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International Conundrum
Off to Portugal for the first time soon - muito excited - drove to the library and got the BBC basic Portuguese CD. Started playing it on the way home and repeated the words blaring out of my speaker. When we got to 'Como se diz isso em inglês?' I stopped with the sudden realisation that I sound exactly like Borat. So much for immersing myself in culture, I shall simply stick to the Irish bars and McDonalds to avoid total public humiliation. Had a wander around the shops, looking for some summer-ish wear for the upcoming holiers and tried on some Ä48 Harem Pants in Next. When faced with my reflection, I realised that PJ bottoms in Penneys are Ä3 and don't look too dissimilar. Hey, if the fashion world can accept what is essentially an updated and still ugly version of hammer pants, I'm sure the Portuguese won't give a toss if I amble around in my jammies for a few days...

Public Earwigging
Was enjoying a relaxing late breakfast in Starbucks, when 2 ladies without inside voices decided to air their lives' grievances at the adjacent table. At first I was peeved by the noise pollution, but now I'm hooked. These delusionals live in a soap opera with more drama than Downton Abbey, more suspense than Deal or No Deal and more shite than Fair City. Hope this is a regular coffee date for them, I''ll be back to tune in for more next week. Can't wait to find out if nana changes her will.. question is, should I let Gob number 2 know that her husband is probably having an affair? OOOH, maybe he's having an affair with Gob number 1! Working late, my arse...

I miss the NHS
Tell me please, what would be the most etiquettely correct way to inform a health professional that she's an obnoxiously apathetic aul wagon who's not supposed to make her paying clients feel like an inconvenience and should instruct her brain to inform her face that it should, at least, pretend to give a flying fudge? Oh to live in a world where my balls allow my brain to say exactly what needs to be said instead of anything but "Thanks for your time, do you take Visa?" Jesus, I'm so British...

Wisdom from The Master
ďIn my mid-20s, an actor told me, ĎActing ainít no puzzle,í I thought: ĎAinít no puzzle?!?í You must be bad! You must be really bad, because it is a puzzle. Creating anything is hard. Itís a cliché thing to say, but every time you start a job, you just donít know anything. I mean, I can break something down, but ultimately I donít know anything when I start work on a new movie. You start stabbing out, and you make a mistake, and itís not right, and then you try again and again. The key is you have to commit. And thatís hard because you have to find what it is you are committing to.Ē
Philip Seymour Hoffman


I rarely drink, so when I do, it's a joyous occasion. Usually.
Dear Ms/Mr TGI Fridays, there are certain things in life with which one does not mess about; angry squirrels, death cap mushrooms, Ross Kemp. One other such Zohan would be the Margarita. Triple Sec, Tequila, Lime - Bosh.
DO NOT mess with..
 Having requested this tipple from your slightly stoned, painted-on smiled, dubious personally-hygenic waiting staff, I was met with the mind-boggling question, 'Strawberry or Tropical Berry?' 

What the?!? What? What?!? 

Picking myself back up into my faux pvc-lined booth, I replied, with tremendous compsition, 'Classic. Lime. Please.' Unfortunately, what greeted my vision a few minutes later was nothing short of a slush puppy. In a tall glass. With a straw. And various fruits on the rim. 

While part of me really wanted to ask the whereabouts of the paper umbrella and sparklers, the thirsty part of me asked the perfectly understandable,

'What the?!? What? What?!?' 

followed by, 'Excuse me, would it be possible to have a Classic Lime Margarita without all the bells, whistles and ice?' This was met with 'Oh, did you mean, like, just a margarita in, like, a Martini glass, like?' Thankfully my reply was not too muffled as my forehead met the table in despair. 

Cheers.

Even More International Relations
Having been raised in Wales, the word 'cwtch' (rhymes with butch) automatically comes out of my mouth on a regular basis and now I'm living in Ireland, it's usually met with a 'Pardon?'...so for all you non-cwtchers, here's an explanation. 

It's a common misconception that it's a hug or a cuddle. It's so much more. A cwtch is a state of mind in relation to the physical act of a genuine hug - cast your mind back to when you were very small and you'd fallen off your bike and cut your knee or fallen over in the playground and ended up with a little boo-boo. You'd cry and think it was the worst thing ever...but then mum/dad/granny would scoop you up, hold you and comfort you until all the bad stuff went away and you were left with nothing else but a feeling of love and wellbeing in a safe place..everything was ok. 

That's a cwtch. And I think it should be part of everyone's daily routine. 
Cwtch anyone?
CWTCH ME

Poppy aka 'The Flump'
Fellow cat owners - is this a cat thing? 

Every time I go into the bedroom to undress, I close the curtains before I begin the process. The Flump is always hot on my heels. AS SOON as my flesh is uncovered, she jumps up on to the windowsill and starts playing 'Make A Huge Gap In The Curtains', enabling my neighbours or any other randomer to go blind whilst catching a glimpse of me in the nip. 

