The theatre bug is back.

I didn’t sleep well last night. For someone like me, who struggles sleeping at the best of times, this was fairly irritating. However, for someone like me, who is constantly trying to come up with new ideas for theatre/performance/pretty things, it wasn’t so bad. What can I say? The theatre bug is back.

For a good six months (Sept-Feb.) I massively struggled with the sleep thing. Partly because of my daily caffeine intake, but mainly due to the fact that my mind refused to switch off. I was constantly having fights with my mind over the practicality vs. the prettiness of fairy lights and scaffolding towers and candles-in-jars and various costume ideas etc etc etc. I was in full ‘Rent’ mode. I had dreams about lighting rigs, and nightmares about stretchy white sheets. I ate/slept/breathed the show, the songs, and everything in-between. My lack of focus towards anything else (I would like to think) paid off and I was able to completely devote my brain to my degree once February had finished and I was no longer in full-blown musical mode.

Now, however, I haven’t had anything like this on my mind for a few months. Sure I had to do the degree thing – a final year performance, 3 dissertations. Y’know, the usual. But I didn’t feel my mind opening up all the nooks and crannies of crazy and experimental in the same way that it had with ‘Rent’. Not even close. Not until last night.

I literally couldn’t sleep. Everytime my eyes closed my mind would jump into a new scenario, new idea, new colours, new cast sizes, new sound montages – all for a tiny little speck of an idea that has only really been vaguely discussed. My mind likes it anyhow. The bloody thing forced me to stay awake and scribble page after page of pencil drawings and 3 word notes that no longer make sense to my conscious and awake brain: “Kneel. Fab. v/o.” Not to mention the fact that this was all scribbled by phone light as I couldn’t bring myself to jump out of the warmth of bed and turn on a light. Not at 2 o’clock in the morning.

I think the mind’s trying to tell me something. Despite being on holiday, I’m ready to throw myself into all-things-theatre. All over again.

Advertisements

Smile of the day.

There are few things that make me smile as much as Zac Efron being mistaken for a Jonas Brother.

That’s a lie, actually a fair amount of things make me smile. But today, this wins first place. Remember Lisa Loeb? Remember her? She’s the one that sang that incredible song when I was about 9 and didn’t understand the actual story in her lyrics but loved it anyway. (Turns out I was actually 3 when ‘Stay’ came out. Bloody hell. That makes me a whole lot younger than I thought I was.)

Anyway, she gave this brilliant interview at HelloGiggles.com in which she describes the wonderfully embarrassing moment that she confused Zac Efron with a Jonas Brother.

For this, I love her all the more.

3am.

It’s been a while since I’ve written in the middle of the night. Possibly not since first year in fact. Then, of course, it was as a form of procrastination from various essay writing. And as a distraction from the distressing fact that I was a terrible fresher who spent nights in with her housemates playing cards and drinking coffee rather than going out and destroying her liver.

Now, however, it’s because my mind’s decided that it’s enjoying it’s new found creativity and doesn’t really fancy switching off. This week I’ve got giddy about theatre and recorded songs in my bedroom because I haven’t had anything better to do. It’s been massively enjoyable.

It’s strange actually, how suddenly having something creative to latch my mind on to has pulled me straight out of the depressed-anti-climactic-funk that I’ve been coasting since handing in dissertations. It’s like I zoned out for a couple of weeks whilst my mind dealt with the stupid amount of words that it had decided upon using. And then, having helped out on a pretty fantastic Sondheim revue – “Putting It Together” – I realised that I needed more theatre in my life, and decided to make it happen. Weird, how a little motivation and direction can get you back on the happy train.

Admittedly I’m still a poor, struggling student (at the very least until I graduate next month), but at least I’m a happy and inspired, poor, struggling student. Little things really.

Internal Monologue: Public Transport Made Me Do This

It would appear I’ve just been hit with all the anxiety I’ve been repressing for the past two and a half months. Typical really. That it would strike whilst I’m on a train. On a train with nothing to read and no headphones. On a crowded, warm train with nothing to read and no headphones. Fan-fucking-tastic.

Being left alone in my own head for the first time in god only knows how many months is an odd feeling. Having not had a minute to think about life or anything other than theatre it’s a bit alarming suddenly having space in my head. Both the musical and my degree show took over my entire existence this past term. In fact, thinking about it, the musical has pretty much occupied my mind for the past year – it was exactly this time past year that I had the sudden ridiculous thought that I could direct the show. Crazy really.

