Just hit me all of a sudden. It's Becky's last week here and we've been so busy having a laugh, meeting the locals and generally goofing around that we've not done any of the touristy stuff yet! Shocking, really in a place so full of attractions!
So I'm planning on doing the Empire State Building tour. My folks did that when they were over and said they learned loads and the views are great! We will also get on the Staton Island Ferry at some point (mental note - take a scarf, gloves, a hat, 8 pairs of socks, thermal insulated t-shirts, etc) We also plan to spend a day walking around Central Park, touring Rockerfeller Centre and doing the whispering thing my parents told me about in Grand Central Station. She's leaving me on the 8th... It's been great having her here and I'll miss her when she's gone.
Just in case I haven't seen you yet... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Only a couple more days of Becky left, then she gets back to the reality of sunny, sunny Britain. It will be strange without her here, but as she keeps saying, she is only a phone call away!
So now Becky is off, heading home safe and sound!
On the way home from taking her to the airport, I overheard some people whispering about rumours of the show closing. Getting used to it now. Mind you, there's always going to be rumours flying around about shows like this. As far as I'm concerned I'm turning up, ready for work, belting it out the best I can, and hopefully pleasing the people who come. Then I do it all again the next day., and I count myself lucky to be here. Not many people get to say they wake up each morning knowing that they get to do what they love as a career and get paid for it. I'm just glad I'm in this position to start with!
wednesday 14 january 2004
Well I guess most of you will have heard by now, but just in case
you missed the announcement, Taboo is set to close on February 8th. I won’t pretend that I'm not gutted about it, because I am, I really am. I made so many new friends and met so many new people doing this show, and hopefully I'll keep in touch with all of them. I've really enjoyed doing the show. The reception we got from the audiences will never leave me. We had some great laughs and great times, and I'm sure in the weeks to come there will be even more.
But there's 2 ways of looking at it after the initial sadness. You could either a) sulk or b) pencil in as many dates as you can between now and then ESPECIALLY the final performance on the 8th of February. That will really be a show to remember and I’m looking forward to it already!
Hopefully I'll see as many of you there as we can fit in!
I know lots of you have been emailing me asking how I'm doing and where I will be, what I'll be doing or if I've anything in the pipelines. Also a lot of you have said you hope I stay this side of the water, which is very, very touching.
Unfortunately for you, you are going to have to put up with me for the forseeable future as I've decided to stay right here in NY!!
I've got a couple of avenues to follow and a couple options to look into. Nothing is decided yet except for the fact that I'll be here for a while yet!
As you know, Taboo as we all know it will be coming to a close on the 8th of February 2004, and while I will make damn sure I savour every moment of it until then, it has thrown up a few problems of its own! You see, my visa was work-related. Meaning I was in this country for as long as Taboo was a show. And seeing it will cease to be a show real soon, my visa with it... ceases to be vaild.
So it is kind of worrying. But I'm of the philosophy that if you work hard enough, something good will come will come your way eventually. So... deep breath... pull socks up... chest out, chin up etc, .and here begins what I'm sure is going to be quite an interesting part of my life!!!
So as the closing date draws nearer, I'm still stuck in limbo with the whole “where-will-I-be,-what-will-I-be-doing” situation. Scary, eh? But I'll keep looking and see what comes of it all!
Show wise, it's going well, and as much as everyone doesn't want the show to end, we're all REALLY looking
forward to the last night show - especially the partying afterwards!
wednesday 4 february 2004
Oh oh oh - Gotta put in something about this!! Just off the phone to my mum and apparently... APPARENTLY... I'm the most dateable member of the cast in Taboo. Got about 38% of the votes!! Aww shucks! I'm also the favourite cast character! To be voted top on things like that by the people who make you what you are is a welcomed thing indeed!!
Well, that’s it then. But what a way to go! The final show was electric and the party was outstanding!
