I was looking at Slava Polunin’s inspiration and this man was his inspiration. Marcel Marceau, a man trained in Pantomime, mime and clown. This piece is a hilarious yet sad story about a mime that gets his mask stuck on. His face is stuck in happy yet the man is actually incredibly unhappy.
I am going to see Slava Polunin’s Snow Show next saturday and I am so excited, I feel like a little kid that is about to see his idol! He has been my hero and inspiration this past year and I am so excited to actually experience him in real life. I have spent a lot of money on tickets and train journeys… I feel like I just need to see him. Its something I have to do!
‘Pure magic. An evening of enchantment and fun’ Daily Express
I am not sure where I start to talk about this year, it has been a journey, a giant step for my life… I started it quite glum and I am finishing it on the greatest heights of happiness. Something you should know about 2012 is that since about 2009/2010 I have linked this year with something, something great. I could feel it in my bones that something great would happen this year. I didn’t know what. I didn’t know how. I just knew.
It is fair to say my life has not only lived up to that expectation but surpassed it phenomenally. The things I have achieved, received and discovered this year have been extremely over whelming. Why I hear you ask? Well I have just looked back at my review of 2011 and I remembered the place I was in. I made some pretty dumb decisions, some quite awful choices that delved me into a place that wasn’t the happiest. Relationships ended and my education just completely crumbled. I said silly things that completely alienated me from my friends. The reason I am so completely happy right at this very moment is that none of that even matters anymore. I don’t even care. Not even a little bit.
This year I graduated from University and my life finally begun, for three years at my university I just lived a dull and uninteresting life. For three years I lived my most uncreative years, I felt sucked of energy and inspiration. The day I graduated I breathed new life. Don’t get me wrong I adore education, I spend my evenings researching my favourite practitioners, I watch videos of some of the greatest. I try to educate myself every day. But when your education isn’t right for you, it can do quite the opposite. I have so far had four jobs outside of university and each one has been nothing short of incredible!
In february I successfully auditioned for a very small part on a Playstation advert, we filmed the advert outside of the Hilton in Liverpool, we had a CGI artist with us showing images of the spaceships we would be ‘seeing’… even though they weren’t there. Unfortunately the advert never surfaced but as they say, in the industry… Contacts are everything. Playstation called me up again to inform me I had another job without an audition. I was whisked off to London into one of the greatest green screen studios in the country, a studio used by the likes of Rihanna and Stephen Fry! I filmed a great video for ‘Little Big Planet’, it was the hottest studio I have ever been in, they had reached their limit of electricity in an hour because the lights were so bright! (and hot) but what a great experience. The people were fantastic, I really enjoyed having my own wardrobe lady, my own make up lady and my own hair lady. (All Ladies!) This advert was released, you can watch it below:
I started the year with rehearsals with Preston Passion, a giant physical theatre production done by volunteers on the BBC. We used ribbons and flags to create images that were visible from the sky! It was to mark Easter Friday at the Preston Guild (Which happens ever 20 years!). I was approached by the director Mark Murphy in rehearsals and was asked if I could step in for a part as someone wasn’t present, this turned into a permanent part and I ended up with quite a lot of screen time, live on BBC 1. To say I was nervous is an understatement. What a great experience though, what a lovely bunch of people, some even more so than others. I will get to that bit later!! :)
Soon after graduating University I got a job working on a feature film with Summertime Pictures. I met some fantastic artists and actors. The idea was to create a british teen horror film, which is often an American market. We spent two months in a forest in Lymm, Warrington. I was bitten to hell and back and was a very tough experience… unfortunately the director didn’t treat the team well and we were let down quite a lot. The project collapsed but luckily I won a recent court case concerning pay and it should end positively, it wasn’t a complete waste of time. We also managed to get some of the footage from the project pre-edit. Have a look:
6 Month Tour:
I am currently sat in first class traveling from Glasgow to Manchester, coming off 4 months worth of touring with a theatre company called M&M Theatrical Productions and what an extraordinary four months it has been! I have travelled all over the UK living in more houses than most people live in, in a life time! I have toured schools, I have toured theatre’s and I have toured hotels! We take our show to the wealthiest children and we take the show to the children that never get anything, and the latter is most certainly the most rewarding. We bring theatre to people that would never get to see it in their life time. I can not say anything but it is a complete honour to introduce art to them and make them realise the magic and energy of live performance. We come in on the dull and wet monday morning and transform their lives. I won’t lie, it has also been the toughest four months ever, I have missed home, I have missed my friends, my partner and I have missed my freedom/privacy. But its worth it. It really is. It is a privileged to know that I am using my life wisely and bringing something to someone who needs it.
