack Theatre and I have loved being on stage again.   The final week is practically sold out but you can get some tickets for the beginning of this week coming!  Maybe see you there?.....

New week - no pains!

Well we are almost at opening night for 'The Importance of Being Earnest' and I can't wait to go on!  There are so many gems of lines in this show. Oscar Wilde really has nothing to declare but his genius.  I was horrified to read that on opening night of the original production on the 14th February 1895, the Marquess of Queensbury intended to appear at the theatre with a bouquet of phallic shaped vegetables for Oscar Wilde and destroy the opening night!  Imagine if he had?!  No Earnest ever....luckily the theatre were tipped off and he wasn't allowed in.   Even so the show only ran for 85 performances when it should have been several years - I feel for those actors even now.  Art is vulnerable.  

My web series 'The Beatrix Potter Trail' has now had a semi-finalist selection from LA Cinefest and there is more news on the horizon.  What a wonderful week!

Blog pains!

I see my last 3 blogs haven't published! Now I can' t remember what I said in them.  This week I am deep in rehearsals for my new play 'The Importance of Being Earnest' which will open at the Brockley Jack Theatre on 14th November! I am also so happy to say that my web series 'The Beatrix Potter Trail' is an official selection at DMOFF Film Festival!  So it's all go .....what will happen next?

Half term already!

The Beatrix Potter Trail!

New Films!

Back to Horror!

I will be working on a new horror short this week called 'Animatronix' as well as the Victorian projects I was speaking about last week.  Autumn seems to be very busy so Hurray!!

Back to the Victorian era.....

Well that's where my next projects are set so I have been refreshing a lot of my knowledge about Victorian history and objects etc.   Despite the terrible inequalities of life at that time, especially for women, huge improvements were made.  But the poor living conditions, disease and social controls in play meant  any pioneer had to make his or her way slowly and with difficulty.  Well, where would we be without them?  I am often cast in period pieces and I love history so that's good.  I must  have that kind of face.  Well back to the books!

My news

Well - I have discovered that 'My Baby', my most recent film, has had it's first rough cut completed which is really good news.  Sometimes you work on films and they languish for years without any editing being done so this is an excellent turnaround time.  'Precious Little Things', my most recent feature film will be released on Amazon Prime and Video on Demand and I have another film that will be released on 21st of September!  The details of this film are confidential but it is going to be amazing. The production values were 100%  This week I am waiting to hear about some more projects and doing painting!  I know every inch of that bathroom ceiling by now....it's good to get it done but I sort of wish it was over.  What next eh?  I have gone up to 25 credits on Imdb pro and have three more to be added.  It all helps!

Edinburgh!

I just got back from Edinburgh where my film 'Precious Little Things' was premiered at the Nightpiece Film Festival in Princes St!  What an amazing day.  I tried to keep my dress from getting crushed before the photos but didn't quite manage it..... still it doesn't matter.   There is nothing like seeing yourself on screen!

I hadn't visited Edinburgh for over a year and hadn't been to the fringe for many years.  So it was wonderful to be back there - I heard Margo Jefferson talk about racism in America at the Book Festival and saw so many amazing things.  Just going down the street at festival time is like being in the theatre - people are performing at you all the time!  Now I am back in London and getting back to the projects I am working on this autumn and trying to get more work so it's back to reality.  

I'm so busy

but what have I done?  It's hard to say.  I read a book once that suggested time doesn't always move at the same speed.  This is why some days seem so long and dull while others go swiftly whether you are happy or not.  Time for me right now is being eaten up.  Any film techie people reading this will be be amused that I am upset not to get Movie maker onto my new little laptop! They don't make it anymore!  And I can't find the Paint app only a new weird one called Paint 3d and Fresh Paint!  Wah!!!  Don't like change but I'd better get on with it as people only want more self tapes not less.  One unexpected thing this week was I visited William Morris' Red house in Bexleyheath.  I always wanted to go but never had the chance.  When I was at College I had quite a few William Morris folders - actually I still have them! - it was amazing to see where all his design ideas come together.  I really wanted a cuddly wombat from the shop (wombats were a big thing for the Arts and Crafts people) but sense and budget prevailed and I am wombatless.  They have a really nice second hand bookshop though and I did get some more books.  If you can manage it - go to the Red House.  You even get free little cakes in the café!!

August 2017

has begun really well!  I have recorded a voiceover segment for 'It's in the Trees' a new horror short by Ray Brady's UK Film company.  This will be part of his new portmanteau feature film 'Run, Hide, Tell' due to be released next year.  I also appear in 'Mostly Dead' in the same film so maybe I will be the only actor to work on two sections of it!

I have also just wrapped a wonderful new short film 'My Baby' made in Woking by Jarred Films in which  I play a Mother in a difficult transition time.  I really hope the rest of August goes this well!

Goodbye July!

It's been an interesting month!  What will August bring?  The premiere of my new feature film  'Precious Little Things' at Edinburgh's Nightpiece Film Festival which is awesome.  I have some promo work and other projects in the pipeline.  My nephew came to stay with me and it was so much fun - I wish I had known the no-cola rule but there you go - rookie Aunt.  I think it's wonderful we know so much more about health and fitness and the world around us. But my goodness when I think of my childhood - almost every adult around me smoked 20-60 cigarettes a day right beside us kids including in the car!  We had a limited amount of sugar but still far more than now including squash, soft drinks and frozen meals full of additives.  Oh yes and HOURS of TV.  Amazing I am still here. The thing is in the seventies my mother was considered very health conscious - she baked her own bread, sprouted beans, sewed clothes and was regarded as a wonderful, slightly hippyish mum.  She was wonderful - we just didn't know so much.

A new week!

and a new little computer!  I so far like my old one better but oh well. I worked on a new pop video this week for Andy Watts new single 'Forever Unconditional' playing a Mum.  The sun shone down and it was a great shoot.  I seem to have gone to a lot of fetes.....well that's summer for you.  I wonder what this week will bring?

Toby is on it's way!

I filmed 'Toby' last year in Cambridge with Professor Stamen Productions and it is almost completed.  I put the poster on my home page - so cool.  It's been a busy but good few weeks for me so now I am looking forward to a bit of down time.  Hurray!

Hot, hot, hot!

and a lot of running around to work and auditions!  Long may it continue...

This week

The terrible fire at Grenfell Tower overshadows everything.  When I was little we lived on the fourth floor of an old Victorian building in Glasgow and my Father bought a fire ladder that hooked onto the window sill.  People thought he was being unnecessarily pessimistic and sort of letting the side down - in the seventies there was this thing of being 'groovy' and laid back.  Thank God we never had to use the fire ladder but I now feel so grateful to him for thinking about it.  It seems unbelievable that there were no sprinklers or separate fire escape stairs in Grenfell Tower - we condemn the Victorians for slum housing but what's the difference?  Apparently the people who have been rehoused in hotels are not getting any meals other than breakfast even though they have no money, bank cards or id yet?  How to make utterly traumatised people feel a bit more awful - 'you don't get any meals here.'  Glad it's not my job because I wouldn't do it. The Government needs a team of experts to think of these problems in a crisis - the survivors have to remake their whole lives. 

Precious Little Things

is the new feature film from Nightpiece Media and I have completed my filming in the role of Shirley Travors.  Filming on location in Gillingham in Kent was wonderful - as you can see from the photos in my Gallery it was a beautiful setting for a shoot.

I am also happy to say that 'City of Spies', the feature I worked on last summer in Vienna, has a significant new investor and is going ahead with the remainder of production so all in all it's been a very good week for film in my world!

This week

so much has happened but with all the terror attacks unfolding it's not important.  I hope things get better.

Cannes 2017!

What an amazing time I had!  The sun shone down and everything was a feast for the eyes!  I don't know why but I will list all the films I saw - they were all great.

The Features were The Beguiled, Jupiter's Moon, Hikari, Beauty and the Dogs, Tesnota, The Desert Bride,  Claire's Camera, The Merry Go-Round, Western, April's Daughter, Jeune Femme and The Bad Lieutenant of New Orleans.

The Shorts I saw were Real Gods Require Blood, Stella Erratica, The Merciless Beauty, Tooth Fairy, Wild Horses, The Final Frolic, Still, Stay,  Ibiza, Jerky, The Five Wives and Lives of Melvyn Pfferburg and Witheld.

I just wish it could have been more but time gets eaten up in Cannes.  Well back to life!


Festival bound

quite a lot of packing to do - at least I know where I'm going and what I'm doing this year!  And the sun shines down.....

Opportunities!

come up sometimes that you couldn't have foreseen. I was so pleased to be interviewed by IndieActivity this week!  I have a lot to be grateful for.....

Thinking about Summer

As I frequently complain i don't like the cold and am already looking forward to the sunny days ahead.  For the last few years summer has had a certain pattern for me and it's been great but I think maybe this year there will be some changes.  I have a new film role that I am thrilled about, some possibilities and days to fill up!  What will unfold?  Good things I'm sure.

City of Spies!

has a crowdfunding campaign going.  I filmed a scene on it last summer in Vienna!  It was amazing. I hope to return to Vienna many times.  Please donate if you can!  On a more prosaic note, my garden is looking a lot better and summer seems to shaping up well.

Pieces!!

My new short film 'Pieces' is online now so you can see it - there is a link on my homepage.  It's been a wonderful year for which I am grateful!  What next? 
On a more prosaic note I have been getting the garden a bit tidied up for Spring and it is much better now though I am much tireder!  Must be good for me....hope you had a lovely Easter!

Can't believe

London was at 20 degrees last week!  It was wonderful....long may it continue.  There is something so luxurious about not having to be bundled up to the nines.  It's probably a good think I wasn't born in Russia as I don't cope with the cold well.  Anyway I have to be up early tomorrow so better get to sleep. 

Spring cleaning

I'm not crazy about housework though I do it - this last week Ihave been sorting through a lot of old books and papers and getting re-organised.  It's amazing what you find that you had forgotten about.  All those projects you meant to complete and info you were going to get hold of.  It is exhausting but worth it.  I have some really good casting news this week but I won't talk about it yet - not lucky.   All in all it was a good week.

I wish

people who want you to do nude scenes would just say it in the casting call.  Sometimes they do but more and more they put it in as a little question usually second from the bottom of the email they send you to 'get to know you more'.  They also always say - 'it's absolutely fine if you don't' but in reality you never hear from them again.  I don't rule out doing nude scenes - I just know enough to know it could be iffy!  My friend had a terrible experience going to work for someone who had stated they wanted this - but on the filming day he tried to attack her. He was a one man crew - this happens in Indie films - there was no reason to be suspicious of this. He didn't know she had been in the army and beat HIM up severely - she even frogmarched him to the cashpoint and made him pay her the fee they had agreed!  He was absolutely terrified of her.  She then reported him to the Police and it turned out they had wanted to prosecute him for ages and her statement clinched the case.  What a world....you have to be so careful when pursuing acting work.  I had another friend who turned down a job that she felt uneasy about but it hasn't happened to me for a long time.  Just got to keep your eyes and ears wide open.

It turns out I got the Premiere date wrong so it's coming up just not right away.  Work is coming in so that's good - and as for the trail of people who are 'absolutely fine with me not doing nude scenes'  I hope someone puts a big bag of prawns in your curtain linings. Have a nice day....

Auditions

are picking up now perhaps because the light is better for filming so hopefully some work will come through soon.  Lots of interesting things are bubbling up.  I should be going to a premiere this week in Leicester Square so that's nice!  I am glad to say Horror Night has not been repeated.  Roll on Springtime!

Horror Night

This last Tuesday night I woke up at about 4am with a terrible jolt.  It was as if someone or something had been ripped away from me and there was a real loss - I sat up feeling like I had been beaten up!  The next day people said I looked very sad and it was true - I felt awful - I never had such an experience.  If there is someone out there who is upset with me I am sorry.  I don't know what to do but I do think you are someone real not just a bad dream.  I believe peoples' thoughts do connect to each other like radiowaves of some kind, for example isn't it odd when you think of someone and then you bump into them or they phone you?  This was more weird but the same kind of thing.