I’m remembering why I tend to throw myself into things that completely take over and don’t give me a minute of piece in my mind. It’s a scary place to be. Just thinking. And not really thinking about anything specific, but just thinking. I’m realizing that train journeys are horrendously claustrophobic-inducing, especially when you don’t have an endless supply of music to lose yourself in. I’m remembering why I usually sit in the row of 2 as opposed to the 4-person table seat – families coming and sitting around you is intrusive at the best of times, but when you don’t have a book or music to shut out the world? Gah.. I’m appreciating why people may have methods of relaxation or stress-relief. Just pausing to ponder a specific word I’m tapping out inane rhythms on the keyboard and my leg jitters have a mind of their own. I finally understand why people say I never sit still..

I’m currently unsure as to whether or not I’ll actually post this. I have another good two or three hours of traveling ahead of me, and will quite possibly decide against a rambling of nonsense as my first post in several weeks. Alternatively, I will quite possibly post this, and if I do I’ll leave this paragraph in. An example of the indecisive, babbling, mess that is my mind.

The family that rudely intruded on my under-lying panic attack decided to move. The daughter was reading over my shoulder, (always appreciated) and quite possibly determined that I’m a crazy person. Probably a wise decision..

Although, I have now calmed a considerable amount. I could probably write a book on methods to prevent public displays of panic or anxiety.

Step 1: Drink water.

Step 2: Focus and regulate your breathing – blowing in counts of four onto your thumb works, as does shutting your eyes and breathing in and out to counts of four. Something about counting is ridiculously soothing.

Step 3: Sing. I know not everyone is a natural singer, but that shouldn’t matter. Singing is another way to regulate breathing, and focuses your mind on something else, thus causing you to forget your panic. Anything that gets your mind off the cause of panic is a good thing, this post for example has so worked wonders. But singing is actually a good one because it does genuinely calm your breathing. Even something as simple as the alphabet can prevent a fully blown anxiety attack..

Step 4: Go to your safe place. This may sound ridiculous, but everyone has one. For some people it’s a place in their thoughts, for others it’s a physical place. In my case it’s a public toilet. I know, grimy. But there’s something about sitting in a toilet cubicle that calms me the fuck down. And hey, if it works who am I to question it.

Step 5: Get fresh air. This is actually one of the hardest ones for me, as a lot of my anxious feelings creep up whilst I’m on public transport or stuck in a place that I know I can’t easily leave. But often just a few breaths of fresh air can completely calm me down.

Step 6: Talk to someone. Either in person or on the phone. Whether you tell them you’re freaking out or not, just knowing that there’s someone else there can work wonders.

Step 7: Sugar. A small square of chocolate, or something fizzy and sweet can help calm your nerves. Of course you don’t want to rely on this one, especially if you regularly panic, as you may find yourself piling on the pounds or needing to visit a dentist! But a little bit now and then, I find, can massively help to stop the shakes.

Obviously these don’t have to go in this order, and they’re not listed in order of importance either. Just a few steps that can prevent a public display of panic. Or even a private display of panic..

Weird. This is not how I saw this post going. In an effort to prevent a panic attack, I ended up writing about how to prevent one. Crazy. I’ve also just clocked how many words I’ve managed to write (I’m a student, it’s practically an ocd..) and all I can say is I hope my dissertations (yes, plural) are this easy and fast to type.

Skinny vanilla latte for one.

Every so often I decide to give something up. Be it in a spontaneous desire to be healthier, a chance to create welcome change in my life, or simply because I just can’t be bothered with it anymore. It’s a kind of social experiment on myself I guess.

A couple of years ago I gave up on entirely female social groups, realising I wasn’t one of those who could constantly compete with girls-en-masse. Before you label me as some sort of anti-feminist, I have nothing against any of said girls in said groups. I simply couldn’t commit to the stressful high-energy necessary to compete and keep up with a group of girls.

Last month I gave up on social-dining. Lunch-dates, coffee-dates, any form of food or drink related activity that includes more than myself. It’s not that I don’t like people. It’s just that it seems to be the only part of my day that I get to sit alone with my thoughts. Life has been busy recently, not that that’s a bad thing, but it’s been on the insane levels of busy.

Those casual conversations I so regularly had with myself have been buried under piles of musical-related-thoughts and degree-related-thoughts and there-is-not-enough-time-in-the-day-related-thoughts, and my poor little brain needs time to itself to ponder the function of snow, or other seemingly obscure-yet-fascinating thoughts.

So yes, coffee for one seems to be the way around it.

It’s taken me a while, but I feel like I may finally be back in the land of writing.

Who am I trying to kid? It’s taken a hell of a lot longer than a while. Try nearly-four-months. Nearly-four-months of sometimes sitting down to blog and realising I didn’t have anything exciting/mundane/confusing/shocking to blog about that didn’t include not doing the work for my degree, spending 20+ hours in rehearsals each week, or the personal life that I never write about..

