I’ve had a lot going on over the past 18 months, both good and bad and it’s culminated in a huge swathe of doubt, bigger than I’ve had before. I’ve been getting this strike of fear that sits between my head and my chest and in the back of my throat. It creeps up on me at the most mundane of moments and swells until I don’t know what to do except embrace it and wallow for a few moments. Then it’s back to normal, back to emptying the dishwasher, cleaning my whiteboard, parking the car.
My fear is that I’ll get a few years down the line and wonder why the fuck I’m still attempting to do what I’m doing now. My future self will ridicule my present self and tell me I’ve been stupid chasing this dream and I should concentrate on other more important things.
I’m being honest. I pride myself on being honest because if I’m not honest with myself who else is going to be.
Here’s an insight into my life: it’s all writing. Scoff all you want, I do very little else. So when I get another rejection, get pipped to the post for another scheme, don’t place in an award it’s a large cavernous dent in my thinning armour. I do not know how to switch off and stop working, I have a fear that I’ll miss an opportunity. It hurts. It hurts a lot to know that my mountains of work, my paper children I’ve birthed, will sit and stack in the corner of my overcrowded room.
I’m running on the spot and I’m not sure if I’m learning anything new apart from years of experience of not being heard. I want to share my work, I do not have money to mount my own productions, I do not have a sponsor to kindly do it for me, I can’t even afford to move out of home. I sit here writing knowing that more people have probably read this blog than seen my stage work and that’s fairly minimal. Why do I do it? Why do I insist on carrying on knowing it’s a waste of time and that there’ll always be someone else who reaches that destination before me? Why the fuck do I think I’m different? And why the frilly heck do I feel the necessity to compare myself to others?
I don’t know. I simply don’t know. I’m tired. My heart aches at the thought of not writing, although I’m suffocated at the prospect of carrying on. I’ve lost the spark that I used to run towards, now I’m frantically searching around for it. Actually, I’ve passed that and I can’t be bothered to look around. This may seem bombastic, but all I do is write because I want to, it’s the only thing I’m good at. Maybe you’ll read this and think, “maybe no one’s paying you attention because you’re a shit writer?” And maybe you’d be right. Maybe that’s the thing, maybe I’m not being honest enough with myself to say that I cannot write well. I don’t know. That’s the worst thing, I do not know how to find this out.
I’m going to be quiet for a while (writing wise) because I’m a bit lost. And when you’re lost you don’t really make a lot of sense. This isn’t a cry for help or the cue for you to send me reassuring words, it’s an attempt at an explanation as to what’s going on, why I haven’t done anything, and to maybe quash the questions for a bit. I know people are only trying to be kind, and I love them for it, you are the people I’m writing for. Real life has meant that I’m putting writing on the back burner for a bit. I’ve lost the passion and I don’t want to force it. I’m pretty sure in a few months this post will be redundant, I would like to think so.
No doubt you’ll see me in real life or on the usual social platforms soon. If you do, let’s talk about anything but me writing. And bring gin.
Riddled With Niggles August 20, 2013
DROPPED SEQUINS for #FUTURESPARK is cast! July 2, 2013
I’m thrilled to say that my short play DROPPED SEQUINS for How It Ended Productions’ FUTURESPARK has been cast! Let me introduce the superb ladies…
First up (above) we have the delightful Stephanie Overington, a fresh young actress based in Luton. I recently worked with Stephanie on a charity video to raise awareness of self-harm. She has the right spark of naturalism and plays that vulnerability to suit the part of Natasha brilliantly. I’m really looking forward to working with her more directly and on some new writing.
Then we have Rachel Jackson who I’m really excited to be working with. I saw Rachel in a Coming Up (Channel 4) episode from a few years back, then saw her in a short play as part of RedFest last year, and both times she’s stuck out for me. She’s got the feistiness in her for sure and the boldness that completes the part of Gemma.
Two actresses who will bring my work to life under the direction from the lovely Madelaine Smith. Niceness.
REMINDER TO BOOK TICKETS! —> here
FUTURESPARK with @how_it_ended June 16, 2013
I first encountered the theatre company How It Ended Productions on Twitter a few years ago. They were on the lips of many that I’d talked to, and I was intrigued by the work they put out. I even pledged some cash in their WeFund campaign to help them get to Edinburgh. I was all for helping out a theatre company, especially when they were so close to home (they’re based in Luton). I was excited to see their work and looking forward to meeting them. Then I got busy. Which meant that I didn’t get to see their work or meet them.
Skip forward a fews years and now they’ve mounting a short play of mine alongside others in their event called FUTURESPARK this July. So I will get to see their work, I will get to meet them and I’m obviously working with them. This pleases me so. My short play DROPPING SEQUINS will be directed by Madelaine Smith who I kind of know already from Twitter firstly, then through a mutual actor friend, and then because I invited her to a reading of one of my other plays to give feedback based on our previous interaction. There you go folks, as they sing in Bugsy Malone, “You give a little love and it all comes back to you (na, na, na, na-na-na-naaaaaaa)“.
