It has been a bit of a tough week, I am unable to walk as my body as swelled a lot. My lumps have got worse, and after a scan they have found a blood clot which I am now on blood thinner. I have become very tired, and I sleep a lot. I have had 2 drains on my lungs in the past 2 weeks and collectively they have drained 3.5 litres of fluid from me. Tomorrow they are putting a semi-permanent tap so I can empty this myself. But, saying all that, I now have a frame so I can stand, and with that this hopefully will get my circulation working better which may help the swelling.
I am lucky, I have the best support structure around me, and with that I am going to do all I can to fight this.
This week my niece, Lucy dedicated a song she sang on Facebook. She is having singing lessons and I can see how much she enjoys this, and when someone so young as so much passion about something, anything in life, it’s just simply lovely to see.
Currently I have 9 nieces and nephews. Most of them are adults with there own family and it makes me happy to say they are all have passions in there lives, all doing things from scooters to football to horseriding and teaching, to business to rugby they all make me smile when I think of them.
My sister-in-law once read one of the blog entry and said that one day she would save it for the niece who sings, when she is older. Suddenly I felt a weight of responsibility.
What message hopes and wishes would I pass on to my younger family, I guess there are many. But one of the main ones that keeps coming back to me is this.
I wish a life full of successes.
If you ask if someone is successful then most of us would answer that question to the meaning that the word success represents money. I have lived life with no money and I have lived life with some money.
Some people think having money puts you further up the status ladder, and with that makes you more important. For me having money as nothing to do with status or importance. I prefer having more money, just simply because it gives you a little more freedom to do what you want in life.
A life full of success as more depth and luxuriance than just money, and you see that when someone is talking about something they are passionate about, there intire body becomes animated. it what makes us human, and if you fill your life with successes, this is what makes you truly rich.
When I see Lucy singing, she reminds me of me, don’t get me wrong, I can not sing! but I loved to perform.
When i was young I used to write comedy scripts, I had a type writer and I used wring comedy scripts, it fascinated me how you could put a word in a different place in a sentence, and it suddenly had more power as a joke. I learnt that having a minimal vocabulary, I had to use my imagination when writing about different characters as if they all sounded and said the same words, then it would be almost the same character! which to be honest, it was!
When I was a teen I wanted to try perform stand up comedy. Comedy had changed, the comedian holding a pint in a sparkly jacket saying one line jokes had be taken over by alternative comedy scene and I wanted to have a go.
Amateur comedy is a strange concept, by performing stand up in a amateur environment, you are claiming to the world that you think you can be funny but not good enough to be professional! The world of amateur stand up can be harsh!
There was not many places in Leeds that performed comedy, so I called a comedy club called “Downstairs at the kings head”, in London and booked what they called an open spot which was a 10 min spot in a comedy club and try new material or, in my case perform for the first time. I booked my national express ticket, I didn’t need to book a hostel as I could get the last coach back which took all night.
I decided to perform one of the characters I had created in one of my plays, it was a female character. I am sorry if your imaging a glamours drag queen, because it was not quite like, I thought if I just raised my voice higher and wore a bin liner, then magic would be created and the female character, would be born.
I was so scared, I was sat with a crowed of people who was also waiting for the downstairs of the pub to open for the comedy show to start. I told them that I was there to do my first gig, and in return they told me that I would be ok, as long as I stay behind the barb-wire fence then if anything like a glass was thrown at me, I should be safe! I believed it!
We all went downstairs. It was a proper comedy club, dark, spot light on the microphone, small dimly lit bar in the corner, and lines of chairs facing the open space. I was in the first half as I asked for an early spot so I would not miss my coach.
I was on next, and it was time for the costume change, oohhh and how they would marvel! how did he do it? how did he make a bin liner with holes in it, look like a, well, a walking bag for dog mess. My heart was bursting out of my body, they called the characters name I was playing, and I walked on.
In the comedy scene they call it dying, or dying on your arse, it when times slows to a speed that everything is in slow motion, and you see a wall of blank looking faces, I went on! waiting for the wave to say I had done 10 minutes and to get off, it never came! I could not do it any longer! I could not breath, I ripped the bag off my back, my high-pitched female voice turned in to a high-pitched nervous voice, and suddenly the audience saw a live major panic attack!….. and then it happened, they all laughed!
I was at the five minute mark and decided to just use the sciprts and just perform it as myself. Suddenly time speeded up and the hand waved, it was time to leave the stage, and the crowed all stud cheering, I didn’t want to leave the stage.
The feeling was unbelievable, I walked though the crowed, each of them patting my back and saying congrats. They had just witnessed a plain flying dramatically to the ground and at the last minute simply flip and fly away from tragedy.
Strangers buying me drinks, and asked back and to other comedy venues. The crowed who saw me shitting myself up stairs congratulated me on the way out. I ran back to the coach, I was what they call in the comedy cirticke as buzzing!
As the coach headed (very slowly) up north. I looked out of the window into the night and I had the biggest smile on my face. I knew I was going to book more gigs in London, and I also decided I was moving there, which I did, I had a plan.
My comedy never got me money, I paid so much more to go to the gigs than I ever made. I left comedy, but went back into it later on again, But, If I look back at my life and ask what have I done in my life that was a success, if would be that first period. It was this time in my life that as partly made me the person I have become. This experience took me to some wonderful places, and taught me some great lessons, with this experience it gave me stories that I can now share to others.
It gave me experience of been sat in different circles, with rich and famous, and mix with people who I would never of met if I didn’t at least try. It encouraged me to move to London and with that I met some lovely arty people, that made me see the world differently to what I was used to. It made me have conversations about life that I didn’t think I had the capability. It grew my confidence and changed me, it helped me find the courage to admit to myself and my home in Yorkshire that I am gay, in a time that been gay was not as forgiving as it is now, and even now years on, I use the experience I learnt then and use it everyday.
Please understand, I am not saying move to London, be an amateur comedian. I am saying Just follow your heart and do something that makes you animated, that excites you, something that you are passionate about, and don’t have your head down while working on your successes, as if you are doing something you love, the successes probably will be all around you on your journey.
So, yet again… I wish a life full of successes.
The journey is as just as important, if not more, than the destination itself.
Uncle Carl xxxx