TOYAH’S BLOG – NOV 2015

HELLO AND WELCOME!

toyah & elizabeth frink sculpture

October has been a customary whirl of shows / travel / pressure/ demands / filming and joy!

Finally I made it on set to do my very small part in LIES WE TELL. But I made the most of it. This was the largest budget film I have been on since Quadrophenia.

HUGE crew…….about 90 people, HUGE cast….well over 40 actors. 

Originally I was offered a main role but it would have meant my cancelling the STONEHAVEN weekend to fit in with the filming schedule and I have a policy neither to mess venues nor the band around like that. So I asked the producers if they had a character I could play that fitted in with my ridiculous schedule. They did and I ended up playing a non-speaking role that is on camera for all of 4mins, but I loved every minute of it.

 I had to arrive the night before shooting for a costume and make up test. The filming was in and around Bradford, so I arrived on set about 9pm mid October. As my make up was being done I looked at all the pictures of the cast covering an entire wall of the make up wagon and I asked:

 “I need to know who is playing my husband?”

We were shooting a funeral scene the next day and I was the widow of a billionaire. As I scanned all the pictures of the many actors I was trying to guess which one was my husband.

“Harvey.” Said the make up lady.

“Which one’s Harvey?” I asked.

“Harvey Keitel!”

I am telling you…. I needed to be peeled off the ceiling. This was terrifying! Luckily I didn’t have any scenes with him, my scenes were all with Gabriel Byrne’s, who didn’t terrify me quite so much. In fact Gabriel held us all together with his incredible knowledge and story telling.

I was sitting with him waiting for a helicopter to arrive for a funeral sequence and he said……..

“You were in Trafford Tanzi? North by North Theatre Company I believe?”

How the hell did he know that!

He knew everything. He either researches his co-workers in depth or he has a greater knowledge of everything. He was fabulous and quite wicked on set.

We had to shoot a sequence where a helicopter arrives to take myself and my son, plus the coffin with my dead husband in (Harvey Keitel) off to Greece for the funeral and as the helicopter came in to land Gabriel said to my son “of course Harvey is still in character, he has been in the coffin all night.”

Thankfully I managed not to burst out laughing. In fact the memory of my parents funerals kept me focussed.

 Coming up on Tuesday 10 November…my role in DOCTORS filmed earlier this year… Afternoon of the Living Dead is broadcast BBC One at 1:45pm.. be sure to check that out.

doctors_nov2015

My year is about to change considerably as I am preparing for a one-month writing sabbatical. This comes after one of the busiest, most unpredictable 11 months of my life.

2015 has been great.
3 movies, more concerts than ever before and some great song writing all ready for 2016.

I have a reading list ready for when my sabbatical starts in December. Many of the books I am choosing to study are about production of independent film as well as script writing. Not that I have ever had the full confidence to write a script but I have definitely found that a deeper knowledge of this industry I love helps me work with everyone around me when I am on set.

My key writing in this period will be for Simon Darlow, as there is a greater interest in our writing partnership than ever before and also for HUMANS 4, which starts in MARCH 2016.

I can well and truly say Panto isn’t on my agenda any more. I will never say never, but apart form the doubt that my body can ever do 14 shows a week again, I feel time is so precious that I want to get my writing as sharp as possible.

This year, mainly thanks to the acoustic show, my singing voice has gone from strength to strength and I want to utilise this within my future style of song writing.

Who would have thought the acoustic show would have helped all involved grow so much as artists. Also this show has honed every corner of me as a performer…it’s has built my confidence, helped me explore story telling and increased my vocal range beyond my dreams. I can’t wait for 2016 to take it further.

2016 is looking as busy as this year. Already 2 movies are being talked about, one in America and the other in south London!

THE HUMANS have a whole album to write in March.
This usually means I turn up with about 10 song ideas, Bill Rieflin says “no lets write other stuff.” Then a week later we return to my original 10 songs and use those instead. You know when you see a dog chase it’s own tail…that’s THE HUMANS experience, but I am not knocking it because Bill has the ability to turn everything I originally write into a completely different audio story and that’s why we do it!

Simon Darlow and I plan to have the follow up to CRIMSON QUEEN ready for a preview at Glastonbury…in the PRS tent.

Extremis

Simon and I have written one of the most beautiful songs of our lives: OUR HEARTS STILL BEATEveryone who has heard it is blown away by it.

Steve Stone, director of the film EXTREMIS which the song is going to be used in said he finds “it beautiful”.

In September I beamed it over to the KING CRIMSON tour bus for Rieflin and Fripp to listen to and they were both in tears. My agent was in tears when he heard it and Craig Astley LOVES IT.

When you get to hear it next year on the release of the film EXTREMIS…….. keep in mind both Darlow and I cried so much whilst recording it we found it hard to actually sing!

All our Christmas decorations are up…..they went up two weeks ago to give Fripp a Christmas before he flew off to Canada and Japan for the last leg of the Crimson tour. I fly out to Canada next week to join them for a few days.

The Christmas shopping is almost done. I need to buy my hubby one big pressie and then I am done.

WillyFred the wonder bun goes from strength to strength. 3 years ago the vet said he had a week to live but the little bunny seems to be getting younger and younger. Miraculous bunny!

Because he lives in our bedroom…we moved him there thinking he would die over night, three years ago……we believe because we know his every mood that we have managed to capture any down turn in time to get him to the vet…thus he is getting stronger and stronger. This rabbit has the life of a deity….so spoilt.

So now I am off to LONDON for the last band gig of the year at THE GARAGE in Highbury….i hope you managed to catch one of the shows this year.

BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD!
LOVE TOYAH

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