Wednesday, 25 September 2013

25tt September 2013: London in the Sun


It's been pretty swell for the past couple of days. I've managed to survive all the induction nonsense, so I'm now awaiting the faculty drinks and Student Union welcome stuff to start. Although I am an old, old man (I'm 25 mate, what, wanna fight?) I will join in the student union drama/comedy and maybe even musical theatre (perish the thought!)  groups. Why? I really loved the experience at Sussex and, whilst my degree and stand-up will tbe the most important strings to my bow this year, being with a society was throughly brilliant. I wonder if they are interested in an old, massive dutchman. You never know.

UCL is the most confusing place I've ever been in. Apart from, perhaps, the city of Edinburgh, which I only really cracked at about 3 years in. On the first day, I got lost about 15 times. Per hour. To have the dead face of Jeremy Bentham look at you sarcastically is not something that's worthy of being repeated. But, face to face, the staff at UCL are nothing less than charming. Not a fan of email, that's for sure. I managed to enroll, without having to take an English Language Proficiency Exam, which would have set me back 180 pounds... As is obvious from the language used in this blog, and the endless Henry James-esque sentences that just keep going, and going, and going, with comma splices everywhere, and just keep going and going and going without ever reaching a point that could either be called interesting or comedically valid; (hûûûûh!) I would have to pay for something I'm already pretty much OK at. Or have the examiner laugh in my face. Probably the latter.

In my daily Schlep to and from UCL, I have taken a different rout on the tube every day. Possibly my worst decision was yesterday, wherer I walked from Monument to Bank. It took me 15 minutes, and although my leg muscles got the best workout they've had since the Edinburgh Fringe, I was pretty ruined. I was also hit by how incredibly deep down into the soil the central line actually is.  Like Edinburgh, the London Underground is a three-dimensional maze. Only way more expensive. By next week, I hope to own a bicycle. Partly because of being Dutch, partly because the tube is bankruptcy-inducingly expensive. Three years ago, in Brighton, (a number of years I have to count out on my fingers every time I say or write it, because it's just so recent in my mind) I was strongly advised against buying and using a bicycle to get from a to campus. I have definitely learned not to buy a crappy bike that's too small  and has a steering wheel that is too low. It tends to mash one's testiclés. As I found out to my cost during an especially embarrassing visit to the GP in late October 2010. An experience that inspired my friend Sabina (with whom I followed ta course called 'Tragedy'at Sussex, taught by the great Prof. Tom Healy) to say that I, in fact, was a tragedy. Why? I inspire pity and fear. Too right.

As I was trying to waste time today between an appointment with the UCL support services and a Welcome drinks thing at half 5, I walked around the grounds. I remember being here 3 years ago, when I was up to audition for an Edinburgh Show called the 'Lunchtime Club'. I was so incredibly nervous that I just went in and out of coffee shops buying small espressos (which can't have helped) with my brain constnantly instructing me not to show people that I was 'a failure, like everyone can see. Or they'd never take you on'. My brain, everybody.
It's weird to see bits of London I haven't seen for 2, 3 or nearly 4 years, as I was hit with the realisation that I had been at a particular traffic light in January 2010.
Marcel Proust's brain, everybody.

I've also managed to write the first bits of a comedy song. My friend Chris didn't approve, since he finds all comedy songs 'a coopout'. He may be right.

Right, I'm going to read  David Foster Wallace and try not to have a book-induced breakdown. And as for how I'm doing:  haven't been happier in a long time. So there. Deal with that. BOOM! Etcetera.

ALSO: why do English people always say 'excetera' when it CLEARLY is 'etcetera'?  I've even heard professors use it. WHY?

In the meantime, I'm still looking for comedy gigs. Hook me up. xxx

Sunday, 22 September 2013

22nd September 2013 - Back in Britain/Back in Business

Well, here we are.

After 1 Edinburgh Fringe, 3 weeks of getting stuff organised, a leaving party that will never be forgotten and a 12 hour coach trip I am, finally, in London. Good grief.

I am currently in Bow, East London, with some wonderful friends who agreed to put me up/put up with me for a week and a bit before I'm moving to my next abode. My friend Chris even collected me from the tube statio, starting a twenty minute odyssey to his flat, with lenty of baggage changing hands and man-shouting. It does make one feel like Bear Grylls, only with skin, tearing from too heavy baggage. Taking along more bags than was necessarily sane, I survived through the kindness of some fellow travellers who just happened to have to get on to the District Line. Next time I'm moving with that many bags, I'm installing a couple of extra arms on my back, like Dr. Octopus. Whether I'll then ever be able to get through airport customs again is a matter for another day.

I concluded Friday by sleeping for 15 hrs. That about tells you about the intense tiredness I'm currently rocking. Back from Edinburgh, I started a course of AlkaSeltzeer/Supradyn Complex Fortississimo.My body then, didn't have a change to get ill, which it still wants to I think. Now I'm here though, I'm developing a slight cough.

Being in the UK after two years of relentlessy looking forward to it feels likehigh school again, in a way. I always had maths exams on the final hour of Friday afternoon. When I had one,  my sense of time would be cut and my entire future stopped at that point. Then there would be a cliff after Friday afternoon. Cycling home was like awakening from a coma. I realised that life was not just about numbers I didn't understand. There were also crisps, novels and tv.  Now, I feel similar to that. I'm completely living in the moment, bso what I'm doing right now is the only real thing on my mind. That will change. Especially when the term starts on Monday next week.

On Saturday night, a friend of mine had her leaving do. She's going to Paris, for Drama school. Meeting up with a lot of friends from Sussex was wonderful. It is strange that I once did exactly the same thing as Alice is dooing. It's so brave, to just go to a place  where she doesn't know anyone. I did it, once. I couldn't do it again. So I wish her all the luck and awesomeness in the world.

Tonight, however, I'm meeting the people I'm going to live with from Monday next week. And I will attempt to keep this blog a bit more often. I't's good to be back.

P.S. I will be updating the gig list. I've got a gig at Pearshaped Comedy on October 2nd, in Brighton (BRIGHTON!) at Comedy Corner on Monday October 7th, Land of the Blind in Stockwell on the 10th of Oct and one at Comedy Squared on October 23rd. Would love to see you there!