Having said all this, I think I may actually be back. It’s coming up to the most stressful 3 weeks of my life, which will be oh-so-lovingly followed by the most important 3 months of my life. Therefore, the last thing in the world that I need right now is to find myself being dragged back into the clutches of the life of an internet addict. Therefore, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. It’s almost like I know how I work.

On top of that I have a bag of soggy laundry waiting to be dried, a room that looks as though the battles of Narnia took place in the wardrobe and exploded everywhere, a kitchen that might literally attack me if I walk through the door, and an empty fridge. In other words, a whole mission of house work to do. Naturally, right now is the best time to rekindle my relationship with the blogging world..

The brain disagrees. The brain is currently screaming at me for even contemplating doing anything other than singing the RENT songs in an interesting and never-to-be-heard-by-ears-other-than-my-own medley, whilst simultaneously screaming at me for daring to destroy said songs by singing them in said way. The brain is a weird place. My brain is a particularly weird place. I’m fairly certain there’s less ‘intelligent muscle’, and more ‘random assortment of post-its and masking tape’ taking up the space in my head..

People always look at me as if I’m insane when I mention that. (Feel free to hide your current bemused expression and quirked eyebrow) But I am genuinely fairly certain that if you sliced into my head, you’d just see an overflowing post-it notice board. It’s probably the best way to describe the (occasionally) organised chaos that is my mind. With seemingly insignificant notes occasionally losing their stickiness and floating to the ground. That’s usually when I notice them of course and reattach them (ie. reconsider them as a possible thought, action, or idea). And then there are those disastrous moments when the never-tiring drum and bass effect of the headaches shakes the board and sends every thought scattering around my head.

A bizarre analogy, I’ll give you that, but a perfect one.

Why does time fly so fast..

It’s April. Already. In fact, it’s not even just April. It’s already over a week into April. I swear this year is going so ridiculously fast. Super fast.

Put it this way, I’ve been home for a fortnight. It doesn’t feel that way. Not in the slightest. And yet being home I’ve already discovered some brilliant (and not-so-brilliant) things about myself..

1. I still bake awesome cakes. Not that I doubted this, but y’know, when you usually make plain and simple fairy cakes it’s nice to branch out occasionally. So yes. The mocha cupcakes I’ve spent the entire evening concocting? Beautiful. If I do say so myself..

2. I would rather read for pleasure than work. Honest. Hence the fact that I ploughed through the 4 or 5 books put aside for ‘enjoyment’, and I’ve still only achieved 20-odd pages of Ulysses. It’s an absolute hoot.

3. Spotify is becoming the new facebook. In my life at least. I without a doubt spend 6 times as much time surfing through bands I’ve never heard before and creating new playlists than I do on that beauty of a book of face. Which is weird. Very weird. Not in a bad way though, it does after all lead on to..

4. ..The fact that talking about music is becoming a substitute for sleep. I still have disastrous sleep patterns, but at least now I spend time contemplating soulful lyrics and arguing about the beauty of French pop.

5. I like gin. In small doses. But..

6..I still talk too much when drunk. And tell too much. I’m not loud. I’m not lairy. But I do tend to talk. Bugger.

7. Despite owning at least 4 pairs already, when shoe shopping I still resort to converse. They’re low-tops, which is y’know a change, but still.. I should probably branch out at some point.

8. I hate Oxford on a Saturday. Regardless of the sun.

9. I drink less caffeine when I’m at home. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s more of a Brighton thing. Maybe I don’t wake up early enough to warrant it in Oxford. But yeah, it’s unusual..

10. My movie knowledge is still one of the worst things about me. STILL. Despite the fact that I’m a student and do nothing with my time. I still have the worst knowledge about films – classic ones at least. Ask me about Harry Potter, or any Audrey Hepburn film, and I’m your girl. But those must-see-before-you-die classics? Nuh-uh. Clueless.

11. It is still possible to waste an entire day watching tv re-runs. Admittedly it’s now more likely to be One Tree Hill, or Weeds. But only because the Charmed box sets are in Brighton.

12. The first ever dinosaur to be named and studied was found a few miles down the road from where I live. THIS FACT EXCITES ME SO DAMN MUCH. I’m probably still a child.

I’m playing catch-up. Bear with me..

Show week started with a broken shoe. Ironically, it ended with a pair of broken shoes. Different shoes, but a pair all the same. It’s also ended with a broken phone, broken camera (again), and potentially broken toe. So much broken..

Show week also happened to be a good few weeks ago now. I apologise. Writer’s block has indeed been occurring. It’s a sad time.