Anyone want to swap a Nintendo Wii for my Devil Cat?
The Flump


Check me OUT!
10lbs lost since in 7 days thanks to healthy eating (ie starving) and at least one sweat-enducing walk on a daily basis (ranging from 2k to 12k depending on availability of defibrillators). Feeling all the better for it with lots of energy, gleaming skin and, dare I say it, a slightly smaller arse! It must show - I even stopped traffic today!!! .... 

OK, I pressed the button at the pedestrian crossing, but let me have this one, huh?

Welcome 2014!
Either I've developed some severe and unusual varicose veins or you're not supposed to wear Penney's Indigo jeans out in the rain. Also, I'm wondering how respectable and technical clothing companies manage to sell 'Waterproof' Jackets which would even be incapable of repelling a wet fart, never mind a few raindrops. Ah well, 2014, looks like you're going to be my Wardrobe Malfunction Year. Could be worse...


Lateral Thinking
I've developed a theory and am currently executing its principles... 

the fastest and most guaranteed way of losing weight is to expunge all those garments which one keeps in the darkest corner of the closet, in the hope that they 'might fit again one day', hence allowing Sod's Law to enter and present you with the need to buy more clothes when you realise that your waist, bust and arselines have rapidly shrunk to a bare minimum. 
Where the HELL is that t-shirt?!?

Is there anybody out there with a trailer, long wheelbase transit or cargo ship who can give me a lift to the clothesbank? 

DON'T tell me to smile!
After 30+ years of extensive research into the matter, I can without a doubt conclude that positive thinking gets you absolutely *beeping* nowhere, and any hippy who dares to tell me that positive thinking is a guaranteed way to entice the 'Universe to Provide' is more than welcome to try and positive think themselves out of the cold hard slap which the palm of my hand is guaranteed to greet their smiley *beeping* faces with. 

Henceforth and forthwith, please address me as Oscar. Now *beep* off and leave me alone to fester in my own rancid negativity. Thanks very much.
BEEP OFF!!!


Real-World Work
Had a call from a recruitment agent I'd worked for a while ago, asking how my touch-typing skills are and if I'm available for 6 weeks work beginning tomorrow. Of course, I told her that I can type blindfolded. Which is true. I didn't tell her that I'm unable to type anything legible while blindfolded. She didn't ask. And I'm available for the next 6 weeks. Yay, wages! So now...

I need to remenber how to touch typw.
I need to remember how to touch tyoe
I need to remember how to touch toup
I need to remember how to rouch ryow
I ned to remember how to rouch tyoe
I need to remember how to touch tyow
I need to remember how to touch type
I rememberef how to touch tyoe
BOLLOSCK!!!

More International Relations
As I rushed out of the hellhole that is Lidl, a man got out of his car which was parked next to mine and said, in a very heavy eastern European accent, 'Excuse me please, you have jam plates?' JUST stopped myself from saying, 'no, normally I just spread it straight on the toast' by realising he was saying Jump Leads. True story.

Meat-Free Monday
Having decided to try a little vegetarianism this week, I'm having second thoughts as I battle with the Butternut Squash. How in the name of Julie Andrews do you chop these things up? It's like sawing timber with a butter knife. Haven't been this exhausted since I tried to cut into the Victoria Sponge I made last week...

Jetsetting
Had to wait in line for 60 minutes through Heathrow security because they only had 2 searchlines open for the thousand waiting travellers. Not annoyed about the queuing, but you'd think they'd throw in a touch-up or a full body search for the inconvenience.  In fact, if I'd been wearing matching undies, I might have even demanded one. Come on Heathrow, step up your customer service. Shameful.
Brace yourself...


Monday Morning
You know you should go back to bed when you pick up the tv remote and stare at it because something in the back of your mind is wondering why you've forgotten how to send a text message. It's going to be a long day...
Ugh!

Horror Films
Guess which gobshite just chose to watch The Conjuring over Despicable Me 2? Seriously exhausted now - not only have I had a terrifying mental workout, right from the opening credits, but every single adrenalin-overloaded muscle in my body has been tensed up for the last 112 minutes. Just want to sleep now...but am too scared about the monster in the closet...the pre-film trailer for Insidious 2 didn't help either. When will I learn?!
From now on, 15-rated and below ONLY

Creature Works World Premiere
5 hours until the most innovative and groundbreaking puppet theatre in Ireland is unleashed on a country in much need of cheering up. Hold on tight, we're coming to a town near you very soon. Only wish my mam was still around to see it. Mam, I know you used to think even my farts were feats of performance genius, but if there's an afterlife and you're there, get yourself a day ticket out to watch this spectacular show. Pop in for a cuppa and a pink wafer while you're at it. BREAK A LEG Creature Works! X

International Relations
On reflection, maybe answering the booze-fuelled, aggressive "are you fuckin English? You sound fuckin English" with "Are you a twat? You sound like a twat" is not in keeping with the spirit of the Peace Agreement. 
Cymru Am Byth.  