I must take this opportunity to thank you all again for each and every time you all came to the show and supported me, the cast and the show in every way that you did. It is all very much appreciated.
The only thing now I need to do is start figuring out where the hell I will stay! I should be ok for the next couple of months on a temporary basis, but I'm really going to have to fix something. I'll get there though, and thanks for all the support you're all giving.
Well to sum up this little period of my life I'll give you the highlights! Went a driving trip to a couple places with a couple of mates to Vermont, Massachsetts, NJ etc just for something to do – to take my mind off things. I tried skiing (wasn't too bad if I do say so myself!) and snowboarding too! I want a snow mobile!
So now I've caught the travelling bug. I just like being new places, sampling new cultures and trying new things, and I know the next couple of months will be hard for me, so I've booked myself a couple refresher breaks!
I’ve planned a week away in LA at the start of March, and a sunshine break in Hawaii around the same time, so all going well, I hope I'll be able to enjoy these holidays without the thought of where I will be when I come back hanging over my head!
thursday 19 february 2004
We were in the studio yesterday putting the finishing touches on the cast album, and let me just say, go buy it! It sounded great in the studio-- Maybe I was flooded with emotion but it sounded damn good!!!
saturday 21 february 2004
So for a week, I was away to L.A. Was ABSOLUTELY GREAT!! Weather was amazing - 80 F. Glad I shaved my head now! At least I got some ventilation! Also, I got a tan... at last!!! I’ve been over here long enough, at last I’m starting to look a little less milk bottle white.
So for a week, I was away to L.A. Was ABSOLUTELY GREAT!! Weather was amazing - 80 F. Glad I shaved my head now! At least I got some ventilation! Also, I got a tan... at last!!! I’ve been over here long enough, at last I’m starting to look a little less milk bottle white.
This morning - the 8th - I headed for Hawaii. Really looking forward to chilling out Hawaiin style. I just looked up the forecast though... 91 F in Hawaii. Note to family back in Scotland - jealous eh? You remember that big yellow thing in the sky... the thing that you sometimes see away in the distance that faintly glimmers over the hills - yeah that thing, well over here we call it... THE SUN. And I'm heading for a whole week of it. Ahhhhh.
Well Hawaii was more than I could have ever hoped for - and that wee bit more!! For those of you who haven't been or have always wanted to go... do yourself a favour and go! I was there with Cary Shields and a couple other mates. Managed to fit in some water skiing, sunbathing, body boarding, sunbathing, sight seeing, sunbathing, surfing, sunbathing, partied hard, and if we could squeeze it in - some sunbathing!
Outstanding though, so relaxing and refreshing. Just what was needed!
But - back to reality now! Got back late Tuesday night and with a few hours’ rest, started looking for auditions all over the place to try get me some of that work stuff that now seems like a memory!!
So yeah - I've been doing LOADS of the touristy stuff again just to keep my head working! I must have walked round the WHOLE of Manhattan, visited the Planetarium Museum - done any other museum I could find (You can learn so much trivia walking around here!) I’ve done the shopping thing too. Although the good thing about having lots of free time is that I get to spend more time with my mates which is always a good thing! It’s been great but you know what? - I wanna be back at work!!! Working is when I am happiest!
Actually - I gotta run, meant to be going to the USS Intrepid today... already
running an hour and a half late... damn this comfy bed!
Well, how exciting have I been in the past wee while. Not very as it happens. I’ve been up to the usual stuff. Today I was in Central Park… there really isn’t much to say about things I have actually done. But what I CAN tell you is that Taboo has been nominated for the Drama League Award for best musical. Not bad eh?
What is a further bonus for me is that I've been nominated for 'Distinguished Performance' for my part in Taboo by the DLA. Plus, I've had a nomination for Best Actor in a Musical by the Outer Circle Critics Award. Even if I end up winning none of them, it’s still a great honour and a grand thing to put on a CV just being nominated!
