Ready to go on

Friday, 4 March 2011

Friday. Walkies!

Had a fantastic dinner last night which meant I didn't get to the theatre until 9.30 but that still left me ages to get ready for my scene. It was all very safe. The restaurant was right next to the stage door so it was virtually the same as me sitting in my dressing room, apart from the fact that I was able to enjoy the company of some very old friends. This job gets better and better!

Today is just about the only day this week that we don't have two shows. At least it feels like that? So I was able to drive off today to the countryside just passed Chippenham on the way to Marlborough country. Not a cowboy in sight!

I spent the day with Clive and Carla and it was a complete joy. A walk in a wood that was at that exciting stage of anticipation that you get at the start of Spring. Shall we? Shall we?! Yes!!! Yippee!! Everything was ready to burst into life and you could feel it. It has been a lovely sunny day; cold, but clear and bright. The sunlight actually made the bark on some of the trees shine. Gorgeous. Bluebells starting to show, frogspawn in the puddles, poor deluded creature. All that effort and squirming about to have it all come to nothing once there is a prolonged period of sunshine. My wife describes the mating of frogs as 'spawnographic' and if you've ever seen a mass of frogs desperately trying to guarantee the future of their genes then you'll know what she means.

Home cooked lunch, a glass of beer and conversation that had the three of us rolling around and crying with laughter on more than one occasion. Quite perfect.

The trees shine!

The perfect hosts

As I think I said today to my hosts, one of the things that I most like about acting, or, to be more accurate, actors, is that they never seem to take any notice of the length of time between seeing a friend. With some friends, if you don't see them or get in touch on a regular basis they take it as a sign that you don't care about them or that the friendship is on the wane. But actors are used to spending intense periods almost exclusively in the company of a few other actors, developing a closeness with some of them that is painful to leave behind. then parting from them and not seeing them for years. However, when you do meet up again, it is as if you have hardly been apart. There is no guilt or blame, and very little effort required to rekindle the sort of easy friendship you had before. Sometimes the time involved can be years, or even tens of years, but it is always the same. Straight back in to how it was before.

People may see that as a sign that actors are, as they suspect, insincere and false; making friends easily and picking up those feigned relationships at the drop of a hat. But I don't believe that's true. It is necessary for actors to get to know each other quickly, to break the barrier you feel with a stranger, because they are going to have to work together in such a way that trust is imperative. So, yes, they make friends easily and quickly. But that does not make the friendship any less real. I feel the same deep affection for nearly all the people that I have become close to over the years, through various jobs, as I always did. I don't see them because life takes people in different directions and it is impossible to keep up with each other. But the moment the chance arises then we jump at it. With glee.

It would be great to be able to continue seeing all my friends all of the time. But it can't be done.

I should probably make more effort? I may well be abusing the knowledge that they will forgive my tardiness? I may be mistaken about how much affection they carry for me? But I don't think so. I do know that, although they may be far away, they are never far from thoughts. And always in my heart.

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