Sunday, 31 May 2015

Was it something I said?


How are you?

Last Sunday was all about The Play, so today I've made sure to enjoy a rainy run (I prefer it rainy), lunch in good company and reading a new book about English accents. It's written by a father and son (linguist & actor) in a fun and interesting way, and I'm learning all about the history of certain accents, the attitudes towards them, why more and more people have "mixed" accents, and for example why lots of Hollywood villains are Brits speaking RP.
"And most importantly of all: what went wrong in Birmingham?"
I often get asked about my accent. I don't sound Swedish. I don't sound Finnish (listen to some Finnish F1 drivers if you want an example). On rare occasions I've passed for English (maybe from a slightly odd part of the country?). There are words and phrases I really used to struggle with, like bottle of water and thirty (which is inconvenient since that's my current age). I have been accused of sounding posh, because apparently I articulate very carefully. Of course it has nothing to do with being posh or not, I just have to concentrate when I speak. I'm using different vocal muscles than the ones I grew up with and if I get sloppy, if I'm tired or feeling nervous, my speech can easily turn into gobbledygook. It's a bit like sport, I need to launch myself into it with confidence and gusto or the results will be less than satisfactory.
A nutty lunch. 
I'm about halfway through the book now and it's all rather fascinating. So far I've realised that although I don't sound American, I do pronounce a lot of things the "American way", like address and advertisement and schedule and concrete. I shouldn't feel bad though, so do a lot of English people these days. Accents change with time and some of it can be "blamed" on TV and travel. Blame it on Friends!

Anywho, no matter what accent/s you speak, I hope you're having an excellent weekend!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Playing in the dark

First of all, a big thank you to everyone who came and saw my play yesterday, it was great having you! And an equally massive thank you to Claire, Lydia and Chris who took my pieces of paper and made it into a performance. I'm very happy with how it turned out, the play itself was set in almost complete darkness which encouraged you to really listen and sense what was going on. (It also made it nearly impossible to get any photos of the actual show.)
Warming up before tech. 
If you would like to know a little bit more about some of my writing, I've finally created a new page for the blog called "Writing and Productions". You can find it above the blog archive. It's very much a work in progress (just like my writing), and it won't win any web design competitions that's for sure, but you get the idea ...
Not a bad place to run lines in ...
When I wasn't inflating or deflating air mattresses, speed walking through the night or hoping the sun would set just a little bit faster, I spent quite a few pleasant hours in the beer garden below the theatre. Not a bad Bank Holiday Monday!

I hope you had a great weekend too!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

My writing puts actors to sleep


How are you? First off I'm going to blame the radio silence on a busy week with early mornings and changing plans. Today however, I had the great pleasure of hosting a full day rehearsal for tomorrow's performance of my short play Eruption.
The actors had prepared for this part of the play their entire lives ...
It really is amazing fun (and a little bit scary) to watch a piece of writing come to life. While the director and actors worked with incredible energy, my self-assigned task was mainly to sit in a corner and eat grapes. (Which I think I did rather well, at one point my tongue turned blue ...)
I really nailed that bowl of grapes, and I had a few satsumas too ...
The short is one of five plays performed tomorrow evening at TheatreN16 in Stoke Newington. Why not buy yourself a ticket and pop along? I promise the sleeping is scripted! (And there's also beer and food in the pub ...). And while I'd like to write something more, I think my brain just had a mind melt and that will have to be all for now.

Hope you've had a great week!