The Long Wait is Over…

Back in 1984 Simon Callow (you’ve seen him in the films) published a book called, Being An Actor. In it he wrote, “I don’t know of any other attempt by an actor of my generation to describe the theater in which we work.”

Well Simon…


Big thanks to you personally and to everyone who has followed this blog. The book would never have been written without you.

Now available at Amazon.



The Blank Page

Don’t get it right, get it written. – Anon

Ideas can be shy, the best of them, the good ones.

And there’s a difference, do you agree, between the mental white-noise that goes on, and an actual lightbulb moment? And they come in different shapes, sizes and guises, they come from who-knows-where. And you never quite know … whether it’s minced recycled lower mind you’re dealing with, or elevated inspiration. All you can do is follow and find out.

I’m writing a book, I’ve got the page numbers done. – Steven Wright

I heard a story from Peter Whelan once. He was a British playwright. I’d just been commissioned to write a play at the time. Here’s how the dialogue went:

Peter: I was working on a play. This was on commission too. I didn’t have the ending. It just wouldn’t come. Then, one day I was walking along in Leicester Square, and I had this idea. And the idea was so tremendous, so extraordinary, that I actually staggered. Staggered I did. At the enormity, the profundity, the grace.

Me: Wow.

Peter: So I rushed home – and do you think I wrote it down? I didn’t. No. I went to bed. Slept well too. And in the morning …

Me: (Aghast) … It wasn’t there?!

Peter: No, it was still there, it just wasn’t any good.


He got through in the end, and he wrote some smashing plays.

I love being a writer, what I can’t stand is the paperwork – Peter de Vries

That stuff about the perspiration/inspiration ratio …

Writing: the coal-face alright, when it’s just you, the subconscious and the keyboard …


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!