After Thailand wound up, and my long long awake night on the way back, I hit London on Halloween and made the schoolboy error of taking the tube back to my flat from Heathrow. Considering the state of mind I was in - (my last post) - the fact that all the tube lines were shut and everyone was drunk and dressed up as a zombie made for a confusing and very long journey home, ending in a total collapse on my fantastically uncomfortable mattress.
And then it was back on the boats. I love my day job. It's turning into the perfect one for winter, as it is regular enough that I can pull in some reasonable money from it, and not so regular that it obviates the chance to go to auditions / prepare for them. Best of both worlds. My first day back in London I was booked for a full day on the river, so off I went dressed up in 8 layers with a wooly hat and a waterproof jacket and big thick warm goretex boots. Thinking that I would be totally fine. More fool me. As I arrived on the dock at London Eye, the sun was shining. Bitter cold, but bright. "I can handle this," I thought. So I embarked all the passengers and we got underway, and just as we passed tower bridge a huge black cloud rolled in and the heavens opened. Water down my back. Water in my trouser legs so profoundly cold and profoundly wet that they were drenched in seconds and my boots had filled from the top. Water gradually soaking through to the skin through layer after layer of jumper. Water water everywhere. Nor any drop to drink, as I had forgotten my bottle of the stuff. And through all this water and winds at near hurricane force, I am maniacally spamming energy at a boat full of people. Subtext "Look at the crazyman, he is having fun. If the crazyman is having fun, we are having fun too." Text "Ahhhhhhhhhhh this is the river at it's best! I know you might be wet, but this is how you WANT to be on the river! GOD I LOVE IT! And look - Tower Bridge in the rain! Let me tell you about tower bridge..." I have flash memories of the people in the boat with their hoods pulled over their faces and one eye peeping out. But smiling. Great fun.
So while I am on the river I have my friend Hanna call me and ask me to do a low commitment job for her at The Hen and Chickens in Huis Clos. No harm in that, since I ashamedly admit to her I do not KNOW Huis Clos. I didn't do A level Drama, so all the usual plays passed me by. Probably a good thing, but it was nice to be involved with Hanna and the delightful cast. But I don't blog work.
And then on to more boats, teambuilding in rainy fields across the country, pretending to be journalists, arsonists, kidnappers, santa claus, gangsters and a nuclear scientist. Strangeness. But delight.
Yesterday I was a hologram in Tottenham Court Road. Hologram Santa, being magically beamed all the way from lapland. I had a camera pointed at the people I was talking to, and it was really affirming to see the delight and wonder in the eyes of some of the kids. Santa is so iconic that the costume carries a strange power of its own. I just had to put it on and I felt possessed by it. It's like working with masks - and santa really is a mask - the wig and the beard and the hat make it such that the only window into you is your eyes, and a little hole for the mouth. The reverse of a classical character mask. But a similar.
And now I am assistant directing at The Finborough again, off to do more interesting work at The Factory on wednesday, and assembling a showreel after the Carlsberg ad came through and looks great. With all of that, the teambuilds, the santa, the training, the murder mysteries, the events and the boats, you can see why I haven't blogged since I got back...