The run up to show week was an insane whirlwind of intense all-day rehearsals and being pulled in to create 8 stripper dresses. Yes. You heard right. Stripper dresses. Now, the last time I used a sewing machine I was 14. And I was making an interesting wall-hanging thing that wasn’t exactly ever going to turn out as a masterpiece. And yet I still managed to allow myself to be talked into making dresses. In fact, not just any dresses.. Ball gowns. With velcro-to-allow-for-easy-removal fastenings. Jesus. How do I get myself into these situations? Now worry yourselves not, there is absolutely no way I let these beautiful creations go un-remembered, photos will follow.. (:

Have just realised I haven’t even said what show was being performed in show week. OhMan. It was Guys and Dolls. And it were fab.

In other news, fashion week was, as always, fantastic. Aside from the fact that I yet again spent the week in broken shoes and had the most-retro-nokia-in-the-world hiding in my pocket (My beautiful iphone had a tragic accident involving a sink. It was a sad day.), I had a pretty awesome week. The Giles Deacon show hands down won ‘favourite’, with the collection containing some of the most incredible dresses I’ve ever seen.. Take for example, exhibit numero 1:

Such a drastic change from his collection last season:

Having said that of course, I became an instant fan last September when I saw those insane pom-pom hats. B-e-a-utiful.

Home Alone.

I always loved the Home Alone movies, they just seem to scream christmas (don’t worry, I’m not about to go off on another woo-christmas rant so soon. I know it’s only January..) but for some reason I haven’t seen either of them in forever. Hearing that Macaulay Culkin turned 30 recently creeped me out. I mean, really? He’s that age already? That makes me feel old. And I’m only 19, I have no need to be feeling old yet. Well, until I start worrying about bills and rent and stuff.. But that’s a whole other story. Not one for a gloomy and soggy monday evening.

Yes. It’s raining. Again. What a bloody surprise.. So, naturally, I gave up on the ‘going out’ plans. Admittedly this probably makes me a really bad friend as it was for a birthday celebration. But y’know what? After the lengthy day of rehearsing I’ve had? Clubbing in the rain did *not* sound like my cup of tea. In fact not even a cup of tea sounded like my cup of tea. I just wanted to get into the pjs and curl up with a book. In actual fact this didn’t happen. I mean, the pjs did, the curling up didn’t.

Instead? Well, instead I got cooking.. The housemates are both out, and the father bought me a new cupcake recipe book a couple of weeks ago, a) it was reduced to £3, and b) due to my ever growing obsession with the damn things, so I figured I’d give a new recipe a go.. OH. MY. LIFE. Primrose Bakery have rapidly become my new favourite how-to guide for the ultimate cupcakes. Seriously.. Jude Law is a fan. This alone makes me think they’re probably quite good, but having made their cakes? Blimey.

I actually altered the recipe tonight due to our lack of raspberry jam, but it turns out strawberry works just as good. Anyhow, check these out..

R = Rosemary. J = Jess (x2). For the record..

These are actually mini ones, I mean like super-tiny. They’re dead cute.

Halloween is fastly becoming one of my favourite nights of the year. Ever.

No joke. I enjoy dressing up as dead and disturbing creatures far too much. Far too much. And this weekend has provided such fantastic opportunities to do so..

Friday night was ‘Carn-evil’ night with the drama society. Beaut. I, of course, went as a psycho wind-up doll. Why wouldn’t I? I know, my thoughts exactly.. May have overlooked the fact that pinning a massive cardboard key to my back would cause problems once we’d entered the club, oh and had to sit on a bus! But still, a fantastic night. The next morning I thoroughly regretted the corset and tutu decision though, the bruises are a bitch; but any night that allows for big hair and unattractive makeup is just fine by me. Always.

Apparently psycho dolls don't smile..

Saturday, aka. White Night, was massively lacking on the fancy dress front. From me at least. There were many a dressed-up person out and about in B-town. But even so, despite the normal clothes, had a fab night. Went to the late night opening at the aquarium and fastly returned to the childlike state of ‘ohmygoshtherearesharksandtheyaresoprettyandawesome’. That really common state of mind. And then hung out at the beach till 3 in’t morning when we went in search of breakfast. Good times. Super chilly times, but good times indeed.

Continued the big hair/unattractive face look last night when I decided to embrace the inner werewolf. Not even kidding. It was fantastic. I’m beyond impressed that my hair can do such incredible things when encouraged with a little (a lot) of hairspray. Seriously..

Personally, I'm a big fan of the eyebrows.

Unfortunately, what with being a veg, I lack huge amounts of fur in my wardrobe. Or, like, any fur at all.. So yeah, I wore a lot of bin bags. And so much eye shadow. *So much*. Practically covering me head to toe. I don’t understand the desire to look attractive on Halloween. I mean, really? It’s genuinely so much fun to go out and not care about the fact that you don’t look in any way attractive. At all. Love it.. Definitely killed my lungs with the hairspray though.