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.