It was one of those "light bulb" moments. They say this job is not what you know, but who you know and so it was that I found myself in the right place at the right time..... As the esteemed Directors light bulb moment arrived he turned back to me and said... you sing, don't you? It has been known I say. Would you be interested in doing an out door gig... details to be sorted later.. you'll be paid! So with those immortale words ringing in my ears I agreed. Well what "jobbing actress" would do differently.
Many false starts later, council outdoor licensing difficulties and dates agreed and all difficulties smoothed out the date arrived, Saturday. The information was sketchy, but it was a regeneration project and they were "piggy backing" the "Pianos for the People" project to provide out door entertainment to develop and encourage more business and a greater community feel to this area that required...well... regeneration.... I can't think why. But having got there it became clear.
The patch of land that was to be my performance area had perhaps a dozen candy green and white striped tents surrounding it. This market area, containing food, clothes, candy and bric-a-brac had assorted garden furniture in the middle for people to stop and eat and was conveniently situated for the ladies and gentlemens toilets which bordered the space. Said patch of land had once been the home for the down and outs, druggies, knife crime etc..... of that area... I was told this bit of information as I was changing into the brightly coloured long silk dress I had chosen to wear.... ahhhhh... excellent target practise... no one mentioned needing a flack jacket!
And so it was with massive trepidation that I took my place besides the up right "joanna" and started my hour of songs.... how marvelous that 3 people had sat to listen at the start ... thats not including the 4 lovely people involved in the organisation. I needn't have worried.. no one was looking for target pracise, the mic after a few false starts worked and my big mouth carried clean across the police & ambulance sirens that screamed past this corner intersection. Ha!
There was one song that I completely threw myself over.... as I got half way through the song, addressing it to one of the audience, I suddenly realised this totally harmless chap was probably "care in the community"... and directing "You I Like!" and a comedy quip about not liking his tie... was really not going to work now was it.... The only reason I gave this any thought was that the locals were coming up to me mid songs to say how much they liked me and would I come back!! Hysterical! They were very lovely and very welcoming and I have been invited back.. this time I'll take a different set of songs.... !!!