This is the most recent photo of me, I took it yesterday at Grammar School Records in Rye. I seem to be going through a bit of a black and white phase on instagram, it isn't an art thing, its a covering up spots and redness thing. Anyway, I have never been a regular blogger, partly because I have never found a platform I enjoyed using enough (thats a thought developers, a platform for sharing content where the PROCESS part is just as much fun/beautiful as the PRODUCT/content at the end?) and partly because I have the attention span of a g/nat. The only habits I have seemed to easily maintain are consuming metric fucktonnes of fags, coffee and sugar.
I made a quick visit to tumblr today (tumblr only happens when I am supposed to be lesson planning) and thought it would be really awesome if I could find a way to integrate my tumblr blog and my website. I see stuff on the web all the time and would love to find a way of sharing it that does not involve facebook, I fucking hate facebook. I haven't worked out how to do that yet but I figured in the meantime I would actually put something on my website's blog because the last post was December 2015. So below are the key updates on what has been happening:
- The Daddy Blues got it's second round of funding from the Arts Council. I finished making the show with Daisy, worked with a whole bunch of people on developing its tech and the video and marketing it. We took it to a few venues in Kent and then Brighton Fringe. All of this (alongside teaching) took up the first half of the year. It was pretty manic and then after fringe the crazy just stopped. Was it successful? Urgh, in so many ways YES YES YES, but there was some stuff I would have done differently. I am still processing the successes and failures of the project and there are some bits which are kind of tough. Things around working with other people and what do you do when you think they let you down? I am a big believer in taking personal responsibility at. all. times. So maybe more on this, maybe not, dunno.
- Teaching university students took up much of the first half of the year. And marking. ALL OF THE MARKING IN THE WORLD. I really love teaching and I had some flipping wonderful students. Tomorrow I start teaching on a new module where I get to do practical teaching in a studio alongside the theory stuff- can't wait.
- DEAD GRANDPARENT which fucking sucks. I am in my twenties, this is when your grandparents die. My grandmother (the last of the set) died in August and it was horrible. DEMENTIA is the most vile, cruel disease and honestly a big part of me is glad its over. I have also now firsthand experienced how death can turn families crazy. There are homophobic, petty, evangelicals in my family and they used my grandmothers death as an excuse to be deeply cruel, all with the excuse that they 'prayed on it' and so thats alright then. I know wonderful kind, chill, generous and funny christians and I know atheists who are total muppets. So this isn't a all-christians- are-dickheads thing its a I-am-really-sad-at-my-own-families-capacity-for-cruelty thing. Anyway one positive to come out of the situation was at the pub after the funeral (we weren't welcome at the wake) my brother taught me a magic trick and I have been using it CONSTANTLY. Little things.
- MENTAL, MENTAL HEALTH. I have been trying really hard to be open about my mental health and talk about it honestly. This is tough because people often think you are lazy or attention seeking, you just feel sorry for yourself and that it is your fault because of crappy lifestyle choices and you are just not working hard enough. This is also a subject that requires a lot of patience from friends/family/colleagues - not everyone can do it. So recently when people have been asking me about my summer I have been telling them that I have been sick which is why I haven't done anything or why they haven't seen me at work. Its easier for people to hear and get their head around - there is no shame in being physically ill. I honestly feel a lot of shame around having a level of depression and anxiety that has stopped me working this summer and stopped me from interacting with people and living a decent quality of life. Which sucks because depression and anxiety are hard enough on their own without piling on a bunch of shame. One day you will be absolutely fine and you will be so proud of yourself for three positive social interactions, a healthy meal and 10 thousand steps. The next day you can't leave your bed and everything is terrifying and you don't understand why this is happening because you are the same girl who has gone travelling on her own and knows how to make a crowd of people laugh with one line. I share a lot of articles about depression on social media. Its easier than saying "Guys i'm really struggling right now" or trying to explain in your own words why you just missed work again and again and again and oh wait I'm fine today and no, can't come in today. I can't pay my rent this month because I don't get sick pay. I am not looking for sympathy and I do not want you to think I am weak because honestly, I don't think I am weak. It takes 10 times more energy to do the most basic, simple things. So I still have a whole bunch of strength in me, its just right now it is really hard to find. The purpose of this whole blog today was basically a life update. Its on my website where potential funders/employers/colleagues/strangers could see this and make a whole bunch of judgments about my capacity to work and be professional and get shit done. Maybe it isn't such a good idea posting this. But maybe it won't make a difference, or it could even help. People with depression and anxiety are not defective, they just have to work a bit harder. I have been finding the stuff coming from The Blurt Foundation really really helpful and I really recommend you check it out if you are struggling to work out how to interact with someone who has anxiety and depression or if you have the sads yourself.
Essentially I am sick of lying to people and saying I am fine, that I know what I am doing and where I am going.
Here is my favourite meme of the day to cheer us all up!
What next? Well I'm teaching A LOT this term- this takes up much time. What else? The Daddy Blues needs its evaluation doing and I need to decide whether to tour it, or put it to bed. I am toying with doing a PhD, I have a couple of offers from last year, now I have to decide whether I actually go down that route next year. I also have an idea for a new show. I think its really awesome, I just don't know whether to pursue it! The older I get I swear the LESS I HAVE MY SHIT TOGETHER! I am going to stop here, I know the spelling and grammar on this is all over the place- soz.