Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A Valediction Forbidding Mourning

Crawling out of the dusty woodwork as the turning of another new year is a good excuse to get writing. The few months since I last wrote have chugged along with no great dramas, with nothing much to report really. Chariots still ran. Usual front of house craziness happened. A few fun events were attended but in general it’s all been quite quiet. I have been trying to bust out of the theatre and almost managed it on a couple of occasions, but it didn’t work out. My target for leaving by Christmas got blown well out of the window but there was the sad glimmer of the glamorous temptation of Helen Mirren in February. Then, just before Christmas, we were hit with the news that after all ‘that’, this show was to close early, shortly after the new year.

I don’t know what lies ahead at the moment. I’ve been saved slightly by the offer of some stage door shifts in the upcoming few weeks but this really should be my catalyst to finally move on in the hope of finding that ‘proper job’, or at least the first step towards it. I cannot afford to stay in London without any income to support that search though, so went through a very rough few days after hearing the news, thinking I’d be so suddenly forced to move away. As it is, I may be able to hold out now til the end of January, and so maybe therefore Helen Mirren. I know I need to leave the theatre, but there’s no point in doing that unless I have something to go to; at least as it stands I have a job of some description.

So, the future looks a little uncertain at the moment, but, being a new year blog, I want to use the opportunity to look back. Last year, I did a roundup of 2011 and want to do the same again now. I’ll also post a summative account using exactly the same prompts as I did a year ago, collecting some of the high- and low- lights!

Once again, I see 2012 as being a year of two distinct parts. They can be separated almost to the hour, and the line between them is the last day of The Ladykillers. It’s strange how at the time I even knew just how momentous that occasion would be. Before was happiness, security, friendship, a job I loved, glamour and laughs. Afterwards was the unknown. I wrote a lot about it at the time, and so won’t repeat my feelings in depth here, but suffice to say things have never been quite the same since. I muddled through, worked at Her Majesty’s and learnt what the real pull of the Gielgud was. We counted the days til our return for Chariots, and the play certainly came with its fair share of amazing moments: working there over the Olympics was an honour; we met Vangelis; we had the Torch come by our theatre as the music drowned Shaftesbury Avenue; we met medallists from Team GB and I tried on a Gold medal; the press night was incredible and we’ve had loads of fun getting to know *some* of the actors, especially Mr Grace.

There have been ups and downs with the front of house team. I’ve experienced extreme frustration and there was even a period when I actively disliked coming to work. However, we’ve come through all that too and we finish the run again with a fantastic group of people whom I will miss. My close group of friends have got even closer and some of my favourite times this year have been sitting up with them all night talking and laughing til we cried.

Yes, I still feel the pressing need to find a new job and to earn more money; yes my income here doesn’t quite support me and yes I need to work out a way of being able to see my boyfriend more often. The close of this show (this weekend) feels completely different to last time. With The Ladykillers there was that desperation for it not to be over, because I loved everything about that job. Now, I feel no emotional attachment to the production at all and no great desire to keep in touch with anyone involved as I have The Ladykillers. However, Saturday will mark the end of yet another era as our team is yet again scattered and I’m not sure how many more times I can come through that. I will miss the ‘family’ here terribly, but know it won’t mean the ending of my most precious friendships. What will be will be, and although things may never be quite the same again, I have made more than one ‘friend for life’ (to quote the show). So I shall try not to be afraid of the unknown and remember that if all else fails, 2012 has given me great memories and true friendships which will hopefully last for years to come.

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