Dancing With Hyphens

The hyphen has flipped. This is where I work now.

The Writers Room before the rush

The Writers Room before the rush

It’s called The Writers Room and it’s on Broadway and Astor Place on the Washington Square/East Village border In New York City. It’s convenient as everywhere is in Manhattan to (among just about everything you could want in a city), subways, eateries, and hookah emporiums. It’s 2500 square feet of loft space, vacant as you see in this iPhone snap taken against the light, in the early morning. Once the writers arrive, the window spaces go first.

Before I was an actor I washed dishes in an ultra-chic French restaurant in Deauville, France; I planted Olive trees in Crete, Greece; and back in London, I waxed a limousine that once belonged to Idi Amin.

Seeking greater job security, I trained for the stage.

When I graduated I became an actor/something else. The something else was, in phases, painter, driver, barman, all the way to that most traditional of acting auxiliaries, waiter; later: actor/writer

The hyphen has flipped.

I have an interesting writing project, and am working as a writer for hire. So for now have now become writer/actor. I like it. Ready to become writer/something else if necessary.

Creative and commercial considerations prevent me from going into detail. Seriously, I know that it’s not a good idea to let the steam out of the bottle before the soufflé has risen. Have you ever had an idea and you told someone and the next thing you knew there it was all over the Internet?

Looking towards the Empire State Building

Looking towards the Empire State Building

This is the distracting view from my favorite window at night. The Writers Room is a great place to work because where acting is agreeably social, writing is solitary. It’s good to see other people tapping at their keyboards. The rule of the room is silence and people are pretty scrupulous about it, but you can talk in the kitchen where there is coffee.

So does this mean these pages will no longer chronicle the jobbing actor experience? Possibly …

I believe the time is ripe for a slightly oversized — alright, moderately oversized, British/Australian detective on the telly. Precisely the category of work that all jobbing actors understand partakes of the jackpot. This could be where the New Year resolution to eat more Kale comes into play …

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution and lost it soon after?

Me too.

The end of January and the beginning of February is the Celtic festival of Imbolc. Sacred to Brigid, patroness of Poets, Bards and Smiths, it is a festival of new beginnings, of plans for the coming year, also of elevated states — inspiration. This may be where we have gone wrong. After a season of frolic and frivolity, and celebrating at the solar festival of Yule, it may be an idea to let the party spirit subside for 5 or 6 weeks until Imbolc — Easing into it, do you see?

Here are my predictions for 2015:

The bees will need protection.
Increasing numbers of people will want greener fuel.
Those put here to make Nostradamus look good will defend the indefensible.

Happy New Year!

29 thoughts on “Dancing With Hyphens

  1. Dennis

    To name drop a little: Many years back, before she was touched by an angel, Roma Downey and I were doing “Blithe Spirit” in the Berkshires. One night at the Red Lion Inn I mentioned that the line about” the Jewess from Odessa” reminded me of the first line of a limerick, so we then spent the rest of the night making up limericks, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much, but to the point:

    There was a Jewess named Brigid

    Reputedly thought to be frigid

    She encountered a priest,

    Who said “at the least

    Let me show you the length of me digit”

    D

    Reply
  2. Beth

    Well I can’t possibly compete with Dennis who is already a day ahead of me. Miss you Colin and whenever Writer/And the next thing, comes, I’ll be listening!!! Happy New Year!

    Reply
  3. psg226

    Here’s to your “flipped hyphen” and may 2015 bring all kinds of wonderful surprises for you. With love, Patti (The bean broad from Grover’s Corners) Xoxo

    Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device

    Reply
  4. JOE BLY

    So looking forward to your visit–there has been a stunning development in my book, related to the front page cover on the January 2015 issue of National Geographic, a representation of “The First American,” and I have a sculpture of her mother… Eager to meet, Nick, too

    Reply
  5. David Arisco

    Colin,

    Be a writer. Go for it, you have a talent for that ALSO. But don’t ever stop taking a visit now and then to the stage. Your skills there are wonderful and oh so uniquely watchable.

    A Very Happy New Year to you my writer/actor friend.

    All My Best,

    Dave

    David Arisco Artistic Director Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre 280 Miracle Mile Coral Gables, FL 33134

    ________________________________________

    Reply
  6. tom

    …wishing you the most wonderful and creative new year, Colin! the view from your study is marvelous…and i look forward to reading the fruits of your labors. i hope we get to see each other soon. and…that our china adventure won’t be the last time we tread the boards together…

    Don’t let your actor leave the stage, my McPhillamy!
    Don’t let your actor leave the stage.
    The profession is overcrowded,
    And the struggle’s pretty tough,..
    But… (sostenuto, quavering, vaudville “but”…)
    I repeat, my McPhillamy,
    Sweet auld McPhillamy,
    Never let your actor leave the stage!

    Fondly, yer China chum

    Reply
  7. Mary \Casey\ Martin

    Yes. A writer/actor is what you are (for now). Create the role(s), then act them out?:) Great posting. I agree about the bees, and greener fuel, and also that third thing on your list. Like the insight into the Writer’s Room, too.

    I have a little book that I bought years ago which has bios of LATE BLOOMERS. I believe in that concept. Go forth and write, Colin:)

    Happy New Year from the Deep Freeze in Wisconsin, Casey

    Reply
  8. joinrome

    Marvellous Colin. Sounds great.. Good luck.. I am looking at staying in Rome in 2015 but also looking at some changes. You are a great writer, but dont give up your acting though !!! You have so much to offer.. Sending baci from a very chilly but still bella Roma.. Jo xx

    Reply
  9. Henny Russell

    Happy New Year, Colin! The first thing I had to do after reading your blog was google the Writers Room — it sounds awesome! I’m thrilled for you as you sound happy. And I love your writing. I love your acting as well, but you never know when another hyphen may sneak up on you. My best to Trish.

    Love, Henny

    Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2014 02:34:03 +0000 To: hgr89@hotmail.com

    Reply
  10. kazortium1@aol.com

    Hi Colin! Sounds like a great adventure is about to begin.

    I’ve got one too.

    I — who has never written a play — is about to begin teaching a playwriting class.

    Ye gods!

    Anywho … Happy New Year!

    From Ken & Kim

    PS. Did you finish reading the Mitford play?

    Reply
    1. Colin McPhillamy Post author

      Hi Guys, HNY no, haven’t started the play – snowed under – don’t ask?! But will by Imbolc! Class sounds great and you’ve been in enough plays to know how NOT to write one!

      Reply
  11. Barbara Dirickson

    What a BRILLIANT blog! And what a perfect idea … You .. A writer That’s what I call a “no brainer” Congratulations. Kiss your girl for me and Happy New You!

    Sent from my iPhone

    Reply
  12. Bob Hagelstein

    Hi Colin,

    From one of your Dramaworks fans – Happy New Year and if your blog is any example of your writing ability, you will succeed at that as well as acting. The Writers Place sounds like an ideal spot to follow your passion in 2015!

    Yours, Bob (and Ann)

    Reply
  13. Michael Collins

    The festival of Imbolc and Bridig are my new heroes. I love the concept of easing into new inspiration and projects. The beginning of February, it is! Also, Colin, I love seeing the photos of your writing room in NYC at McPhillamy Towers. I am sure the building is a welcome addition to your real estate holdings in New Hampshire, McPhillamy Corners! Happy New Year and thank you for including me in your wonderful thoughts!

    Reply

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