A Sort Of Open Letter/Blurt

In ‘Adventures in Mental Health’ and the ongoing ‘Inside the Inside’ at http://www.leanonus.co I’ve tried to paint a picture of what it’s like being me through time. This ‘place’ here is for different-ish stuff, and if I feel like being less formal, I can be… or not.

Over the last few years, I’ve been experiencing all kinds of new things, especially enjoying the pure communication which is twitter. I like the discipline of keeping thoughts to a small a clear format. I like the way it’s best to follow the protocol of
‘Say’ something
Get a reply from one or more people
Reply to those I wish to
WAIT for further reply.

Something else I enjoy is that purity in the communication. While everything is very public, it’s also extremely intimate somehow. It’s not like a forum or chatroom, it’s very different. Whether using a real name or not, there’s usually an honesty about things… and the fakers soon get found out and ignored. Best of all, it’s mind-to-mind, liberated from the restrictions of appearance and the ‘real’ world.

It isn’t just that, though. I’ve ‘spoken’ with national and international figures – politicians and campaigners, actors and directors, musicians and writers… all kinds. I’ve attempted to point out to politicians and broadcasters where I think they’re going wrong or right and had replies (sometimes). The best part is being able to do something that would send me high with happy if I was in that position: I CAN THANK THE PARTICIPANTS IN A FILM OR TV SHOW THE MOMENT I FIRST SAW IT.

I remember the feeling of gaining that applause at the end of the show, and – rightly or wrongly – make an assumption that no matter how many recordings one makes, the crew and fellow cast’s applause ain’t just quite the same… for me, towards the end of rehearsals it wasn’t, anyway. Not less honest… just… punctuation. Very welcome and needed punctuation, but everyone had seen me do these things before, so… *shrug*

Then, having emoted and pretended and mostly got my lines and moves right, projected my voice and kept the audience in the moment of the story we were unfolding… curtain call and… there it is! Oh, some are standing, too! Yeah! Yeah! A few dips of the head, a couple of waves and smiles, then off to get the crap washed off my face and back into real clothes.

So I like to give virtual applause; especially for new shows. I use the #hashtag (until I find out it’s something else and I’m only in a dark sideroom in cyberspace!), I @theshow and @theTVchannel with my thanks: especially when a hot new International show gets 1st run free to air instead of being tucked away for years behind a paywall.

I’ve even been known to @actors and @crew directly. A lot of people do, and it’s a nice little touch when for my virtual applause, they favorite or reply with a simple ‘thanks’. That really makes my day.

You see, casts and crew do actually work hard to make these shows happen, and were I in their position I would definitely enjoy seeing the audience reaction; enjoy the applause. It only takes a minute or two.

And when there’s an ongoing conversation and faves and RTs from cast and crew, this is wonderful beyond words. Sure, we all know they’re only people, but… I imagine that even at a convention, people like me get tongue-tied and awed.

As a regular performer in a community theatre company, I knew my friends and neighbours would be supporters, but I wanted to give them more each time. I wanted my next performance to be better as I gave something back.

So to those who engage – especially unexpectedly – with we fans, I give you thanks for being who you are. For caring about the show and for realising that we care about it too and that – in a fractious world which can be so ugly and harsh – these brief moments of pure communication mean so much. On both sides.

Long may such things continue… for I honestly think that these oases of mutual ‘thanks for doing/enjoying the show’ are when we are humane to and humble with each other.

Surely Most Excellent.


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