Do you ever have one of those days when you really can’t be bothered doing something or going somewhere, only to be convinced to go – and then, when you get there, it not only turns out to be great fun, but you make a network or connection that could prove greatly beneficial?
Is that just me?
I’ve had a friend in town for the last week or so.
He’s been staying with me and I have been an A+ host – if I do say so myself!
I pre-purchased and cashed up his Oyster card, I met him at the airport and brought him home, I have done laundry for him, I planned daily activities, I booked a Saturday brunch venue and Saturday night theatre tickets and, you know, have just been my usual amazing self to top it all off!
There was plenty of room for his activity requests though, and that included many, many, many swing dancing events.
You see, this friend (The Director, we’ll call him) is a swing dancer.
Has been forever.
Well, since before he met me.
And, considering that was 10 years ago, that is forever ago.
I have now been to more swing dancing events in one week than I’d been to in my whole life previously!
And by Sunday, after another full day of London explorations and activities, I was tired.
I didn’t really want to go and watch him dance.
I was heading back to work on Monday – and with an audition in the middle of the day – and I just wanted to go home to sleep.
I knew that once we were there, The Director would be having too much fun to leave.
I tried to negotiate an early leave time.
We agreed on one.
We got there early enough to sit at a pub across the road and relax.
I got out my notebook and started doing some Tash Tells Tales writing.
I stayed put for a little while after he’d headed in – it was good to get some more words to paper and it was nice to just sit.
So, by the time I wandered in, The Director was already dancing up a storm and winning admirers left, right and centre!
Anyway, I sat myself down like a wallflower and enjoyed the show.
There were skilled dancers everywhere and some impressive maneuvers coming from all sides.
It was also kinda reassuring to watch people who clearly had a little less experience learn and grow from the different partners they danced with.
I was kindly approached by a couple of young men, offering me a dance.
I politely declined.
Then a lovely, slightly older gentleman offered.
Again, I thanked him for the thought, but turned him down.
He came and sat by me instead and we had a brief chat.
I told him I was there to support The Director who was visiting from Melbourne.
He asked what I was doing in the UK.
Often, when I can’t be bothered having the “Oh! You’re an actor? How fantastic!” chat, I just use some smart-arsed “I moved here for the weather!” reply. But, on this occasion, I told him why I’d moved.
I don’t know why.
But I did.
He asked how I was with accents.
I proved my skills.
Turns out, he’s a voice actor who runs his own agency.
Turns out, he was a great person to meet!
And turns out, he’s a great swing dancing teacher!
He took me out on the floor a couple of times and explained some basics to me – new tricks and things that The Director and Sir Shimmy-a-lot hadn’t got to!
There’s been a lot happening in my brain in this last week or so.
Kiwi Bix’s departure.
The Director’s visit.
This audition that came out of nowhere.
A new job role.
This show I’m writing – thanks to my Mama!
And, I guess, it’s thanks to the fact I didn’t have time to overthink (in the way that I do about everything) that things like this were able to creep up and surprise me so pleasantly!
The Director and I went to see Tim Minchin’s new musical “Groundhog Day” on Saturday.
It was fantastic – go, go GO!
And, just as happens in the film, the lead character is doomed to repeat his day until he learns from it.
Until he opens his eyes and is aware of the world and other people within it.
Instead of blindly shutting his eyes to everything about him.
Maybe that’s what happened to me.
The Director’s visit shook me up and took me outside of my comfort zone.
And do you know what you find outside your comfort zone?
Things to challenge you.
And things to reward you.
Who knows what – if anything – will come from this serendipitous meeting.
Who knows what – if anything – will come from this audition.
But for now, I’m happy that some new swing dancing experiences have shaken up more than just my feet!