By contrast Horror Night at Beeston Film Festival on Friday was really fun!  The films were amazing - our film 'Pieces' got a wonderful audience reception and great feedback.  The Festival hosts were so welcoming and it was awesome - any film maker would thoroughly enjoy Beeston.  I stayed for part of Saturday and left wishing I had booked a later train - wonderful films.  So a mixed week. 

It's Spring!

This week I did some drug education work and acting auditions - I am waiting to hear.  This week my short film 'Pieces' will have a screening at Beeston Film Festival - I will go to Nottingham for I think the first time.  I have always liked Nottingham in my imagination because of its lace making past.  I love things like that - well, here's to this week!

I love

'Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy' with Sir Alec Guinness.  Not only is it a landmark drama series, the seventies decor and film stock take me back to being a child.   Nowadays with good lighting and reasonably priced home furnishings many more people have a pleasant home.  In the past anything of good quality was very expensive and if it wasn't available in a shop near you, you probably couldn't have it.  I remember my Mother trailing the Glasgow shops for everything from specialist foods to simple, elegant furniture or clothes - sometimes we were lucky.  Magazines dictated one life but you couldn't really access it.  We once got chairs from Habitat and it took 7 weeks for them to be delivered!  This would be laughable now.  You see this in 'Tinker, Taylor' - grubby wallpaper, no central heating, beaten up furniture, horrible linoleum and a sort of greyness everywhere except in Mr Smiley's Chelsea house which is very elegant with cream carpets and antiques.  But, although it was often ugly I miss the 70s - it had it's own glamour, people got on with things and we didn't know so many depressing facts.  And Sir Alec - you are a genius....

Samsara

is the name of my new short by Deadly Intent Films.  I filmed my scenes last week in beautiful Devon.  It was great!  I was last in Devon about 5 years ago and it's been too long.  I'm so glad this year is moving again workwise - I also attended London International Film Festival for the first time to see my friend Philip Ramos' film 'The Kidnapping of a Fish' which has now received 20 festival nominations all over the world.  It is awesome!  Try and see it.  What will next week bring?  You never know.

Chessington

World of Adventure is where I have been working for the last two weeks on a drug education initiative - now I am happy to say 1,690 children have had their sessions about the danger of drugs - every Primary seven child in the Kingston Borough.  Young people always surprise you by making points and asking questions you didn't expect.  I think the environment is an issue that concerns them more and more.  Drugs are always a huge problem but young people are starting to smoke less and less which is great.  Vaping is going to replace cigarettes eventually and as e-cigarettes have no tar that will be better but they are still noxious and very costly.  I don't see why cigarette companies should get a penny of anyone's money - it makes no sense to me. On the acting front auditions have started coming through again so 2017 is getting moving! 


Don't listen to those Clowns....

Today for the first time I went to the memorial service for Joseph Grimaldi (the greatest English clown) at All Hallows Church in Haggerston - it is held once a year and is amazing.  I have done some clown training myself at the Why Not Institute some years ago and it was wonderful.  Changed me as a performer forever.  We should all definitely listen to clowns - they are like angels.  Here is the Clowns' prayer which I had never heard before -

Dear God,
I thank you for calling me to share with others your most precious gift of laughter.  May I never forget that it is your gift, and my privilege.  As your children are rebuked in their self-importance and cheered in their sadness, help me to remember that your foolishness is wiser than our wisdom. Amen.

This world is so dark and complex, especially now - it is amazing to see innocent happiness.  The clowns have real
ly lifted me up.






Goodbye January

I'm not all that sorry to see you go - I find January a very dark, sort of sleepy month.  I must say I never try to do the crash diet and maniac fitness routine this month though it's probably a good idea.  Quite honestly it's depressing enough living in the dark, smothered in jumpers without starving too.  Also people often seem to have a miserable few weeks living on Adjuki beans and water then completely give up to have a total blowout!  All that misery wasted....  Let the sun shine I say, before I try any of that caper.  Gentleness is good.  In fact moderation all the time is probably good - I'll learn one day. Maybe February will bring some new opportunities!

My Heart belongs to Daddy.......

My Dad was a pathologist - his work was mainly with dead bodies unless he was looking at slides of possible tumours and things like that.  Early in his career he was working in the morgue of a country hospital in Scotland with a colleague when they were told that an elderly man was at the door and that he was getting very angry.  My father went to see what the problem was and the gentleman told him that his sister had just passed away (they had shared a house) and that they had secretly bequeathed one other their false teeth as a useful spare as they could wear each others' dentures very comfortably.  Now he had come for the teeth and had been told by a very crisp nurse that he couldn't have them.   In those days unless foul play was suspected in a death, dentures were just removed from the body and left in a big pile in a corner of the morgue so no-one knew where these particular teeth were in the pile.  The old man was getting more and more upset.  My father spoke to him and tactfully explained they could let him try some other left over false teeth. My Dad was a very kind person and the old guy calmed down.  He was invited into the morgue, given a seat and invited to try on pair after pair of false teeth to find one that fitted.  After a while he did and went off quite happy.  My Dad's colleague looked at him and said 'The impossible we do, miracles take a little longer!'.  In these days of health and safety I doubt this would happen but I love my Dad - life would be so much easier if people took a short time to put themselves in someone else's shoes.

So...

I spoke too soon about it not being that cold.  The weather has really taken a downward turn.  Well 2017 is underway now - I would love to see a year into the future and find out what happened.  It could be a seismic year for the world considering the new US president!  I guess we'll have to wait and see.

I went to

the 'Gothic Shorts' night at LSFF last night and the films were amazing - really pushing the boundaries of believable weirdness and terror.  I feel 2017 has got going now.  I am not the biggest fan of January I must say but it seems very inoffensive so far - not even that cold!  This year should have a lot of good things happening - what will be first?...










Goodbye 2016!

It's been quite a year....things are starting to get going for January - so Happy New Year!!!

Christmas is coming

really soon!  So much has happened in the last year that I couldn't have foreseen, 95% of it extremely good!  Happy Holidays....

The end is near

for 'Cymbeline' - just two more performances this weekend, tonight and tomorrow.  It's an amazing play to work on, very complex and passionate.  Twenty five plot points are wound up in Act Five!  Surely that's a record.  I don't know what will be next for 2017 but this year has been amazing.....

The last week of Cymbeline

starts on Tuesday - we have had a nice review from The Upcoming!  I am starting to watch Christmas DVDs - and do decorating.  Now I have a date with Alistair Sim in 'A Christmas Carol'......what a genius.

Cymbeline

opens tomorrow night at The Space Arts Centre!  Come and see us - this year is the 400th annivesary of William Shakespeare's death & I am so glad to have had the chance to do some Shakespeare.  Well off to dress and tech rehearsal - it's cold outside!!!

This week

I've had SO many views on my website!!!!  How cool is that?  On with the line learning - Cymbeline opens at 'The Space' on 5th December!!!  Tickets are selling well.

Cymbeline

rehearsals are going really well!  Roll on opening night!  I have a guest coming to stay and the house doesn't know itself - I guess that's always the way.  OK tired now!

I hope

I can wake up a bit - seem to have done a lot of running around this week!  Well, rest tomorrow.

New beginnings!

This week I have started rehearsing a new play, a production of 'Cymbeline' in which I will be playing Belaria, a warrior living in exile.  It's a wonderful part and my first Shakespeare production on stage.  So a busy December for me!  I also had new photos taken by ELM photographic studio and should have some posted here next week.  I can't believe this time last month I was in Portugal....it was wonderful - definitely an actor's life for me!

This month

has been quite full on for me!  Well it's almost over.  If you like Halloween then Happy Halloween and if not Happy Saints Day.  I'm just happy to sit down and put my feet up.....

It's so true that

you only see some parts of London or new things when you have family coming to visit.  So this week I have been to the Chelsea Physic Garden for the first time and revisited Tate Modern and the British Museum for the first time in ages.  Next week is full on workwise - which I'm happy about but it was wonderful to have some chill out time as well.  More auditions coming up -what next?.....

Yearning

is the title of my new short film and also how I am feeling about Portugal right now where the production was based!  It was wonderful - beautiful, fascinating - a passionate place.  The people are like Scottish people in their kindness and down to earthness.  And as for the delicious food.....perhaps it's a good thing I'm back in drizzly, grey London.  On my day off I visited Sintra and saw a number of their famous Palaces - my eyes were on stalks!  As I love all romantic, gothic, slightly surreal things it was the perfect place for me. 'Yearning' has been made with very high production values so won't be finished for quite a while so I'll have to be patient......

Last night 'Pieces' had its American premiere at Telluride Horror Film Festival - Telluride looks another stunningly beautiful place and I am determined to get there one day too.  However now it is back to London and reality which is also good.

Greetings October!

I just found out that 'Pieces' has another festival nomination this time at 'First Glance' in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love!  I did more drug education work this last week and took part in the Space20 gala evening which was wonderful.  What else will October bring?!!

Exit 6 Film Festival

was great!  I hadn't seen Dan Sunley and Dean Harris (the director and producer of the film 'Pieces') for a year since the filming was complete so it was great to catch up and amazing to see the finished film on the big screen. The size of the footage and the sound detail were so powerful. I love the internet but there is nothing like Cinema Paradiso..... I have some more exiting things coming up now but will keep quiet till nearer the time.

I'm looking for acting work

and having some success.  Let's see what autumn brings - is it really three months till Christmas?  I tried to knit a new scarf today but it's too chunky for the jacket I want to wear it with.  Back to the drawing board - maybe I can make some adaptations.  Pieces will be screened at Exit 6 film festival later this week and I hope very much to be there! 

Autumn

begins and new challenges open up.  Although I'm not studying any course it feels like the start of term.  This time last year I could not have foreseen many things that happened good and bad.  I think I visited Charles Darwin's house which was amazing.  Yesterday I ended up at the Geffrye Museum in London for the first time. The Geffrye documents how middle class people have lived since about 17th century to now.  It's a great resource - lots of good ideas.  I have work coming up but don't know the dates for everything so life is a bit unsettled.  Maybe more news next week!

So long

since I posted a blog - I've had some wonderful event work over the summer but it left me very busy.  With this autumn some exciting things are coming along - my short film 'Pieces' is an official selection at Exit 6 Film Festival!!  Last week I attended the premiere of 'Iziza Undead' at Horror Frightfest in London (I didn't have a part in this unfortunately) but it was a great evening - so much fun!  There should be more news about 'Pieces' very soon and 'Ibiza Undead' will be released next year in March. Right now today I'm going to have a bit of a rest....

A wonderful week

in which I filmed a little part in the feature film 'City of Spies'!  An actor's life is truly a lucky one.....

Downsizer!!

Downsizer is an amazing short film I worked on several years ago and it will soon have a screening at Hollyshorts in Los Angeles and at Bedlam Film Festival in Edinburgh!!  I love the evil character I play, Mrs Ashcroft.  Occasionally when I get really bad service in a shop or from a fellow commuter Mrs A will appear and do battle.  Sometimes I surprise myself as I really believe that listening not shouting is the best way to get things done - but there are limits.  The other week I got onto the tube with a heavy case early in the morning and exhausted already, sank into a seat only for the lady next to me to kick me hard in the leg! I was astonished and remained silent for half a minute.  Then I felt rage and shouted 'DID YOU JUST KICK MY LEG?  WHY DID YOU KICK ME IN THE LEG?!!!'  She became visibly frightened and muttered 'Your suitcase touched my foot.'  I said, (actually still shouted) 'I'M SORRY - I HAD NO IDEA OF THIS - COULD YOU JUST EXPLAIN THAT NEXT TIME AND NOT KICK PEOPLE?!!!;  I was shaking but my anger had an effect - it was very exhausting however and amused everyone around us no end.  So Mrs Ashcroft is inside me but buried quite deep.......I wish I hadn't got so angry but I just did.....

Horror wins

for me a lot.  As an actor I am often cast in films about the supernatural in all kinds of situations.  My showreel makers tease me about this 'Another big, dark house for you to look frightened in Kate?!' Well, I have that kind of face I guess.  For me what I have learnt is that horror has to be based in the real, the believable.  Every character, no matter how cartoonish their costume or appearance has to mean what they say and in a good horror film there is also an anchor of everydayness that lulls us into feeling that those characters going through a terrifying situation could be us.  Now a recent horror film I worked on, 'Pieces', has had it's first festival nomination at Nightpiece which is wonderful. Where will it go next?

