This is an extremely exciting post for me because I have had to hold back until the embargo time was breached. I have only faced an embargo once before during my short time as a writer and this was over the details of the celebration of the Girl Guides in the UK. It was I am sure very exciting for them but for me at the time it was just another press release to get through so I could get on to the juicier crime and scandal. Yesterday I let slip a little taster of what was to come, the girl who leant me both dresses over the weekend, the musical theatre superstar that is Anna Clayton is now to star in the musical about Neil Sedaka’s life story which will be showing all over the UK during the next six months and she will be playing the lead female role, well the female who is married to Neil Sedaka so I’m pretty sure this means she has the lead female role but either way it is still a lead role!
Now for those of you like me who are not entirely sure who this Neil Sedaka is before you end up getting as confused as I was last Saturday when I was entrusted with this information, only four hours after she had found out herself, I shall spare you hours of googling and possible misunderstandings about the story being about Bill Kenwright, he is the producer you see. Anyway Neil is apparently a bit of a musical theatre legend who has sung songs, performed all over the world and as well as writing songs for Elvis Presley and working with Elton John he also wrote the track Amarillo which is the best-selling single of the 21st century so far.
Now the reason this is so exciting is because when you come from a friendship group which is mainly made up of people who dream of doing a job that they enjoy, when we find proof that it is indeed possible we tend to get rather over excited. Here in our lovely Ms Clayton is living proof that if you carry on believing dreams really do come true. I know that this sounds like typical musical theatre la la land tosh but I genuinely believe that if you have a talent for something, be it football, music, rugby, writing, baking or even teaching, if you work hard, believe in it and just as importantly, if you have people around you who support you and believe in you, you can be whatever you want to be. I do emphasise though that this does not apply to people who lack talent in their dream profession, if your singing is more you tube fodder than X-Factor fabulous best reassess your career options at the old job centre.
Anna has for years been plugging away at the world of musical theatre, she has her own agent (google her) has gone on numerous courses to assist her acting skills and practices regularly. As well as all the work she puts into perfecting her acting and singing she holds down a full-time job so she can pay to attend auditions, go on the courses and just survive on a day-to-day basis. One thing the government unfortunately do not recognise is the need for an artist to have time to develop their talent and as a result unless you get a scholarship or come from a privileged background you will have to work twice as hard to climb the greasy ladder of show business.
When I finished university back in 2006 I was convinced I was going to be the next editor of Marie Claire. I had such high hopes and genuinely thought that if only I met the right people and just carried on applying for jobs and sending out positive cover letters with my CV I would be working as a writer in no time. After all I was the president of my halls, I had attained a 2:1 from a fantastic university and I had even set up my own society. It was a knock in the teeth when gradually I came to find out that who one knew has a lot of bearing on where one goes and out of necessity I worked over the next few years in various poorly paid highly stressful positions including events management for a publishing house, media sales, purchase ledger clerk and pr.
It wasn’t until I got made redundant from the pr company, due to a problem with clients paying their bills on time; though I admit it stung when they threw a massive Christmas party complete with transport, booze and ball gowns a month later; that I realised I had to make a decision about whether I was going to continue doing what I could do or whether I was going to do what I wanted. After talking to several friends and a conversation with the legendary leader of News associates in Manchester who gave me a run down on the delights of journalism, I dropped the dream of the magazine and took the dizzy dive into journalism. In spite of having to give up all of my savings to so my NCTJ - trainee certificate for journalists, I can honestly say that it is a decision I have never regretted. When there is a job that you want to do no other will ever satisfy you entirely and unless you go for it full throttle and throw all caution to the wind you will get to 40 and as you watch your children head off to follow their dreams you will be bothered by regret that you never did the same.
Ms Anna Clayton is going to be a super-star, if there is ever any dream you want to follow, do it. Nothing’s impossible, and no door stays closed forever.
Although the images are full of smiles and flowers today’s posting for a time was in danger of becoming the most bitterest yet. I had some issues with my family to put it lightly, and the long and the short of it was that when I boarded the train to Manchester I was seriously wondering whether relocating up North was my only option.
