Friday, January 12, 2007


The call came a little over a week ago.

We'd had a desperate, depressing day batting our budget back and forth, trying to figure out how to make ends meet 'til the end of the month.

I hate this, I said. I don't want to live like this anymore, I said. I need a job. The Bim raised his eyebrows, made his 'We've-been-over-this-before' face, and said nothing.

It's a conversation millions of couples have the world over: how to find your own particular 'Eureka!' balance, where everyone gets nourished bodily, spiritually and mentally, the child is raised the way you always promised yourself you'd raise a child, and you've even got a little over every now and then for a haircut. (Yes, my hair is currently frightening).

I came upstairs. Cried. Had a word with the Universe. A couple of hours later I got the call.

I know you've said theatre is out 'til she's a bit older, my agent said, but this is really good theatre - would you reconsider? The interview's next Tuesday - don't go unless you can do it.

I couldn't help but notice the coincidence. I smiled. I thanked the Universe. Then I giggled to myself and rang the Bim.

I don't know how the hell we'd do this, I said, testing the waters. I don't know if I even want to do this, I said... But it is in London, and commutable, and it is one of the best theatres in the country... I mean, I haven't seen the script yet, and they're saying the part is small but -

If it's more than a word, you're doing it, he said.

We spent the weekend with calendars, calculators and spidery charts drawn on the backs of lots of envelopes, trying to work out how we could make it work. For me there was a massive mental shift to make. I had previously been wracked with guilt about leaving Anna-mouse for a couple of hours in the Writing Class creche. Now here I was, drawing up plans to leave her in others' care for what felt like weeks on end.

Interesting what you can do when you try. When you're motivated. When there's a lovely goal in sight. Come Monday morning, I made the call: Yes, we're there, we can do it, tell them I'm coming to the interview.

Tuesday morning was an act of stunning organisation to get myself ready (hair a little less scary), and get Anna-mouse to dear, loyal friend who'd rather been hoping for quiet, pregnant day alone. I have to say, Anna-m barely flickered when I left, so excited was she by the prospect of a good bed-bouncing session: I decided to take this as a sign from God that I wouldn't automatically become a Bad Mother if I got the job, and got myself to the theatre as quickly as south London bus lanes allow.

They were running late. I sat at the Stage Door, rearranging my skirt and practising tongue-twisters under my breath. Every now and again I got up and paced the floor. It's a little-taught skill, for an actor, knowing how to contain the nerves and retain the energy when you arrive on time for an audition only to be told you'll be going in late. I was feeling hysterical with the possibility of the thing - allowing myself every few moments tiny imaginary glimpses of What-Could-Be - but I was damned if I was going to peak early...

Well, I honoured the adage: I did my best. I came out fizzing, popping, wondering - did I get the job? Did I get the job?

I'm still wondering. I've been wondering all week long. We got to Friday and I thought, Surely I won't have to go through another weekend with the possibility of this dangling before me? But I do have to. I'm bad-tempered and irritable and full of gushy love for my nearest and dearest one minute, and unable to be in the same room as them the next. I'm ridiculous! It's just that... it would change life so very, very much I feel I'm in some strange place of limbo until I know.

So... watch this space.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh Livvy! How exciting! I'm hoping and praying that you get this!