Nothing much happening again, still quite chuffed about the whole nominations!! But but but… I do have a few things planned!! So go get your pen, paper, pencil chalk, crayon - whatever, just go get something so you can write this date in your diary...
Joe's Pub : Sunday, May 30 at 9.30pm
I'm doing a live music evening. Never done anything like this before so I'm nervous about the whole scenario, but I'm also really looking forward to it all! It will be a challenge.
I’ve got some of the Taboo band and singers to back me up on stage, which will make me feel at ease. Please show your support and buy a ticket or 40... only 20$ each, a complete steal if you ask me!
I'll put the box office details up as soon as I know the whole story, but for more information just now, you can call Joe's Pub on 212 - 539 - 8778
So yeah, go pass on the word!!!!
Just been off the phone to Joe's Pub. Wow! They are asking me to ask you people to stop phoning! Their switchboards are jammed, and they don't even open until Friday
When I say stop phoning, I mean till Friday! Then feel free to phone again. Can't quite believe there's still so many people who want to come! What a warm feeling!
That's all for now. See you there!
Well, by now most of you will probably have read or heard one way or another, but just incase you haven't... I GOT NOMINATED FOR A TONY!!! Not too shabby!
Now I'm not usually much of a morning person, but I got a call at 9 am to tell me I'd been nominated. Well I suppose if you must wake up too early to something, it might as well be news like that!! Now realistically I don't think I should hold out too much hope for winning the thing, but being nominated is outstanding!
Either way, it will be a great night and I hope to see some of you there!
UPDATE: I just found out that I won the Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Performer! I’m really pleased!
I've decided to draft up a speech lasting 3 hours to make up for all the other speeches I'm won't get to make!
But seriously though, it's a cliched saying, but it really is a great honour, and it's given me another reason to look back on my time in Taboo with extremely fond memories.
So what have I been up to then eh?! I’ve been getting fitted for my kilt for the Tony's. I plan to bring a little bit of Scottishness to the awards here. Not too sure how much of a TRUE Scotsman I'll be, decide that on the day I suppose.
I've been rehearsing lots as well for the gig at Joe's pub. Hope to see a few familiar faces there! Looking forward to it!
Ok, first time in a wee while I've had the chance for a good old blether (chat) So let me fill you in on all that’s been happening.
I’ve been rehearsing a lot because I wanted to make the show at Joe’s Pub as good as I possibly could. I'm hoping you enjoyed it, and judging by your reaction, you seem to have!
From my point of view it was amazing. I loved performing again. The atmosphere, the spotlight, the buzz you get from the crowd when you see them smiling, cheering, singing along taping their feet, anything... just the littlest show of emotion shows that I've made an impact at some level, and that’s exactly what this is all about.
On the Tony's front - I've managed to gather pretty much most of my kilt to be wearing! I’ve had to borrow a few things here and there, but I'm getting there!
Ok time to catch up:
Tony Awards: So I didn't win, but to be honest, I didn't really expect to and it was more than enough for me to be nominated, and when you are up against Mr. Jackman, it's not often that you win! But it was at the Tony's that something hit me again. I knew it before, but it's never come up and slapped me in the face like this before.
What occurred to me was the amount of support I’ve received... The amount of work and effort so many people are putting in to help my cause is unbelievable. I met someone there who recognized me and said he wished me all the best and that a lot of people had better be working hard to help me. And it was then I realized... actually, there are. There are so many people I'd have to personally thank for a) getting me where I am today and b) fighting to keep me up here too. The amount that goes on behind the scenes that I don't know about is astonishing. So thank you. Very very much. I’m grateful and touched.
So AT LONG LONG LAST I get to tell you all news I've known for a good wee while now, but I had to wait on the OK GO word from my wee sister back in Bonnie Scotland.....
I’M GOING TO BE AN UNCLE!! Yup, my little sister Hannah is expecting a wee baby!!! She is expecting on DECEMBER 24!! Way to pick the dates eh!? I’m not being at all ungrateful, but this beats any award I could ever win!
