Ah, my theatrical career has started back up. I played half a dozen parts in a staged reading reading of Under Milk Wood last weekend, and we’re going to be doing a full production of a brand new play written by the author of “The Elephant Man” and I’m completely chuffed. Since the directors are friends, they help me work around mobility issues and stamina issues, and it brings an incredible amount to my life. Happy, happy.
It’s fun, because stretching in a completely different art form is great for my primary task, writing. I think that would be true for any discipline – you’re still creating, and in fact it’s all about the same thing. Story. Painting, music, dance, acting, singing. All about Story.
In fact, I learned from Rosann that my favorite writing quote serves for acting as well. In fact, I think it serves for life.
“One of the things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”
― Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
For some reason, over-the-top creature that I am, I’ve always been subdued in auditions and most roles. I should have just thrown it all in. The director will tell you when to pull back. In fact, I don’t worry about dignity or making a fool of myself, as anyone who knows me can attest, so I don’t know why I was so cautious. If you throw extreme stuff out there, either in writing or acting (or painting, or whatever) you can clean it up later. If you don’t throw it out there then there’s nothing to work on.
Speaking of work, I’m still writing the new historical, which is insane but who cares? I think it’s delightful – funny and hot. I’m more than a third done, and I’d love it if the draft is finished by next month but it depends on time and rehearsals and stuff.
In the meantime, here’s the recipe for Welsh Cakes that I made for my fellow cast members after Under Milk Wood was done. They’re yummy and easy (and not in metric).
This is from the joandsue.blogspot.ca
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, cold
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup currants
2 Tbsp milk
1 – 2 Tbsp sugar, for sprinkling
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Using 2 knives or a pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until mixture resembles course crumbs.
Stir in the sugar and currants.
Make a well in the center and add in egg and milk.
Using a fork, mix in the ingredients until dough comes together.
Flour a work surface and then roll dough out to approximately the thickness of your baby finger.
Cut out with a round cookie cutter. (Apparently, traditionally the edges should also be fluted!)
Reroll the trimmings and cut out more rounds.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Lightly grease with either cooking spray or a little butter.
Place as many rounds as will fit on the skillet without touching.
Cook approx 3 -4 minutes on the first side. Carefully flip over.
Cook for another 3 or so minutes. (If bottoms are going too dark, too fast then turn down your heat!)
Remove from pan to a wire rack.
Sprinkle immediately with a little sugar.
Continue cooking remaining cakes.
These are amazing served warm with a little butter OR room temp with some jam.
Like scones but different.
Little fluffy and crispy bites of heaven.
P.S. – This recipe makes 12 cakes using a 2.5 inch cookie cutter.
Back to work. Life is good – the pain is being dealt with, the oncoming depression has been stopped in its tracks, and it’ll be summer eventually (not for today in Vermont, though).