None Of Us Are “Perfect” In The Arts

It has been said a thousand times Don’t compare yourself to others, but still we do it. We have a glimpse on social media, of how well that person we haven’t seen in years is doing and we crumple. It’s natural, we look at ourselves and start over analysing- picking apart who we are. 

That’s the problem. Sometimes we forget that who we are (who none of us are) will never be our self imposed ideal of perfection. There is no way of clicking fingers and making life the way we want it, we have to work hard and above all enjoy the life we have. 

So what if we haven’t had our new play get the feedback we think it deserves or have that role in that new musical?! Occasionally, we get to places too early and other times our time-keeping doesn’t go to plan. Don’t tear yourself apart, it’s just life, it happens.

Our apparent physical ‘imperfections’ we see in ourselves, don’t go away because someone tells you that you’re beautiful, we all know that. We need to embrace who we are and see that these are what make us who we are, they are quirks that make us stand out from the crowd, let’s be proud of that.

No-one is perfect in this world let alone the Arts, so let’s treat ourselves with the kindness, we endeavour to show others. Starting today!

Be Bold, Fearless And Creative

I haven’t written an article on Frantastic View for a little while and I have definitely missed it (hopefully you might have too?!). As well as missing writing on my blog, I decided to restart writing articles, as the comments and messages from you my readers, about my articles and my career, show that in some small way I can inspire. This makes me overjoyed, that I make a difference, as everyone who says I inspire or have given advice that has helped them, makes me very happy indeed. In the Arts industry, we should all be helping each other, kindness is vital, along with being supportive. 

With this sentiment, I have chosen the three words of advice in the Arts, (along with kindness, which is a given).

Bold

Yes, if you want to create something but have absolutely no idea what you are doing…REMEMBER none of us do most of the time. None of us have all the answers, so never feel embarrassed to ask advice, or have a long research and development period. Approach that creative, you want to work with, take that risk, the worst they can say is no, right?

Fearless

Unless you try you will never know, who likes what if’s? I can’t imagine anyone does, so don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from performing that role or writing that play. Believe in yourself, or what you can achieve, it can seem an alien concept sometimes, but when we do, great things can happen.

Creative

Just simply be you.

What The Term “A Living” Means In The Arts 

The main thing in life is to be happy. The phrase ‘a living’ refers to what most of us do to earn money, but it also means so much to us in the arts. Our work is our life, it’s the way we live, a part of us, like an organ in our body. This life brings us joy.

We are happy as artists, when we are being creative and watching our working take shape. To be able to make a sustainable living is to which we all aspire, whether it’s through all our creative avenues, or just one or two to support other projects, such as a new play we are writing or acting in a Fringe work, that is not paying a substantial fee. 

Living means every moment of a creatives life is full with ideas, content and projects we want to develop. This is not an exaggeration ( OK perhaps a little one), but our life is definitely so much more than 9-5 and we don’t just earn, we live it! 

And as always, have a lovely week and don’t forget to smile!

Regrets Of What We Didn’t Do…

We all know that feeling..What if I had said how I feel? What if I had attended that audition? What if, What if and What if?!

To be very direct, we have two choices:

Let these regrets fester or do something about them.
Ok, this sounds a lot simpler than it actually is, as the reality of both can be terrifying. We need to do something about them, which again comes down to to two choices:

Let go..or say/do what we wished we had, before we had regrets.

This mainly comes from inner strength. This is a strength you didn’t know you had, but one that drives you to do what will make YOU happy. Whether it’s setting up your own theatre company, saying sorry to someone who means a great deal to you, or making a romantic deceleration, these are all things that could make you happy, so what do you have to lose? Pride? Ego? Reputation? So what?! Life is too short to make decisions based on what could go wrong, think what could go right. Please bare this in mind, if something means a lot to you, then it’s worth pursuing and especially if it will benefit others too.

As always, remember to be kind to others as well as yourself!

Belief vs Flattery: Life As A Female Creative

As Artists we are vulnerable. The ones who deny that, are not telling the whole truth. We want praise, to feel validated as a creative and that what we believe in, has resonated with others too. Someone says I want to work with you, we get excited. We must work together..this gets the heart racing. Only problem with this, is the fact, in most instances, these people who speak these words are not entirely as they seem.

Perhaps opportunists is a strong word, but as a female creative we meet these often, some so cleverly disguised, they could give chameleons a run for their money. These are usually men in the industry who try to use their status to reel in women they find attractive, with promises of “collaborating” although their definition is less honourable than the dictionary definition. 

Of course, this scenario happens in many different careers and not just to women, but the arts I feel, we need to speak out more about our lives as female creatives, to create a sense of unity.