Summer


slips by - I wonder what will come along next?  Apart from Autumn.....

Nice

I was horrified obviously to hear about the terror attack in Nice yesterday.  I was there a few months ago.  The plane descended over a long stretch of sea before touching down on the runway at Nice airport and from every aspect the city looks like a jewel.  Security at the event I attended was extremely high which I was grateful for but terrorism and murder seemed so far away from the beauty of the Riviera, I didn't think about it much.  Having lost my Dad at a young age I feel for those left behind, the people they will never fully know and the enormous loss this continues to create as the years pass.  I pray there is an answer to these problems - we need to unite people of all faiths to make a strong community but how?

This last week

has been so busy - I think this week I'll try to go slow.  How long will that last?!......

Perspectives on Chinese Happiness

was the title of a workshop I did this week with True Heart Theatre Company in association with the University of Westminster.  It was a wonderful two days - I must say I learned a great deal about life in China now and about Playback Theatre, an improvisation technique True Heart work with a lot.  Next week I have a really good promo job and then what does the rest of the summer hold?  We shall see.....

This week

has been odd hasn't it?  Not only are we now out of Europe, I was nearly flattened with hailstones yesterday, in JUNE!!  I have been doing some still photo work with Buppha Wittaya-Amponpunt and will post the results soon.  We stopped by the Windmill Cafe in Wimbledon for a break at the shoot - another part of London I had never seen.  I guess you never see it all.  This week I have some meetings coming up and a course so if there can be no more political seismic shocks or bizarre weather that would be nice....maybe? It is summer....

June days

are already flying by!  This month acting work has already taken me to Stratford-upon-Avon, Whitstable and Cambridge - what next?  I am waiting to hear about some parts and things are going well.  In Whitstable I had the chance to see the Hammer Horror master Peter Cushing's house and various sites associated with his time in Whitstable.  He seems to have been a very gentle person, completely different from most of the films he appeared in.  I loved Whitstable and am already planning to return.

The worst month ever.......

for writing my blog.  It's odd because I have had so much on!  Cannes was amazing - so inspiring, the energy in the air is electric.  I was pretty tired by the end but didn't mind at all!  I have also been making a wonderful new short film 'Toby' with Professor Stamen films.  Their first film 'Pounds for Piggies' has been nominated for two film festivals within a few weeks of being entered.  It is hilarious - definitely try to see it!  This week I will be doing rehearsals and readings of several new productions that I am really looking forward to so life is good.   It's wonderful summer is here isn't it?  Nothing like it.  

Hot weather

is like a gift!  It's so great not to be wrapped up in layers for a few days.  This has been a much better week & I did a promo film for Thames Rockets - my first time filming in a speed boat!  The sun beat down and a wonderful day was had by all.

Bank holidays

frustrate me because business stops!  I'm glad everyone else likes them but I'll be glad when life goes back to normal tomorrow.  This has not been the easiest week but I guess there's a reason for everything.....

The Closest we'll ever get

Yesterday I was on my way home and I passed by a sort graffiti art gallery near my home.  It's really good art - in fact nearby we have a Banksy!  I couldn't help seeing this new portrait of Prince with a purple scarf hanging from it.  A guy with a serious camera was photographing it and a few people like me were starting to congregate.  I took some photos too as you see!  After a few minutes the real photographer put away his camera and removed the scarf.  'This belonged to Prince you know,' he said.  'A few years ago my friend got a front row ticket for Prince's show at the Forum in California and Prince saw him and threw the scarf right to him.'  Everyone was amazed.  If we had come a few minutes earlier or later we would have missed it.  He handed me the scarf and photographed me holding it.  It felt incredible to hold something of Prince's. His songs are incredible and I would have never expected him to die so young - it's awful. 

You might say -'How do you know it was all true?'  - I can only say I completely believed the photographer - he was absolutely genuine.  I'll never forget it.  I spent some time in LA as a young teen and Prince was everywhere with 'Purple Rain' and 'When Doves Cry' - what memories.


Inspiration

appears to be lacking today as I try to write my blog.  Why?  You would think there is always something to talk about and this week has been good.  I have some great projects to look forward to, I've been working & auditioning and I was paid - HURRAY!!  Well I suppose no-one's perfect.  I wish you a good week.xxx

I belong to Glasgow.....

the place of my birth and this week I was there again very briefly.  It's such an odd feeling to go back there - it is definitely home and yet it isn't.  I felt very pulled to memories of the past and also happy to think how much has changed and moved on.  My goodness though, ghosts round every corner.  I had some meetings with industry people in various places so that was great!  Glasgow is a beautiful city, the buildings are stunning & the people like no others.  When I was called 'Doll' and 'Hen' by people i just melted - nowhere else are you called by these names.  I hope I am back really soon.

Going to the Gaumont

This week I was doing drug education at the old Gaumont State theatre in Kilburn.  It is now a huge and very popular church called Ruach Ministry.  But the interior is just like walking into an old Hollywood film and the church owners have been very sensitive to the building's heritage with information and old photos displayed.  Every period feature is beautifully preserved with twinkling chandeliers, marble pillars and walls of mirrors - I kept expecting Jean Harlow to float through the door.  It is that amazing. 

Why do we expect glamour to surround showbusiness?  I suppose it's part of being carried away to another world that we either don't usually inhabit and mostly wouldn't really want to.  Mind you, I could live in a Hollywood mansion quite easily.....

It's much better

to be too busy than have nothing on and that's definitely my situation right now!  I have been booked for a short film shooting next week which is lovely and this week is pretty full too.  I hope you had a lovely Easterxxx

This week

I had quite a lot on but luckily had a bit of time for Easter crafts.  My friend gave me some polystyrene eggs last year that the children in her class had tried to decorate and got bored with.  So they were looking a bit sad until now with umpteen layers of paint and Mod Podge applied.  It's funny how many craft things you can rescue and use another way.  Hopefully people will like them!  With the increase in temperature more things are taking off audition and filming wise which is good and Easter weekend is looking really busy.  Well - I better go.  A big pile of ironing calls..... 

Healing thoughts

What a relief that the sun is shining a bit more this week!  Although films are being made all the time I find that when Spring comes round the corner more people want to shoot - I guess the light is better and people are calmer.  This week I have been on the audition round again with no dodgy casting notices - Hurray! and filmed my first Corporate for this year with MediaTrust.  I played an Ultrasound nurse.  Drama in a hospital setting is almost assured and this film is no different.  I don't think I could have been a nurse though I liked being a First Aider.  Often people are just very shocked after an accident and once you have helped reassure them they get a lot better even if their injuries are extremely painful.  I once had a very bad accident at the place I was working with 7 people badly hurt.  I only had two wheelchairs and had to decide who needed them most.  It was a very difficult day especially as I was the only First Aider on duty.  However at the time I found I could follow my training and thankfully it was OK.   Doing medical films makes me all the more grateful for the NHS and the protection we have......

You must be bald and prepared to dance nude

If you were putting out a casting call for an actor who fitted this description wouldn't you put it at the top of the casting breakdown, rather than right at the bottom of the page?  I was reading through a lengthy ad this week at the end of a long day thinking it was a possible for me then boom when I reached the bottom!  I have a good head of hair and dancing nude?!  When you have never heard of a particular employer you have to be cautious.  Dancing nude could be perfectly justified and essential to a script or not....  I remember a few years ago seeing an ad for a film about an artist's muse.  Thinking it could be about Lizzie Siddal or another of the fascinating women who have posed for artists down the ages I read it eagerly.  I had to conclude it sounded dodgy.  I wish I could remember why but it did and I didn't apply.  Unfortunately I was right and the 'film maker' ended up in court for harassing and abusing some actresses who came to audition.  You have to be so careful - if only people were always sincere.  The thing is until you are a proven film director/writer why should actors trust you with their safety and dignity?  Make first films about some other aspect of human life than erotic fantasy and show your talent first.  In France people have far fewer hangups about nudity than they do here so maybe it is different there but in the UK being naked is definitely a decisison that will invite comment at least.  And with the internet nude images will be available to anyone online for the rest of your life.  So anyway I leave you this week not bald and relieved I won't be dancing nude on camera right now anyway!

Spring is almost here!

and I'm so grateful.  Last week was the first time in ages I didn't do a blog.  Life got so busy I just couldn't manage it.  Why does the cold make things seem so much more difficult?  That blanket of ice that surrounds you when you step outside or even into the kitchen before changing the thermostat just makes everything seem slower, harder and more elusive.  But now the daffodills are blooming, people are filming more again and life is changing round.  I've been getting some inner guidance or whatever you like to call it that life is changing for me and certain acting jobs I would once have gone all out for are now not what I need.  It's weird when life moves on like that but I'll go with it.  This has been a busy week for me for which I am very grateful.  Some films I've been working on are nearing completion and it is exciting to see what will happen next.  Onwards and upwards!!

A River ran

I have been getting over flu and yesterday saw 'Stand By Me' again for the first time in many years.  What an amazing film - such care in every frame.  It was poignant to see River Phoenix play Chris - he was the heart throb of my young life and seemed so wise and kind in addition to being a wonderful actor.  I remember the day he died of an overdose, it was such a shock - I think I imagined he'd be the kind of person who would live a long life and tell everyone else how it was done.  But this was not to be.  At that time I wanted more than anything to pursue an acting career but many life circumstances were against it.  Thankfully things moved on and life changed completely.  Thank you River for your inspirationxx

An actors life for me!

A few years ago I was offered some promo work handing out bags of rice.  You know how in train stations people sometimes give away bottles of water, or cups or samples of things?  It was that kind of job - really easy and pleasant but an instinct told me to say no!  (And I really needed the money......)  I felt a bit down about it but a few weeks later a friend told me what happened at the job and I was so glad.  First of all they weren't stationed at a station or a town square or anything - they were going door to door to peoples' houses from 9am on a SATURDAY MORNING.....  Needless to say the people they knocked up were furious to be disturbed in their pjs having a sleep in, over a small bag of rice they never asked for.  But that's not the worst part - then you were supposed to say 'Can I take a photo of you with that bag of rice?'!!!!  Needless to say it was really embarassing - most people just grabbed the rice and slammed the door in a rage.  The promo staff tried to tell the company what was happening but they just insisted you had to keep asking for photos.  Towards the middle of the afternoon it was getting dark and they were taken to a rough estate with the same brief and I may say they were going door to door singly not in pairs.  The people in the estate really resented them and thought it was a set up - they were threatened with dogs and all sorts.  So a horrible day in which they probably made loads of people decide never to buy that rice again.  Oh yes and they were told if they had a ten minute lunch they could leave 50 minutes early but then at the end of the day were told they actually had to stay the whole time if they wanted to get paid.  My friend said it was a horrendous day of being basically hated by everyone she met.  I'm so grateful I had the feeling not to go.  You might say why not walk out especially as night fell?  Well they had to travel quite far out of London to the initial pick up point so would have lost that travel money as well as the day's wages - they had also agreed to do the job and actors regard their word as their bond.  Without it there'd be no creative work.  I have had plenty of ludicrous days but that's one I'm so glad I missed.  Thank you instincts - I love you!!

ps They should have just given out the rice at a train station like normal - then people would have felt it was a nice free gift......

Cinefest!

'Downsizer' has been nominated for Cinefest Film Festival in San Francisco!  I wish I could go - maybe I will!  If you are going to be in the 'City by the Bay' on March 5th, 6th and 10th those are our screening days.  I've got some good news re other filming recently but so as not to tempt fate I won't say anything yet.

The cold

makes me feel like a raccoon emerging from his hibernation....I'm not a winter person.  This has been a slow week but things are shaping up.  Here is a winter photo - beautiful despite the thermometer.....

Somewhere tomorrow

is an old film starring Sarah Jessica Parker - I wasn't in it unfortunately but I saw it this week for the first time and it so reminded me of being young.  In the 70s and 80s people were very interested in spiritual things, life after death - the New Age if you like.  This was the great unknown and I was brought up in Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's TM Movement.  Meditation really helped me and still does.  'Somewhere Tomorrow' is all about souls and where they go after death - it's a good film but it would never be made today.  Nowadays the Internet with all it's information and connectedness has far overtaken spiritual questions.  People are predominantly concerned with science, accuracy and what is here right now.  I'm not saying there isn't an interest in spiritual things but it's not the same as when I was young.  If people are less likely nowadays to be taken in by cults and charlatans that is wonderful but life has also lost some of its gentleness and peace somehow. 

