don't let the cave-in get you down

don't let the falling rocks turn your smile into a frown

Long time no see
2015! Hello!

2014 wasn't the terrible ordeal for me that it seems to have been for a lot of people. I took a year-long class I adored at a Proper Fancy Drama School, made a small amount of actual money doing actual theatre things, and then spent three months being driven across the United States, sleeping in tents and having encounters with wild animals. We saw herds of wild bison at Yellowstone, a family of wild moose in Glacier National Park, baby bears in Sequoia (and a few other places!) and, traumatically, tarantulas.  During TARANTULA MATING SEASON. When our tent zip was malfunctioning and wouldn't zip properly. 

Of course now it's 2015, I'm unemployed and back in Scotland and about to move flats.  We'll be living in the Mean Streets of Glasgow, something I am very excited about since we will no longer have stupidly long commutes into work and/or to see shows, or both, since L continues to get free tickets to the students' performances from her work. 

L is not going to be kicked. Who knows how that happened - presumably the UKBA totally imploding had something to do with it.

This actually happened about two weeks ago - we've been busy celebrating. No scramble to get cheapish flights in 28 days, no random horrible separation for who-knows-how-long, no desperate plots involving friends in Krakow and Polish citizenship tests.

Of course now we need to decide WHAT TO DO WITH OUR LIVES. But at least that won't involve waiting for the U.S to change its gay-marriage-immigration policy and/or learning Polish.

(no subject)
So, in my attempts to become someone who actually acts like a human being sometimes (instead of sitting up until 5am reading whatshouldwecallme and Sex Diaries, I did my bank-related chores and turned up to Amadeus rehearsals half an hour early to prepare.

I sat in the cafe of the Arts Centre we were rehearsing in, ordered an apple juice (because I am a grown-up) and made notes. When nobody had turned up five minutes before we were set to begin, I started to wonder what was going on.

ME: Hi, have the Amadeus cast gone through to the studio already?
RECEPTION LADY: Amadeus cast? Not that I know - we actually don't have anyone booked in the studio at all today...
ME: *heart stops*

The problem is, this happens to me. Frequently. Like the time I brought L to see a friend's production of The Hired Man a week before it went up. Or the time *cough*last Sunday*cough* I mistook 'rehearsals run until half four' with 'rehearsals start at half four. I started having palpitations about the possibility of having to run to the closest useful bus stop (15 minutes away) to our other rehearsal venue, all the while babbling to the director --

-- when she stepped through the front door. THANK GOODNESS.

(no subject)
Wow. What a crashingly horrible six months. The quickest summary I can come up with would be as follows: I have NOT moved to London, I have NOT found a proper grown-up job (or any job at all), and we are NOT going to manage to secure L a visa. I wasn't expecting things to be easy in this economy, but Jesus.

The end result has been me sort of flailing about moronically, and somehow managing to get next to nothing achieved since graduating.

It also makes it really, really difficult to make any kind of concrete plans. To be honest, my intention on moving back to Hometown was this: get a shitty part-time job and do a bunch of volunteering, interning and classes in the meantime. But that was when the financial requirement for the partner of someone applying to stay in the country was £13,500. Now it's significantly more.

As a result I feel guilty if I'm doing anything other than filling out job applications, and I haven't liked to commit myself to too much unpaid work, because oh my god my partner is going to be forced out of her job and kicked out of the country because of me.

It's hard, and it makes it genuinely difficult to do anything. I've finally decided to apply for a couple of volunteering jobs, and also an internship, because if I'm not qualified for a job at The Money Shop then I'm not going to get more qualified for it sitting here having a panic attack.

Dear Yuletide Author!

Reading Week!
Which should more accurately be called Freaking Out About Essays And Other Projects While Everyone Else You Know Goes On Holiday Week.

Surprisingly, the thing that I am worried about the most isn't my essays (each worth at least 40% of their respective classes) or NaNoWriMo (which I started about five days later than I should have but have managed to scrape together 10,000 words for anyway) but the fact that I am supposed to be off-book for Arcadia by Sunday.

I'm enjoying the play, but my god. Up til now my experiences of amateur student directors had been extremely positive.

The person running Arcadia seems mostly to have cast on the basis of Who Sounds the Poshest, and most rehearsals turn into giant gossip sessions about people I barely know. (Apart from that one rehearsal which turned into an extended conversation about Star Trek and Tamora Pierce, which was much more enjoyable without being any more useful.)

It's interesting, the number of American friends I have who are completely enamored by the posh boys here. Occasionally our flat is overrun by tall rugby players wearing tweed and wellington boots and smoking pipes. I swear I saw one with a monocle once.

