Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A New Scottish Anthem

Anyone who remembers the TV series Ally McBeal will also remember the urging of one of the characters to Ms McBeal to make sure she has a theme song for her life, a signature tune that sets the tone of her outlook on the world. Unfortunately, for her and her ticking fertility clock, the ‘ugachacka’ baby took prominence in this position, no matter what she tried.

However, it is a valid point. Not only can music affect our transient moods but sometimes that one song that underpins all you believe in can grab you when you’re having a bad day and remind you that life is, after all, good. I have two musical sources that do this for me: First is the entire soundtrack of the movie Local Hero, written by Mark Knopfler, and secondly the Queen song ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’. There’s no way I can feel anything but happy when I hear that.

So if our signature tune can affect us individually, it’s also true for nations.
The Scots have unofficially adopted over the past 15 or so years the song ‘Flower of Scotland’ as an anthem. It’s been used at rugby matches and the Commonwealth Games, but if you’ve ever heard its sad tones, its not one that’s going to fire up a team with enthusiasm. Its lyrics celebrate the victory of the Scots over the English at the Battle of Bannockburn – way back in 1314! Hardly a recent occurrence.

So, I propose that Scotland adopts a new anthem, one that celebrates what we Scots do well, and that is have parties! One that will fire up a team and send its members out onto the field full of verve, bonhomie and confidence. And that is why the new Scottish National Anthem should be Shang-a-lang! This groundbreaking song by Scottish ‘70s group Bay City Rollers will get any crowd shaking their shoulders, and with the main lyrics incorporating the phrases ‘Shang-a-lang’ ‘ hey hey’, and ‘Do-wop-e-do-be-do-ay’ there’s ample opportunity for similarly minded foreigners to join in. Youtube them yourself if you don’t believe me!

I look forward to a brighter future for Scotland’s sports men and women as they lift their heads from the burden of the dirge to triumphantly punch the air singing “And we sang shang-a-lang and we ran with the gang doin do wop e do be do ay, we were all in the news with our blue suede shoes and our dancing the night away.”!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Equal in their Underwear

Strong dream last night.

If you ask anyone, especially my husband, he'll roll his eyes and tell you that yes I do dream often and can remember tiny details. Maybe that's why I'm so tired in the mornings if I'm living this other life during sleep time.

Anyway, sometimes the dreams are just like recreation, and some, like last night, quite pointedly tell me, remind me, of something important.

I won't bore you with the details but the whole thing led up to me talking to someone who was in strife, telling them the things I've discovered about the magic of life, about the stuff that works around manifesting and the relationship with that intelligence we call God, The Universe or whatever. This kind of tack was something that in real life this person has firmly rejected in favour of traditional religion, but their troubles had opened their mind somewhat.

After I explained it to her, she said 'with all this knowledge, if it works and you applied it, you could be rich and powerful, so why are you telling me this?', and my heated, passionate reply was 'Because there is nothing else but this' (meaning the knowledge, and that everything good and healthy springs from it).

The words didn't convey it but what I knew I meant was that excessive wealth, power, fame are merely backdrops, set, scenery and costumes to the real core of it all which is our relationships with ourselves and each other. That we don't have our origins in the trappings of the world, but that our worth is in our conduct, just as an actor's worth is not in his or her costumes, but in their performance.

I've always thought the analogy of the dressing room as a great leveller and perhaps a metaphor for the spirit world was useful. Shakespeare certainly got it right when he said that 'All the world's a stage...' In there, everyone's the same, crowded around trying to put on different costumes and characters to assume our parts on the stage. Kings and paupers sit shoulder to shoulder making up faces and sorting hairstyles, equal in their underwear, and its only on the stage that the differing roles and inequities become apparent.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm right about this other worldly stuff. I firmly believe that beliefs surrounding religion and faith are all simply stories we tell ourselves to make sense of this world, and we tend to adhere to those that work for us. No harm done as long as we're tolerant and kind to each other.

I'm grateful for the dream. For its ability to remind me of the big picture, about what's really important (to me) and how it's yanked me away from worrying about the small stuff.

Have a lovely week!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Scribbles Go Rambly

Blog time!

We're a week into the run of All Shook Up and tonight (Monday) will be my last night off til next Sunday.

First thing to note is the mega fun this show is, both for us and so it seems, the audience who bop til they drop each night.

Other big news is that we're having an unexpected addition to the family. No, I'm not pregnant - too old for that. But we're having a little doggie come to join us. Her mum has to travel overseas and so she's coming to us. She came for a play date yesterday and while Jock the Westie (we have two other dogs - Jock and Scarlett the Australian Labradoodle)was a bit over energetic, he was whining for her when she left. She's such a pretty little girl - a maltese/lhasa apso cross - and very loving. We're very lucky.

The week's been a blur of work and theatre but has passed so quickly. So it goes when you're doing something that you love. Lost in the moment, the moment feels eternal, like a time out of time.

Feedback on the show has been great after a wobbly preview and it's improved exponentially as we all got into swing of it, and now we've got people booking already to come back and see it a second time plus a great review from the Advertiser and four stars from the Sunday Mail.

Exciting times. People at work going places, changing jobs and even continents. Movement internally (no, not that way!)discovering new ways of doing things, exploring new possible futures. There must be something in the stars. Apparently there was a powerful lunar eclipse this morning, the energy of which seems to be equivalent to catching a wave.

I'm aware this blog entry is a bit rambly, and I'm trying to think of a way to tie it all together, but actually I can't. It is what it is, like the times I'm experiencing right now. I'm in the middle of a time of change and movement and the conclusion and neatly tied ends have not yet come to pass. Sure will be interesting when they do!

Have a great week :o)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

So I said to Elvis...

Bump in day today for All Shook Up.

For non-theatre people that means it's the day the cast and crew gain access to the theatre with costumes, sets lighting etc and have a few days of rehearsals to get it placed right before opening night.

Its always an exciting day, when you manage after three months of rehearsal to get to be on the stage for the first time. Sometimes it's when you get to hear the band for the first time too, although in our case we had the band last Sunday and they blew us away, so good were they.

I have had so much fun doing this show. Partly because of the music - its all Elvis music - and partly because of it being rock'n'roll, its been an advantage to be an alto instead of a soprano. All of a sudden its ok to belt out those notes and hence we altos are feeling more relaxed than usual.

Its also a very funny script by Jo Di Pietro who wrote 'I Love You You're Perfect Now Change'.

The cast have been great to work with. No divas, no egos, just a bunch of people aged from 15 to 60 having a great time.

Another great thing is that with it being bump in day, it meant I get a Sunday lie in for the first time since March - woo hoo. And I've managed to get some washing done too which is a bonus.

From now the run of the show over the month of July takes on an other-worldly feeling, as those of you who do shows will be aware. Juggling work and home when all that really matters are those few hours on stage each evening (and Saturday matinees), and then at the end of it all returning to a world that seems for a time a little less colourful, yet filled with loads of spare time when you can get back to not living on Subway as a main meal!

It would be great if you could come see the show, at the Arts Theatre from 7 to 17 July, The Shedley at Elizabeth from 22 to 24th July and Renmark's Chaffey Theatre on 31 July.

If not, that's cool.

While it's Elvis's music, he's not actually in it as a character, but the mood of the music, the spirit of Elvis, is imbued throughout the show, so I've been chatting to him, same as I do to my parents who've passed on, asking him to give us a bit of a help out in conveying the joy of his music, and to be with us in spirit. I haven't had a 'no' yet! :o)

So, thangyouverrymuch baby for reading, and be prepared, Adelaide and Renmark, to be All Shook Up!

Have a great week!