Oh No, He Isn’t

And relax…

For the first time since last Friday, I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and vegetate. Not that I want to do that, but its inevitable return is worth noting anyway.

As I said in my last post, I was going to be helping out at my local school with their pantomime production as their stage manager. I spent all day Saturday in rehearsals, Sunday was spent at football, Monday was rehearsals all day, so was Tuesday, with a performance on Tuesday night, and Wednesday was the final performance. 

At the end of it all, the verdict is that it went very well indeed. All the reviews I’ve heard have said that it was one of the best run plays the school has ever put on. That is a very high compliment, and I’m very satisfied to have played a part in it. 

And play a part I did. Stage management suited me down to the ground. I’ve been a stagehand before, but having the responsibility of controlling scenery, props and cues, as well as managing a small team of helpers, getting a chance to flex my organisational skills, was something I really enjoyed. There were errors, and there were accidents, but we worked around them extremely well, including fixing a falling backdrop in double quick time while the curtains were closed. Fortunately, it broke while the curtains were closed, and so the audience didn’t see it. They wouldn’t have suspected a thing.

And that’s the job of the stage crew. The better, more organised their performance, the less you realise their impact. It’s one of the ironies of doing a good job when you’re behind the scenes. You will always notice a bad job, scenery, props arriving late, lighting or sound cues missed… but when it’s all done slickly, you just sit back and enjoy the performance.

What it has done is improve my opinion of the next generation just a little. I used to be a lot more positive than I am now, but recent events (documented frequently on this journal) have undermined my confidence significantly as I’m really uncertain as to whether the next generation shares the values of everyone else as the Internet and free-market liberalisation transforms our way of life. But it was good to see first hand a lot of very bright, very talented kids, and some more middle-of-the-road ones too, working hard and enjoying themselves, giving something to the community. 

It was only a few days work, but I’m going to miss it. It was nice to have something to do, good to feel valued and comforting to feel part of something that gave a lot of people a lot of enjoyment. They even recognised my contribution at the end by calling me out especially, and I got a round of applause and bottle of wine. Oh well, at least I got something tangible out of it!

As usual it makes me think “well, why don’t I do that for a career?”. I have thought about it before. I wanted to go into media production of some kind when I was 16. In the end I turned my back on it, as it just didn’t feel like the right fit for me. In truth, I would probably enjoy any job that allowed me lots of organisational responsibility. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be working in media/theatre, but it seems the skillset profile matches me well. Worth reconsidering, perhaps.

But I do have an idea for something community theatre related that I would love to do if I had some money. One day, hopefully. 

And now, back to reality…

A Development

This week has brought with it a few surprises. On Wednesday, I was just randomly surfing around football related websites when I stumbled across a list of job adverts. Expecting not to see anything interesting I didn’t really pay much attention to it.

Scrolling through, they all looked beyond me. Then there was one. I couldn’t believe the luck. A job for a PA and office administrator. Based in London, yes, but no matter. I’m prepared to relocate anyway.

Small problem. The closing date was the same day.

This job, to me, is probably what I’m looking for. I love the work I do for my football club. It is work, but it’s work I really enjoy, so the time just flies by. Now, sure, I won’t be doing the same in this PA job, but the crucial thing is that it is going to combine footballing interests with, I think, my abilities to organise and run things efficiently. I think I’m a pretty good administrator. I demonstrated that when I worked for an MP, and again in all the things I run for my club.

I don’t think there’s a logical job progression from it, but it will put me in a field that, for certain, I want to be involved in. Plus, by moving to London I will be a lot closer to the political world, which may or may not be my next step… but it certainly becomes so much more of an option by being close by.

Anyway, I e-mailed them at 3pm, rushed through the application and got it back to them by 10pm. They said they’d let me off with missing the 5pm deadline because of how late I’d spotted it. And it was just a pure fluke. I wasn’t actually doing my usual daily trawl of the job listings at the time.

Two days later, a phonecall. They want me for interview next Thursday.

Now – my train of thought is that, they know I live a fair distance from London. So I guess that’s why they’re giving me enough notice. But… at the same time, surely they wouldn’t make me travel all the way there if they’ve got no intention of at least hearing me out? Therefore, I must actually be in with a genuine chance. So many times I apply for jobs and just get the feeling that it’s already an internal stitch up, that someone has already been lined up for it but they have to go through the formal process of advertising it, etc.