For me things are a little too peaceful this week but I am continuing to audition and maybe something will come a long soon.  Gosh it's cold outside....

January 2016

This was the first working week of this year and I have had two auditions and some work in the pipeline so that's good.  I also went to London Short Film Festival's selection of Femmes Fantastique and they were amazing films - some of the best I've ever seen.  What will this year bring?  At the start of a new year it's like a fog in front of you which gradually lifts and you see where things are headed.  If I look back at this time a year ago so many things happened that I couldn't have foreseen so let's hope that's true this year too.  In a good way!  However if you are in London for the next couple of weeks definitely try and see some of the LSFF film screenings.

Babushka

When I was about 9 or 10 I asked my Dad for a Babushka doll for my birthday.  I must have seen one on television - there is a famous film clip of a set of dolls popping out of each other and dancing round.  I had put them away in tissue paper some years ago but this Christmas they suddenly came to mind & I wanted to get them out.  As you can see in the photo there are only 4 but in my mind there were 6 or 7 and I also remember them as being a bit bigger.  We don't remember things exactly right I suppose but it feels nice to see them again - maybe my Dad is near me in spirit.  It's been a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Is it possible?

for one person to eat so much and do so little - yes, I did it!!  What a great Christmas!!  Not much news though as such.  This week between Christmas and New Year is always a bit unreal but January usually takes off with a bang so better enjoy it!!xxx

Let's make it merry!

Have a lovely Christmas!xx

Something wicked this way comes....(again)

I have been working on the Scottish play again this week with the Classical Radio Recording Company.  It's just the right time of year for this play - the wind pinches as you walk down the street.  The trees are bare and leaves whip about.  It's wonderful to enter that dark, supernatural world.  In the past I have driven through Macbeth country in Scotland and it is incredibly beautiful.  It's been a good year for me but things are winding down now for Christmas - however something could come along.  You never know!

Showreel done!

For some reason I was very nervous on the day I went to get the updates done.  I was so frightened someone would grab my bag with the pendrive of footage in it I sent myself the films too on WeTransfer so I could download them at the showreel company if necessary!  In the event it was a very sedate December morning with no-one in sight except the odd cat as I walked to Minamon.  So why all the nerves?  It's weird being an actor - you audition for films, sometimes (hopefully most of the time) you get the part.  But that's just the beginning.  Sometimes you audition multiple times for something that is never made.  Sometimes it is made but is awful and you'd rather forget the whole thing.  Sometimes the film is made and they won't give you the footage.  I have moaned about this before but it is annoying.  However I had more than enough to make a good new reel and it is done!  Hurray - and thank you very much to Minamon film and all the film makers who cast me in their films.  As for the people who wouldn't give me my footage - well I'm sure you'll get to heaven......ONE DAY. 

Now time for a cup of tea I think......

So this week

I am getting my showreel updated for the first time in ages.   I have some great stuff to add but I'll go with the advice of the experts.  My current showreel has got me a lot of work - so much has happened in those years so what will this one bring?  Some exciting things hopefully!  I have just seen some screen grabs from my latest short film 'Pieces' and they look great.  It's an odd time of year when people are trying to cram in the last bits of work they can before the Christmas/New Year break so it can be hectic or rather quiet.  I find I start to look back at where I was this time last year.  I think last year was good but this year is definitely better.  Anyway I'll stop waffling away....maybe this week something really exciting will happen.

Edinburgh

is where I have been visiting for the last few days.  'Downsizer' was an official selection at Edinburgh short film festival and I went along for the end screenings and party.  It was amazing to be back in Scotland, at times a little sad as I remembered things that happened years ago but that was in the background.  Before that I was on location in Derbyshire filming 'Pieces' which was also wonderful.  Tideswell village is a bit like Darroughy in 'All Creatures Great and Small' and very photogenic.  All in all it's been a wonderful week!

Tortoise

has now had a West End matinee at the Criterion Theatre!  It was an amazing day that I've talked about already on the front page.  The terrible events in Paris have made it seem a long time ago already.  I wonder why our perceptions work that way?  I like many people have a lot to be grateful for.  But obviously I wish things could change.

Disappointing

that some filming I was supposed to do has fallen through but it must be for the best.  I will be filming on location in Yorkshire next week and going to Scotland right afterwards so it's still good but I always want everything to work out perfectly.....as an actor you have to have a lot of faith - but then I do!

This week

is going to be incredibly busy.  So that's nice - maybe I should learn to use those wheelie segue things?  Maybe not, I'd probably cause a major pile up.  Maybe next they'll invent a teleport like in Star Trek?  Wouldn't surprise me....

Tidying up....

I did a lot of sorting out this week and I was dreading it.  I always do because tidying up puts me into a real mood.  I suppose because firstly it gets worse before it gets better and also apparently our possessions each carry memories that are being triggered as you see them and handle them again.  Even if they are nice memories they can make you fed up about today and the chaos that currently surrounds you.  I can go along with this though there was the silver lining of finding the things I had forgotten I had that will be really useful.   Well apart from now having the tidiest house ever I did my commercial this week and it went well.  I have a lot coming up in November so that's good and this week I have some non-acting work which will be really nice too.  My local high street has gone Halloween crazy and there is a nice, witchy energy in the air.....

This week

I am filming an online ad whose content is secret so I can't say anything about it.  I also have some filming on the feature film 'One Way'  which is my first for a year and very exciting - I play a mysterious lady called Jan.  Now Christmas is approaching everything gets more hectic but I love it!  What will come along next?.....

Agnes Martin

Over a year ago I did a rehearsed reading of a new play  'All the Way to Albaquerque' about the reclusive artist Agnes Martin.  Today I was able to see a big retrospective of her work at the Tate Modern.  It closes tomorrow so I was just in time!  It was amazing to see so many of her paintings and drawings up close.  Like a puzzle coming together.  Acting is sometimes like that - you get insight into so many lives and situations.  It's a real privilege.  Most of Agnes' work was based on grids, lines and patterns yet each piece is unique and very evocative.  Maybe I will learn something about modern art eventually.  In any case the writer of 'Alaquerque', Henry R Martin has now turned his play into a biography about Agnes that is soon to be published.  He went to New Mexico after the show and did a huge amount of research about Agnes there.  I hope the play is put on eventually too.  Agnes' life experience and wisdom transferred to the stage perfectly.

Sigmund Freud

is a character I played in 'Nosology' at the N16 Theatre this week as well as a Scottish doctor and a pyschiatric patient Elizabeth.  I love to play different parts.  Working on this play has given me a little insight into the history of psychology - as Plato said, this world is often a 'ship of fools.'

Filming and theatre

this week as I am working on a commercial for several days and appearing at the N16 theatre in Balham on Thursday.  I also have rehearsals for other things and the Indiegogo campaign for 'One Way' is now out.  This should be a full week for which I am very grateful....Hurray!!!

Feast or Famine?

I find as an actor it's often one or the other...things can be going so well then suddenly they just stop.  Many actors have this experience so it's not just me but that doesn't make it easier.  Thankfully I'm in a good place right now.  I firmly believe there is a plan in life and that things get easier when you make the best of what you've got and keep going.  It's almost like a game you learn to play and win.  I think when I was younger I would let negative things overwhelm me which greatly increased their power.  Getting older really has advantages!  Well another thing I've learned is not to count my chickens so I won't boast but life seems to be going well.

Sunday evening....

is so peaceful!  What a week.  There was no boat in the end but I am going to be extremely busy for the next few months....I'm grateful but tiredxx

It's really great that

I have a full week ahead of me, partly work and partly fun.  I have been given some passes for exhibitions I have been dying to see, I will be meeting up with friends and going to screenings so it will be a bit like a holiday except as Kermit says 'there's no boat and you don't actually go anywhere'.  Well maybe a boat will appear.  Honestly in acting you never know - one phone call and an hour later you can be going anywhere to play any character!  So maybe this week I could be Cleopatra - you never know.

And for my next trick.....

I shall be doing some initial shooting for a new horror short this week.  Then a kickstarter campaign for a new feature film and shooting another film for online release in the next month or so too.  My foreign film is actually next year now.   The world of film tends to move at a sedate pace....unlike me.....  It's been a good summer & better than last year in practically all ways.  Thank you Lord.

Autumn already

It's one of the hottest days of summer but people are talking about autumn already including Christmas!   A part of me loves having things all arranged and another part is slightly taken aback......  There's been a lot of furore this week about the price of tickets for 'Elf' in December and they do seem very steep - but it's like you can't live in today.....  Anyway I'm going to enjoy the sunshine!!

Halfway through August

and the 'Silent Secret' app whose voiceover I did a few months ago has now had over a million interactions.  They have also been nominated for an award on Internet safety which is great.  It's wonderful that people have been able to share their experiences and get help in complete privacy.  Sometimes the internet is awful and sometimes it is amazing. 

I have just downloaded Windows 10 which is free for me because I had Windows 8.1.  It seems really good but it does take a long time to find photos for editing.  You have to work backwards through all your photos instead of having a directory of all your albums.  Maybe I just haven't got the hang of it yet.  Well, sufficient unto the day....

This week

has been good but no news as such.  Well, no bad news either!!

We're all going on a summer holiday.....

.....As far as I know I am actually not. But it's OK. Well last week was good.  I did a new corporate film but we have been asked not to talk about it so I won't.  I have a wonderful day job for the rest of summer but maybe there will be some acting too.  You never know.  Right now though it looks like September will be my next time for that.  And it looks like I'll be busy. Have a good weekxx

July

has been good.  In the last week I have been doing drug ed at a Deaf Community.  When I arrived the interpreter hadn't arrived (her car had broken down).  The students were very welcoming and I was ushered to a seat.  But everyone around me was signing and I couldn't understand a word obviously.  It was an odd feeling but as it is how deaf people must often feel in the hearing world I'm glad I had the experience.  It was a very good session.  I have some acting work this week.  Summer keep on shining!!

Making It

is a new British comedy feature film whose first screening I attended this week.  It's incredibly funny - go see it!  I bet it will have a lot of festival success and beyond. 

However something about the evening I didn't expect was that the venue, the Cinema Museum near Kennington, was once the Lambeth Workhouse where Charlie Chaplin as a little boy was sent with his mother and siblings when she was unable to support them any longer.  It was a terrible place then and very humiliating for any family to have to go there.  But now you only see a very handsome building elegantly signposted as the Cinema Museum.  There are some rather spooky looking outbuildings and a sense of an institution but I  wouldn't look at it and think it had been a workhouse.  It's sort of inspiring that a building that inspired such terror is now full of inspiration and cinema treasures - everything can change thank heaven.  My camera was clicking away recording beautiful old signs, posters and memorabilia. 


I have also been in Oxford this week making a film noir short for Pixelcove Productions called 'The Still Smoking Gun'.  It was great - walking around Oxford in an eighties suit!  Why does that take me back?!  So many memories.  Well that was this week -what about next?

July....

so hot, I love it!!  I am doing a rehearsed reading next week which is great and am back auditioning again.  I always try to soak in these hot days because they end soon enough.  Just saw 'Hope and Glory' while the rain was on - what an amazing film.  I'd love to be in something like that!.....

Where did last week go & down with the showreel hags!!

I don't know as I have been so busy!  Some really exciting things are coming together for me and some other stuff I have let go of.   For example I have been getting ready to update my showreel and asking for footage from various employers.  Like most actors I have found that some people send you clips within an hour, some within a week, or after festivals but the 'showreel hags' never send you anything even if their only payment to you was the footage.  Sometimes you get excuses insulting or sincere, sometimes just silence.  One guy I worked with unfriended me on Facebook after I sent a few polite emails!  The world of film making is one where peoples' dreams and reality cruelly clash.  I have learned in the years I have been acting professionally that many films just don't work at the end of the day. In fact if just one factor or one person fails to do their job whether it's an actor, a lighting designer or editor it usually wrecks the whole thing.  I understand film makers don't want to expose a bad film to the world but they could give the actors a few miserable clips!  However, inadequate people always have to exercise whatever little power they have over another person, for example a struggling actor.  I have one friend who found footage of herself on a certain director's showreel though the same director wouldn't give the same clips to her!  And the reel was encrypted so my friend couldn't access it herself!  But you get by - invariably the best film makers are not at all inadequate and send footage in good time, sometimes you can rip things off the net (why should you have to??) - sometimes weird things happen.  I struggled for over a year to get a DVD from one company who were so weird and rude - then three days after I was interviewed on David Tennant's website what dropped onto my doormat but the DVD!!  After a year of asking..... I'm certain it was connected.  I have been 'hagged' quite a few times and if you have worked very hard on a film it's annoying.  You get tired but i suppose it's all part of life's rich tapestry.  So anyway - onward!  Down with the showreel hags, let's keep working on making really good films & learning all the time.

