Ormondroyd hits the half-century
Posted Mar 10, 2010
In just a couple of hours, I shall be 50 years old. I can hardly believe I'm typing that, and certainly I'm sure that many of those who knew me in my -addled youth and even more -addled thirties would be surprised to find that I've made it this far. But here I am, and I'm happy to report that I am in pretty good working order. My knees may creak a little these days, but I actually have more hair than I used to have: I've grown my first-ever beard for a forthcoming stage appearance as a in a production of 'The Pirates of Penzance' (Theatre in the Mill, Bradford, March 25-27).
I was a student at the University of Bradford, doing another film studies course, in the latter part of last year, and I'm currently doing an IT qualification at Bradford College. As I'm running out of excuses for staying in academia as a student, I'm now trying to get into lecturing, and there seems to be a pretty good chance that they'll give me a shot at teaching a course on the history of popular music next year.
And life still sometimes brings unexpected adventures. Yesterday I visited one of Britain's most famous fictional pubs. I was working as an extra on 'Emmerdale', and played a bed and breakfast guest at the Woolpack. Some time around the end of April, viewers to the popular ITV soap will see me being shown a brochure of Yorkshire tourist attractions by one of the regular cast members, with whom I was asked to improvise a little dialogue to be heard at the start of the scene. Which was a little scary, but the director seemed very pleased with our efforts, so hopefully I'll be invited back to Emmerdale!
The ghost of Ormondroyd past
Posted Dec 24, 2009
A few weeks ago I was at the Bradford University Counselling Service for the last in a short series of assertiveness classes. I'd first looked at that subject a few years ago, found it life-changing in a very positive way, and had decided to remind myself of the principles and skills of assertiveness with this four-week course. On the final day, everything was going well, and then the group leader handed out some photocopied documents summarising those basic principles of assertiveness.
And then I had to say: "Look, there's something I must tell you. I think I wrote this." The references in the text to Guide Entries and Scout picks were a dead giveaway. Without knowing anything about my history with h2g2, the group leader had taken the handout from A2998551 , a Guide Entry I wrote in 2004!
So I found myself explaining all about h2g2, and what Guide Entries and Scout picks were. And although I haven't been around h2g2 much lately, it made me feel that my time here had not been wasted; that I might just have written something of lasting value, and that maybe I should return here more often.
A happy Christmas and a ten-out-of-ten 2010 to all Researchers!
Yes I can! Catch up on my sleep, that is...
Posted Nov 6, 2008
I'm tired and spotty and it's all Barack Obama's fault. Why'd he have to be so exciting and inspirational that I had to stay up all night watching him make history? I started the night of November 4 watching the results start to come in at the University of Bradford, explaining the Electoral Coverage to students from a variety of countries and munching the free popcorn provided by the Students' Union to sustain us through the night, in the bar with a special extension until 4am. But I was struggling to hear the TV news over all the excited chatter, so I headed for home.
Then, of course, over the next few hours my smile became broader as I watched the BBC coverage. Pennsylvania... Ohio... ... and finally that magic moment just after 4am UK time when a swathe of declarations took Barack Obama past 270 Electoral Votes.
It was a truly historic moment that I was overjoyed to witness. I was far too excited to sleep, and stayed up until around 6:30 to watch John McCain's gracious, constructive and dignified concession speech and President-elect Obama's inspirational oration in Chicago, which brought tears to my eyes. Yes, sometimes, despite everything, the good guys really win.
I'll muse on the possible consequences of all this at greater length later, probably in . But for now I have a show to do with my choral society tonight, I still haven't caught up on my sleep
and I'll need my stage make-up because all the and diet cola I drank to stay awake for Barack's big moment has brought me out in spots.
I dunno - these defining moments in history. They can be brilliant and unforgettable, like the other night, but they're also a health hazard.
My lucky number comes up!
Posted Aug 16, 2008
In general, I like to try to be rational about things and eschew any thoughts of the supernatural. But sometimes coincidences do get eerie...
So it was yesterday. There are two teams whose home games I watch regularly: Bradford City and Guiseley. Yesterday, they both won 2-0, and City's great local rivals Leeds United lost 2-0. City's Peter Thorne scored two goals, and David Brown scored goal number two for Guiseley two minutes from the end of their game. I could hardly fail to see the pattern there.
So I bought a ticket for the National Lottery's Thunderball game, and chose 2 as the number for both the Thunderball (the key number in the game, drawn from a separate set of 14 balls) and as one of the five other chosen numbers that the game calls for. My other four numbers were selected from other aspects of my team's games today, for instance Peter Thorne's shirt number and the times of his goals.
Guess what happened? I had two winning numbers, and both of them were 2! The two twos I picked both came up in the draw. Sadly none of my other numbers were winners, but as I had the Thunderball and one other winning number, I won Â£5.
And it certainly seems obvious what my lucky number is at present. Perhaps I should try again in the next draw on Wednesday and try to make it two in a row...
An actor's life for me
Posted Jan 30, 2008
I have just taken my first, tentative step towards trying to be a professional actor, by applying for registration with my friendly neighbourhood extras agency. This involved filling in a comprehensive form which enquired after lots of aspects of my physical dimensions, experience and talents, and what I'd be willing to do. I have declared that I'm quite willing to kiss on screen and that I'm prepared to appear topless. Heck, it's possibly the only way I'll get a these days, and if someone's willing to pay to film my hairy, flabby torso then that's fine by me!
It's all quite timely because this week I am playing an army general in a really fine new play called 'Balance of Power' that's on at Bradford University tomorrow (Jan. 31) and Friday. It's a powerful tale of love and Machiavellian political manoeuveres in an unnamed nation in the former Soviet Union. The script is excellent, I've got a great part, and I'm very proud to be involved in bringing this excellent piece of new writing to life. I love the adrenaline rush of a production week!
One question on the extras agency's form asked if I had a stage name. The answer for now is 'no', as the need has never arisen, but it did set me wondering what I might call myself if a new name was required. Any suggestions?