So we’re casting this week and it’s quite a rhythmical piece, not intentional but it just came out that way. There’s dancing, some spoken word elements… It’s going to be fun. The springboard stimulus was the word ‘Carnival’. I ended up writing about two girls who are best friends getting ready to dance in the carnival – but they’re also planning something else untoward and the Carnival is the perfect cover. But aside from that, I should probably tell you the date, time, place .etc.
11th July – 8:00pm
12th July – 11:00am
The second performance is FREE and is for ANYONE! (But if you are a school and would like to arrange a group booking contact firstname.lastname@example.org) Both performances will be at the UK Centre For Carnival Arts (UKCCA) and you can buy tickets HERE!
It’s looking to be a treat with 8 short plays, live music and other happenings. I will obviously be in attendance, and if you can get your fine self there too it would be grand. As much as it’s nice getting work on at all, it’s especially nice getting it on so close to home. Come!
LONDON PRIDE is imminent! April 25, 2013
Crikey mikey pudding and pie!
LONDON PRIDE is impending, like a loveable rogue over that yonder hill. I’ve stopped by quickly to tell you a few things…
- You can buy tickets here – clicky clicky, buysy buysy
- On Sunday 5th May from 4-6pm there will be a New Writing Surgery where both of us, myself and MJ Starling (author of Audience With Ghostfinder), will be present to help or just chat about your work. More info can be found here – click for WAFF info
- There’s a post show Q&A with both of us too on the 9th May
- I’m quite excited about everything.
See you there!
LONDON PRIDE is cast… AND ON SALE! March 16, 2013
Yup, it’s all auditioned out and we have our stellar cast. It was great sitting in on the auditions and meeting some of the talent out there. And as always you want to use everyone and have an interchangeable cast because you don’t want to send anyone away… But we whittled it down to a cast that I’m very excited to be working with. The most thrilling aspect of auditions for me, is when it’s the character talking in front of you and not the actor. They make me forget what I’ve written and make it seem like I’m snatching snippets of other people’s conversation. Definitely.
So without further ado, here be the cast:
Details of where and when and how much (including the rest of the programme for the Wandsworth Arts Festival & Fringe) can be found here: clicky linky (we’re on page 15, just so you know)
Tickets can be grabbed here: clicky-clicky-booky-booky
See you there? Mine’s a pint of gin.
LONDON PRIDE – fancy a pint? February 17, 2013
I’ve got a play on soon… The lovely people who are Blackshaw Theatre Company are to produce LONDON PRIDE this coming May as part of the Wandsworth Arts Festival and Fringe. I’m thrilled that the play will get a proper production (it received a reading at RADA back in 2011) and also overjoyed that it’s to be paired as a double bill with writer M.J. Starling. LONDON PRIDE and Audience With Ghost Finder will be performed at The Selkirk Upstairs in Tooting. I’m also really really chuffed that it’s in a pub as that’s where my play is set.
They’re also casting for both plays so if you’re of the Acting variety then have a ganders at the breakdowns and get applying. And there are also some Designer/Crew opportunities too. More details: here
And here’s a bit more info about the two plays…
LONDON PRIDE by Katie McCullough
In Shelly’s rundown pub dreams are revived, hope falters and someone’s looking for a fight.
A new arrival sends ripples through Shelly’s humdrum life and riles Joe, a regular determined to defend his territory.
Audience with the Ghost Finder by M. J. Starling
1912. To lift a cruel curse, ab-natural investigator Carnacki must tread the border between enlightenment and madness.
Sherlock Holmes meets Ghostbusters in this original tale of William Hope Hodgson’s classic character, Carnacki the ghost finder.
So times and dates are as follows:
May 8th, 9th, 10th, 15th and 17th all kicking off at 7:30pm
Tickets are £10 and that gets you in to see BOTH plays – what a bargain! Tickets will be available soon so keep an eye on the Blackshaw Twitter or Facebook or their website. Niceness.
Writer Collider with M.J. Starling February 16, 2013
Back sometime last year, the writer M.J. Starling approached and asked me to be involved with his podcast about inspiration and be the first creative to launch it. Of course I do love to gabble about writing to anyone who will listen, so I said yes. Writer Collider is all about the generation of concepts, where ideas come from. From a few randomly selected prompts thrown on the table by other people, narratives are formed on the spot and a discussion is opened about the process.
The particular writing prompt I plumped for was the following: “a boxer crying alone in his car on an overpass”
What I found refreshing about this idea of talking about the process, was the freedom to be able to sprawl across all decisions. Play, film, novel, you name it. And I am always telling people that it’s great to vocalise ideas or narratives out loud because you can hear them. Our brains are very clever and will disregard things before the mental sentence is even finished.
So here is the podcast with me murmuring about boxers and film: Katie McCullough on Writer Collider.
Keep an eye on M.J. Starling and the #writercollider series on his Twitter, website and on iTunes too.