After shows: the year comes to a close…

It’s been an amazing and eventful year for me personally. I have met some incredible and talented people this year and had the privilege to be able to work with them.

At he beginning of the year I was all set to publish my first books. They eventually came out in Summer, as I was very very picky about the editing process! Thank goodness I was and I feel I have two lovely looking and good quality reads both in poetry and short stories. I wish I could find a way to reach a wider audience, but I suppose it will come.

After rehearsing for half a few months, I returned to performing in October. It’s been many years since I performed on stage ‘properly.’ (although I have done some small interim things in between) Years ago I did LAMDA speech and Drama training and did all of the intensely challenging exams leading to advanced acting diploma and qualification to teach LAMDA drama too. This was before my post grad degree. I was planning to be off to Drama school, having got offers, but some of my schooling got wiped out when I got seriously ill, and all of my further education got delayed. It was very different years ago – many closed doors and lack of opportunities. Things like drama school didn’t even offer a ‘degree’ when I was younger. It feels like another life and since I have grown older I actually feel like I have totally re-invented myself and been re-born where I should be. Most of my younger years seem a blur, where I was constantly taking the wrong turn. I put this down to lack of belief in myself as well. Before I knew I was neurodiverse, I simply thought I was not very good at life. I spent a lot of time having imposter syndrome and never really getting on with the things I should have been doing. I find ages 18 – 30 something a big dark blur really, that I can only remember parts of, even though I have the most eidetic memory for text and visual recall. Mention a specific time to me and I can recall it as if I were there. Not always good. However, somewhere I have blanked out things too. It’s very weird and possibly a very long story! Perhaps I just like things better right here, right now.

Anyway, in typical fashion (I am writing a novel but I keep dreaming up new stories which sidetrack me!) I have diverted from the tale. So yes, back. to acting professionally and my life oddly on the path I left behind for a while. Very happy about that. I performed with Neurodelicious with my spoken work performances featuring my poetry, and I think I made some striking visual performances. I also thoroughly enjoyed playing Kate Bush. And there are more acting roles on the horizon in Spring. I am looking forward to working in a good role with a company again. Making up for lost time – I’m too old to worry too much and as I have grown older I have kept the drive, but lost the angst.

I ended the spooky season with my own little newly formed group, The Dead Poets, and we did two shows which were well- appreciated, although we tried the experiment of spoken word in a beautifully atmospheric music venue in Cambridge, which had a disappointingly small audience for such a good show. We hope to try it more locally to us in Suffolk as our library show was attended reasonably well, and people we know are more likely to make the effort. It’s a great show and deserves another performance. Cambridge is effectively two hours away. But we did a good show and I sold some books. Spoken word seems to be popular here in Suffolk so that’s my little project.

So, here we are at the Tall Trees as the Dead Poets in full death make up! (Monika Pavlikova and Virginia Betts. )

and here are some images from Colchester ARTS Centre. My poem, Masking, and Tourist to the Sun.

The final images are from Cambridge Junction:

And so now I am having a rest – I have a flu-like illness right now – and I am busy trying to write some more. The magic is back! Looking forward to Christmas and I will be posting some festive blogs soon! I leave you with my latest radio interview to listen to. One thing I was very happy with is that I have received lots of comments on my voice. I have got a distinctive voice, I know – I can never get away with things as my voice gets recognised. This is a super-cool compliment so maybe I should take the young member of the audience’s advice and look into an audio book?

Interview with Stepping out on Derby Day.

Here, also, is, with kind permission, a dramatic re-working of my story, from The Camera Obscure, The Sound of the Bell, read by actor Steve Roche. It’s dark and FUNNY! I hope you enjoy a listen.

Dramatised version of The Sound of the Bell, by Virginia Betts and voiced by Steve Roche.

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