Milestone
36 and a half years old and I've just successfully applied a pair of false eyelashes for the first time wthout glueing my eyelids together or ending up looking like a drag queen. Someone congratulate me please


Happy New Year - with a blocked ear
Grumpy. off balance and in enough pain to seek medical advice. So I googled. 
Not quite sure about the application method, but I'm off McCabe's Pharmacy to get some Sweet Strawberry Durex Play Lubricant for my blocked ear
Best Google Find EVER!

The Twilight Saga
Just finished watching 'TWILIGHT' for the first time... and I'm SO glad I did. I love it. Quite possibly one of the most hilarious films I've ever seen. Absurdist comedy to rival Monty Python coupled with dialogue akin to verbal diarrhea which says nothing audible to persons over the age of 14. I'm not up to date with this Saga's acclaim, but I'm assuming that 'Blue Steel' trophies have been awarded to all undead cast members involved...

Twilight - the alternative ending

Thank you Hollywood, I now have a new film to watch when I'm in dire need of a bloody good laugh. Actual tears in some places. Cracking.

Can't wait to watch the rest of them...

Pepe and His Friends
Do you remember the 'good old days' of Royal Variety Performances? When entertainers were skilled showmen and women who spent their lives touring the UK and honing a talent and show to perfection without the use of reality tv, social media and Simon Cowell.
For the past 10 years or so, I've had occasional flashbacks to being a very little girl (4 or 5ish), sitting in front of the telly and being mesmorised by a puppet with beautiful big eyes and dungarees. I remember this puppet was given a present... a puppet of his own to play with. 

Pepe.

Google searches returned very little on this wonderful act, so I decided to delve a little deeper. That's when I found Pepe's dad.

Roger Stevenson.

The Master Puppeteer has a website, www.RogerStevenson.com as well as a page devoted to Pepe! I SQUEALED with delight at the sight of Pepe and his two dads, Roger and the late great Harry Stuart whose acts have dominated the Puppet world from the mid 1970s to the present day.

Roger Stevenson, Harry Stuart & Pepe

Then I found a page about their 'KWACKERJACKS' and remembered seeing them before. Then I found 'DOOBYDUCK' and remembered seeing HIM before. Then I dried my delighted but nostalgically-glazed eyes and found myself compelled to contact Mr Sevenson by the magic of email and thank him for such wonderfully renewed childhood memories.
 
Now here's testament to the fact that this man is a true old-school gentleman entertainer - he wrote back within the hour. He told me that Pepe is STILL working! He told me that he'll be making an appearance in Skegness Butlins at Hallowe'en! I've set up my emails to include this website address at the end of every mail I send - he wished me luck in my theatre career.

I now have a new idol and a renewed faith in this sometimes soul-destroying world of Showbusiness. And Pepe's going to get a visit at Hallowe'en. I suggest you all make the effort to catch Roger Stevenson's show whenever and wherever possible. He truly is a Master of his Craft.
 Pepe


Work, Work, Work
Awesomely awesome start to 2012, boys & girls - 4 castings out of 7 auditions, 1 top Irish tog booking me to pose for a 'new style' of headshot (the anarchist wants to try and re-write industry standards - woo-hoo!), 1 new venue secured for a weekly comedy club night, Ä35 found in the jacket of a coat I haven't worn for 2 months and Ruth Jones is back on screen in her newest creation, Stella. 

Lush!

Ruth, if you're there, give me a call - I'd LOVE to work with you... 
You're my hero you are.  
Cocking brilliant

The 'Voice' of Ireland
Codswallop. 

A wonderful word. Perfectly suited to this reality tv project where contestants are judged purely on their vocal ability and looks are not even considered... 

Makes you wonder why a photo was required to be sent off with the application.  I would love to have been a fly on the wall during the preliminary (untelevised, nay unmentioned) rounds where (hypothetically) the unglamorous and the overweight were discarded even though they (possibly) had showstopping vocals.

And so the 'judges' turn their backs to the act while using only their ears to determine whether or not the contestant could be a multi-million record selling artist. I'm sure they pay no attention to the stooges in the audience giving them ideas of how 'fit' the singer might be. 

Allegedly.


TV adverts - a pain in my arse
I have a problem with a lot of TV commercials. The casting, the content and  even the products. Hear me out...

