March 2016 was particularly crazy, I had a Mothers Day Cabaret, R&D for a play (research and development) and the Noel and Cole show at The Landor Theatre in Clapham. This was all going on while I was doing my normal teaching schedule. And while, three performance gigs may not sound a lot (and to lots of musicians, it won’t be), it did mean that I had to learn three different programmes culminating in about two hours worth of music. And then when the music is learnt and the performance is done, because of the way I am currently working, that music isn’t heard again (as sung by me) for months, or years! So you just sort of hope that it stays in your brain until it is needed again. The sheer volume of music that I have had to learn and then leave like this over the years is enormous. I am sure that in my twilight years it will cause me to go insane.
The Mother’s Day Cabaret was a lovely event, full of local people, people who when I perform in front of are so supportive and emphatic in their enjoyment, that I truly enjoy the experience. And I always hope that they go off and tell new people about me! It was probably best then that when the electric piano broke 20 minutes before the concert was due to start, we were able to ask some strong and burly men to help us bring up another one from the cellar of the church next door. I also managed to stay remarkably calm while this was going on, so calm that I even surprised myself. I just figured that if we couldn’t get another piano I could do it all accompanied by spoons (as there were many of them at the venue).
The R&D was a wonderful couple of days spent in The Pleasance Theatre with the company Opera on the Run. They are writing a new show and with it being in the developmental stages, they invite actors and singers to read the script to bring it to life and see where it is going dramatically. I love this side of my job. Sitting in a room with talented people reading an entertaining script is such a satisfying way to spend two days. It reminds me what it is to be a performer and why I decided it would be a good idea to pursue this line of work. You meet people you can network with and exchange ideas, which happened to me and now I am trying to put together a show with a producer. I will keep you updated! Hopefully it’ll go well!
The show in Clapham was also a very enjoyable experience and again reminded me of why I enjoy doing this job. Meeting interesting people and singing wonderful music is why I sing. There is very little glamour and romance to being in shows. It is always a sweaty, nervous experience backstage and Noel and Cole in Clapham was no different. There was a slight mishap with one of my dresses (it didn’t fit! And it did fit last November. Those Christmas pounds! I think I have to accept that I am in an industry where my size does matter and I can’t gain a few pounds for the sole reason that I won’t fit costumes!) The show will be on again in July and I am definitely looking forward to singing some Coward again.
And also in March I got to spend a day wearing gorgeous clothes, having my hair and make up done and my pictures being taken. The result of which are some of the images on my website. Please note-I do not always look like this! I only look nice in these photos because Melanie Gutteridge was in charge of my hair and make up and Andrew Tottenham was the man behind the camera. It is AMAZING what good lighting and lipstick can do to your face. Trust me. No looks that ‘finished’ all the time.
Although March was VERY busy. I love it. To be busy is to be happy, particularly when you’re self employed!