The difficulty with splitting one’s life between two homes is that inevitably both will suffer to some degree. I often find myself neglecting friendships because I am in the wrong city at the wrong time and I never get a chance to properly adjust before I am on the road again. Today’s dress is an example of the chaos of my life at present. I thought I had enough dresses to last me until today, but unfortunately I do and I don’t. In spite of my director friend’s comments I can not help but think that wearing a ball gown or bridesmaid dress so early in the project would be a bit of a shambles so instead I do what I do best, I rummage. I find in my mother’s wardrobe this fabulous summery dress it is an old one and though it is the wrong size I find a number of brooches to make it into a form-fitting fabulous frock. The brooches are all gorgeous, my favorite being the harp with the gem-stones in it, a sign of one’s Irish heritage.
Perhaps it is because the dress is rather mumsy; there are times I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror and honest to God think I am with child; or maybe it is because of the difficulties with the giant but today I am thinking a lot about the responsibilities of being a parent. In an ideal world one has a child when one has saved up enough to give said child the things one never had (horse riding lessons, French tuition etc) and one has said child once one has met the man, woman of one’s dreams. Accidents do happen and in-spite of advances in baby-making technology the reality is most of us were allegedly pleasant surprises. It is apparently an awful thing for a parent to tell their child they were a mistake but I have no qualms about myself as planned pain in the backside, but am just grateful for the fact I wasn’t sent away for adoption.
So many of my friends have had their lives turned over because of that little buggy of a blue line but all of them were, once they got over the shock, overjoyed at the thought of bringing a Baba into the world and I think this shows in how good they are with their children. I wonder though about the parents who have a child and all goes well up until the point where the child, inspired by the parent, begins to answer back and argue like any independent minded being does. Is the child still the sweetest little thing or does the parent wonder whether they made the right choice in being a childer couple.
I am a massive fan of Super-Nanny, I am terrified of being an awful mother and seeing how she is able to turn around the lives of families no matter how much the situation may have deteriorated gives me hope that I wont be too dreadful a parent, and worse comes to worse I will just have to hope my hubby is one of those stay at home types who will be able to compensate for my lack of maternal skill.
Yesterday whilst around about Manchester I saw some dreadful examples of children who were loved but not adequately watched over. When I hit 13 I became extremely aware of my body, of my self as a being able to command the attentions of boys. I took pride in boys who glanced at me and as much as my mother would ever allow at times I dressed in a way which were designed to draw attention to my curves. The difficulty with wanting to seem attractive to the opposite sex is there are times when no-matter what precautions my mother might take, and no matter how intimidating the giant might be, it is still a very real possibility that on shall attract the wrong kind of attention On one occasion in particular I remember being in a supermarket with my mother wearing a silk summery dress and flip-flops. As I went up the bread aaisle my mother spotted a man there with his wife and child, double-backing from his family to sneak a look at my 14-year-old figure. She waited till he had followed me to another isle before she jumped out from behind the shelves, waved and suggested he return to his wife.
There is of course nothing to suggest he knew of my age, but the fact remains that the way a teen dresses is dangerous no matter how innocent one’s intentions. Yesterday whilst walking from Piccadilly train station I noticed two girls who were causing a stir; semi-drunk men broke their necks to turn and leer at them and they muttered filth about what they would do if they spent a day with them. It wasn’t until I had over taken the girls, both with long hair, both wearing tiny denim hot pants and tied up shirts, that I realised the reason their legs were so slender wasn’t because of a dangerous eating disorder but because they were all about 13 at a push. It frightened me because I do not know if these girls were aware of the responses they were getting or if they had only donned these outfits for an activity they were off to in the afternoon. Either way I found myself hoping that rather than being allowed to have left the house like that they had snuck the clothes into their school bags and changed into them once they had left home.
