May 18, 2012

My dear bloggereenos and friends!
     Sorry I have neglected this diary for a while, been busy writing / travelling (first Switzerland, now Scotland) / working. Silly old me. Hope you’ve been doing well in the meantime.
     Ages since I’d been to Glasgow — so much has changed, but I’m totally infatuated with this town again. Last night’s show was so much fun, I felt so welcome and at ease. But it was also a struggle. You know, whenever I get onstage to do comedy, I do feel a bit vulnerable. Like, will I fit in, will I be able to keep it up? That first day of school feeling, a little bit melancholy and nervous. Not a big blast of melancholia, just a tiny hint of it, like a spring of thyme in a soup or stew, nothing overwhelming or even noticeable to the naked eye. It’s just there, is all, I’m aware of it, a slight thrum in my belly. Always, when starting a new project, there is that hopeful, maybe feeling. When they invited me over to do some appearances, I immediately agreed — »I’d be delighted!« —, but I also panicked a little. Scotland shows are always slightly different from Manchester or London, and I’m still a bit ashamed of my Germany-goes-to-Dorset accent. I do know about my shortcomings as a comedian: my material is great, the delivery is not. I am not a born comedian, I’m afraid. Too shy. But somehow I manage. Yesterday afternoon’s rehearsal was a mix. Very impressed by the talent of those surrounding me. Diving deep into my source, no backing off, away from the material, hungry for laughs, wanting solidity, not getting it, kind of like life. The different versions of what is real and what isn’t. I tried not to talk too much, though. It’s strange, you’d think being an actor, that I’d be this confident, self-assured person. And sometimes, with a great deal of effort, I can come off like that. Call up the person inside of me who won’t disappear inside his safety shell and clam up. Who can be funny and gregarious and fun to be around. Sometimes. And sometimes, even though I’m trying to be that other me, the extroverted, self-possessed one, I feel like a fake. It feels all wrong and I become hyper aware of my unconnected voice getting higher and my mouth drying out and my body that won’t unwrap itself into a shape that resembles relaxation. When I meet new people, it’s like stop and start sometimes. One part of me steps forward and the other runs away, and they’re both the real me, just with different coping mechanisms that are at odds with each other. Perhaps it was because I’d been reading Rachel Robert’s book again on the plane, I don’t know. The part where she writes, »Whenever I act well, my head clears. Always a bit frail I was personally, but never professionally«, you know? Maybe I shouldn’t brood too much. After all, thanks to the wonderful audience and to our hilariously funny host, Joe, it eventually was a joyful evening, a ball, a riot, a blast. I laughed so hard and appreciated that the Scots enjoyed my Burberry story. Stuart and his wife, and David and his boyfriend were in the audience, which also helped a great deal. (Those of you who’ve read Life is a Sexually Transmitted Disease will know…) We went to The Living Room on St. Vincent Street, one of my favourite spots in Glasgow, and to The Glasshouse as well.
     Tomorrow morning I’m off to Edinburgh, then heading back home on Sunday. My trips to Britain tend to be frightfully short now. This really ought to change again, I think. I’ve been told that there are still tickets available for tomorrow’s show; and I’ve got a little surprise for you there in Edinburgh. Jump on the love train and enjoy the ride!

A Second Chance is finished, awaiting its world premiere in Spain later this summer; one of those rare projects that pleased me from beginning to end. A fine movie. I cherish its utter purity and the honesty of our acting.
     In Switzerland, I briefly discussed the next project, The Most Tender Game, with a dear friend of mine who’d made a rather interesting Zombie film called »Chemtrails and the Bazookas«. I have high hopes for this movie as well. The writing and preparation will take quite some time, though. I’ve already started working out every day since the beginning of the month, hoping I will continue doing it until we start filming. Zurich is such a lovely place! I felt immediately at home; it’s like Kreuzberg — with a different skyline, of course. Everything’s so lush and green and clean; beautiful buildings, mountains, lakes, great food, and super sweet, generous, kind, inviting people. I only wish I could’ve stayed a little longer.

Listening to my beloved Cassandra Wilson right now, having my second mug of tea; it’s a lovely morning indeed. I hope you guys are having a marvellous Friday.
     Sending you love, love, and love!

André

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