June days

are almost over - it's been so warm and beautiful this week!  I wore shorts!!!   I am back to auditioning for things and rehearsing other things and seeing what happens next.  This summer has already shaped a lot better than last year so that's good - and now after a weekend of Drug Education work I am going to do precisely nothing for the rest of today.xxx

A good week

working at Met Film School again and various things getting underway.  'Downsizer' is getting it's own website soon which is awesome - long may life continue like this! 

Destiny fulfilled

Destiny is a recent comedy short I have been working on  - it wrapped today - it's been great to work with such lovely people none of whom I knew before.  I also did the catering and without being big headed, that went very well too....  It's been a great week - and what next?....

Remembering a true hero - Noor Inayat Khan

I was at Tangmere Museum today for the opening of the Exhibition 'Liberty' and accompanying film 'Snowdrop' about Noor's amazing life and legacy.   It was a wonderful day.  After the film had screened there was complete silence for a moment before the audience applauded loudly.  I was amazed when the lady sitting next to me introduced herself as the daughter of another war hero and colleague of Noor's, Odette Sansom, winner of the George Cross.  She told me that she had met Vera Atkins (whom I play in the film) several times and that I was at times exactly like her!  What a day - I will never forget it.  We all talked about how Noor's story had taken us over -  her spirituality, her writing and art as well as her bravery. She was so exceptional.  I hope many, many people learn about her story.

Goodbye Spring.....

you haven't been easy but things looked up eventually.  They always do....what will summer bring us all?!

Audition success!!!

I have another job - with an award winning film director in the autumn!!  I will be going abroad to film!   Hurray!!!  I won't talk about it anymore though - not lucky.....  Meanwhile what about this summer?.....last summer was quite difficult workwise but I'll just have to keep going - at least I can dream about autumn......

Auditions....

are coming up right now so that's great.  For me they are a chance to perform and be that character just for those few people but a show nonetheless.  Having said that I obviously want to be chosen!!  But still some people find auditions hellish - I'm glad that's not how I feel.  So anyway fingers crossed, eyes crossed, toes crossed.....I do kind of wish I was in Cannes but maybe next year?.... in my crystal ball.....Hmmm

Destiny

is definitely a true force I think.  There are some people who simply seem to have life mapped out for them and everything happens to support it.  I feel I have a destiny that is getting closer but still not quite there yet.  But there have been definite leaps forward that seemed meant for me.  Destiny is also the name a of a comedy short I am working on this week for Kino Film Festival challenge.  It seems little sad to be inside on such a hot beautiful day but 'the show's the thing' and it was definitely worth it.  And what about next week?  What will destiny bring then?!.....

So it's Spring....

and the world is changing again.  For me it's been an excellent week - I am so happy to be working with Ray Brady on his new short 'Mostly Dead'.  A wonderful role for me.  I find as an actor that most years are either about film or about theatre - this year seems to be a year of film for me.  I love the adrenaline of being on stage - the danger where you step out and anything could happen but I also love filming so long may it continue.

Would you like a Pre-paid Funeral plan with no Health Check?

Um - no I don't think so - thank you email....wow.  How did I get onto that list? Joys of the Internet.

I don't believe it!!!!

I'm with Mr Meldrew on this one!  For the last six months I have subscribed to a certain website that I have found to be incredibly poor - it's one of those sites that automatically renew your subscription but after I cancelled it (two confirmation emails from them) they tried to take payment again!!! I had to involve my bank.  This makes my blood boil!  And it wasn't even a lot of money.  I think I don't deal well with not being in control of things.....I got so rude in my emails to them even I couldn't believe it! 


However on the very good side this week I have worked on a great new short film 'Wonderland' filmed on location in beautiful Cambridge and I am the voice of the new 'Silent Secret' app which is proving to be extremely popular and helpful for people who need to express themselves without fear of comeback.  Next week is shaping up well too so it looks like things are turning around.

Tired....

but looking forward to next week!  Things are coming round....

Creativity is all around me....

and it's great!!  There is no end to new ideas, no limits.  On a difficult day sometime I will have to remember that....Have a good weekxx

Happy Easter 2015!

Well things have turned round this week!  I narrated an animated film which was great and I have some more work coming up shortly.  I've had a difficult month but I have upped my game and made new contacts that I wouldn't have met otherwise.  I am very blessed - Happy Easter!xxx

The Ultimate Thrill Ride....

certainly didn't happen for me this week!  It was all a bit flat.  I had a high point when I did 28 Plays later at the Space reading new work and then I went back there for 'Vernon God Little' a few days later, an amazing musical about guns and young people in small town America.  But the rest of the week wasn't up to much really.  Well things can only get better.

The Truth isn't out there.....

I honestly think the Truth is in my loft....you see this week I had to make an unexpected trip and to make it go well there were some things I kind of needed but I thought 'Well, I can't just buy everything that comes up my humph' and stopped thinking about it.  Later that day I was in the celestial loft and I found all the things I needed.  I had bought or been given them years before and forgotten all about it!!  I think this has a meaning.  What we need may already be nearby not out of reach somewhere. So where's that million pounds I put in a sock with my lucky pebble?!.....On the work front I have had a few auditions, some negotiation & good news but it all seems to focussed on later in the year.  Well in my job the happy truth is that one phone call or email can change everything so who knows what next week will bring?

All this and Bob Hope too.....

This week seems a million miles from last week.  For example it's still cold but the level of cold is OK - it's doable.  It's also been one of those weeks where suddenly everyone is getting in touch with you again after a quieter time.  I have been confirmed for another feature film role in the summer which is awesome.  I really wish it was now though -I am dying to play this role.  My friend & fellow actor Nicole Magdalena has been appearing at The Bob Hope Theatre in 'The Herbal Bed' - it is a great production though coming off tonight I think.  I had always heard of Bob Hope's theatre but never been there.  It's a great venue all run by local people.  The theatre, front of house & bar are all awesome and so clean - quite a contrast with central London venues......  Everyone was very positive.  I think the Bob Hope is a central part of the community in Eltham which is what theatres should be and rarely are.  Anyway it was a good week for me and you too I hope!

The House of 10,000 Secrets

When I was a lot younger I came across a book called 'Bring out the Magic in your Mind' by the magician called Al Koran.  He was very famous in Britain in the 1950s - on live television he predicted the newspaper headlines for several weeks ahead, lottery numbers & winning racehorses.  People loved him even more after he wrote this book and several others.  It is all about the power of thinking positively and being grateful for what you have, basically about not being a victim I suppose.  It has a lot of good advice.  Sadly Al died quite young - he moved to the States with his wife in 1969 to break into showbusiness there and soon after this died of cancer.  In the book he mentions 'The Magic Circle' also known as the House of Ten Thousand Secrets and bizarrely my work took me there this week.  It was amazing to see all the fascinating and often beautiful exhibits.  I think magicians are amazing people - what nerve.  One I met there told me 'Magic is like a bubble - as soon as you know the trick it's burst and no longer remarkable'.  I know what he means but I still love it.  Going to the Magic Circle has prompted me to get out my treasured book again - if you are feeling a bit jaded or stuck it's a really good read. 

I am especially grateful for some inspiration this week as it has been a very difficult one for my family.  However we are OK now, a narrow escape from tragedy.  Work has been good with more meetings and possibilities for later in the year - I am happy it's Spring!!

Watch out for that green leaf.....

I used to know a lady in Glasgow who thought only flowers were beautiful, leaves were unacceptable because they were too 'real' and she would remove every leaf from a bunch of flowers before putting them in a vase.  In fact if any trees or bushes in her garden were foolish enough to look too healthy she would be out there with the scissors too.  I know it sounds a bit much but that was her only foible though her house was very girly and eerily perfect at all times, to an extreme degree.  However in our family 'Watch out for that green leaf' means reality is getting too close in a bad way.  On the work front this week things have been leaf free for me happily - I have been signed for a feature film shooting in the autumn - it's very far in advance isn't it?  But I guess that's how it's done to tie things up properly.  I have had more auditions & notice of the 'Downsizer' cast and crew screening which will be soon.

But I have had a very green leafy time with regard to the weather and public transport.  Each day it seems was plagued by trains cancelled, trains delayed and LEAVING EARLY?!!! Who do they think they are?  Friday was the cherry on the cake with 6 changes of trains making me late, all with a backdrop of Arctic cold, wind & sleet.  I finally ended up stranded at Barking station sitting next to a drain cover choked with dirt, weeds and old crisp packets - the only free seat on the platform.  I boiled with anger - my green leaf limit was well and truly breached but the drain cover remained oblivious.  It's odd how a stupid thing can be so annoying....anyway next week will hopefully be all floral with not a green leaf in sight.....


Heartwarming

This week I have been working on a feature film script (that I didn't originate) which has now gone through fifty drafts.  My colleague asked me to look at the dialogue because English isn't their first language.  It has been full on thinking in the heads of all the different characters - I have a bit of brain ache by now but in a good way.  I hope they like what I've come up with.

My best Valentine's Day story.  My friend was in the supermarket with her three year old son James.  He came up to her with a heart shaped candle and then led her to a display of miniature rose bushes.  'Mum we need these for Valentine's Day' he said.  His mother was surprised but agreed. He then picked out the rose bush with the most flowers and buds and said 'We don't only have to light the candle on Valentine's Day - we can light it every day'.  What a guy you are James!  At only three years of age you understand about the importance of romance.  I think it would be good to make each day more special instead of focussing everything on the few official ones - worth a try anyway.  And St Valentine, I love you but you have a lot to answer for......that's all I'm saying........

Busy, busy!

All I seem to have done in the last week is run here, there and everywhere to castings, production meetings and to my drug education work and thankfully it all went well.  You never know with drug education how much of a difference it makes if any but I firmly believe that if just one person in a thousand gets some information that helps to save them from addiction then that was well worth it.  These children were wonderful - amazing questions and a lot of good discussion.  I also had a good role in a new Corporate film with Black Mountain that should be online soon so I have a lot to be thankful for.

Has anyone seen my cough medicine & that new packet of tissues?

Someone once said to me that January is the worst month of the year and once it is over everything gets better. Cold weather certainly brings me down to earth - it's harder to take a flight of imagination when the wind and hail are pounding you whereas on a mild Spring day, well anything could happen.  I have been doing drug education this week with 800 children and there will be another 800 next week so I haven't been acting but I have certainly been performing - lots of good discussion and points of view.  It is an odd feeling when you teach all these eleven year olds with perfect health and every choice ahead of them - you have faith it will help but you don't know.  My opinions of cigarette companies are unprintable....

Only the dark, dark night shows to my eyes the stars

This quotation from Walt Whitman has been used before in connection with the life of Vera Atkins, the enigmatic spy trainer.  Vera was recruited to organise and mentor the agents of SOE, the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War.  A mysterious lady to the end of her life, she worked extensively after the war to establish what had happened to the agents who did not return.  Without exception they met terrible deaths.  Vera also worked on the War Crimes trials and interrogated many Nazi criminals.  After this work finally wound up Vera had to live in solitude for some time to come to terms with the horror she had discovered.    She then worked tirelessly to achieve recognition and posthumous honours for the lost agents.  Their heroism and bravery in the worst of circumstances makes the quotation completely apt.  I am very grateful to have portrayed Vera in the film 'Snowdrop' - she was certainly not perfect but then who is? 

