Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Starting Again


It's raining outside and I don't really mind. I can sit indoors with a good conscience while deciding what to do next. My next project. My next play. I have an idea. Sometimes it sits firmly in my hand but then it suddenly dissolves and escapes between my fingers. I have to remind myself that this is okay. Platitudes like Rome wasn't built in a day comes to mind, although I'm hardly building an ancient city. I just want to do the themes and the characters justice. I want to give something to the audience. I want to feel like I've learnt something from previous experiences. I want to write.
It's easy to get overwhelmed but then you just have to figure out one thing at a time. Art by Alina and Jeff Bliumis. 
I re-watched Elizabeth Gilbert's Ted-talk about creativity. I've had nowhere near her success or felt the pressure she's under (except maybe from myself) but the fear is still the same. A fear that can be crippling if it's given too much power. That's why I appreciate her message: work. Just work. Sit down and do your bit and at least you've accomplished something. Not everything you write will be golden, but you're giving it a go and that's good.
I received some wonderful flowers to the theatre last week and they still make me smile whenever I enter my living room. A spot of summer in this rainy weather!
I also keep reminding myself of something I might've written about last year. The words on the page are just that, words on a page. Nothing is sacred. They do not have some magical power over me. I have the power and everything can be changed. The only thing that can't change is something that hasn't been written yet. So I better get cracking. Here's to a first draft that might not be brilliant but can always get better!

Thanks for popping by! I hope you don't mind the rain too much,

Sunday, 23 August 2015

And finally ...


I'm going to keep this brief. I just wanted to share a few production shots from the past week's show. I feel incredibly lucky that so many of my friends and family came and saw the play, and also very grateful to those who don't have a clue who I am but still decided to give the show a chance. It wasn't ideal timing for everyone though, so this will hopefully give you some idea of what it looked like. All the photos were once again taken by the magnificent Mathew Foster.   
It's been an intense couple of months since we found out we'd been chosen to do the play at Theatre503 and the past few weeks have been incredible and terrifying in so many ways. We've had some lovely feedback from audience members and reviewers alike, and I'm proud of the work everyone's done. I've learnt a lot and hopefully that will help me with future projects, because the only way I get to do this again is if I write something worth showing.

Thank you so much to all of you who came to see the play or supported us in some other way. And thank you to the cast and crew who put Victory on stage! You're all brilliant. 

I hope you've had a great weekend!

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Saying Goodbye

... to your characters.

There was a time this month when I felt an irrational jealousy. For almost two years these characters had been playing in my head, I'd been their best friend (and worst enemy) and most of the time we got along. And then suddenly, without much warning, they left. My characters went off to play with new people and have some fun without me.
This might or might not have something to do with the play ... 
Like I said, an irrational jealousy. Because like the famous Disney film I still haven't seen due to all the hype and non stop playing songs says, you have to let go. You have to say your goodbyes and allow them to explore the world on their own. And when you do meet again, they will have grown so much. I know mine had when I joined the rehearsals this week. No longer just mine, the characters felt familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. They'd become living breathing people and all of a sudden I was very happy to share them with others. That's what makes playwriting so special, that you get to work together with other people. Sure, it can be scary sometimes. And sometimes you have to give your own ego a good talking to, but when you're surrounded by so much talent and ambition you quickly learn to trust, it's such a great experience.

If you'd like to share at least part of that experience with me, do come along and see my play next week. It's going to be fun! Tickets can be found HERE and I'll be there for most shows so do say hi as well!

I hope you're looking forward to the weekend!

Thursday, 6 August 2015

The Creative People


How are you?

A lot of the updates and info about Victory (the play I wrote) is on our Facebook page and Twitter page, but for those of you who are a bit social media shy I thought I'd introduce the cast and creative team here on my blog too! Actor/photographer Mathew Foster joined us during a couple of rehearsals and took some lovely photos of everyone in action. Now, the actors might look a bit serious in most of the pics, but I'm telling myself it's because they're concentrating and getting into character, and not because they're sick and tired of the play ... So without further ado!

First up, we have Aspen Reiss who is playing Victory, clearly an important character since the play was named after her ...
Second we have Samuel Lawrence playing Matthew.
Arthur McBain playing Frank.
And finally Jenny Wills as Lorna.
None of it would come together without our director Claire Mullane (who you might remember from previous projects).
And Brian Fenton who's our producer and makes sure some of the "boring" but very important things happen.
And then there's me, who you should know by now. Ta daa!
And I should also mention that Claire Petzal will be performing live the original music that Solfa Carlile has composed for the play. Very exciting! Opening night is not far away now. Tuesday, August 18th, we will be at Theatre503, ready to put on a show, and hopefully you will too. If you haven't picked up a ticket yet, you can do it here!

Thank you so much for all of your support these past couple of months! It's certainly a magical experience. Hope you're looking forward to a nice weekend!


