With 2 full days left of 2019, as is usual at this time of year I’m in reflective mode, looking back over the year just ending to determine just what it was all about. Such detailed musings belong in my infamous journal and will be written in full tomorrow but for this, my public blog, you’re getting a skimpier version.
Its fair to admit it’s been a lumpy year with some wonderful moments along with some awful lows which shook my confidence and had me wondering if I really was/am making any real progress. The good news is, I have indeed progressed and in the bigger scheme of things, I am ahead of where I hoped/planned to be and am gearing up for another productive and progressive year in 2020.
January, August and November stand out as being all round CRAP months where things didn’t go too well, leaving me feeling low and fed up. Trying to determine the lowest moment… two stand out in particular, failing to get a particular job in August I felt I was perfect for and going through three interviews and various games only to get rejected… OK, everything worked out better in the end but the rejection crushed me deeply and took some time to get over. Then there was the Lightpool Parade where I acted as a volunteer and all I will say is “never again” as being amongst a massive crowd for something that I felt was rather underwhelming as a spectacle was not worth the time nor panic.
July was the most epic and busiest month which I thoroughly enjoyed. Other months had their moments.
To summarise, some of the things we got up to included…
- Photography – nowhere near as many photos compared to last year but enjoyed being privy to taking snaps behind the scenes at a variety of events, many of which I filmed as well. I’ve been sharing some of the highlights on Instagram over December only to get a rather apathetic reaction so in future won’t be bothering with that platform. Besides, I think my work will be much better appreciated and valued in years to come thanks to the way I work.
- Acting – the Electric Sunshine Project’s Drop In Drama group was sometimes amusing and that led to a rare acting performance on North Pier in July which I greatly enjoyed, playing some grumpy middle-aged git. That particular project was hugely enjoyable and stood out as the only project I’ve worked on in my entire career devoid of ego trips, headaches and the like. Just a pleasure from start to finish. Not sure if there’ll be any more “acting” opportunities to come as I am rather limited with what I can do as “an actor” but… we shall see.
- Singing – again, the Electric Sunshine Project gave me such opportunities via their Electric Soul Singers who I rehearsed with for about 4 months and I sang at their first appearance in Central Library which I enjoyed. However, a quiet parting of the ways came during the summer and I am now looking forward to finally getting my first chance in Blackpool to perform and sing my own ORIGINAL material next month at the Libertalia event which I hope will give those present a reasonable idea of the sort of things I’m far more comfortable with.
- Poetry – there were just 7 such performances this year, 2 for Pub Poets and the rest for Dead Good Poets. Some amusing material performed. A pity Pub Poets are now out the picture thanks to not bothering to advertise their events anywhere else but Facebook and as I refuse to join that ghastly site, I no longer have any idea when their events are so can no longer perform for them. The rub being they do have Twitter and Instagram accounts but never advertise via them, so…
- Mentoring – I have been mentoring a poet/artist friend for just over a year and it was a thrill to finally see some of her work on display at Libertalia, the first ever public viewing of her work! We’re working together on helping bring her art to a wider audience in the future which promises to be interesting and exciting.
- Music – after many years of non-activity, I have been recording/making music again. Unfortunately I’m not in a position where I can actually complete the damn recordings. The curse of living in a flat surrounded by morons for neighbours so recording vocal overdubs is impossible. There is an ever growing pile of interesting backing tracks waiting for the day when I can dub on vocal parts which could form an album which would raise many eyebrows… including mine!
- Writing – nothing changes there… I still write my journal every single day and managed to pass the half a million words count last week. Last year over half a million words were written in there… you do the math. Then there’s all the emails I’ve been doing along with these blog entries trying to keep you lot informed and up to date with what I get up to. And for those of you wondering, the play I began writing last year has largely been sat dormant… I have added two more scenes to it but will demand more focus and commitment before I manage to complete the thing, but rest assured work has not been abandoned on “Where Have All The Protest Singers Gone?” but it will take a lot longer than expected.
- Producing – this is the newest adventure and the most logical for me as it encompasses a wide variety of my talents and abilities honed over the years. It is the direction I would prefer to head in, working in a “backstage” capacity as opposed to being a performer. A couple of new such projects are waiting in the sidelines so… fingers crossed.
Highlights-wise… July was undoubtedly IT. Three successive weekends saw me doing Wordpool with LeftCoast which was a delightful day yielding some impressive and charming photos and video footage. The following weekend was the North Pier event where I did my acting which I’ve already waxed lyrical about then the weekend after that was Spare Parts in Fleetwood where with LeftCoast I lurked and wandered about in the role of photographer and it was great fun capturing some of the madness in the parade provided by the Mad Max Prams bunch.
Weirder moments had me controlling the head of a giant puppet at Spare Parts in Oldham where we all got soaked as it never stopped bloody raining, then 2 nights during Lightpool in charge of the Tower Ballroom which had me experiencing one of those wondrous moments where I paused and thought “hang on… here I am in THIS place…” That was an amazing moment. Then the whole “Whitehead in Whitehaven Caper” where a small bunch of us travelled out the long distance to Whitehaven for a meeting with Melanie Whitehead which was an odd but charming day.
I could waffle on and on as there’s lots of stuff I haven’t mentioned but will have to save all that for my journal. Still, you get a basic idea of some of the things I’ve been up to in 2019.
Big thanks to all of you who played positive roles – you know who you are and 2020 promises to be yet another curious adventure.