I wish them all the very best happiness and health in the world.
Things have been busy here!
I’ve been rehearsing some songs with Liz McCartney for the R Family Cruise that I'm heading off on tomorrow – and I’m not even packed!! Things are sounding REALLY good. I’ve got a few Carpenters numbers to sing and a couple others thrown in for good measure. I’m really looking forward to that!
However, stupidly, I just watched the classic movie The Poseidon Adventure. Half way through the movie I realise that the only Scottish Actor in the film... on the boat... didn't survive!
Now I'm pretty sure I'll be in the very small minority of Scottish people on board this cruise... Mental note... pack an extra few arm bands just in case!!
On August 1st I’m heading back to the UK for a short trip. My plan is to head to London first to see old friends. From there I’m taking my parents out to Julian Clary's villa in Majorca for a weeks’ holiday in the sun! They really deserve it. Should be a good week. Apparently the weather’s really good out there just now so that will be good! Top up the old tan a little bit!
Then we're all heading back home to Scotland so I can check in on my little mum-to-be sister! So all in all I've got a good little month or so planned!
I've been back in Britain for 19 days now. (How time flies!) In fact at this very moment I’m sitting in my folks’ house in Scotland, supping away on a mug of tea my wee sister just made me… home brews are always the best… and I'm just about to go get ready for my Spanish holiday! Mum, Dad and I are off to the sunny shores of Majorca. I absolutely adore it over there and decided my parents should come see where I'll be living when I retire!!! If you've not been, then I highly recommend a Spanish trip...
It's been a little difficult to re-adjust to life back home. It's funny, it feels like I've never been away and at the same time everything feels so different now. I'm very lucky to have my friends and family to keep me sane... (ok, scratch that - some of them drive me round the bend, but that’s why we love them!)
The last few years have been such a rollercoaster ride that I'm taking this as a chance to have a real break and decide what I'd like to do with the rest of my life. As an actor there's always so much insecurity and it's tough to keep believing. Still if you don't believe then why should anyone else eh? Following your dreams is really just keeping that level of positivity.
Oh, I want to send out a big thank you to everyone who sent me a message or gift on my Birthday. I sent on a few personal thank yous but this is in case I missed anyone out! I said to my Mum, "I feel so old now" and she replied, "well start acting like it then!" Age hasn't effected me since about 7 years old!
Much love and thanks, and we'll speak again soon.
PS. The good thing about being home is that I'm drinking Irn-Bru till it’s coming out my ears!!! ... if anyone needs some then let me know... xxx
Buenos Días mi amigos. Home from Majorca today and the welcome that Scotland afforded was pissin' rain and freezing temperatures!
Me, being the aquatic sportsman that I am, used my time in the water to practise my snorkeling skills. Unfortunately, this escapade ended in the harbour at Port d'Andratx when a fish decided to empty its bowels in front of my face... I never knew fish expelled in the sea! Needless to say all other underwater adventures were confined to the chlorinated waters of Mum's favourite swimming haunt.
Now a few people have emailed in asking about what I'm doing and where I'll be doing it, so let me fill you all in.
Am I returning across the pond and coming "home" ??
You betcha! Of course I am, how can I stay away from the place!? And, I'll be coming home sooner than you probably all expect. The flight’s booked for Monday. I must admit, I'm at that 'I'm-a-5-year-old-on-Christmas-Eve' thing when I go to bed. I can hardly take my mind off all the people I'm going to see again and I can’t wait to see how everyone is. However, seeing old friends is not the only reason I'm excited...
When I was away I received some news regarding my involvement in Caligula at the New York Music Theatre Festival. It seems (after some drama that I was totally unaware of) that I am allowed to perform the lead role!! As you can imagine I am thrilled at the outcome. I'm looking forward to the challenge of such a different role from the character of Boy George. I've been a while in the dreadlocks and slap and yeah, I'm a little nervous but with the faith of the Caligula team and Equity behind me there should be little to worry about (ask me again in a few days and I'll let you know!)
