5 Years in IHDC : My story

5 Years in IHDC : My story

On the 21st of July 2010 I began my on stage journey. Back then I only had thoughts of seeing myself in lights. But after watching that year’s Iver Heath Drama Club production Bugsy Malone I envisioned myself being able to stand alongside some of those performers .

Back then I was different and so was the world. David Cameron and Nick Clegg had recently gone into Downing Street and everybody had blackberries.

There I stood in a village hall about to join a diverse group whom have now changed dramatically over the last half decade. Mostly for the better but there are still some faces who have gone in which I believe still have a place on stage and they will be missed.

From a largely youthful group (it still is in many ways) I instantly realized these younger people all had their own little groups within. Some even rivaled to each other. There was a somewhat negative vibe surrounding certain groups and a lack of long term cohesion. But this is something which has definitely changed for the better over my time there.

“People either see what you’re doing and follow or walk away.”

Today at Iver Heath Drama Club I firmly believe the group is the closest and most hard working ever seen down there, by me at least. Not to take anything away or tread on any toes of the past but I call it as I see it.

Back to year one, three weeks passed and it was audition time for the next show. That being Snow White. Being someone who always bites more than I chew. I went for a main part. On that day, I turned 21 and had also been given my first ever main role. I was cast as the man in the mirror!

 

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silver tights from my first ever role, take it in ladies

“There have been good successful shows and some bad, that’s the art of performance.”

In my first few years in IHDC a miniature revolution took place. A small influx of adult performers paired with our hardworking attitude shifted the gears in terms of standards. Shows got better, the performances got better, the production value increased and audience members spiked. They still improve today and without any arrogance, one thing I would like to say I contributed to is the hard working attitude that this crowd now have. It’s their core value.

“To make it in IHDC you need to have the right team working attributes and attitude for hard work. Fitting in and talent are two things that aren’t a necessity but they help. Overall if you are seen to be putting in a shift, the top parts will come your way. Trust me, I’ve been there.”  

Yes I have had high points, playing hamlet is one of my personal favorites and requires no introduction. Bringing our first ever Shakespeare production to life was challenging, the dialogue is something that present day people are not used to and gave everyone involved a bigger scope. Plus who doesn’t love wearing a shirt like meatloaf.

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Playing Hamlet alongside Richard Gittens as Horatio was one of my finest moments

But being granted the role of Robin Hood in an IHDC pantomine will always be my favorite achievement to date. The various promotional appearances and newspaper articles I made will always be a great memory for me. But it was hard work, being a name that people know carries an expectation, one that I hope did Robin Hood justice. That production in particular convinced me that things have changed for the better in IHDC, there’s a certain work ethic about the place now.

Even though I am kind of tired from Robin Hood I am still more than ready to take on another challenge.

Thank you to everyone who has had some level of involvement to IHDC over the years. It’s been a ride and one that will continue for me.

Next year my writing will come to life on stage when I bring my one act murder mystery farce Hotel Doom to IHDC. Performing with this diverse wonderful group has brought me confidence to write, to blog and to continue in all of my performance rated endeavors.

“The people I have met are my friends for life and what we have at IHDC is a family of ragtag sometimes dysfunctional queens, but they are my queens and we do well together.”

 

Here’s to many more years and below are some of the fond memories…

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Episode 6 AMERICA F*** YEAH!!!

As I stumble my way through learning how to blog, it is apparent to me that last week’s entry was a revelation! Using the word press statistics thingy it has told me that my largest audience last week was in fact USA. Thank you from across the pond! But I must also send thanks to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the 2 views I had from Italy.

us flag

The country with the most views gets their flag displayed

 

A big thanks to all of you, facebook groupies or booksie members and anyone in between, cheers guys!!

I did tweet the link to Joss Whedon but seemingly to no avail. Maybe someday he could direct the film adaptation of Clark Thorn.

Before we continue! Above you can see a new page has been added next to Contact. This is my current plan, check back as it will get updated as progress is made.

Shameless Plug of something non-book related

As some of you may know, I partake in amateur dramatics. Now the club I belong to is a community run effort that relies solely on ticket sales to stay afloat. Our resident media/publicity officer Matt Streuli has discovered a nifty website that can help promote our efforts. It’s called Thunderclap and the idea is, sign up via facebook/twitter and when the allocation has been met this site will post a status via your page advertising the cause. Upon signing up the site will calculate how many people are reached and add it to the list. Cool right? This is something that I could use when my book launch is imminent.

If you would like to support community run amateur drama then please sign up to the cause, whatever corner of the web you are in, it will help. They need 100 sign ups!

Below is what the set up looks like, click on it to visit the page

thunderclap

I’ve stopped drafting my 3rd book

Every now and then I get utterly depressed with things, (not been officially diagnosed with depression) what I mean is that I lose faith in everything I do. There are a number of reasons for this, mainly it’s because I am the leader of this campaign and there is no figure above me (writing wise) to put their arm around me and tell me it’s gonna be ok. Or it’s because the soccer team I follow are crap. (although they did win the at the past weekend)

That’s life, we all get burned out and we all loose faith. It came to a point where I had planned most of what I had written so far (book 3) and then inspiration grinded to a halt. So I stopped, mothballed book three and went back home to book 1. By that I mean there was some re working to do on Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project. That’s what I’m doing now, editing to me is so much more fun than drafting. You get to deal with text that’s already had it’s foundation laid, sort of like word maintenance.

Oddly enough my faith in everything was restored when I was at work. In my attempt of looking like I know how to do sciency things I somehow miraculously managed to fix something. Let me set the scene a little here: The chips were down, the experiment was gonna come to a complete stand still, options were diminishing in front of our eyes, something had to be done. What ever I tried didn’t work, hometime was in sight but that wouldn’t come to fruition until this dilemma was sorted. Lee steps up, does something and its fixed! The crowd roar as the ball hits the back of the net! In life the little victories must be appreciated.

 

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Introductions Part 6 (there is quite possibly an end in sight)

So 2013 rolled around and I was full steam ahead into writing. The first 3 chapters I put together previously were having a serious re work and I began to look for a platform to release some material. Luckily a good friend of mine (Rob Chambers) was using a website known as booksie.com to put some writing out there. So it was decided when I had enough decent material I would release Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project via booksie, chapter by chapter on a kind of weekly basis.

At the same time I created a Facebook page and my online presence had officially started. By the end of January, the initial draft of my novel had debuted online!

Exciting times for me but I did come across some difficulty, you see the first 3 chapters were written some time ago, I was a different person then, this stuff was on another frequency, but eventually I blasted through chapter 3 and forward. I will simply say the reason I got through this frequency problem is because I spent so much time writing, every week day I would be writing for 4+ hours. But for the first time I was enjoying it!

A few months passed and chapters 5,6,7 and 8 were constructed. I was on a roll and I could see exactly how and when my first book would end!

By May of 2013 I had finished drafting my first novel and at 65,000 words I was ecstatic with what I had achieved.

 

 

Next week : The final episode of Lee’s Hall of information (this series), a feature length offering concluding the introductions, whats next and a Game of Thrones Review