I’m delighted to finally get this opportunity to put my case to someone. I feel like I get a chance to show that I’m actually a pretty likeable person face-to-face. I will feel fairly confident when I go in there… just as long as I keep control of my nerves.

I don’t want to speculate too much about what happens after that. I just hope it’s a worthwhile use of £70… which is what it’s going to cost me to get there! I’ve had to calculate a very careful plan to get me there on time, but all is reliant upon trains and other connections working perfectly. Please don’t let me down. I don’t want my first impression to be negative – having to call them up to say I’m going to be late. Urgh.

Either way, Thursday is going to be an entertaining day. I’ve got nothing to lose, after all. I would definitely love to get the job – things are starting to get a little too much for me living here – but I must try not to pin too many hopes to it. It would work out very well, but maybe there are other opportunities down the road just in case.

They do have a habit of springing up from nowhere.

Sport Related Thought Springboard

After spending a long day in the sunshine yesterday, and getting slightly sunburnt for my troubles, it seems ridiculous that today is dark, rainy and miserable. Worse is the fact that tomorrow I’m going to a family christening event, and it looks like they might have picked a pretty bad day for it. Such a shame, as this time last year it was my nephew’s birthday and holy communion on the same day, and they got the good weather – possibly the only nice day of last summer…

The reason why I was in the sun was that I went to watch my brother and sister at an inter-schools athletics competition. Unfortunately, their school got trounced in virtually every event, but my sister did well in her two events, coming 2nd in the 200m and 3rd in the 100m. I’m glad she did well, because she spent the last week insisting that she was not going to do it and that she hated having a talent for running. It got most people in the house down. But she did it in the end, and hopefully it’s a vital lesson learned in life.

I think back to when I was in school and the fact that of the all the lessons in the week, PE and games were the ones I dreaded. I’ve already covered a lot of this ground in the old youth reviews, but it seems all semblence of sporting talent passed me by, whereas my siblings seem to have at least something to work from. The only thing I was ever good at and enjoyed was badminton. I don’t quite know why that would be. Maybe I have good hand-eye co-ordination. Plus, I’m not a physical person, so contact sports were always the most hated. Even though I like watching them.

I would dearly love to get back into playing badminton again, but it’s just another one of those things that can’t really be done on your own. I need to find someone else to play it with me. I was thinking of asking my younger brother (aged 14) but I’m not convinced he can be separated from a) his antics with friends and b) his computers.

If I had something to do, another hobby to enjoy then I think I’d feel a lot more balanced as a person. I’ve mentioned before how most of my hobbies are unfortunately individual activities that I do at home, playing playing guitar, keyboard, reading/researching… so it would be nice to have one that got me outside for a bit.

I’ve thought a lot about this recently. What can I do with myself? I thought, maybe I should get back into music and try to make a band. But I tried that in the past and no one was interested. No one seems to get the blend of music I’m into. That would at least turn my musical talents into something a bit more sociable.

Or maybe I could use them to make money by busking? I would probably enjoy that, but I’m not as confident about my musical and singing abilities as I used to be. That’s probably because the last four years have seen me regress somewhat on this score.

I thought about doing some volunteering… but once more the whole thing is fraught with problems. The only opportunities available that I can find that I might be interested in are the ones working with inner city youth or young offenders. I’m not sure I have much to offer for these groups. What do I know about these kids? I may live in an area where things aren’t exactly great, but I don’t think I would be a credible mentor, having not got the experience to relate to myself.

I could retread my old stomping grounds and help in my local school again, but I feel like I’ve been there and done that.

Or maybe, joining a choir, running a choir… that would be cool. But how do you do these things? There are no choirs around her for me (I looked). Urgh.

The problem to me is that I really don’t know enough about myself. In fact, it’s a bit ridiculous that I can’t explain what my real talents and qualities are. What I could bring to the table. By not knowing, I don’t know where I can apply myself. Where I can make the best use of my skills. I know I’ve got some, I’m sure of it!

And all the while the dark spectre of having no money anyway looms. I can’t do anything until I’ve solved that one. Freedom is nothing if you can’t afford to make use of it.

That’s enough introspection for now.