Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Campbell's blog - stammering project

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I heard about the project from my friend theatre director Morna Burdon, who sent me an email about the initial TAG workshops in spring 2007, by getting in touch, I also got involved with The British Stammering Association Scotland on the same night.

I initially went along hoping to get work as the writer of the play, at least shadow the main writer of it, as I’m a qualified screenwriter, whose looking to break into writing for the stage and was hoping to get work as the writer of the show. Things didn’t quite go to plan, and I am now doing the acting part instead, which to my total surprise/shock – I am thoroughly enjoying doing it! That fact is still a bit of a shock to my system to be honest, as I’ve previously worked as a theatre and film technician, as well as a screenwriter.

I’ve particularly enjoyed the improvisations, as I am better at thinking on my feet and ad-libbing than I am at remembering dialogue (weirdly considering I’m a screenwriter!) – though I can’t wait to do my Duck Variations with Siobhan next Thursday night.

The social side has worked out very well; I’m working with a bunch of folk similar to myself, and friendships have formed. I unfortunately can’t socialise with them as much as I’d like to as I’ve been fairly skint lately, due to being unemployed and I fell more comfortable if I am able to buy my share of the rounds down the pub after class.

I’m considering doing some work as a movie and television extra (something I got real experience of last summer, when I worked on a feature film - more by default than anything else though, as I was officially a crew member on that production). Doing these workshops has given more the impetus to go ahead and do it again, I am in the process of researching various avenues (oh, yes and a thank you to Louise for passing on a few extras agency addresses to me!) into it and how to go about doing it. I haven’t noticed any effect on my stammer as such, but I do feel a lot more confident now, than I have been for quite some time. My communication skills have always been good anyway, but I reckon I’m maybe a little less shy than I was before starting the workshops.

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