So I’ve just finished a week of performances at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival.
Here I performed Bleach, a one-man show that I’ve been working on for the last year. It being a Gay Festival, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the title of this blog as a nod to finding pride in the gay community. Don’t get me wrong, I have much pride in being gay and the festival does amplify this somewhat. But I’m talking about a new pride, a pride that wasn’t really there before.
In a blog post a few months ago, after a show in Camden, I explained how an audience member congratulated me after the show but at this time I wasn’t ready to receive the compliment. I took it kindly with a smile but didn't really feel like I deserved it yet.
I’ve never really been great at receiving compliments.I’m actually not so hot on giving them either. I feel to accept them is to stroke your own ego a little in agreement. It’s nice to get compliments and they're always appreciated, but I’m never really sure what my response should be.
Over the last week, Bleach has grown a lot and become a lot more settled. It’s not perfect and maybe never will be. But I’m really pleased with it and audiences seem to be responding well when leaving the theatre each night. All the reviews we’ve received here in Dublin have been brilliant. We still have Edinburgh later in the year and undoubtedly some plucky 17-year-old reviewer will be waiting in the shadows to knock us down A peg or two.
But the point is, for the first time, I actually feel like I deserve it. I don’t feel like it’s a fluke. I’ve worked really hard on this show and I do really think it’s good and I believe other people think it’s good too. And when I’m stood on stage I feel confident in my performance. I’ve probably said in blogs before about how actors are riddled with fear and doubt in themselves. But I'm really proud of both my writing and performance in Bleach.
I’ve taken doing a one-man show, something that filled be with such fear and dread, and turned it into something that’s really been the making of me. Not only as a writer and performer, but on a personal level too. I’m more confident and focused and self-aware and than I ever have been before.
I'm really proud of this show and I'm really proud of myself.
I did it. And it all happened here in Dublin.
Now to keep it up for the rest of the year!