The Mime who Wouldn't be Silent

I have not performed in Greenwich for a couple of years when I was in 'An Ideal Husband' at Greenwich Playhouse which is now sadly closed down.  I had always wanted to be on at the Main House theatre there and finally yesterday I was!   So much has happened in those years - I could never have foreseen any of it but I suppose that's part of the joy of being an actor.  In our play yesterday 'The Mime who Wouldn't be Silent' by Tom Powell, I played the Mum who communicates with sign language as well as mime and this was a first for me. (I know I would say this but it was a great show!)  I love the precision of signing so hopefully I will get to learn more.  I think 2015 has well and truly got underway.

Je suis Charlie

For me, work this week has begun again.  I have been cast in some new things which I am excited about but like most people I am completely horrified by the terrorist attacks in Paris.  As someone whose job is all about improvising and finding the truth of situations & characters in an artistic capacity, I can't believe people have been killed for the same thing.  I admit I had not heard of Charlie Hebdo until this week and for me religious extremism has always been far more frightening than funny but that is just my sense of humour. I have been around  enough evil people to know well what they are capable of & it doesn't make me laugh.   I don't think everyone should be the same as me though - what a life!  I don't know - what next?

Happy New Year!

Today I had my first audition of 2015 and I am applying for work again in earnest.  I am so excited about 'Downsizer' being completed.  This time next year I wonder what will have happened?.......

Happy Unbirthday! Happy Unchristmas!

It's odd when you have a cold but can spend some quiet days at home how quickly you start to get better.  That's the real cure.  This Christmas has been like that but very nice all the same.  It's one time of year when I really eat too much rather than not quite enough which is what most actresses do.  Today unfortunately the little, familiar gnaw of hunger returns and floats round my tummy as I cut back ferociously.  It's awful how seeing a photo or film of yourself with a full stomach controls life for a long time afterwards but it does.  Mind you I do also appreciate my meals a lot, every calculated mouthful. Oh I think I'll be a devil and have an extra cookie - what the hell?!!xx

It's Almost Christmas

and I'm pooped!  Have a lovely holiday!xxx

Christmas is coming....

and before you know it, it's all over again!  I have been doing a great deal of research on the 1940s lately in connection with my job at the Churchill War Rooms.  I am often cast in period drama?  I wonder why.  I don't mind as I love to explore history of any era.  Reading about the Blitz has really opened my eyes.  There were 60,000 civilian deaths during WW2 in the United Kingdom from all over the country.  It wasn't that long ago.  The courage of those under fire was absolute.  My father was an Army Doctor at that time and he loved army life though not the war of course.  I think he would have stayed in the Army given a free choice but it wasn't to be. 

Multiplexing

I had a wonderful time this week working on a new play 'The Moving Mountain' playing my first Welsh character, a doughty Grandma, attending the screening of 'Multiplexing' for Lux Artists' Moving Image and I have also been sent the script for a feature film I will be doing early next year.  I haven't done so much filming this year so this is great!  Now for that Christmas shopping.....

A busy end of year!

I have a lot on in the next month or so - what all actors want!  I have a lot of research to do for some upcoming projects and some very interesting work coming in.  When I look back to this time last year so much has happened - in the best way.  A wonderful short I filmed a while ago is almost finished and ready for festivals and life is good.  There are some themes emerging in what I am working on but I won't go on....I wish you a good weekxx

Are there really any coincidences?

I honestly wonder because it is so bizarre the way things work out.  Often things happen that you couldn't have planned.  Last week I was doing some drug education work in a big hall alongside other different charities.  On the table right next to me was a stall selling University hoodies manned by a young aspiring actor! - this in a big place with hundreds of people. We talked for ages and I am sure I will see him again somewhere along the line.  The acting world is small but still it's bizarre how you meet up with the same few people in widely varying situations.  My friend describes this as a 'God appointment'.  Through God appointments I have made friends, earned a living and been cast in good roles all through the slenderest coincidences of timing and circumstance.  I think you have to still put in the work but then opportunities can come your way by this coincidental magic.  Maybe I am just an optimist?......

Memories

I had a considerable shock last week.  Jenny McCrindle, an amazing actor that I studied with at Scottish Youth Theatre, has died of Multiple Sclerosis.  Apparently she was diagnosed 15 years ago.  Jenny and I also appeared together in the feature film 'Heavenly Pursuits' a few months after Scottish Youth Theatre finished for that summer of 1985.  It was a magical time for all of us I think.  Never before had I had the chance to work with professional actors and teachers and then being in a big film was a dream come true.  Jenny was a very kind person and a lot of fun - she was also a very visual person in terms of fashion and she could already do makeup to a professional standard.  When I was sent the script they hadn't decided the parts yet but I thought the role of Carol sounded perfect for her and sure enough she was cast in that part.  In the years after the shooting Jenny continued to get more good roles in film, TV and stage and I did a bit of work too but not at that level.  I had wondered why in recent years I never heard about her anymore and obviously that was the reason.  Well she was a lovely person and I am grateful I knew her and worked with her.

The Secret Under the Bed

is a new book written by my Auntie Dixie Miner McIlraith.  She is a true Southern Belle kind, clever and beautiful living in the heart of New Orleans.  'The Secret Under the Bed' is an adventure story for children and adults of all ages.  With elements of  the 'Oz' books and 'Lord of the Rings' it twists and turns till the last page.  I had not known till very recently that my Aunt was writing a book and it has inspired to hope that one day I will write a book too.  The book is available on Amazon.


The Witching Hour approaches.....

and I have been working on '492 Korna Klub' again this week.  My character Bridie is about to open a new cafe in the Korna Klub.  It's amazing to improvise another life on live radio.  I have also got some work lined up for December that is perfect for me but I won't talk about it yet.....  I think next I should bake some Cupcakes with a suitably scary theme....hmmm

This week

is an unknown quantity - I have some meetings for new work planned and am open to all good things!

Life is not a dress rehearsal

Except this week it sort of has been for me, rehearsing firstly for a film to be shot next week and a London performance of 'Tortoise Redux' at the Cockpit Theatre.  Often there isn't time to rehearse for films but it does make a difference.  And it's odd when you re-rehearse something you have already appeared in.  Some parts come back like you performed them yesterday and there are new things to discuss and bring in.  Anyway it's been a good week - let's go on with the show!

Radio Days

I have done another radio play this week 'Kiss and Tell' by Rehana Zaman.  Our audience was a short distance away from us listening on portable transistor radios.  We walked round performing the play on radio mikes.  It went very well but what I find strange with radio as as an actor is the absence of any feedback from the audience.  You just send your performance out into space literally.  This is true in all radio - I suppose in a studio you have some feedback from the crew and the director but this was like walking into midair.  I loved it.....

492 Korna Klub

Well I have appeared on 4 episodes of 492 Korna Klub during September - I play a recurring character called Bridie Robertson,the Scottish Grandmother of a Russian grandaughter Anastasia.  Improvising on live radio is wonderful - the character can really come to life in the situation but it also certainly brings on the adrenaline.  I don't know how they used to record TV drama live in the old days of 'Dixon of Dock Green'.  I think they must have been completely wired.  And they had scripts!  We are creating it as we go.  After the drama the audience can phone in to give their feedback and opinions and I think this is something that should be done a lot more on radio.  It's a wonderful means to get people discussing things that are important to them. Or pass on some information that could be of great help. 

This has also been a wonderful week for me as I have more work booked now for October - and it has been so hot and beautiful.  Thank you God!

It's a sair fecht.....

I found like most people that this week was really dominated by the referendum in Scotland.  Half my friends and family are deeply depressed it was a no, the other half relieved and very happy about it which kind of mirrors the result.....I don't know how I would have voted - I just felt wrung out - it was full on.  I love my country and want the best for us all.  Thankfully there seems to have been no violence or anything like that. 

This week has also seen more castings and opportunities opening up & I did my third live radio episode of '492 Korna Klub' which has had some good feedback.  I look forward to see what this week brings.xx

A Nice Week

I have been cast in another feature film due to start shooting at the end of October and we had a first production meeting for that which was very interesting and I did my second episode of '492 Korna Klub' for Galaxy FM radio.  I have more meetings and auditions for next week and another Korna Klub show and who knows what else?  I hope you have a good week tooxx

Autumn rules......

I have been cast in another film shooting in October and have other work lined up.  With September things are really on the move again - what a difference!  And it's been so warm this week - not bikini warm but still good.....

Summer 2014 ends well!

I have a good feature film role!  I found out this week - I am really pleased - it won't be filmed for a few months but that's OK.  This summer I have learned a lot, made good friends and money (HURRAY!!!).  Next week I have an audition booked and who knows what else?......thank you God.

Are Actors servants?

I don't think so at all - but often people act like that, throwing you a crumb of attention (or mentioning a job) one week and cutting you dead the next!  It's a bit Victorian at times.....so I suppose I should respond with some true Victorian charity and largesse of my own to bewilderingly rude behaviour!!!  Or an engraved fob watch or a plate of trotters maybe?  The possibilities are endless......

Things work out in the end

This summer has been a bit odd for me I have to say.  I have not been able to see where I was going - I had a disappointment over a part a while ago but now the whole project has been postponed indefinitely so I am actually relieved I wasn't cast.  There have been lots of examples like that recently - reminding me to have faith and now happily things are on the move again.  Out of superstition I won't mention them now but that's how it is.  Also this week it was great to see 'Detective Harrigan' finally - I did my work on it over a year ago.  So Hallelujah!  If you are feeling a bit stuck I hope that helps.....

Working Girl

I haven't done much acting this week except for class but I have met up with an actor I worked with as a teenager and another I did a sit come pilot with last year!  It's such a small world.  I have a wonderful day job for the rest of the summer and I don't even mind the commute......my colleagues are great.

Making it up.....

I have been doing a course in improv lately - it will come to an end in a few weeks.  It's funny how those drama game muscles can get a bit rusty when not used for a while but also interesting that they crank back into gear quite fast too.  What with my course and working with youngsters at the moment I am certainly thinking on my feet!   The autumn appears to be shaping up well which is good. Hurray!

This week....

Waterlilies, fountains, red velvet cake, 2 auditions, 5 bikinis, 1 casting, family time  - good week!! What next?......

We're terribly House and Garden (finally....)

The kitchen is finished!! How fantastic.... I have some more work booked for the autumn and am keeping busy with rehearsals for now.  Hurray!! Hope life is good with you toox

Summertime....

Well I have been cast in a new show which is great but I won't say much more about it yet.....the kitchen saga drags on but life on the whole is good....

Hallelujah!!! (almost....)

So the kitchen is almost done - unfortunately they blocked off the socket point for the dishwasher with a new cabinet and conveniently didn't mention before leaving on Friday so that has to be changed....  we have a few more things also but it is great to get things back into cupboards and out of every other bit of the house. I never though I'd be so grateful for a bit of clear floor....pathetic but true......  Right now I am auditioning and starting some new projects so it is all good.  For you too I hope!

What hell awaits me at the door?.....

So the kitchen is quite far from being finished though it will be soon I hope.  I have never seen so much dust in my life.  There is always some other little task no-one had thought of before.  I did some painting and I couldn't believe how dirty some corners had become.  I guess we see selectively in our own homes.  I am so lucky to have a new kitchen and the floor tiles are amazing - they have little twinkles that catch the light.  It's just taking a while - well it will be awesome when it is done.  I have some acting work starting again this week so I guess that will take my mind off things.......back to the fray.

Am I living in the Old Curiosity Shop?.....

This week it has felt like it.  There will be a new kitchen by this time next week but my Goodness the mess.....I have done nothing but run around like a maniac doing this and that.  Not much happening on the work front but I am lucky to usually be busy and I guess this week it's just as well!

Something Wicked this way comes......

I have done the Scottish play for the first time - three different roles using broad and soft Scots accents and RP.  I played the second witch - it was great.  There are no real witches (at least I don't think so....) but they are all around us in our lives as temptations - not a harmless temptation like chocolates but something serious and bad that should be ignored.  How often people can't resist the chance to blackmail or get petty power over someone or do something horrible.  It practically always blows up in their faces as it does with Macbeth - a 'charm of powerful trouble' indeed.  What goes around comes around.  Real evil is terrifying.