When I was younger I fought tooth and nail against children’s clothing and apart from a couple of years where I wanted to wear tight tops and short skirts I pretty quickly transformed my uniform from blazers and rolled up black skirts to knee-length pencil skirts, Marco Polo fitted crisp cotton shirts and Sisley ribbed fitted jumpers which revealed little skin. Every child has to go through a rebel stage but I hate to see when shops encourage children to dress like little adults with slutty trends such as low-cut dresses and teeny tiny skirts. I started noticing kids out around the town which you had to take a second glance at to make sure they weren’t in early adulthood and since then the trend seems to have grown and I often see children in skin-tight leggings and low-cut tops when there is nothing to-be-low-cut-for. As much as I didn’t approve of the heel issue I do like the way that Suri Cruise is dressed as a little woman and not as a little teen. Teenage years are hard enough without encouraging your child too quickly towards them and as I remember from visits to my sister when I was a 15-year-old girl, there are far too many predators for them not to be noticed and they are men which need little encouragement to try their luck. My first serious boyfriend was 21 but I met him when I was 15 and he first kissed me on New Years Eve on the turn of the millenium, admittedly nothing really got started till I was 16 but still. I thought my parents and sister were overreacting when they heard about it and were convinced we were just like a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. He was a nice guy and I still to this day just think we got on quite well and having lost a sister the previous year after 18 months of illness I did probably behave older than my years but today looking back on it I wonder why it was that he did not want to be with someone his own age.
The most common thing I tend to hear when I emerge from a bout of depression or even mania is, “Oh Ellie, I’m so sorry why didn’t you call me. The truth of the matter is that I have brilliant friends; they are understanding and supportive and very hard to scare these days after coming to accept the fact that from time to time my life resembles an episode of Hollyoaks on speed without the hair dye or homicide. The problem is that when I get low I go into near hibernation from the world and the oddest thing is that even though one might feel completely lonely and desperate for company when it seems like the hardest thing in the world to pick up the phone or even answer it to concerned loved ones. I find myself in a haze of darkness and I manage to convince myself it is better no one see me this way if they think less of me as a person or more importantly if I bring them down. I love-making people giggle and although I am always seeking feedback there are times when criticism and rejection crushes me completely and can leave me near inconsolable for days at a time.
Sometimes, as with last night I can force myself into going out in spite of being low and when this happens I rarely regret it. Last night one of my friends conducted a mini textual assault on me which convinced me to leave the house and go and meet her and some other old school friends for a meal at Zizis to raise my spirits. It is one of the few restaurant chains to have made any mark on Market Harborough and continues to be packed thanks to voucher offers and the buzz these create about the place. You may have to wait an age for your food and they may give you Shandy when you ask for Chardonnay but they do so with a smile and you don’t mind waiting because everyone is in the same boat and no one makes a fuss if they are recognised doing so by their fellow Harborians. Making a fuss is not one of the characteristics of Harborians who generally prefer to wait till they have left the offending place to moan of poor service than complaining to the propertiers themselves, as this would be impolite.
Last night, or yesterday’s dress even was not entirely well thought out as I was travelling; the zips have a tendency to edge their way up or down without one noticing which is never a good idea when you are sitting opposite bored businessman with nothing else to look at. It worked out quite well however as it was nice to wear something a bit dressy out for dinner and when combined with my Mother’s fur bag (faux as far as I’m aware) felt just fancy enough. My friend, budding filmmaker Master Williams took the photos and assumed some rather arty angles for the images.
I wish I was able to say yes to things more often when I am feeling down, it usually does me good to get away from my thoughts which when I’m down are negative and sluggish but when I’m high are a constant stream of ideas and bright energy which is hard to ignore. In the past when I have been especially ill I have even gone so far as to turn off my phone, too afraid of what people will say if they know how low I have sunk. In spite of the social tools we now have at our disposal it is surprisingly easy to turn oneself off from it all. There is always however the hard-core friends who refuse to take silence lying down and continue to find new and inventive ways of trying to get through to your true self and the friend who they love so well. It is not that these friends or indeed family are necessarily better friends than the others who feel it is better to give one space, it is just they are quite relentless and both less afraid of and less willing to be ignored.