My advice to make sure you do not get reeled in by these wolves, in a pug outfit, is trust your intuition, be cautious and if something doesn’t feel right….it’s not. You will know when someone genuinely believes in you, they will act with integrity and never sleazy behaviour.

Remember you have gifts, respect them and yourself. Surround yourself with those who respect you and never be patronised. Always.

A Smile Masks A Thousand Words In The Arts

Make a cup of tea, start your day and then it starts…the smile. The smile that masks a thousand words, that are unsaid. The smile that everyone thinks you are so lucky to be wearing. Why wouldn’t you be? You do a job you love, you aren’t constricted by one with set hours, life is a peach..isn’t it?

It’s when that giant crane digs up the earth, it finds underneath the foundations of that smile we all us on tap as performers, writers, creatives. We use it as a mechanism, to keep us going and keeping up appearances, a sort of Hyacinth Bucket surburbia style. We will say we don’t do this, but ultimately we all do it.

We need to be open with each other, that we all don’t have the perfect life we seem to so often radiate, not by a mile, not even close. It is almost as if it we feel weak or a failure, to admit when things aren’t tickety boo. In the Arts, let’s be open and listen to others, make us realise we are all in this together, for better or worse and need to help each other out.

Why don’t we tell each other how we are feeling…deal?

Summer Nights In Space Reveal Cast And Crew!

Summer Nights in Space 
February 15th – February 19th 2017, 

VAULT Festival 

Press Night: February 15th 2017, 6pm

Hannah Elsy Productions is proud to announce the cast and crew of new science fiction musical Summer Nights in Space, coming to the VAULT Festival in February 2017. 

Summer Nights in Space is a glam space rock musical from composer Henry Carpenter (The Quentin Dentin Show), rooted in classic science fiction, using the bizarre setting of musical theatre to combine the song and dance of entertainment with the really big questions.
“This rock musical is a winner” The Upcoming on The Quentin Dentin Show
Matthew Jacobs Morgan (Love, Nina and Cuffs, BBC1 and Wasted, E4) plays John Spartan, a dedicated professional astronaut, who has worked all his life to achieve his dream of going into space. 

Morgan’s theatre credits also include Our Town, Almeida Theatre and The Hive, Jackson’s Lane. He is joined by Candice Palladino (4 Fit Girls Hit London, Fish Overboard Pictures and Everybody Dies, Edible Brains Productions – Nominated for Outstanding Actress in a Featured Role at the Planet Connections Theater Festival) as the ferocious and sexy Alien, and Benjamin Victor as Lethal Space Bizzle (brash, effortless and sleeping with your wife) and the Computer (stuck on board the spaceship and leading an unexpressed inner life).

The show will be directed by Sinead O’Callaghan (Peter and the Starcatcher, Arena Theatre and Gentle Tim, VAULT Festival 2016), who is also working on The Lock In for Over The Limit Theatre at VAULT Festival 2017. Returning from Hannah Elsy Productions’ The Quentin Dentin Show are Lara Davidson (Design and Lighting Design) and Caldonia Walton (Movement).

 “High voltage mayhem (…) absolutely unmissable” Grump Gay Critic on The Quentin Dentin Show

Summer Nights in Space, a sequel to The Quentin Dentin Show, continues writer Henry Carpenter’s breakdown of a “broken future”. 

This production is part of VAULT Festival’s “Proxima V” programming strand of science fiction/ futuristic work for 2017.

Golden Age Theatre Presents: Boy Stroke Girl At Etcetra Theatre 

ETCETRA THEATRE, Camden – London NW1

Preview: 20th Feb 2017
28th Feb – 12th March 2017

Can you fall in love with someone if you don’t know their gender? 

Peter finds out when he falls for the sexually ambiguous ‘Blue’.
Their relationship poses a challenge to Peter’s identity, forcing him to face some difficult questions: To what extent are we all encouraged to conform to narrow culturally defined stereotypes, to label and to pigeon-hole ourselves?
Are these labels a form of straight jacket and by adapting to them do we compromise our true nature?

Casting caution to the wind, Peter’s passion for ‘Blue’ provokes prejudice and hostility from friends and family in a tale of sexual liberation and shattered taboos.

