Showing posts from 2010

L.E.M. workshop

We spent this week taking part in a L.E.M workshop (Laboratoire d'Etude du Mouvement) run by Jaques Lecoq's daughter Pascale.  This was all about us understanding the relationship between movement and space.  At first I felt it was all a bit arty-farty for my taste but in the end, after developing 3 dimensional objects and using moving them around a bit - I realised that I picked up a lot of different bits and pieces that will be helpful with regards to directing.

Looking at the spacing between people, how certain areas show certain passions and how certain colour illicit certain responses was interesting.  We made various objects and I'm sure that it will all be very useful when we have our first meeting with our set designer next week.

The following week will be very interesting, first we watch our acting cohorts perform Gorky's 'Vassa' - it will be interesting to see what results they get from what has been a very difficult rehearsal process for some of the…

New Work

Currently writing this waiting for KD's first concert with her choir in the amazing Paisley Abbey. What a building!

I learned yesterday that I am to work on new writing with Ann Marie de Mambro. She was my first choice from the four brilliant playwrights that we got to work with as she writes very un-pretentious bitter-sweet stories. The accessible side of her writing is what I'm really looking forward to getting involved with. Hopefully we will end up with a play for everyone, not just something for "theatre-goers" and intellectuals.

After this concert we are heading back to Glasgow to join my classmates with the dying embers of their thanksgiving dinner. Apparently there will be a lot of cake. I like cake. A lot.
Location:Paisley,United Kingdom

Week 8

That's us reached week 8 in the course and things are really starting to get going. The only real annoyance is that I haven't written a song, or even played a musical instrument in quite some time and I'm really starting to miss the studio, but I know that when I do finally get the time to record I will be fresh as a daisy. It's the longest I've gone without recording since 2002 or something!

I'm starting to think up bits and pieces for a show that will be performed at the Arches (a great Glasgow space) next June.  I'm tying it in with my research project based on merging theatre and music and, having seen the A2's who I'll be working with, I'm really excited.  I'm thinking along the lines of Bible-belt America attitudes to abortion and how a teenager gets caught up in the madness.  Not sure of any details yet but I hope it all starts to fall into place once I start typing.

Doing Stanislavsky at the moment which, to be honest, isn't my c…


This week has been all about Ensemble Theatre, with some very interesting exercises thrown into the mix.

I think the class that appealed the most to me this week was the Neutral Mask.  We spend a lot of time in the youth theatre trying to convince the young actors (and their parents!) that showing off is not the same as acting, and that the two actually couldn't be more far apart.  The neutral mask was a great way to show this and to get the actors to stop trying to be different from one another, to stop trying to stand out and to work together to create something that is fresh, interesting and universal. I really liked watching some of the actors struggle with this concept, and was glad to see that almost all of them had 'got' it by then end of the class, stripping aside their ego and 'showmanship' to provide completely neutral motions (such as running down a pier, spotting a boat with your loved ones on it and then waving them a final goodbye before walking back …

Meeting the playwrights

Week 3 at the Academy has really got me into the habit of what to expect for the coming year ... work - and lots of it.

A big chunk of this week was spent meeting 4 professional playwrights who have been commissioned to write a piece for us. It was fascinating to see how 4 people who do the same job can go about it in such different ways. I'm really looking forward to working with any of them and I've already learned a great deal about writing and creating theatre from the few hours spent in their company.

Sooooo, all is going well, I've not had a chance to do any videos, music or recording and can't really see when I'll be able to do that in the coming year, it's a constant routine of classes, reading and writing just now and I'm sure it will continue that way - which is just what it should be. Intense. But worthwhile.

Been to see quite a few plays recently too, nothing that's blown me away but everything I've seen has helped to clarify what I like…

New Week, New Life

Just grabbing the first piece of free time I've had all week to make a little note about what has to be one of the most exciting weeks I've had for a long long time.

Matriculated at the RSAMD on Monday and finally met my classmates on the Tuesday, turning up fashionably late of course... A great great bunch of guys and gals, mostly from America but there are a couple of Europeans and also a sprinkling of Scottish folk! Everyone seems very nice indeed, so nice that they even bought me a cake for my 30th birthday (which was on Wednesday).

KD and I were too knackered to do anything on my actual birthday but had a great party last night where the old Largs guard joined forces with the new acting class to create a really fun night.  The highlight being Stu and Paul's wonderful acting at the end of the night when most had gone home, a true work of art.

I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into the (pretty intense) programme that we have lined up for us, there's qu…

Pie and Plays and Pints

Today I walked up to the top of Byres Road to the place of my matrimony (the Oran Mor). I went to see a Play a Pie and a Pint. The play was called 'The Uncertainty Files' and, although not the kind of thing that I particularly like, it was a good experience to fill myself with Budweiser and greasy pies and then kick back and watch something for 45 minutes.

During the play I came to realise that, even though I may not have thought it before, I have a very definite idea of what kind of theatre I like and what I think it should consist of. This can only be a good thing I reckon.

Also during it (I had a lot of time to think) I came across an idea for making a smaller theatre within hte cavernous Barrfields. All the elements are in place really, myself and Ryan are banding ideas about and hopefully we can create a workable solution as a 500 seater theatre is not going to be used half as much as a 150 seater - or less even.