It has its advantages, though; for example, American Housemate informed me that her Bonfire Night ended with an epic battle between the Tory Society and LeftSoc over an effigy of David Cameron which culminated with a wrestling match on someone's car in front of our house.

no, okay, studying a bit.
Or trying to. I can only take two classes this semester (!!!) - the focus is going to be firmly placed on independent reading, researching and writing.

I'm absolutely dreading my philosophy class.

It's compulsory - I need to take it at some point during the next two years, and my current plan is to get it out of the way as quickly as possible. But I don't know how I'm going to cope in a subject with nothing but a two-hour lecture, a one-hour seminar and (presumably?) a one-hour tutorial when I can barely deal with the pre-sessional reading.

Despite this, I'm desperately looking forward to classes starting back. This year is going to be a good one, I think. The girlfriend and I have moved into our lovely new flat; unfortunately I seem to be allergic to our room (maybe it's the duvet? Maybe it's the mattress? Lots and lots of hoovering and laundering has not yet helped). We only have one rather small window and the ceiling slopes a little, which sort of gives the impression of living in a cave. So far it's novel enough that I'm quite pleased with it - we'll see how I feel when it starts getting dark before 17:00.

... I have a feeling that the more often I try to read up on metaphysics, the more often I'll be updating my journal. Yay?

Instead of studying I am...
... thinking lots about Kana, AKA Gran-Gran. And I have reached the conclusion that I WANT ALL THE FIC IN THE WORLD ABOUT KANA'S JOURNEY FROM THE NORTH TO SOUTH POLE.

Kana-centric spoilers from the end of S1 and S3Collapse )

So my major non-academic goal for the year is to get a singing scholarship - a scholarship that would entitle me to at least one semester of singing lessons for no charge.

I have no idea whether I'll get it. I've never had singing lessons before. I can't read music; I have difficulty sticking to the correct part during harmonies; and I think my singing voice might be a little too nasal. But in the past year of doing shows it's always been singing parts that I've gotten, and being out of the shadow of some genuinely incredible singers at my old drama group has lead me to realise that I have a pretty powerful voice with a very wide vocal range.

Until I took a year off from acting entirely I didn't realise how much it means to me. And - well. I think overall I made the right decision in going to university instead of drama school. I don't even know if I'd have gotten into drama school! And actorly life just doesn't sound appealing to me, in terms of the uncertainty and insecurity and competition. But the acting... I have friends who are doing the Edinburgh fringe festival. They're doing a show a night for a month and I am so, so jealous.

I know that I can use performance-type skills in ~real jobs~. I just went to speaker's training with Macmillan, so that I can deliver presentations to groups and corporations either thanking them for donating to the charity or persuading them to do so. I know I can work out a compromise that will make me overall happy. But I keep hearing about old friends from my old group getting into shows or into drama school or getting TV auditions and all I think is WANT WANT WANT.

But! The school year will be here soon. And since my voice is getting me into shows, I'm going to do as much as I can to improve it. Which includes more exercise, actually - my asthma has been making itself more prominent lately. I need to strengthen up my lungs, maintain my range, and work on a couple of audition-friendly songs. Fingers crossed.

cleaning has its dangers
I think working is driving me a bit mad.

I work at a gorgeous little guesthouse in town. It has six bedrooms, a dining room and a lounge; I come in and make the beds, hoover a bit, do some dusting, and occasionally make toast and tea if I'm in early enough and the guests need some. Usually another girl is in too, and she cleans the bathrooms. In return I get paid both in money and things that the owners don't want to waste, such as bowls of strawberries or unneeded pillows or left-behind bottles of Jack Daniels. My boss also makes sure I have toast and mushrooms every day before I leave. Probably it's the mushrooms that've inspired my UNDYING LOYALTY, although to be honest I am extremely fond of anyone who feeds me regularly.

So this is all awesome! I have easy paid employment surrounded by nice people and plenty of perks! The problem is that I seem to be becoming... territorial.

And now there's a new girl. A new girl who doesn't do the bathrooms. She dusts and does beds and hoovers, like me. And it's almost like I've been getting jealous.

I walk into the dining room and the table has already been wiped and polished, and I get all huffy. I get the hoover out of the cupboard with unnecessary clatter, thinking, "Sure, you POLISH THE TABLE. Go ahead. I'm just going to HOOVER THE SHIT OUT OF THIS FLOOR. Yeah. How'd you like that, huh? HUH?"

Maybe the glass cleaner has been affecting me.


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