The difficulty of depression is that you do often cut yourself off from the things you love, I do not really understand why this is but it’s probably for the same reason you find yourself staying in bed when deep down you know the sunshine will lift you even if you just open the curtains. When I start to emerge from these spells I can all too often be plunged back into one by my own thoughts of how selfishly I have behaved not to have been around for my friends. It is frustrating because it is not as though I do not want to be there for them, as I have said they are brilliant and without them I would never have this far nor have had such a wonderful life, it just seems easier to hide when you are not feeling yourself and are too ashamed to let anyone know. A good friend of mine who also suffers from the blues once told me that she knew I had had a bad patch because I had been out of touch. She did not prod for too many details she just accepted it as it was and was pleased I was getting back on track. At the time and still to this day her forgiveness for my lack of contact and her understanding why meant so much to me and it allowed me to start turning on once more.
Day 24 – manners in motion; indiscretion in the film industry and potential problems of using one’s phone
After conducting the penultimate train journey in aid of researching by article soon to be published on the terror of trains I was feeling particularly positive about my journey. I had managed to avoid buses or delays rand right up until the very last stage of my journey I was able to say I had a fairly pleasant travelling experience.
All that changed however when I boarded the bus to Mauldeth Road last night which would take me to see the boy upon its route to Manchester Airport. As I tried to relax and read the week’s review in The Sunday Times, I suddenly became frightfully aware of a verbal assault on my ear drums. A particularly toffish type character was spouting away about his latest film project in spite of being surrounded by people who were too poor to get a taxi. At first I stuck my fingers into my ear hoping he would get the hint but his dulcet tones still evaded my delicate drums. As he had not get the hint I decided that if he wanted people to hear every details of his film project and his meeting with the elusive Catherine as well as his opinion on Rio Ferdinand and the girls of Coronation Street, the least I could do was give him an extra platform for his drivel and practice my teeline at the same time.
The dress I am wearing today is strangely enough from supermarket giant, George at Asda. I brought it when I was working at McClelland and the boy was doing some recording at blueprint. I was rather poorly and had gone to work looking like a scruff so changed into this dress before going to Blueprint if I bumped into the Elbow boys or Justin Timberlake who had recorded there the previous year. Obviously I wanted to look nice for the boy as well. Today’s photos are once again taken by him and this is perhaps obvious by the fact he chooses to focus more on my legs than the dress but hopefully you can see enough to appreciate it is a cute little number. We took the photos in Fuel again as we had been to a comedy night before chilling out afterwards with some strawberry beer.
What follows is a script of the boy on the bus speaking on his phone to an actor involved in his project which sounded as though it was going to be another zombie inspired apocalyptic reel. The poor actor barely had a chance to speak but I have also left out some details to prevent too much of the project being given away and to protect the privacy of some of the people he mentioned but otherwise it is an exact account of his ramblings. Chris Moyles could have been inspired by this gentleman.
“We are going to blow them up. It’s going to be a full on explosion. Going to be a big blow…
She is living with one of the girls in Corrie’ at the minute and she wants her to have a part. She also knows other people that she knows in that area…
apparently she is doing some singing at the moment at a club that is owned by a United player, what’s his name, I don’t know because I don’t care about any of those United players, Rio Ferdinand that’s it, that was his name. Anyway she has sung at his club and Catherine is going to try to get us that as a location.
She was really positive, she was saying I will get you this, I will get you that. She has done TV, she has done feature films so she has picked up some contacts along the way. As they say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know
I will tell you what, the Romoans now have a mansion to live in.. it has a massive basement and a moat. They found the remains of a priest who lived there and there is a cella which we need
I know, you are a legend for introducing us…
I am going to teach her to fight how to use a gun and get her in the look of being a very interesting character who is also a gun touting maniac.
This is just when everything starts happening and the only way this film is not going to get made is if you or me die or me being completely ridiculous and stupid and not working on it.
Catherine know some people from the BBC so we will be able to get some good interest from the press and get some journalists really listening to us and interested in this film.
I really want to get a helicopter in the scene, I think we need it.