Saturday, 9 April 2016
Blast from the Past - out of my comfort zone
Yesterday, I was out of my comfort zone.
The reason for this was I went to see Jackie the Musical and I have to say that although I had read lots of very good reviews about the musical itself, I was rather nervous about going.
The problem was, I had made the mistake of reading a review which said that the atmosphere (in that particular theatre on the tour) was like a hen party, that the audience was all women and that there was a lot of audience participation. It didn't help when fellow writer Helen Yendall who saw it recently too, told me that she and her friends had gone there wearing Rubettes caps. Thanks Helen!
Now, anyone who knows me will also know that a) I don't do dressing up b) I don't like large gaggles of women (hen party style) c) I don't do audience participation.
What was I to do? All day I worried about it. Would I hate the whole experience? Should I give my ticket away? In the end I looked at it rationally. When I was a teenager, I loved Jackie and would count down the days until the weekly issue came out. I made up problems for 'Cathy and Claire' (which I never sent) and stuck the pictures of David Essex and Marc Bolan on my wall and read the stories avidly. I had to go. Of course I did.
So, at 7.30 last night, my four girlfriends and I walked through the doors of the Theatre Royal in Brighton. If I was expecting to see legions of drunk women wearing Bay City Roller scarves and platforms, I was disappointed (well, actually I wasn't). What I found instead was a foyer full of regular theatre goers in normal clothes. There were also (surprisingly) quite a few men.
I loved the show. It was such fun and so nostalgic and there was such a lovely atmosphere in the theatre. I was instantly transported back to those days of catsuits, chain belts and blouses with huge collars. Which made me think - what if I'd gone with my instinct and chickened out. I'd have missed a great experience.
Being out of my comfort zone is something I try and avoid, but I suspect that as my writing career progresses, I might find myself having to do things I'd normally shy away from. If that happens, I shall think back on my Jackie experience and remember that sometimes things aren't as bad in reality as they are in your imagination.
I wanted to find a photo of myself in the seventies but found that the best ones had turned orange! Instead, I have illustrated this post with photos of some drawings I did in the 70s. The girls I drew are a great representation of the fashions of the time. They were drawn between the ages of 12 and 15. My sister and I spent hours drawing them and I'm so glad I kept the books.
Did I ever mention I wanted to be Suzi Quatro?
Now a random fact: Jackie mag was published by D C Thomson - who publish The People's Friend (who I am a regular writer for). I didn't know that until I read the programme and I think that's rather fitting.
Tomorrow (Sunday) is my birthday and we will be spending it in the Lake District. It's one of my favourite places and perfect timing after all the work I've been doing on the novel. I'll be having a complete break from writing and hope to return with re-charge batteries. See you all next week when I return.