Enough now. We only got back from Majorca today and I've got scripts to read so it's off to bed for me. Sleep well peoples, until next time xx
Hello all! Good to be back! I had a great time in Majorca, as I said before, and now it's straight back to the hard work! Rehearsals for Caligula are going great. I am really relishing the chance to get my teeth into something new and exciting.
So basically that’s been my life for the past couple of weeks. Rehearsing pretty much all day, then chilling out ready for the next day! Not exciting, but once I got this part nailed, I'm really going to want to see you all there!
So yeah, I’m sure as many of you already know, Caligula is well and truly open. Today was our second show-- it's really been fun to get back to work!
The group that’s there is fantastic, it’s just like a little family already, and really it is more a joy than work to be in this project. Some of the guys behind the scenes have been working hard on the murmurings and scriptings for years and even if I do say so myself, it shows! They should definitely be proud to see it up.
It has been a wee mad dash to get the play on stage, mind you! We only had a couple of weeks’ rehearsal and Caligula is a big production... it was a stressful time and I was having heart palpitations (that’s the polite version) before the opening night. But it all went well, and I’ve just learned that we have an extension now until October 9th.
I've also been rehearsing hard for the Actor's Fund—it’s a concert version of the musical Hair. I must get my hands on some "hippy tie-dye and Flares" for the event so if anyone has any suggestions please email me and let me know where I can get such things in New York... Thanks!!
It's good to have seen a few familiar faces at the shows and it's always nice to see old friends again. It's always good to see the family, and to be honest, I thought I'd be away from New York much longer than this so I'm glad our parting was a short one.
On a more serious note, I feel for those in the Southern States with the hurricanes they've been having? Mother Nature is one huge uncontrollable force no matter how hard we try. It’s a good reminder to think about how lucky we are as people and to look out for others not so fortunate. (I make that sound so easy but sometimes I feel there's a conspiracy to stop us from being there for each other...)
OK enough now, lecture over -
Hope you're all safe and well. I'll let you know how the rest of the run goes...
Take Care. x
So Caligula draws to close on such a high!!
It seems like only yesterday we were doing the previews and we are all ready to run with this piece now. But now I reckon everyone involved has their fingers crossed that Caligula gets to have a life somewhere else...... I'm set on a few months in Hawaii myself!!
The thought of the sunlight dancing over the rippled waters, the waves slowly walking their way up the shores, wrapping themselves around the edge of civilization... the ripened skyline at dusk and the fresh breeze as the morning sand massages the soles of your feet.... all so romantic.. On the other hand... getting to go crazy every night whilst spending my days surfing and sunning sounds just as appealing!!!
Repetitive theme here, but once again thank you all for your support and coming out to see the show so many times. I met many new faces during this run (and got lots of love from the old ones too)! To every single one of you who takes the time to make and send little trinkets and cool wee gifts, thank you. I'm honoured. Let's hope there's more opportunity to do it all again. It's great to be drinking Irn Bru again too!!
I am really looking forward to Christmas!! I haven't been this excited since I was a kid! It's all happening... will soon be holding a little baby in my arms. Hannah and Kev move into their new house soon, so I'll be throwing myself at them for a place to stay. Or rather Mum and Dad will be begging them to let me stay. As much as I love NYC, this time I'm looking forward to Scotland!!
I will now be putting myself out there, hoping for a new job for some time in the new year but keep your eyes on this page in case I'm lucky enough to get anymore one night gigs before I go home. Of course I will let you guys be first to know. Keep in touch, keep emailing and I'll be back soon.
Thanks again and lots of love.
Much love to you all. xx
Ello ello ello......