Freedom Fighters

No-one can be unaware of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and for the last few weeks I have been studying it a great deal.  How much I didn't know.  It is incredible how much freedom and choice we have here in the UK and how different it is for those in certain other countries.  I once had the chance to visit Israel when I had a holiday in Cyprus but the weather conditions were so bad we were discouraged from trying.  My father worked in the British Army Medical Core in Jerusalem during the 2nd world war.  I have beautiful photographs of him in uniform wearing the Arab headress.  He was so handsome and clever.  A father in a million.

In 'Fragments' I play three different women, two Jewish and one Palestinian.  Their stories, their pain have so much in common.  There must be an answer.

Tortoise in Ipswich

I have never been in the Number 1 dressing room till now at the New Wolsey Theatre - liked it!!!  I have talked about the show so much I won't keep going on but I am reminded of the fable in which the tortoise beats the hare by not wearing himself out and getting there in the end.  I find that is so often true in life.  Another weird but true thing - after the show I went to a little cafe and had tea and cake - I looked up at the wall beside me and there was a lovely sketch of a tortoise.....hmmm

The Secret of Croftmore remembered.......

This week I have worked on 2 corporates as well as continuing to rehearse 'Tortoise Redux' for the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich - it's been busy but very good!  Many years ago I appeared with David Tennant in 'The Secret of Croftmore' at Scottish Television.  I played his sister in a ghost story that touched on the Highland Clearances.  Now my memories of this shoot have been posted online at http://tennantnews.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/dramarama-david-tennants-co-star.html

Unfortunately I am not good at putting links onto my website but if you copy and paste that address it is all there!    'The Secret of Croftmore' was a totally all good experience but even so, looking at the past can be a little painful.  I suppose you look back at the things you didn't know then and the experiences that were yet to come.  However I have a very good life and much to be grateful for so that is all OK.  Thank you Lord!  Now for Ipswich!




No Knickers....

Well this has been a great week continuing to work on Tortoise Redux for the New Wolsey Theatre and also the role of Vanessa in 'Thicker Than Water' for the Warehouse Phoenix International Writing Festival.  What a fun character - a 'Girl with No Knickers'!  I would really like to play Vanessa again.  This was also a week of more auditions, one of which has been successful at least.  Still waiting to hear about the others but fingers crossed.  Oh it's so hot today, it's great....my first rose bud has opened and my strawberries are flowering....there's a lot to be grateful with or without knickers!

Tortoise Redux

Well this has been a good week with a great start to the 'Tortoise' rehearsals.  We did a lot of movement work which was wonderful for establishing character and making connections as actors.  I am now working on my lines.  I have also been notified about more work for June which is great and I have some v interesting auditions to prepare for.  There have been many good things this week - I even met some new born chicks for the first time.  Like all babies they had a touch of God about them - so innocent and fresh.  I had homemade Bakewell tart which for a foodie like me is up there!  Saw some great films.....what will this week bring?xx

Back to the past

When I was a teen I was given a record of Frank Zappa's 'Valley Girls' - I loved it.  Then this week I saw a film of his 'Babysnakes' concert - wow what a genius.  All the fashion and beards took me back to being little - meditation, incense, lentils and there was rhubarb was in every dessert.  It wasn't really my era, too weird, but I feel at home in it.  In my next show I play a lady who reminisces about the 70s.   I don't know what I am getting at here really but it all seemed to fit this week......anyway, feelin' groovy baby, feelin' the love.......hmmm.

Sundance!

Well this week has been sort of taken over by the Sundance London Film Festival which was awesome and some drug education work....suffice to say I am totally inspired.

Happy Easter!

This holiday has been so quiet....thank goodness as I have a hellish cold.  Thank the Lord for Lemsip.....Well I know the next show I am doing and I should start rehearsals soon.  I did a reading of 'What You're Missing' at Moishe House last Sunday - this is the show I did at The King's Head earlier this year.  It was amazing - we all went right back into our parts like it was yesterday and the show got the same laughs and response as before. It is a truly amazing script.  Apart from that things have slowed down this week but as I am so wheezy that's good I suppose.  What next?.....

Lucky Sound.....

This week I have seen some good shows, had a film audition, worked on a corporate and gone to the Chocolate Festival in Islington!  Actually I am not chocolate obsessed though I liked taking photos of the amazing things that were being shown.  Sculpture really.  They had a chocolate spa, chocolate tasting sessions - (sold out but it didn't matter there was plenty to see), chocolate café - it was great.  There was a special stand collecting money for orphans of the Japanese Tsunami and a lovely lady wrote my name in Japanese and said it meant 'Lucky Sound'.  I think that's good for an actor.  I have always loved oriental calligraphy - one of the myriad things I wish I had time to learn.  Next week is looking very quiet but maybe that's partly because of Easter - well there will still be loads to do I'm sure.

Updates on the Undead

More vampirey things keep coming my way - someone gave me a DVD of 'Queen of the Damned' - an adaptation of the Anne Rice novel.  Aaliyah is wonderful - it is terrible she died so young.  Tomorrow evening I am going to the Whirled Cinema in Brixton for the screening of my most recent horror feature 'Jagoda' filmed in Islington last summer.  Anyway have a spooky day......

Mr Pineapplehead

My friend's little boy recently had his first big party and I was there to help. It was pretty full on but good fun.  The children were entertained by Mr Pineapplehead the clown.  He was truly great - funny and also truthful as all clowns should be.  Everyone was in stitches.  My friend's worst nightmare for the last week has been that Mr Pineapplehead might not turn up on the day - he told us this happens to many parents that book him.  However the sun shone and everything was perfect.....

Defeated by paper.....

I was really happy to have a film audition recently.  It was at a Hilton Hotel in an industrial park some way out of London.  It was cold but bright and I felt I would be the very best 'Interrogating Police Officer 2' they had ever seen.  Anyway I got there and the lady in charge asked me if I had a paper CV and headshot with me....I haven't been asked for a paper CV for years.  She then said they couldn't see me without one.  Then I spotted the other actors in one corner of the foyer looking sort of fed up (auditioning actors usually have on their most charmng smiles!) and it turned out none of them had a paper CV with them either.  The Hilton Hotel business centre printer was out of order and the reception printer wouldn't download actor's CVs - against security settings apparently. I trailed round the industrial park trying to find somewhere that would print it out for me.  No luck.  It was so annoying - I have my CV on CCP, Spotlight and Starnow at least.  Finally they said they would see me in another 2 hours but I couldn't stay - I had other places to be.  I don't think I have ever gone to an audition where I wasn't allowed to read before.  Bizarre......but some things aren't meant to be.....

So peaceful....

Today is the quietest day I have had for a long time....it's wonderful.....

Craic in the Crypt opens at Harrow Arts Centre!!!

All day get in yesterday for 'Craic in the Crypt', a new comedy for St Patrick's Day.  I have not appeared at Harrow Arts Centre before and it was great to walk around.  There is a whole complex of buildings, a lot going on.  The Crew were really nice, our run through went very well, tonight we open - and who will find the Holy Sock first?.....


In the Shadow of Primark......

Well - 'Craic in the Crypt' opens on Saturday and we have had our last rehearsal day in the heart of Oxford Street.  I wonder how many times I have gone past our rehearsal hall and never dreamed I'd be there working on a show one day?  Life goes fast.....I can't wait for Saturday - 'Craic' is a fun show!!!

The end is near.....

Only one more week of Miss Brodie to go - this run has been amazing - I'll certainly always remember it!

Strange

I keep thinking about vampires - vampire books, movies i've seen....it's so beautiful outside - so why?....

Brodie first week

It's funny when you start to rehearse a new role - it seems far away from you.  Even once you are off the book it is still not assimilated but then after a few performances that changes and your relationship to the text is completely different.  Well that is where I feel I am now, we are getting laughs in places I hadn't expected and things have assimilated.  Hurray! & onwards.....

Brodie is now on!!!

We have now done three shows - it is such a wonderful play.  Like no other that I can think of.  There is no-one like Miss Brodie.  Her  sincerity saves her despite  her flaws.  What a part.....

Lazy sunday.....

Such a quiet day - I even altered my coat to fit better.  Good to get a rest.....

Almost there....

A couple more runs and then we open on Tuesday......by now we need an audience.  Exciting!!!!

How things change.....

My fridge went funny at the weekend. It just stopped being cold and started to heat up....by the time I had found the instruction manual it had gone up to plus 16 degrees....thanks!  However I fixed it....it seemed like nothing had happened then the temperature gradually went down, down, down to normal.  When I was a teenager I would have thought it an outrage to have to look at an instruction manual or have anything to do with fixing things.  I had such a lofty view of the world!  Ah well we live and learn.....

Tube pains.....

I have known other tube strikes - I have been in London for quite a few years but this one really stood out.  The volume of traffic is so much bigger than anything before.  The Tube workers have a perfect right to fight for their jobs but it gave a sense of how quickly things can out of control when one factor is changed.  People got so enraged - including me! - it was a real fight to do anything.  I hope a good solution is found and they cancel next week.  We did some publicity photos for 'Brodie' this morning and getting there, organizing it all and working out a good photo seemed like a Herculean task.  It already seems years ago.....WEIRD.....

One big Brodie.....

We have had a mention on BBC Radio London!  They talked about the show!  It all seems to be going well.  We have blocked the whole play and started from the beginning again.....it's exciting!!

Brodie rehearsals first week

We have finished blocking the show and start again tomorrow from the beginning.  Things are going well.  I hope the tube strike is cancelled.....

Rehearsals start tomorrow!

We begin to rehearse 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' tomorrow.  I am so looking forward to meeting everyone and being reunited with old friends.....

Goodbye computer

My pc finally conked out for good last week.  It has been more and more erratic but so many good things have happened during the years I have owned it I will be sad to let it go.  Having said that I have been looking for another one and my goodness the world has moved on!  New pcs are sort of spaceage, even the more modest ones.....I wonder how long the new one will last?....

Learning Lines

I have a lot of lines for my next role.  I wonder if there are any good tips for line learning?  I think it's probably just a case of get on with it.....

Auditions!

I helped at an audition today reading opposite the actors.  I have never done this before - it was a good day!

What You're Missing

Well we had our opening at The King's Head Theatre yesterday for 'What You're Missing' and it went very, very well.  The audience really loved it - I can't wait for next Saturday's show and for a full run eventually.  Playing The King's Head is amazing......

Christmas 2013!!

I did a lot of craft this Christmas which got a bit hectic - deadlines, deadlines!!  The day itself was so peaceful.   I was also studying the script of 'What You Are Missing' for my opening at The King's Head Theatre on January 4th.  Unless you are in panto, Christmas can be a slightly dislocating time acting wise so it's been wonderful to have something to work on. 

The King's Head First Day!!

I had my first ever rehearsal at the King's Head yesterday.  I have wanted to appear there for years.  It is a great space.  My role of Frida in 'What You're Missing' is a gem.  What a wonderful day.

It's cold outside.....

And I'm glad to be in.....Christmas movie later I think.....

Busy, busy!

Today I was rehearsing in Marble Arch for my next play - I will be appearing at 'The King's Head' for the first time in January and then I had a meeting at Ealing Film Studios for the film 'Mummy' I am making in Northampton this coming weekend.  It's so great to be occupied. I think few things are more difficult than having nothing on.  From a Jewish mother to a stern Scottish Policewoman in one day.  I love being an actor.....

Rainham

Yesterday I was working at a Victorian day at Rainham Hall in Rainham.  It was beautiful, a Georgian style National Trust house dating from the reign of Queen Anne.  It will now be closed to the public for a year for refurbishment so I feel very lucky to have been there.  The Victorian Day was Rainham's Christmas Event for families and there was a wonderful feeling in the air.  Christmas is like that - almost everyone is prepared to let themselves go into another world a bit.  Some of the local children were telling me the Hall is haunted but I certainly didn't see anything amiss - it actually had a very peaceful, warm feeling.  I guess they were pulling my leg.  Acting is amazing for so many things one of which is going to new places and meeting new people.  Here is a photo of Rainham Hall......





Doctor in the House?

I have always wanted to play a Doctor and soon I shall be in my next short film!  Everything comes to he (or she) who waits.....

November.....

I think I may have some radio work coming up!  This is so exciting.  This time last year I couldn't have foreseen this.  Each time you log into your computer you don't know what is coming up.  I guess i'd better get on with Christmas shopping.....