Saturday, 25 July 2015

Welcome to my offices

Dearly beloved,

I hope your Saturday got up on the right side of the bed and you're enjoying the weekend! Great news first, the Kickstarter campaign I was banging on about in the previous entry has reached its goal! Yes! This means we'll receive all the backing you so generously have donated to The Nightingale Collective for the production of my play Victory at Theatre503 in August. We couldn't be happier! Thank you! Thank you! And don't be sad if you were planning on donating but hadn't gotten around to it yet, we still have several days left to raise money on the campaign website, so do feel free to push us as far over the goal as you like. Everything helps!
An amazing raspberry muffin ton start the day.
Now what? Well, having spent much of spring and summer working on the script together with my lovely director Claire, it has now reached the actors and the rehearsal room. I can't wait to join them soon, but until then, I'm keeping myself busy (and shooing off the nerves) by diving into new projects. Never stop writing!
A tad empty Park Theatre café after the false fire alarm. Nice space though.
By the look of the photos you'd think I was writing coffee shop reviews, but they're actually pics of my "offices". I'm quite happy to edit and "transcribe" (from long hand) at home, but when it comes to the original writing, those very first bits that come from your heart or your gut, I need to get out of the house at the moment. It's incredible how it all just starts flowing as soon as I step outside the door.
It's not a library so I do have to buy something ... (I tell myself as I tuck in.)
I'm also reading a lot. I want to know as much as I can. It makes me feel more confident when I write. When you don't have to worry about the facts anymore, you can focus on the emotions. (And gosh does the research get emotional at times. Yes, I confess, I'm that nutter in the café corner who's silently crying into her latte. Don't mind me.)

Anywho, I'm hoping to share slightly more exciting photos with you soon, once I'm back in Victory-land. Until then, I'm wishing you all a lovely weekend and if you are crying into your latte, I hope they're happy tears!


Sunday, 12 July 2015

A message from the air (almost)

Hello everyone!

Greetings from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport where you need a mortgage to get a cup of tea but otherwise it's quite nice. I'm on my way home after a couple of lovely days with family and friends. As always it felt too short but at least this time I could focus fully on enjoying myself. Last summer I spent a hot week emptying my Helsinki flat and it was both physically and emotionally tough. I couldn't have done it without my brother and sister-in-law!
We found just enough sunshine to eat outdoors. 
But now it's time to go back to work! And speaking of work, things are fast moving forward on the play front. We have a talented cast! We have lovely artwork! I keep hearing exciting things from the director ... I feel blessed to be surrounded by people who are so dedicated. Unfortunately doing ambitious work can cost a lot of money and we are exploring all kinds of funding, including crowd funding where art loving people like you and me can back projects we think deserve some extra financial support.
Leaving a place and then coming back always makes you re-see things, like some of the lovely Helsinki buildings.
We recently published our Kickstarter page and it would be wonderful if you could visit the page, watch the video and maybe consider backing us (and/or coming to the play!). Just click HERE. And like I said with the charity run, I know money is short for many of us and there are many who need help, so even if 5 pounds is all you can spare, it means the world to us. Thank you!

Anywho, I need to get this published to I can then dash to my gate! (If the tea is expensive, the free wifi does make up for it somewhat.)

Have a lovely evening and I'll see you soon!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

A dream coming true

Hello all!

How are you?

Another week has taken off and I guess I could say I'm living the dream (sorry if that sounds terribly cliché)! Those of you who have read my blog for a while know I moved to London in 2012 to study playwriting and screenwriting at City University London. You also know I received my MA late last year and now scramble around in this thing called the real world.
The script moments before I handed it in as my final assignment at uni.
Becoming any kind of scriptwriter is hard. (Heck, calling yourself a writer at all can feel intimidating.) There are set backs and knock downs and (unintentionally) cruel comments that will haunt you (day and night) for the rest of your life. But if you keep at it, enjoy it and just stubbornly chip away, you do hopefully start to notice a change. One baby step at a time. And these steps are incredibly important because they show you you're making progress and at some point you might even sit back and think "Wow, I just reached a milestone".
The full poster will be revealed soon!
I've just reached a milestone, and it's important to me because it's my largest one so far in playwriting. In just over a month I'm going to have the great honor and pleasure of seeing my first full-length play, Victory, on stage at Theatre503, one of London's best known theatres for new writing. It's small, it's fringe but it packs a punch that makes people sit up and notice.
Without Theatre503 I wouldn't have seen my short play Nineteen on stage and I would never have met Claire. It just shows have one thing can lead to another ... 
And if that wasn't enough, I get to collaborate with people I truly care about and trust. We enjoy spending time together and staking out our own way of working. I'd be extremely surprised if The Nightingale Collective, Claire Mullane and Brian Fenton, didn't bring great theatre to the world for decades to come.

So, hurrah for dreams coming true! It's not always easy (I'm sure there will be plenty of challenges ahead) but I'm trying to learn from my characters' mistakes and not let fear stand in the way of happiness.

If you'd like to know more about the play, here are a few facts:
  • Its opening run will be August 18 - 22 (but hopefully it won't end there). 
  • It's a co-production between The Nightingale Collective and Theatre503 in London and you can buy tickets by clicking here
  • You can find out loads more about the production in the weeks to come by following us on Twitter @TheNightingaleC and liking us on Facebook The Nightingale Collective

Have I forgotten anything? Hope not! Let me know if I have. Until then, have a great week!