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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Cumpkin R.I.P.

Back at the Leicester Square Theatre for one final time to shoot the last ever AIOTM . And if you don't know what that is, then you won't know what a cumpkin is, and *I'm* not going to tell you. Google it. Unless you're my parents, in which case - really don't.

Was a great final show - long, completely self referential and perhaps even a little moving in places (Rich playing trumpet gave everyone daffy smiles) - all made better by a massively up for it sell-out audience.

I first came down to shoot the show in show 2 of the first series, and was at a loose end professionally and personally. I'd had some big life changes, got hugely disillusioned with the realities of being a success in Europe but unable to make a living in my home country, and was trying to start again after 20-odd years by prioritising things that were interesting and fun rather than conventionally "good for one's career".

Now it's the best part of a couple of years down the line, and I'm stunned by how things have turned out. I'm making a decent living performing in the shiny and wonderful circuit of cabaret and burlesque venues in London and the UK, won a little national award for my photography, and wrote and performed a one man show at the Edinburgh festival that got the best reviews of my career and lead to a producer being foolhardy enough to take me back up to the festival this year for a bigger version of the show. I've been accepted into a family of amazing performers and promoters who make up a beautiful network of clubs and shows that I feel I've waiting most of my career to be a part of.

All this, and I get to go out for dinner with my wife more often that once every couple of months in between contracts. Good deal, kids.

I'm not saying this to brag, I'm saying this to remind myself, and I guess you, of how it happened. I stopped thinking about work, and started chasing stuff that was fun, involving people I liked . I stopped trying to get the great gigs and instead played with the idea of creating some interesting work for it's own sake. This was, I think, a similar mindset that motivated Richard's decision to start AIOTM - to stop being annoyed at things that you can't really control, and instead just sit down and make something. If you're a creative, then create.

If you're going to the Edinburgh festival, Richard will be performing his new show "What is love anyway"at the Udderbelly and doing a daily fringe podcast at The Stand, and I will be doing my show "Three Balls and a New Suit" at the Voodoo Rooms and appearing daily in "Vive Le Cabaret" at the Pleasance Forth.

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