by Jez Bond

Melli and I are at the stage where we are almost emailing each other over the breakfast table to ask for the salt. Not that we don’t talk to each other, quite the contrary – simply that  our laptops are open pretty much 24/7 and, not wanting to disturb each other during a potential moment of high concentration, emailing is often the most efficient way of sending through a request so that it can be dealt with at an appropriate time.

“Thanks” I type back, knowing she’s in the middle of coordinating diary dates…

And so our days begin. It’s wonderful, it’s collaborative and all-consuming, it’s hard work but utterly rewarding – and sharing the delight in finishing sections of workload is an important experience.

We’ve typed furiously today, been on and off the phone, in and out of the flat and trying not to bump in to each other as we go about our lives… “sorry, darling…”

It was with excitement that I looked forward to this evening. I was to lead a workshop at the Rag Factory for Transmission Workshop, the weekly drop-in session for actors that Melli and her colleague Ursula Campbell host.

It went very well and I had a whale of a time (must look up the etymology of that!) There was a great turnout of twenty people, all committed and eager and it was a joy to get up onto my feet with a group of actors and… well, do stuff! We explored ‘The Modern Actor’ and how changes in technology, politics, society etc have led us to arrive at a different style of acting than encountered twenty years ago. We sat and chatted as a group, we did lots of improvisations, we threw about ideas and posed questions, we staged various genres, we worked in a variety of auditoria configurations and learnt techniques for acting in the round and thrust and for making quick decisions in a performance or audition scenario.

One of my favourite moments was when, as a whole group, we gasped and applauded at how after such a short amount of time one of the actors who was a self proclaimed ‘terrible sight reader’ demonstrated a massive improvement.

After an energetic four hours we headed to the pub for a communal drinky. Ah, to be doing a show…. a mini taste of that company feeling…. “soon, soon….” I think, as I email myself this blog to post.

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