TOYAH’S BLOG: NOV 2017

Category: Toyah's Blog

HELLO THERE!

WOW! WOW! AND WOW!

Scripts are rolling in…….really great characters being offered, all in totally different areas than I have been in before.

Perhaps I have turned that certain age corner and now life gets really interesting.

Last night was Press night for JUBILEE.

It was an electric, effervescing show. Crackling with static charge and brilliance.

This play certainly offends but it holds a mirror up to the world.

 For the past month I have been coming back to my apartment after rehearsals and painting miniature canvasses for the cast……an abstract idea about the origin of the arch angel Ariel……each member of the team received a painting. This was a lovely project to complete.

In the past week I have re-written this blog three times because I really need to word it in a way that can’t be picked apart and used out of context.

Also the anger I am feeling right now will dissipate but the words will remain.

We are currently in an era of apology. People from the past are contacting me and apologising for past acts of aggression…….believe me no one of you can match what my mother put me through psychologically. (My mother and I reconciled in the last two years of her life).

But apology and admittance of wrongful doing is a start.

For me JUBILEE has been cathartic.

The writing is special.
The cast is special.
The theatre is special. 

The message in the play rings out around the audience. WE ARE BEING RIPPED OFF ON ALL LEVELS.

Working with this incredible cast has brought me closer to many realisations about who I am right now.

The last month has been an eye opener, a wake up call and a bar setter.

The level of support, for everyone in the team, at the ROYAL EXCHANGE MANCHESTER is beyond anything I have experienced.

 Because of the RET’s multifaceted support I am now not willing, nor intending to settle back into the difficult, sometimes oppressive “maleness” I have lived with for over 40 years.

The elephant in the room is about levels of passive violence. Levels of being “not seen”, being “not heard”, not “listened to”. That is unless you are offering food or servitude.

The team at the RET have opened my eyes to things I have found increasingly unable to tolerate in everyday life as a singer/musician/actress in recent years.

Forms of subtle cultural aggression, preconceived prejudice and on rare but just as magnified occasions school ground spite. Most of this is plain rudeness, jealousy, sexism, and ageism and general misogyny. All of which can be practiced by well meaning people who simply have become set in their ways and are not aware of themselves.

I certainly have learned about myself in the last 5 weeks. The cast of  Jubilee are non gender specific and kindly ask not to be referred to as He or Her but They….any one who knows me knows I cant even get a handle on names yet alone gender.

In the rehearsal process we have all been given time as individuals to reveal how we feel daily as part of the creative process. Very quickly I realised how I have bottled up so much over the decades.  I have carried a lot and not had any outlet for my anger other than in performance where I am grateful to say my anger transmutes into positive performance energy reflected back by truly amazing audiences.

In fact most of the support I feel in life is from the audience.

But I have to go back to the root of this unsettling anger. My mother was unintentionally abusive under the guise of love. Her comments to me through my life make twitter trolls look like tiny little specs of dust on the surface of the moon.

This was violence. When and why does true nurturing contact become passive aggressive contact?

With me, I realise I live as a lone female musician in a dominantly straight male environment, where I simply have to fend for myself.

Last night at press night my long time friend John (not straight) came to the show and I found myself looking over to him in the audience and feeling his support………I was so grateful. After the show we hung out and I felt hugely grounded to have had real time with him, where I could be real and he could be real, no defences up, no agendas…..just complete trust.

Thank you RET in future I now realise that most past negative experiences have nothing to do with me but with the ingrained cultural violence, cause and effect. If the piss is taken out of women in popular culture this attitude finds it way passively into everyday life. For all the leaps and bounds we have moved forwards in the past decades passive aggression still simmers below the surface. Anything that allows you to think it is right to insult someone you don’t know is VIOLENCE.

By far the biggest act of violence I have ever experienced is hearing third party that my back catalogue of albums is to be sold without my being asked if I would like to buy it……..this to me is by far the largest act of violence I have every experienced. Similarly discovering a piece of creative work, you have put your heart and soul into has been placed somewhere without you being consulted.

Every time I walk into the theatre in Manchester I am asked “How are you?”
It makes a huge difference. I am grateful.

JUBILEE is an astonishing creation. I am grateful.
SWIPERIGHT was fantastic to be on. I am grateful.
My Husband is my rock. I am grateful.
I am working. I am grateful.
2018 looks even better than 2017. I am grateful.

My work is my world. Trespassers are not allowed.

BE PROUD, BE LOUD, BE HEARD
TOYAH
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

GALLERY> CLICK TO VIEW