That little two-hander scene I filmed in Brighton in August has been cut into a short film in itself, which you can watch here.It won’t let me embed it for some irritating reason…
Been a bit quiet lately, but highlights have been interviewing US actor Patrick Warburton for Comedy Central. He is the voice of wheelchair-bound Joe Swanson in Family Guy but more excitingly for me he was Elaine’s boyfriend Puddy in Seinfeld and The Tick. Anyway he was lovely, witty and all round nice guy. Expect to see that interview online soon.
Also I just finished filming a scene for an independent movie written by Alex Billington and directed by Stephen M Katz, who was director of photography for The Blues Brothers and Gods And Monsters to name a few. Needless to say he knew was he was doing and the scene was very fun to do. Expect that appearing here soon.
Lastly, a short film called Ali & The Lamp, which I co-wrote with writer/director Michael Yanny is nearing completion and is scheduled to premiere in September. I also pop up in it as a policeman (again), so we’ll see how that turns out….
There’s always an emotional ambivalence whenever I visit the place I grew up. It ranks as one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever been to in this country – yet of course I never appreciated this as a child – and today was no exception.
The sun cast its warm rays on fields of long wheat and fallow grass as I walked off a lovely delicate roast down into the village while the afternoon heat and brilliant light brought out butterflies and grasshoppers in their multitude, dancing and singing in celebration of the peaceful joys of Summer.
Every so often I disturbed a rather dopey sheep or a petrified rabbit and, as I made my way down into the small sheltered community which had sustained itself for over a thousand years, a huge sense of peace washed through me, untangling the knots that have been keeping their white knuckle grip on my upper back these past few months.
Yet at the same time there was an innate melancholy dragging me down more and more strongly the further I descended down into the valley. The sensation grew to such an extent that after a while I wondered why I do this to myself. Why do I travel down there only to be disappointed by what I find? And why am I disappointed by this as I know every single time exactly what it is that I will find?
Nothing changes and yet everything has gone.
I guess I have to accept in my character the down side of being a hopeless nostalgic; you are constantly chasing something that does not exist, longing to embrace that which by its very nature cannot be grasped. Time is ethereal, relative and abstract, yet here I am yet again trying to recapture those moments as if they were etched in stone and preserved in the very landscape that cradles my family home. Searching in vain to recapture the solace that comes from the period in my life when I felt the most content.
No matter how beautiful the surroundings, those fields aren’t half as wonderful to walk through alone as they were years ago when I enjoyed many a summer’s day such as this in these fields with close friends. It represented a time when nothing really mattered and anything was possible, but the one person who made me so happy growing up, sheltering me from the loneliness and isolation that comes from living in the middle of nowhere, is no longer there, long since moved away and got on with their life as I had – or as i thought I had.
Refusal to accept this, no matter how immature I know it is, is always lurking in the back of my mind and so it seems silly to force my own arrested development down my own throat. Trouble is, the vestiges of my past are still there and so i will always be drawn back there, particularly on a gorgeous summer day.
And I still believe that anything is possible. The difference is now I know exactly what you have to to get there…
Been a bit quiet of late, mainly due to the fact I haven’t been doing very much.That said I’m overjoyed to see that a little bit of improvised comedy for the States has finally seen the light of day. We recorded it in 2007 and it essentially involved me dressed up in 16th Century mercantile wear trying to off load some codpieces to the general public.It was the first time I’d ever really done that sort of thing and normally I don’t enjoy so-called stunt comedy as I think it’s entirely based on taking the mick out of people and can be very mean-spirited.That said this turned out to be a lot of fun and everyone involved proved very game – in all a nice way to spend a winter morning on Tower Bridge. I just wished the tights were thicker.You can watch it here.In other news, i recently wrote and voiced a little animation for a corporate financial company, my sole remit to make shares fun and interesting. Hmm… Anyway, it’s here.Lastly, I was running around a council estate in West London at one in the morning dressed in full police anti-terrorist gear for a short film I co-wrote called Ali & The Lamp, so we’ll see how that tuns out.As you were.
I joined a gym this week. I cautiously made my way to some underground vault, the corridors of which lined with intimidating images of modern day Apollos screaming in enjoyment at the sheer excitement of being in peak physical condition. Undeterred, I pushed on towards the reception.
Then I met him. A man with an anvil for a jaw and a name entirely made up of consonants. His handshake was surprisingly gentle but his ridiculously manic stare and rictus grin painted before me an impression of the man I suspected he actually was. A git.
We sat down and he began talking in that bizarre fashion that those sporty times tend to do; all superlatives and hyperbole. I can’t quite recall all the details but I do remember mention of “extreme workout”, “total energy immersion” and “ultimate goal.” “What’s you’re ultimate goal?” he asked, “because we can achieve it here!”
My ultimate goal is to write a great novel. I’m pretty certain it can’t be realised in this gym or any other but I daren’t tell you that, I thought. If you mean ‘why are you here’ then it is simply to help make sure that I don’t die young. That, my absurd new friend, is why I’m here. Can you help me in this? Can you prevent me from dying? You have the body of a god, but have you the power? Probably not.
I joined anyway and I have now begun climbing my own personal Mount Olympus to achieve my ultimate goal, mainly on Mondays and Wednesdays. It think I can. I think it’s doable. I feel, for the first time in my life, as though I can cheat death, defy mortality and rise triumphant, as eternal as those beautiful creatures who work at the gym, and then I can spend all eternity avoiding them.