So what a year it has been, so many fantastic projects and so many dreams come true. But none of these experiences have come close to one thing, this year I discovered Mr Andrew Card. The best thing to happen to me in my whole life. It was during Preston Passion (above), he was a volunteer, where we began to flirt and over the months following it we became very close. I can quite honestly say this year, the year of 2012, I have found the love of my life. And I will quite happily tell the world. I have never been this happy with anyone, and I don’t want to change it one bit. This is the one thing that has made 2012 such an amazing year, I knew 2012 would of been a great year and this is why. Thank you Andy for making my life complete. Thanks for being special.
Merry Christmas to everyone, have a great holiday and enjoy your new year. I will be spending my holidays with my beau and going to see Slava Polunin’s Snow Show which I posted about this time last year, I can’t believe I am going to see him live! I can’t even begin to imagine what will happen in 2013, what new oppertunities will come? I finish my tour in Feb, from then life is my oyster, I hope it is just as exciting as this year!
Today I had the worst shift at work I think I have ever had, I work at a cafe in my students union. We make food, we clean up. Every day its the same old thing. Then I got into a conversation with one of the workers about how life should be viewed and what my parents brought me up to believe. Then I thought… the world really needs to know about this!
My mum is a wonderful woman, she worked as a cashier in Iceland for about 10 years. And you wouldn’t believe it but she enjoyed every day of it, she says talking to the customers really made her happy. She then left that job for a job in a housing units store, they sell kitchens and the like. She had a higher pay, but I remember never seeing my mum more unhappy. Then she retired from work after a few years. And has never returned. My dad worked as a printer manager at ‘The Mirror’, he checked wether the ink smudged. It was a night shift, on most nights. He hated it, in fact I remember being afraid of annoying my dad as a kid because he would get very angry very quickly due to being over worked, then him and my mum couldn’t handle it anymore and they divorced. About 7 years ago my dad was made redundant, they paid him off and he was jobless. This was the best thing to happen to my dad, he used the money to move to Wales and he took up his passion for gardening, my garden as a kid was beautiful, I have never seen another garden like it and I miss the huge flowing flowers and the explosions of colour… the garden was my dads safe place. And now he works in other peoples gardens for a living. And my dad is so happy, he is a completely new man.
One thing my mum always said to me was ‘Tom, whatever you do please get a job you enjoy, you work for over half of your life, life isn’t worth living if you don’t enjoy your job.’
And she is right, and from that moment I have been inspired to take up my dream of being an actor, and spreading the joy I get from my life into others. Some days I might earn very little but it doesn’t matter, because the smile very rarely leaves my face. I am not destined to work in a cafe, it makes me unhappy, it causes me stress. Life is too short to put up with that crap. Take hold of your life. Do what makes you happy.
I thank my mum every day for bringing me up this way, the girl I spoke to at work said that she was told to make the best out of every work situation. And I just refused to agree, society tells us we have to settle for the boring jobs to make a living. But thats a lie… its possible to make money out of having fun. Trust me.
A film I did recently directed by Joe O’Donnell. It was a fun shoot, though got a lot of strange looks from the public as I was wearing a balaclava. Turned out to be a fun short story… he did a great job editing it!
Since the end of December I have become incredibly fascinated with the technique of ‘Clowning’. For one main reason, because its fun. No other art in the world portrays ‘fun’ as much as clown. I challenge you to find something that is more ‘fun’ than clowning. It turns audiences of people as young as five to people as old as 90 into a hyperactive, drooling mess of excitement. Sometimes the older audience members getting far more excited than the younger.
And why is that? Because sometimes when you get older, you forget to have fun. You get so absorbed by the world. The need to impress, the need to be cool, the need to be a respectable human being, you forget that none of that really matters, all that really matters in the world is having fun and being happy. Money doesn’t matter if you don’t have fun. Your career does not matter if you are not having fun.
I came up with an idea today, its a one man show… and the goal of it is to remind people how to have fun, and not to take life too seriously. Because I did that and I got so miserable I didn’t even remember what fun was like, I used to pretend I was having fun. Especially when I first started acting, I used to pretend I was enjoying acting… but I got stuck in this acting world that was not made for me. I am challenging myself in the next 6 months to create a show like no other. And you can come on the journey with me.