First things first, thanks to School of Sound in Manchester and John Horrocks my sound engineer-director of Foley, think I’ve spelt that wrong, never mind. Thought I’d write up all these things that happen between me and my Mum, mostly stories about the Role Reversal Syndrome we are finding ourselves in, the tipping point from bumbling daughter to bad daughter to guilty daughter and all the weird feelings in between, and all the stuff that changes when people get older, and sometimes it’s funny and sometimes it’s just not. I hope Radio Four will snap my fingers off to get at them and make them into a glorious Radio Mini Series, which will excite a bidding war from America and a front cover on the Radio Times with me sitting at my desk chewing on a pen looking bemused and kooky but confident at the same time, then meetings about how can we transfer it to a four part Tv drama filmed on location up round Saddleworth or the moors near Whitby and who is going to play my Mum? And who’s playing me ? Maxine Peake back off ..I love you but ..it’s my go … You are golden …but I really do think it’s my go ….
Yippee we are go. Team Anxiety is go!!! When I phoned to tell my Mum I got Arts Council funding she said “How lovely who else has got it? Is it hard to get Debra? What is it again?” I said “Mum yes it is, its like trying to get a Michelin Star for a sandwich shop” (gourmet sandwiches of course!!!)
Anyway, it was weird trying to explain why I was so excited to be funded by the Arts Council to my mum, age 79, who is now a poster girl for the show itself. “Oh Debra not that photo,” I said “you look gorgeous in that picture the height of 70’s glam” anyway I’m rambling….
So since we got the news its all systems go, and you know when something feels so right and you feel in flow, well this is how it feels. Today I called someone to book a van to take us to the venues. He asked what the show was about and we talked for half hour about depression and how the time is now, it so the right time to be talking and how language traps us, how the modern world of communication brings us together but still leaves us lonely and disconnected. Anyway it got deep and I’m not so good at keeping up with deep, but what a great chat we had, and he’s a flyposterer, ticket seller (multi-talented) and a philosopher and a plasterer!!! And he said “I don’t want to change the world, I’m not an aid worker but I am going do a really good job plastering walls in Little Hulton.”
Start small, be local, do stuff to help people locally – and I love that and that’s my quote of the day, so thank you David.
So, here it is! This is me part of this brilliant documentary made by Dabster Productions for BBC Radio Scotland. I know it’s not all about me, but if you’re pushed for time and want to listen to my bit, I start at 4:40 and finish at 11:17.
It was quite hard to listen back actually – they recorded me listening back to the material I performed and I found it quite emotional (as you’ll hear!). But what it has made me realise is that it is still so important to keep talking about these difficult experiences and places that we find ourselves in.
What’s weird is, yesterday I saw an invitation for people to get involved in a national conversation to beat the stigma of mental health. The day is on 6th Feb and it’s called Time To Talk. So, I’m gonna have a think about where we could do something local. Any ideas, drop me a line!
Enjoy Feeling Kind Of Funny!
I’ve had such an amazing time developing Hi, Anxiety and am looking forward to taking the show on the road later this year. So what better way to start the new year than by being featured in a BBC Radio Scotland documentary. Richard and Julia – who devised and created the documentary – came to Manchester to see my performance of Hi, Anxiety at Ducie Bridge. They loved the material so invited me up to perform at Feeling Kind of Funny:
“a special BBC Radio Scotland recording of a brand new series called, Feeling Kind Of Funny,featuring exciting comedians and storytellers from around Scotland, the UK and the world sharing stories, jokes and revelations about their experiences with mental health. By addressing subjects such as anxiety, compulsive behaviour, addiction and depression through comedy, they’re helping to challenge stigma and increase understanding.”
The show features excepts from people’s material along with interviews in which they talk about their inspiration for doing the work they do. I really enjoyed spending time with the guys up in Edinburgh and can’t wait to hear the finished recording.
Recently performed Hi Anxiety at Ducie Bridge and am SO proud of my amazing audience who all donated over and above the ticket price to raise a whopping £200 for a local Bi-polar Support group. It’s so important to me to raise money for this group, as they receive no core funding and the group is run entirely by volunteer service users.
I dropped the cash off to the group last week and they told me that the money will ensure they can have meetings for another 6 months. When I was there, there were close to 30 people turning up for the meeting – shows there is such a demand for the important role that this group offers.
It’s such a lifeline it is to some people so well done to all those who came along – we did a good thing!