Sunday, 23 October 2011

Lucy Atkinson, BA Hons.

Mum sent me these photos to add to the graduation section of that last post, but i like them so much that i'm going to put them in a post of their own.

It was a truly awesome day; like a hundred million hotdogs.

A New Chapter

Wow, it's been a long time.
Sorry about that, i always seem to drift away from the blog during the summer, which is odd because i'm on my computer just as much as i am during the colder months. I think i just have less procrastination to do during the summer. Maybe once i get busy again i'll start blogging more frequently.

Anyway, a lot has happened since i last wrote, and i'll try my best to fill you in on all of it without writing the longest post in the history of the internet. Where to start?

Just after i last wrote, Mum and i went on an incredible cruise from around the Baltic. We set off from Stockholm (which i fell in love with and can't wait to visit again) and ended up in Copenhagen, stopping along the way in Talinn, St. Petersberg, Helsinki, and Warnemulde (for a day trip to Berlin). We got picked up in Copenhagen by Carol and Hal, two of mum's friends from her days in Washington, and they drove us to their house in Oslo, where we spent a lovely few days taking in the sights and being underwhelmed by the men. Words can't really express how much fun it was, so here are some photos.

I've decided that i could get used to a life of such luxury.

Whilst on the cruise, after a sweltering day in St Petersberg, i got the results from my degree. I got a very respectable 2.1, and while my initial reaction was to burst in to tears (which confused and terrified the mother) I am actually pretty proud of myself. I managed to get a good grade whilst maintaining a social life and directing plays almost every term.

After we got back to England, mum and I only had a few days rest before we were off to Latitude festival. It was the 3rd year for me, and mum's second, and we decided to do it in style, hiring a "pod" for the weekend. Our little wendy-house was dry and relatively warm, and we had beds that were off the ground. Compared to sleeping in a tent it was heavenly. The festival was, as always, a hoot. We only saw two bands the whole weekend, instead spending most of our time in the theatre tent, or being read short stories by David Morrissey (swoon). I got to meet Arthur Darville whilst mum flirted with a fairy godmother, and we both fell in love with a bearded graphic novelist eco-warrior. Fun times.

A couple of days after returning, Dad flew over to England to watch me graduate. The whole day was so much better than i was expecting. The ceremony was just the right mix of somber and lighthearted, and though initially i was frustrated at the change of university chancellor (when i joined Sussex, the chancellor was Richard Attenborough, by the time i graduated it was Sanjeev Baskar), Sanjeev did an excellent job in every respect. The whole day was magnificent.

I then packed up all my things and moved out of Brighton. Bidding farewell to the city by the sea, I made my way up to Edinburgh for the festival. I was working on a box-office for a theatre and living with the boys from Casual Violence (my friends from Brighton). To describe all the wonderful, inspiring, challenging, hilarious and occasionally heartbreaking things i saw over the course of the festival would take a year. I saw 70 shows in 24 days, and all but 2 of them were wonderful. Whatever happens i plan on going again next year, ideally with a show of my own, but if not then at least as the most prolific viewer the festival has ever known.

That brings us up to the end of August, and the pace starts to slow a little. On the way down from Edinburgh i  meet the parents and grandparents in York, and travel with the parents down to London to stay with some friends of theirs. Dad goes home and mum and i spend an evening drinking wine and watching the entire first season of Downton Abbey. We move to Surbiton to stay at Rose and Pete's house while they're in their house in Greece, and then mum goes back to Bahrain. I spend the next 6 weeks living in Rose and Pete's house, looking after their dog and being very lazy, moping about the fact that i'm homeless and jobless.

In fact, i spent that 6 weeks ushering for a site specific show from a theatre company called Headlong, who are incredible, and through it i had some great experiences and made some new friends. I was also frantically house hunting and job hunting, and eventually got two interviews. The first was for an internship with a theatre company called Clod Ensemble, who are producing and facilitating a series of events, performances, lectures, conversations and exhibitions over the next 3 months at various venues all across London, including Sadler's Wells, the Wellcome Collection and the Whitechapel Gallery. I got it, and for the past 2 weeks have been travelling up to Bethnal Green 3 days a week to work on putting together this season. It's fascinating, complex and occasionally confusing, but I'm really enjoying it. Part of the internship includes making sure that the projects Clod run year round don't get left by the wayside during the course of the season, so i spend every Friday afternoon in a community centre for elderly people in Holborn doing a photography workshop. I'm loving it.