A letter I wrote was published in the Largs and Millport W…

Album Seems Done

Well I think that that is One Man Town's new album complete.  Got to send it off to the others to hear and then I think the job of getting artwork etc begins. Here's one of the songs from it.

Largs Has Got Talent

The last few days have been very busy, as I have been doing sound and helping direct a local talent contest that is quickly becoming THE major event in the entertainment world of Largs (not saying much).  It is a real big challenge, with lots of various mic setups and what have you but we managed it really well and the sound quality was as good as can be expected with the limited PA.

You can check out the show (and a little video I made of the auditions) at the LHGT youtube page.

I've started to write the first few scenes of a new musical... back to work...

House = moved

Finally moved house. Got another few days before Internet is installed then I'm off and running. This week mainly consists of planning, preparing and then doing Largs Has Got Talent's sound. A ridiculously complicated set-up it seems for a small town talent contest!
Location:Ruthven St,Glasgow,United Kingdom

Keep moving, just keep moving.

In what must surely be the longest move ever recorded by man I think KD and I are finally ready to leave the lovely Largs behind (perhaps for good).  Our new flat in Glasgow is looking lovely and just about everything, apart from the GIANT framed photo of David Bowie, is out of our old house.

I've almost finished the new One Man Town album, all the songs bar one are in some sort of completion, now it's just extended listening and tweaking until everyone's happy with the final mix.  It's a concept record so all the tracks are inter-linked which is quite fun to try and do.  I've got a good idea for the first video, involves computer games.

Also happening just now is the biggest fund-raising event of the year for the Largs Youth Theatre - we run Largs Has Got Talent, which sounds terrible but is actually a lot of fun.  I'm doing the sound for the show and am basically in charge of the running of the actual night (Ryan and Emma do a great job of organising everythi…

Busty busy busy

Moving house just now whilst recording the second half of our. second album.  Yesterday was spent doing some interesting things that I've never recorded before like the banjo:

Mixing tomorrow and Friday - must dash, got a house to move.

Monkey Aliens

This week I have mainly been dealing with my Greenock Youth Theatre's Summer School.  After spending a few hours preparing on Sunday I was raring to go and the new ideas that I had worked out really seemed to work well.

We try to write and perform a little play for parents by the Friday, we only have about 8 hours to do it so it's pretty intense.  The idea that the kids (and young adults) came up with this year is all about Monkey Aliens!  So I spent Tuesday night taking all their ideas and trying to knit them into a little play.  We spent today writing songs (4 in total) and now have about 3.5 hours to get things ready for our wee show on Friday.

Also tried out the second half of songs I have written for One Man Town's new album, I thought they were sounding pretty good, I had gone back to the drawing board with some of them and was happy with the way they've turned out and the band seemed to like them too (which is always the most nerve-racking thing).  Alongside all…

Quick wee video

Yesterday was spent making a quick wee video for Stewart Robbie (  The song was called Back to Bed and the idea was to have him lying in bed whilst actually being standing up and playing with that very simple idea.  First thing we had to do was velcro stuff like the pillow and sheets to the bed, we had a plate of bread that was in the video so we had to attach that too.  Here's Stewart attempting to stick it down:

I used a combination of cameras, my new Canon 550d was really excellent and also shot some moving footage with my Sony HDR-SR11e which can't really compete with the Canon but is useful to have around.  Took the footage into Final Cut, played around for a few hours, brought it into Color to try and give the black and white a bit more depth and then uploaded to youtube. Whole process took about 5/6 hours, simple wee video - simple wee song.

New Vid for LPC

Well after hours and hours of work, my video for LPC Design and Print is up and running.

Check it out here

I'm really happy with it and think it works really well in the context of the website.

The Unexciting World of Animation

Man alive!
I've been working hard at learning how to use Apple's amazing Motion software - I used it for my 'Better Than That' video.

But, as the song suggests, I reckon I can do better than that, and have been working away at trying to get a video together for my brothers' business, LPC Design and Print.
This ten second clip took me about 5 hours!

I'm getting faster all the time, hopefully the next one will only take 3.

New Video

I spent Friday working on a new little video for my youth theatre in Largs.  I'm pretty happy with it and think that it shows most of the stuff that we do.  There's a small floating child at the end but I couldn't face going back and fixing it up!

Sunday led me and KD to see my nieces involved in their first skating competition.  It was a great place and everyone was really friendly, my nieces did great with Cara coming first and Marianne third.  Here are my two fav pics from the event, really happy with my new camera.

Now I need to get to work on my next music vid.  A post-apocalyptic world is what I'm thinking!

Getting ready for the gig

Just back from a great rehearsal with One Man Town. We're playing a week on Saturday in Kilmarnock, apparently bands are then chosen to support The Automatic - I didn't know they were still about but hey ho.

Here's a wee vid showing my pov in the studio.
Location:Main Street,Largs,United Kingdom

My First Post

Hello.... anyone...

I'm just starting a whole new chapter in my life these coming months and thought it'd be good to do a blog about it, for no other reason than a diary for myself really. Perhaps others will find it interesting, I don't know.

I've just received my new camera (Canon 550d) an have asked the rock band De Soto Firefly if they'd like to be my guinea pigs and I am now trying to get some ideas together. I'm thinking wet faces and doors, that's about it just now.

Cheers ma dears