On Monday last week, just as I had arrived home from my stint on the boat and had begun preparing myself for another period of unemployment, I received a phone call asking if I could get to London the following day to rehearse. I said yes, and here I am.
Of course, there is a little more to that story than simply receiving a miracle phone call. The original actress in the show fell down the stairs on Monday morning, and is subsequently out of action. The company needed another actress immediately and I had auditioned for the part before Christmas. It was a stroke of luck that the offer coincided with the monkey gig coming to an end. (Obviously not so lucky for the actress who fell down the stairs!)
The week has been what I would call “completely mental” since that phone call. For the rest of the day and well into the night I was putting finishing touches to my thesis which I had to get to Liverpool the following morning, since I would now be on the other side of the country come hand-in date (next week). Then the next day I was in London, being taught some of the songs by one of the cast on the way. Then I spent three hours getting from central-ish London to somewhere further north where I was staying with a friend. (With such little time to prepare, I have very little idea of where I am!) Then I rang my old voice tutor in a panic because the following day I was supposed to be rehearsing in an Irish accent, a Birmingham accent, a French accent and a German accent, none of which I could do! So after an impromptu voice lesson down the phone (I must owe my tutor about fifty drinks in thanks!), I tried to learn some songs before crashing out.
I spent most of the night awake, worrying about all the songs and script I hadn’t learned yet, then suddenly it was 6am and time to walk to the bus stop, try to get on the right bus, hop on the tube and look puzzled. At this point, some men told me I looked confused and was I alright, and to cut a (very!) long story short, they told me how to get to the theatre more quickly on a bus. I got on the wrong bus and ended up at a hospital, which was mildly funny because I had been poorly all morning, but mostly annoying because I had to try to find a bus from there that was going in the right direction.
Once I got to the venue, I rehearsed all day and then took the long journey back to my friend’s house. More accent work, some line runs, a few hours sleep, and it all starts again. Three days after the phone call, I’m performing in Norwich.
It’s been a completely crazy week, fun and incredibly stressful all at once. Since I have learned to drive the company van, I am spending the weekend at a reunion in Lincoln. Of course, I will have my ipod and script with me the whole time!!