Written and Directed by Ian Dixon Potter
Performed by Ilaria Ciardelli, Thomasin Lockwood, Gianbruno Spena and Duncan Mason

Reviews of BOY STROKE GIRL:

“Perfectly written” “Simple yet beautiful”
★★★★★ LondonTheatre1

“Makes the audience question their own assumptions and judgements”
★★★★ West End Wilma

 “A truly stimulating piece of theatre” “Complicates and liberates ideas of human behaviour” “Powerful and unique”
Scatter of Opinion

The Doppel Gang Are The Coolest Set In Town- At Tristan Bates Theatre 

The Doppel Gang

Tristan Bates Theatre, 1a Tower Street, London WC2H 9NP 

Tuesday 17th January– Saturday 11th February 2017
 

Press Night: Wednesday 18th January 2017, 7.30pm

The Doppel Gang, a new comedy by Dominic Hedges, explores the wild wit of iconic comedy giants The Marx Brothers. Presented by Just Some Theatre Company, The Doppel Gang has generous helpings of British humour and humility.

As the Blitz ravages London, a hopeless theatre manager persuades a desperate double act and a not-so-convincing male impersonator to join him in an audacious stunt – impersonating The Marx Brothers. With one last roll of the dice, this group of entertainers battle to save the theatre from closure. The curtain is about to rise but so are the stakes as an unprecedented series of revelations leads to an exhilarating chain of events. Will anyone believe they are the real Marx Brothers?

The Doppel Gang fuses classic British comedy with the endless energy of the Marx Brothers, who at the time the play is set were dominating the comedy scene in the US. With its precision timing and authentic 40s soundtrack, the audience are transported to wartime London and the antics used to boost morale.
Playwright Dominic Hedges comments, 

There are so many similarities between our comedy and that of our American cousins. We both think we’re hilarious and we both think we’re smarter than one another. Groucho Marx’s lightning wit versus Eric Morecambe’s wry asides for instance. I guess I’ve tried to pit us up against them, all the while hiding ourselves from the horrible reality of our Second World War surroundings. It’s as though the faster we talk, the less real life is.

Jake Urry and Peter Stone of Just Some Theatre comment, 

We are thrilled to be bringing The Doppel Gang to London. The show is packed with energy, featuring a cast of lovable rogues and their badly devised scheme to impersonate the Marx Brothers in pursuit of a quick buck. The Doppel Gang appeals to lovers of classic comedy, old theatre tradition and good old sarcastic British humour – and of course The Marx Brothers!

Yes…Even More Theatre Picks Of 2016

Fringe is what I am about (well that and the brussel sprout and cheese bake I am eating right now). Giving new voices a voice and new work a platform. I confess due to my own personal creative endeavours, I have not seen as much theatre as I did in 2015. This means accordingly, I only feel it is fair to have a top 5 Fringe shows of 2016, rather than 10 ( as I did last year) to put in this post.

BU21 at Theatre503

Transferring to Trafalgar Studios in January 2017, after its triumph in 2016 at Theatre503, the play BU21 was the ultimate for me, a masterpiece. Stuart Slade has really created something really quite unique, soul stirring and heartbreaking, as well humourous in equal measure. Set around the aftermath of a fictious terrorist attack on six Londoners, the writing and performances were impeccable, with a dryly funny stand out performance from Alex Forsyth, who was also nominated for an Offie for Best Male. Thalissa Teixeira also shone as a greiving PR Executive.

Underexposed Old Red Lion Theatre 

I saw this evening of new writing in April and was very impressed by the theatrical works showcased. It was a real pleasure to see new works of such a high standard, varying from definitive drama to comedy, all in one production. The themes of the plays were underexposed stereotypes and these were certainly exposed brilliantly. Underexposed Theatre are a Theatre Company to keep an eye out for in 2017!

HERSTORY Festival at Theatre N16

Founded by the tour de force Nastazja Somers, the first HERSTORY Festival, that I was priveliged to attend back in August, has a big place on this list. An evening of honest theatre that transcends genre and boundaries, telling stories that need to be told, I was hooked. With an array of established and upcoming writers, it was a wonderful night of solidarity.



This Is Living Trafalgar Studios 

OK, perhaps not technically fringe, but the debut play of Liam Borrett was an absolute revelation. With it’s two leads Tamla Kari and Michael Socha playing a couple torn apart by death, I was spellbound from beginning to end. This really is a masterclasses in finding the human element in tragedy, without being over sentimental and being well, just real. Tamla Kari was just sensational, she literally broke your heart in her role.

Big Brother Blitzkreig at King’s Head Theatre

Controversial, thought provoking and laugh out loud this comedy-drama play has it all. Written and directed by Hew Rous Eyre and Max Elton, this look at the past never being too far separated with the present, has Adolf Hitler finding himself transported to Big Brother. Both Hitler and housemates are oblivious to who the other actually are. Intelligent, witty and fantastic performances, especially by Stephen Chance as Hitler.