Tomorrow

I am filming a commercial in Tooting tomorrow for a charity.  I have a good part and am so relieved it wasn't today due to the strong winds.  Having said that, my bit of London has been pretty lucky.  Thank you Lord!

Technical pains....

I have been filming and recording myself for most of today for several auditions.  It is great to audition but for me quite complicated.  Anyway they are done and sent now....wonder what will happen?  And maybe next week Hollywood.

January!!!

I have been cast in a feature film to commence shooting in January!! That's a good start to next year.  I can't wait....

Taxing?

I have filled out my tax return!  I have really dreaded it but it was fine.  This has been a really good year but maybe next year will be even better....

Daisy Cliff Face photo

I was googling a friend (not myself!) when a still from the cliff rescue in Daisy Pulls it Off came up!  I have put it on my theatre gallery page. That was such a great scene for the big stage.  I enjoyed it every show.

Car Boot Happiness

On Sunday I went to the big Car boot sale in Acton.  They had all kinds of great stuff. I got a box of old Christmas decorations for £1.  I felt a bit guilty because I think some of them are quite valuable but the people they belonged didn't look at all interested in them.  Anyway I won't be selling them just keeping them.  A lovely day....

Little Golden Hood

I had a costume fitting for the Grandmother character in 'Little Golden Hood' tonight. It went very well.  I am very happy to be appearing in a Fairy Tale again after such a long time....

Phil photos

I have recently been working on the monologue of Baker from 'Fulfil Me Fully Phil' and it reminded so much of the show last year.  I miss it.  I have put up some more photos on my Theatre stills Page.  I would very much like to play Baker again.....

October

I have some work confirmed for October!  I am so pleased. And some other good things are in the pipeline today as well.  I went to Kensington Gardens today to meet up with a friend.  You get spoiled in London because there is so much to see.  I hadn't been there for ages.  In the Italian Gardens there were several swans floating about being phototgraphed by numerous people including me!  They are such powerful creatures, nothing delicate about them - they are strong but look so beautiful and serene.  A good role model....

West End!!

I have always wanted to appear at the Jermyn Street theatre and today I did work there in a commercial for 'Discover Credit Card' playing a New York Cat Lady in faux leopard skin and green nails!  It was a good day - and maybe one day I'll be back there.

V & A

I went round the V&A today - it's been too long.  The thing about walking through all these rooms is it's like going into the past, as if you can almost go back in time.  Beauty overdose if that's possible.  The cafe is very expensive.....but I like the food.

Polar Bear

The short film I have just appeared in, 'Polar Bear', has got it's funding of £2,000 on Kickstarter.  It is so good when things work.....thank you Universexx

December......

I have just been confirmed for another feature film role in December....what a year it's been.  I think this is the first week for ages that I have free and my Aunt from America is coming to visit.  I haven't seen her for many years so I am glad to be off work.  Everything works out well if you believe it does.....

Sunday, Sunday

Well I cooked my lunch for the charity - I did pasta and salad with garlic bread and then Mary Berry's lemon drizzle cake.  Mary Berry is just a genius.  I used to think cooking was a matter of intuition and adding this and that.  For an experienced cook it is, but some things, especially baking, are a science.  With the wrong tin for the wrong amount it just won't work.   I think it went quite well.  The cool, crisp air today is the nice side of autumn - the grey drizzly freezing stuff won't be.  However - maybe it won't be too bad.....

Autumn....


It's been a good summer for me and for the weather.  I wonder what autumn is bringing?  Well I am cooking for a charity this Sunday and that will be fun.   I am filming another short today playing a teacher and that is really great!!! I haven't played a teacher since 'The Children's Hour' when I was the pitiable Mrs Lily Mortar.  This teacher is quite different.  Better get out the door!

New photos


Well I have had new headshots taken and I like them very much.  It was sad to delete the old ones because they have got me a lot of work but life goes on.  I have work lined up for September already so that's good.  What will next week bring?

Computer pains

My computer has got slower and slower lately which is partly why I haven't been updating my website.  Today I bought a CD called Driver Genius 10 at Maplin's and my goodness it is like getting a new computer.  When I type in a search term it comes up in a second!  I am really happy about this but I feel somehow they should warn you - (Who's they? I don't know!)  - you buy a computer and it is very expensive and then it slows down but no clue as to why.  If your computer is freezing, slowing down or suddenly crashing this could be what you need.  I am a happy customer!!!

Waiting to hear.....

The heat is so amazing - I am waiting to hear about some new projects I've applied for.  I think waiting is one of the main parts of an actor's life.  However I do have work on a feature film next month (August) so that is great.  What next?

Stratford upon Avon

At the end of last week I had a day in Stratford upon Avon.  It was lovely though my feet were pretty sore by the time my bus arrived to get back to London!  There is a Shakespeare related element to every street.  The Christmas shop reminded me it was only 185 days to Christmas, there was a big Morris dancing convention (you couldn't really miss it) and everywhere people from all over the world who couldn't believe they were in Stratford at last having wanted to go for years.  I hope I go back soon.

The Pullman Orchestra

I am currently filming 'The Condemned' set in the Warsaw Ghetto.  My character, Frejda Katz, was a musician in The Pullman Orchestra.  This is not elaborated on in the story but perhaps because my father loved classical music, I had heard of this orchestra before I was cast in 'The Condemned'.  The Orchestra's founder, Simon Pullman, was a highly esteemed violinist, conductor and music teacher. He was born in Warsaw in Poland though this music career took him all over the world.  His ideas informed the training of  music students all over the world and still do today.  He formed firstly the Pullman Ensemble in 1930 which comprised seventeen string performers. He later added ten wind players to form the Pullman Orchestra who performed all over Europe. In 1938 when the Nazi menace was rising, Pullman escaped to Paris and the Orchestra ceased to work together. 

Sadly he returned to Warsaw in August of 1939 to try and sell a house and was trapped there, forced to live in the Warsaw Ghetto where he continued to conduct and play the violin.  The Ghetto had it's own orchestra that included some famous musicians.  Despite the terrible conditions there people continuted to workand create as much as possible.  I have listened to numerous interviews compiled by the Yad Vashem library of Ghetto survivors who say repeatedly that people made a conscious effort to keep their spirits up and maintain a sense of humour.  Their pyschological state was very important - you had to stay focussed and not sink into depression.  Even so very few people survived. 

Simon Pullman was executed at Treblinka Extermination camp in August 1942.  It has not been confirmed but it seems likely all the other members of the Pullman Orchestra were also killed during these war years. 

Brush up your Shakespeare

On Sunday I did my first Shakespeare performance since leaving drama school!  The New Horizons Theatre Company was asked to do some scenes from 'The Comedy of Errors' for a Charity performance at Muswell Hill Quakers Church.  I played Luciana - we got plenty of laughs and it went so well.  I have found it difficult to get auditions for Shakespeare  - I think actors either do a lot of Shakespeare or none.  A full run of 'The Comedy of Errors' is slated for later this year......

 

 

Going to Nowolipie Street

After a lot of preparation, filming has finally started this week on 'The Condemned' a play for TV set in the Warsaw Ghetto.  I have done so much research by now that sitting on the set is eerie.  Often an actor portrays terrible experiences that are not 'real' as in horror films or supernatural drama but this horror was real.  The great majority of the Jewish people imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto ended up in Treblinka extermination camp, some of the 800,000 who were murdered there.  The conditions of life in the ghetto were increasingly awful as we try to convey in the film, with the fear, poverty, dirt, and hunger all around.  Durning my research I came across a documentary made by the Nazis in the ghetto about life there.  They staged all kinds of scenes for propaganda purposes making Jewish people walk past dying children, or sip champagne at fake parties. They wanted to make the Jews look as if they didn't care about the sufferings of their own people.  In one sequence the professional actors of the ghetto were made (at gunpoint) to give a performance at the Azazel Theatre in Nowolipie Street, the street where our play is set.  Others were forced to be an audience and watch and laugh loudly - they were beaten severely if they didn't play their parts well enough.  It was towards the end of the ghetto's existence when people had begun to realise they would not be allowed to resettle but would very likely be killed.  It is amazing how many ways people can be humiliated and made to suffer.  A lot to think about.

 

This scene outside the theatre looks pleasant but the reality was quite different.

Aadvark Gifts

Well, I have almost finished my last scenes of 'An Aadvark Sang in Leicester Square', filming this week in Belton National Trust Park in Grantham.  It looks like 'Aadvark' will be released in the autumn of 2013.  I received a gift of film merchandise which was lovely.  I can't wait to see the finished film.

 

Back to Grantham

I should be returning to Grantham to  film more of  'An Aadvaark sang in Leicester Square' next week.  It is almost the end of the shoot.  I will really miss it as I have been working on it for almost a year.  But life goes on with the friends you have made and the lessons you have learned to take with you.  My recent short film 'Downsizer' has a fundraising drive on Kickstarter - if you can contribute even a couple of pounds we would be very grateful.  You can see the teaser trailer for Kickstarter on  http://www.downsizerfilm.co.uk   - if that link won't transfer onto my website it will work in Google.  I have to learn how to insert links on here.  I have tried for a few weeks to get my Spotlight page link in but it has been a resounding nul points so far. Well I'll have another really good go tomorrow in between getting on with the garden etc.  What will next week bring eh?!!! 

A Day Off.....

Today I could stay at home and catch up with things - it was nice but I really prefer to be busy.  Next week is starting to fill up already which is great but there are still quite a few blank spaces - the wonderful thing about acting is you never know what is going to happen.....

The Condemned

Going to Battersea today to film a trailer for 'The Condemned'  - I  have worked on this for quite some time now and it is a bit scary now it is all starting.  I am also appearing in 'Death' for Qultura Fringe ( the same company) but it is almost finished. It's wonderful to be asked back to work for someone again, not only do you have trust and a strong connection with them already which saves time and emotion but it is a compliment to you.  I think this will be an amazing project.  Thank you Stella Baker for casting me.

Downsizer

How often have I looked up at the skyscrapers in Canary Wharf and marvelled at them?  Well this week I am working, filming in several of these beautiful buildings and the view down the way is just as amazing.  In my new short film 'Downsizer' things get very bloody but for comedy.  I love my character Mrs Ashworth, although she is awful I can see just where she is coming from.  I feel very lucky to be working on this film.

Going Under first edit

I have recently been able to view the first edit of 'Going Under', the feature film I worked on earlier this year.  It is really good - beautifully shot and suspenseful.  I only had a small role but I am very glad I was cast.

Pendell Grove

I have just been filming my first Web series 'Pendell Grove' in Northampton.  It is the first episodic project I have worked on and it was wonderful.  I love supernatural drama.....

Showreel

A director has just cast me and commented that my showreel is brilliant!!  It is so great to get good feedback.  Happy Day - I have tried to paste a link to my Spotlight page where my showreel is visible on the second page of my website.  Fingers crossed it works!

Death....

Today I am filming almost my last scene of 'Death'....it is the end of the main filming though there are location scenes to do and some other ideas to be worked in.  My character has died though she doesn't believe it at first....a wonderful challenge.  I'll be sorry to finish.

Going Under News

Earlier this year I appeared in the feature film 'Going Under', a futuristic Spy thriller.  I have recently heard from the makers, Crossland Films, that the audio and colour grading for 'Going Under' is almost finished and the editing will soon start.  Although I had a small role I can't wait to see the finished product.  So much work goes into a film but the results can be amazing. 

Well this week is very busy but it is more about preparing things than performing a lot.  I have a rehearsed reading on Saturday and on Friday a photo shoot for the 'An Aarvark Sang in Leicester Square' publicity and quite a few auditions.  Next week I will start filming 'The Condemned' - researching the Warsaw ghetto has been fascinating and sobering.  Well I better get moving!

Blog Pains.....

I think I see why my last 2 blogs look weird.  I didn't go into the right tab...... Oh it's all so complicated....

Too much I?

Some friends have pointed out to me that I say the word 'I' a few hundred times in my website and the word 'wonderful' almost as often.  Well I'm an upbeat person and I am doing this website myself - I don't yet have an entourage of assistants to do everything for me....maybe next week!  So it is 'I' not 'Kate' if you know what I mean.  I (there it is again) am loving having my own site - it puts into focus everything I am doing in a way that an online resume cannot.  So I think I will carry on 'I'ing.

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