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Blog: A World Of THORTS
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The World Of Hibbett is one of TUMULT at the moment - behind all the Dinosaur Planet Promotion Action (which isn't exactly garnering HUGE results this week, but it took 3 years to MAKE, so it might take more than a fortnight to PLUG!) there has been REAL LIFE STUFF going on with the possibility of my job ENDING.
I was out with The Feet In My Shoes the other weekend for a WALK talking about this, and we got on to talking about the time, half a lifetime ago, when I got accepted onto a course to do an MA in Playwriting, but couldn't afford to do it. "Why don't you go back and do it NOW?" she said, and after some discussion I realised she was RIGHT. i COULD go and do an MA!
SO it was that I investigated the matter online, contacted some Universities (with decidedly MIXED results) and booked on to an OPEN DAY, which took place yesterday afternoon. By the time i ARRIVED at this distant outpost of academia I wasn't sure whether this COURSE was right for me, or indeed this COLLEGE, but thought I'd have a look.
Things didn't get off to a particularly good start, as I arrived at the designated building to find NO SIGNAGE WHATSOEVER. I've run Open Days MYSELF in the past, and the LEAST you do is put a sign up on the door saying "OPEN DAY HERE" or something, and preferably signs INSIDE with ARROWS on showing prospective students where to report. Eventually I found a School Office with a sign on it saying "This Office Is Closed For A Meeting". I knocked. There was one person inside who seemed SURPRISED to see me, but DID turn out to be the person with the REGISTER.
A Postgrad student arrived to show us round the campus - she, I and another chap who'd turned up waited ten minutes to see if anyone else arrived, then went off for a TOUR. It was all very interesting and nice... except for the fact that I wouldn't actually be BASED at that campus! As part of the tour we went to one of the THEATRES and met the TECHNICIANS working on something BACKSTAGE. As soon as we went round the back i KNEW that I didn't want to do JUST playwriting after all. The other courses I'm looking at combine playwriting with SCREENWRITING and RADIO and stuff, which seems MUCH more fun - just LOOKING at all the paraphenalia and HOOPLA involved with The Theatre reminded me of all the times I've come up against PROPER THEATRE ARRANGEMENTS over the past few years, and how ANNOYING i've found it all!
My thoughts were only UNDERLINED when we got to a GROUP MEETING later on. There were various lecturers and course leaders there who seemed very KEEN on their courses and happy to talk about them... except for the bloke running MY course, who hadn't bothered to turn up. NOT A GOOD SIGN. They also talked about DRAMATURGY, a new word to me which seems to mean Developing Dramatic PIECES, and how everything would be INTEGRATED, working with ACTORS and DANCERS and DIRECTORS to DEVELOP pieces.
All the way through this DREAD was rising. What i LOVE about doing GIGS and the sort of LARKS that Steve and I have been creating is that we do them OURSELVESand perform them to HUMAN PEOPLE who turn up to experience some FUN. I want to do something that is, in theory at least, COMMERICAL - that doesn't need theory or "research" or Theatrical Context to back it up, but instead does what it does because it's GOOD. Suddenly memories of applying for ARTS GRANTS arose, and GRIM VISIONS appeared of having to hang around getting APPROVAL from OUTSIDE BODIES.
I managed not to FLEE... at least not right away, but I DID end up running away early, as I had a MEETING to get to. Thus a couple of trains later I found myself back in The Wilmington, with some other ROCK VETERANS, getting a BRIEFING about our appearance at Bright Club in a couple of weeks. This is the event where they usually get ACADEMICS to get up and do short spots of stand-up comedy. This month it's MUSICIANS, but Mr S Cross still gave us the same briefing as he gives Academics. It was all good stuff, althought when he told us "don't have more than two pints before you go on, best not to have any" I could see everyone else was thinking "I DON'T THINK SO", but we all nodded politely!
It was REASSURING to be back amongst My Own Kind, especially as one of them was the marvellous Mr David Barnett, but on the way home it made me question EVERYTHING. What DO i want to do next? If work things change and I ended up being able to STAY in my job, would that actually be the RIGHT thing to do? Or could I maybe combine everything and do an MA part-time? Or should I just stay as I am and keep gently rolling along in ROCK? Is the "slow start" for album publicity a gentle nudge from THE GODS OF ROCK saying I should try MORE to get it going, or a hint that I should stop worrying about it?
Gentle reader: I really don't know!! I think the wisest course of action may be to see how the next month of ALMOST CONSTANT GIGGING goes and see how I feel about it all in March, but please take this as a warning: if during this Time Of Touring you happen to see me, please be gentle with me and WATCH OUT, for LO! I may end up GOING ON ABOUT IT!
posted 2/2/2012 by MJ Hibbett
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