The second interview was for a Director's Traineeship Programme, run by a theatre company called Stonecrabs. It runs from October until February, one day and one evening per week. During the day you work on building up directing skills through workshops and text analysis for the first half of the course, and for the second half of the course you work with actors on the play you are directing, culminating in a performance in the Albany Theatre in Deptford in February. The evening sessions are about the business of directing, and over the run of the programme you are in charge of creating, marketing and running the performance. We are entirely responsible for every aspect of the show, from casting to rehearsal to advertising and press, right down to the running order of the performances. There were 9 spaces on the programme, and i got one of them. I'm over the moon. It starts on Tuesday and i promise i'll tell you everything.

My final piece of exciting news is that today i moved out of Rose and Pete's attic and in to a beautiful flat in Whitechapel. It's in a converted denim factory and has brick walls and a wooden floor and entire walls of windows. It's tiny but i love it, and the two people i am living with are both lovely. I've only been here for about 6 hours, and most of my stuff is still in a storage container down in Brighton, but this already feels like home.

So there you have it. A chapter of my life has ended, and an exciting new one has begun. I am no longer a student, but a pseudo-intellectual young un-professional, living the dream. Wish me luck.
Love you all.

Monday, 13 June 2011

It's not just for gays any more.

I want nothing more than to go to the Tony awards one day.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

We Will Become Silhouettes

Today I did something cool.

Actually, i did a lot of cool things, I saw Rocket to the Moon at the National Theatre (for every essay that i finish i buy myself a theatre ticket. That was the last of my degree, and it was incredible. There are so many great deals for young people to see world class theatre in London, and I'm abusing this privilege as much as humanly possible); I also went to the Globe and bought tickets for me and the parentals for All's Well That Ends Well and Doctor Faustus for next month. I got chatted up by a cute busker and got my photo taken for a Japanese fashion blog (Doctor Who is right, bow-ties are cool. Mine is blue and velvet and goes particularly well with short shorts and giant heels).

But the REALLY cool thing i did today was register to be a bone marrow donor and an organ donor. Last year my friend Chaz died because she couldn't find a bone marrow donor. This is my way of remembering her and helping other people in her situation. As for the organ donation, it's something I've planned on doing for a long time and i finally got around to actually signing up.

I'm posting this up here not only because i think it's important and pretty cool, but also because most of the people who read this could be counted as next of kin, or people who ought to know. I plan on outliving all of you, but just in case something unexpected happens, i want you guys to know that i plan on donating everything i viably can, and then i want to be cremated, turned into fireworks and handed out to my loved ones, to be set off in places that remind them of me.

It's going to be an awfully big adventure. Hopefully in an awfully long time.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Write me

I love letters, and i almost never get them. There's something so much more personal about post than email correspondence, don't you think?

(George Carlin, not only a hilarious man, but a damn romantic one too.)

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

I got your back

I am too in love with Bo Burnham. He's a comedy songwriter, he's the same age as me, he has 2 albums and is on a world tour. I'm seeing him for free next week and i couldn't be more excited.

All of his songs are amazing, but this one, of his forthcoming (and as yet unrecorded) rap album is by far and away my favourite.

He's a tall, skinny, white kid from Michigan, but he might have just made the best rap song I've ever heard. He looks so sad and angry when he sings it, you can tell it comes from personal experience.

I've listened to it over 10 times today. Breaks my heart.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Drizzle and a hurricane

Having finished my degree, I'm finally allowed to read books without having to analyze them, and the first new book I've chosen to read is Looking For Alaska, which is aimed at 16 year olds, and which i am enjoying immensely. From what I've read so far, it's like a teem version of The Secret History, which is in my top 10 books of all time, but with more teen angst and awkwardness. After I've finished it i might be really indulgent and re-read Gatsby, Kavalier and Clay, The Virgin Suicides, The Secret History and Lord of the Flies. My brain is to tired for anything new that might be challenging, and i haven't let myself read any of those for at least 6 months. Hooray for being allowed to read my favourite books without feeling guilty!

As for the rest of my life. I have a phone interview for a job during the Edinburgh festival, which i really hope i get. I'm rehearsing for a play that I'm in, which isn't great theatre but is a lot of fun. I should start house hunting so that i have somewhere to live come September. People keep asking me what I'm going to do now that I've finished uni, and i don't know what to tell them. For now, I'm seeing where the days take me.

