I’m one of those actors who tends to absorb rather too much about the character or the circumstances of the piece they’re working on. Yesterday I mentioned I was now in the middle of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled… and it’s slightly disturbing. There’s an element of madness in it. I’ve seen the novel described in a reader’s comment as a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Proust, and that does give you just a little of the sense of it. I should not be surprised, given the quality of his other writing, that this is a wonderful piece to read… but that makes it all the more dangerous for me.
There are several writers I just love to narrate (I’m going to plug Guy Gavriel Kay here as well as Brent Weeks as the two that come readiest to mind). The writing is so wonderful I feel like I’m diving into an enormous bed of feathers every time I start to read aloud (seriously, there’s a huge difference between reading words on the page and reading them aloud – take Shakespeare for instance – the sounds I feel affect me viscerally). And in this case with The Unconsoled, as I say, that can be a danger – I fall into the world and just keep falling. And when I have to come back out of my studio into the ‘real’ world everything seems just a little… strange.
Here’s the thing though. Life is feeling a little strange already these days. Reality has not had the stability it used to have for many months now. (I’ll stop there in case I’m accused of politicizing this blog… maybe that’ll come later). But I think it’s fair to say that wherever on the political spectrum you find yourself there’s something different and slightly wonky about how things are working in areas that we didn’t used to have to get so worked up about (well, I didn’t – and you can criticize me for that, but there it is).
And then, this morning, I decided to try a new podcast and landed on one in which three people I’d never heard of before (but may be connected to the film industry in some way) discussed terrible films and asked why they had been made in the first place… It was very high octane energy with lots of excited shouting over each other and very repetitive and barely constructive in any way I found useful (though it did make me want to see the movie in question – if that’s the result they wanted).
I knew when I started it up that I might not enjoy it, but I had to have something to listen to as I worked out (rowing machine this morning) and I figured I’d give it a go. Thirty minutes later I was exhausted (not from the rowing, I just paddle very gently for the duration) and confused. THEN, after my first studio hour I took a break and hooked into a video posted by this guy who had been the keynote speaker at the Audio Publishers’ Conference a few years back, Peter Shenkman, as he interviewed a life coach, who was a world champion sky diver, on the subject of fear.
By the end of the day I wanted to find some corner of a very dark room and just curl up and cry, or laugh, or giggle maniacally to myself as I burbled ‘Why am I doing this, why, why, why’?
But somehow I found the energy to sit down and start this 4th blog in my 30 day personal challenge.
Tomorrow I’ll take more care of myself.