Ok, so rather than just sit around it was decided I should do another gig before I head back across the pond. Once again, my dear friends Bill and Jen are giving up their time to help me put this together. Whilst I am already suffering with my usual nerves, I'm very excited... same band as Joe's Pub and Denise will help me out again so that helps keep things a little smoother!
The Zipper Theatre is the venue, West 37th Street (between 8th and 9th). Dates are November 10th-14th. FIVE SHOWS!
I'm working on a mostly new set of songs for the gig, and there are also two special shows on Nov 9th and late night on Nov 13th that the Zipper and Bill are putting together. There will be a few familiar faces performing in these two shows!!
We are printing up some flyers and posters so keep an eye out for them as this is definitely my last gig in NYC this year. After the Zipper I have decided to start packing to go see the new pad Hannah and Kevin have moved into. Hoping to take my driving test when I'm back and then I can ferry Hannah and The Bump about when Kevin is at work!! (I'll probably have driven them both crazy by December 1st...)
ALSO... before all that happens, and I know this is short notice, but... I'll be performing at the Only Make Believe benefit on Monday, November 1st at SHOW (135 West 41st Street, NY, NY.)
Only Make Believe is a charity that brings theatre to children confined to 12 NYC area hospitals due to serious illness and/or disabilities. There are a limited number of tickets left ($150 for the performance only and $250 for the performance and after party at the Bryant Park Grill.) For more details or to purchase tickets, please call 646-336-1500.
Please show your support for this very worthwhile cause.... Much Love to you all and I hope we'll see each other at SHOW and The Zipper!
and now... the end is near...
So yeah, this wee spell back in the US is almost over. And it’s been as great as ever. Tomorrow I head back to London. I will spend a week or so mulling about with some old friends, then heading back up to bonnie Scotland, to make sure I’m there to see my wee niece/nephew enter the world!!! Excited is not even close!
See, I'm getting the easy bit. Play and spoil him/her all day long, then hand back to his Mum to do all the dirty bits! But hey… every Uncle would be the same.
On the travel front... I'm hoping to be back in the States at some point. I like the place too much to not be there! I’m not sure when or how... but trust me.. I'll be wanting to be there!
So for now, from the US: Thanks again for all your support. I'll keep you all posted on WHEN... (thinking positively here) I'll be back.
Love you all x
Safe and Sound
saturday 11 december 2004
Home safe and sound!! Was in London for a few days to see a few old mates and then I travelled up on Wednesday to home sweet home in Scotland. The joys of breathing in the Scottish rain, there's just nothing quite like it... honest!
So I've really just been Christmas shopping for the folks and seeing the old sights. It’s strange-- I've only been away for relatively short time and the place is booming! The Town Centre management is pushing the area as a thriving place, and quite frankly... it's working!
But the big thing... went to see Hannah on Friday. My baby sister is doing really well. She's still bounding around with the usual amount of energy she had before she was pregnant.
Also, her flat... very nice! Very jealous actually! Now if I could only devise a plan to move their pad to Majorca....
Anyway, was a just a note checking in to see how you all are and let you know I got here safe. Take care, speak soon. Me x
wednesday 29 december 2004
MERRY (belated) CHRISTMAS and festive greetings to you all!! Hope you are by now all in good health and you all had a great time.
As much as I miss a lot of my friends from over in the States, I must admit, I had a great time back with the folks here. Christmas went great. Santa was very good to me. I spent the day with with my parents at home, opening a few presents and chilling out for a bit, then for the meal, we headed up to Kevin's folks for the traditional..... CURRY.
What a laugh! Great night. Don't think I stopped laughing for any more than 10 minutes at a time!
Stumbled home at some hour of the early morning, and decided to chill and catch up with some sleep! Besides that I've caught up with a few mates from back here, spoke to a few of you on the phone, not yet played bingo... really must get that sorted... and now you are pretty much caught up.
But the all important news... I'm still not an Uncle yet!!! See you all later. Take care, and Have a very happy and Merry New Year. Xx