Hope you're all feeling good today and have had a good week.
I have been C.R.A.Z.Y this week. My head has nearly gone pop on numerous occasions but it's great.
So last Thursday my friend Sally and i had a lovely lunch in 'Bills' restaurant in Covent Garden before watching the matinee of GHOST the musical. It is a fantastic show and i highly recommend you see it if you can. It will be around for quite some time I'm sure. It's so different to anything else about at the moment. It's based on the film of the same name starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg and the casting in this production is very good all round. The special effects are incredible and the design of the entire piece is incredibly inventive and original and unique. One thing I particularly appreciated was that the sound was nice and loud. I see so much theatre nowadays where you can tell the sound designer and director have tried to achieve a 'natural' sound to the piece they've created but that quite often means you can't hear what the actors are saying - but with GHOST, from the moment the first crescendo of the overture starts you get that electric feeling surging through your body - and to me, theatre is all about being drawn in and taken on a journey and GHOST certainly does that.
Afterwards I headed to work and felt very inspired after watching such good theatre. It's always great when you watch something good (like all the stuff I saw recently on Broadway) knowing you can then go and be a part of a great show like WICKED. Love it!
I lay in bed on Thursday night thinking (as i often do). What I was thinking in my head was that I want to be challenged and learn something new. I am very happy with all the incredible stuff that's happening in my career at the moment but I feel I am constantly drawing from and using the skills I have already and want to learn something new.
So I made a decision!!!
Friday morning I woke up and called my agent and told him, "I am going into town to buy a guitar and I'm going to teach myself to play and next year you will write on the 'special skills' part of my CV (or resume for you people reading this across the pond) that I play guitar!"
So I got on the train, popped to interview my friend Craige Els who's working at The National Theatre (I'll tell you why I'm 'interviewing' in a mo), then had a few phone calls to make before heading to a music shop in central London to say "Hello, I want to play the guitar, so can I buy one please". I came away with a decent acoustic guitar and I had a guitar bag thrown in for free. So I have been teaching myself some chords from a sheet I printed off but once my summer school is done in two weeks I'm booking in for a few guitar lessons to make sure I get the basics down without developing bad habits. The guy in the music shop who was very helpful, told me I should aim to do just 15 minutes a day to see an improvement.
It blooming' hurts though eh? I never really realised you have to press the strings quite so hard - but i'm developing the calluses on my fingers good and proper which then means I won't feel the pain as much.
If any of you play guitar and have some songs for beginners chord charts you think'll be good for me, then please tweet me a link or Facebook me. Cheers.
I then went to the gym to do a good work out and ended up in the big studio (because it was empty) doing loads of dance stuff to keep on top of my technique. I don't ever have time to head to class anymore so try and do it myself when I can although I will be heading back to class and to the actors centre come September to be challenged and do new stuff.
So friday was a very productive day.
Saturday morning I woke to do some work before meeting my friend Aimee from Wales who is also my assistant for WEST END IN WALES. She had come to stay for a couple of days so we could really knuckle down on the final preparations for what is going to be a great summer school! She sat in my dressing room during both shows on Saturday and when I had any time during the show I'd head to work on things with her.
Saturday night we both went out to meet some of my friends for drinks to celebrate the birthday of my mate Dom who played Rocky when I did the Rocky Horror Show. I had a fun night and actually when I arrived home Aimee and I realised that I was actually quite drunk which doesn't happen very often - picture me, dropping my keys then picking them up but banging my head on the way up to stand straight and then whilst trying to walk up three flights of stairs I fell twice (only cos I was carrying Aimee's heavy luggage) - so I had a little less control than usual. Ha. It was a great night which ended in a pint of water and cheese on toast! Yum.
Sunday morning we woke and practically worked for 7 hours solid on the summer school before heading to another friend from the Rocky Horror cast's birthday. Nathan who played Eddie/Dr.Scott and his girlfriend were celebrating at a really cool bowling/snooker/karaoke/bar/diner place in central London which was brilliant.
Really enjoyed it and then Aimee and I headed home for pizza, tea, biscuits and a film! We watched (well when I say 'we' I mean 'I' because Aimee slept from 5 minutes into it) 'Sweet Sixteen' which is an independent British film which is really hardcore with violence and drugs and a really gritty story - I thought it was great and the acting and direction were fantastic. Love seeing original British stuff produced well!
Monday we woke to continue working on the summer school for about 5 hours and then Aimee headed to get the train back to Wales whilst I had a quick swim before work!
Spent a lot of the show strumming my guitar, with a good 8 seconds in between chords for me to put my fingers in the right places. Ha. But I'm enjoying it.
Had to get an early night Monday as Tuesday was an early rise and a long busy day. I headed down to Cardiff with my manager for a meeting for a big new exciting project, which……I can finally tell you about - so watch this weeks VLOG where i will reveal all and - there is a good opportunity for fans to get involved too!
Once I got back from Cardiff I did an hour in the gym before heading in to work to do the show. I was intending on doing some work on the 30 minute train ride home but my laptop battery ran out, my iphone battery ran out and I had no pen in my filofax, so I sat and continued reading the book I'm currently enjoying, 'The Power'. It's put me in a great place in my head which really helps me handle all this juggling of work I'm doing and helps me keep calm and positive!
Wednesday (yesterday) I woke and did a good 3 hours work on the summer school before heading into do two shows and I played as much guitar as I could. I'm getting better. I'll be playing songs in a couple of weeks.
So I mentioned an interview I did with a friend earlier. Basically for 5 years I've been running my summer school in North Wales to help anyone who had a passion for musical theatre and acting to feel they have a better understanding of how the industry works. Now to celebrate it's 5th anniversary I have been working with a friend of mine, Nathan, who's an incredible web-designer to launch a new website for young aspiring performers and anyone who wants to work in theatre. It will be launched the week of the summer school and will be the same address that currently exists www.westendinwales.com
It is going to be a database for all kinds of musical theatre, west end and theatre information. Whether it be lists of colleges and schools, or theatre reviews or theatre history or interviews with people from all departments and work types of the industry, West End in Wales will be providing free information not only to the people of Wales and my summer school but for all people world wide! We have been working hard on this for months and the website is looking incredible. It will have more and more added to it once the launch has happened but as of August 8th take a look at www.westendinwales.com
And that my dears brings us to today where I am happily posting this before heading into London to buy lots of sheet music for the summer school and I might just have to buy a couple of 'Guitar for beginners' books for myself. Ha!
My single is out on Monday!!!!!!! Adre'n Ol: The Journey Home I'd be ever so grateful if you were to buy it - if you do, I sincerely hope you enjoy it!!!
Get in touch, @MarkHEvans.
Love your lives and be happy!
Thanks for reading
PS - Here's the link for you to copy and paste and watch my blog of announcements - http://vimeo.com/26985694