Come back to the old five and dime

Yes please.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Does this mean I'm a grown up?

I finished my dissertations. I printed them. I handed them in. I am no longer a university student.

Right now I'm not really sure what i feel. I was strangely calm this morning while i was finishing them off, and once i handed them in i was happy, but none of it really feels real. It might be the fact that I've had about 10 hours sleep over the past week, or that i haven't really had anything proper to eat from about 4 days, but right now it doesn't seem like it's really over.

I have had such a wonderful time at university, made amazing friends and done amazing things, and part of me doesn't feel ready to leave. On the other hand, there's a big world out there full of all kinds of opportunities, just waiting to be explored.

I just got home from the dissertation dash, which is the party that the students union throws for third year students on hand in day, and the first thing i did was apply for an apprenticeship at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, working for 3 months studying directing with Trevor Nunn, helping produce a production of The Tempest starring Ralph Feinnes. There is only one place, and I'm sure there are thousands of applicants, but today I'm feeling lucky.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

curiouser and curiouser

I had a day off from writing my dissertations.

I worked an 8 hour shift in the ice-cream shop, then, whilst walking home, was lured into a Victorian train carriage parked in Jubilee Square. Inside they were giving out unlimited free gin and tonic if you told them curious stories. They had also transformed the inside of the train carriage into a mini-museum of curiosities. I was with my friend Nicole, and she pointed out that there were people sitting in a kind of glamorous Victorian tent on the other side of the train, and we found out that there was going to be a flash fiction slam, and if you bought a ticket you got more free gin. We bought tickets. The stories were wonderful. Then we stroked a puppy and drank more gin.

I was in bed by 11, asleep by half past, and wasn't stressed for the first time in weeks. I love Brighton. (and gin.)

Friday, 20 May 2011

How much?

I have 3 days to go and another 4000 words to write.

My brain feels too full. I can't focus because there are too many words in there.

I'm absolutely terrified I'm going to get a 2.2. I just don't want people to think I'm stupid.

(just after i wrote that my friend Luke came and found me and i started crying and couldn't stop. I've come home, I'm in bed. I'm working an 8 hour shift at the ice-cream shop tomorrow, then on Sunday i WILL finish this.)

Thursday, 19 May 2011

To die, to sleep.

I am so tired. I have all but finished my English dissertation and am so bored of it that i can't even be bothered to proof read it. I'm leaving it alone for a day or two while i focus on my film dissertation, then over the weekend i'll polish them both up.

Everyone tells you about how stressful this week is, but they don't tell you how boring it is. I've been in the library for roughly fourteen hours a day almost every day for the past three weeks. I've almost gone past the point of caring now, i just want these things to be done. I just want to be in bed.

Saying that, today i started to worry that both my dissertations aren't academic enough. Neither of them quote Freud or Adorno. I find them interesting, but they are less theoretical than they are perhaps supposed to be. I'm terrified that i'll get a really harsh marker and end up with a 2.2 because i didn't write enough about the feminine lack or some such bollocks. I've resigned myself to the fact that i'm almost definitely getting a 2.1, and while it's slightly disappointing and i would love it if i got a first, i'm ok with it. If i get any lower than a 2.1 i don't know what i'll do. Right now i honestly can't think of anything worse. It's affecting my sleep.

Speaking of sleep, it's almost 1 in the morning (i let myself leave the library an hour earlier than i planned because i was so tired i almost fell asleep in my feminist theory) and i have to be back in the library at 7, so i'm going to sign off for the night.

Send me energy, and strength, and any luck you may have spare.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

He ain't heavy

My beautiful big brother just sent me the loveliest message, and I thought i'd share it here, since it's another 5 minutes of not doing work.

I love you so very very much.
2 years ago i was exactly where you are now, with over half of my dissertation to put to paper and only a week in which to get it done.

keep working like a fucking dog, you will get it all in, you will do fabulously, so much better than i did.
You will collapse afterwards in a pile of friends and drunkenness and spend a fairly long while watching shitty tv curled up in bed to overcome the mother of all hangovers.

Then we will chat about the possibility of you coming out to australia/thailand and having an awesome travel time with your nerdy older brother.
I love you in spite of the odour

He may be horrible, but i do miss him.

One day i'll fly away.

Sorry about the watermark across the top of these. I think they're super cool regardless. Long exposure photos during take off and landing.

Kind of magical, right?