Take a look at any TV ad where a family is portrayed - they're ALL BLOODY GORGEOUS. Dad is usually early 40s, chiseled, sprakly-eyed, self-employed, home from the office and still looking like he's just stepped off an ironing board. Mum is late twenties, probable housewife, who although cleaning and washing all day has salon-styled hair, perfectly applied make-up and pricey boutique clothes. The 2 cherubic kids (one male, one female) are smiling, clean, healthy little bundles of joy. Even the dog sits on command every time.

IN WHOSE BLOODY HOUSE IS THAT A PORTRAYAL OF REAL LIFE?!?

Would Dad not be sprawled on the sofa watching footie while he lets his dunky biscuits fall into his coffee? Shouldn't mum be dressed in joggers, slippers and an oversized tee? Shouldn't one or both of the parents be screaming at the kids to stop shoving crayons up each others noses? (By the way, these kids have felt-tip pen all over their arms, chocolate on their clothes and snot trails on their faces!)... meanwhile, the poor bloody flea-bag dog is curled up in a corner somewhere trying to sleep whilst farting for his country.

Now THAT's an ad I'd like to see...a little realism please! 

And another thing (now look what you've started...) all these bloody ads for kitchen/bathroom cleaners where the woman is SMILING, nay LAUGHING while she's up to her ears in dirt... REALLY? Does the product come with a free sample of Valium?!?


Have you seen the ad for anti-snoring ads? Bloke's out for the count, doing a damn fine impression of a pneumatic drill. Woman wakes up, turns the bedside light on, sighs a little and starts reading a book. WTF?!? NO commercial writers, NO. In real life, he either gets a fierce elbow to the ribs, a cracking kick in the shins or a heavy pillow to the face while she asks him to SHUT THE **** UP!!... then proceeds to get up and sleep in the spare room.

While I'm here, I might as well get the whole JML think out of my system. What a useless bunch of bloody products are they? But they're clever, oh yes, so clever. They have a HUGE percentage of the western world believing that they NEED a 'Magic Scarf' because it has 8 different looks. IMAGINE THAT! A scarf which can be worn in 8 different ways. WOW. All for the bargain price of Ä12.99...

Move over Harry Potter! We have the real magic here

IT'S A BLOODY SCARF! They've got them in Pennys/Primark for two quid!!

And the Snuggie? THE SNUGGIE?? Dear God in Heaven. Please people, please - if you take nothing else away from this blog, PLEASE understand that the revolutionary blanket with sleeves was invented by a chump who thought it would be brilliant to wear his dressing gown the WRONG WAY AROUND!! And then proceed to use his evil marketing genius to let you know it has a pouch to keep the remote control in. COME ON!! A regular dressing gown has 2 pockets to store remote controls plus all the snotty tissues in the world! HEY! A Dressing gown even comes complete with a belt to make sure it's wrapped around you and eliminate the possibility of a freezing cold arse!!

And now I rest...

JML Snuggie - increasing my Blood Pressure since 2010

   
 
The first test of the year
Aww shit...

Geo has a gig in Galway tomorrow night - I'm going along too and we're staying in a bloody lovely hotel. Now I'm not complaining about ANY of that, it's bloody great... however, it's Friday morning which is giving me a headache  - there's a buffet breakfast!!

The Big Bad Breakfast

Y'see, having spent December on tour with the pantomime and living in various hotels, you'd probably think I've seen enough 'Full Irish' breakfasts to last a few  years. But I have to say, the thought of a bloody big fry-up has me salivating like a recently diagnosed coeliac in an ice-cream factory.

I have a plan though. I'll start off trying to gorge myself with the fresh fruit and cereal continental-style spread which they put out for those with willpower and then HOPEFULLY I'll only have enough room left for one rasher and half a sausage...


3 Days In...
...and not a lot to report...

I've sent off 4 CVs to various castings, eaten healthily, remembered how much I enjoy apple & cheese, got back into the habit of drinking herbal teas instead of reaching for the coffee every 30 minutes, exercised a little, enjoyed the new (Eddie Izzard - we're not worthy) Treasure Island on Sky One and made bloody good use of the none-too-sexy slippers and furry socks brought by Santa.

Fluffy, Comfy, Warm

I haven't renewed my passport, joined Spotlight, looked over any of my short film scripts I want to get made, arranged vocal coaching, made my virgin voyage to a Zumba class or anything else vaguely useful on my list of things to do.

Ah well, not to worry - still 356 days left till Christmas.

Good Morning 2012!
Here we are again,  it's time to put the list of New Year Resolutions on the fridge door and blatantly ignore it every time I walk past...

Included in this year's fantasies are the usual 'lose excess fat', 'drink 2 litres of water a day', 'stop facebooking at 2am' and of course, the perennial 'learn a new skill' which is what I will try and decide on over the next few hours so I can sign up to any classes starting soon. 

New skill. Horse riding? Nah, too expensive, plus I need to sort out the other resolutions before I pour my arse into bloody jodhpurs. 

Musical instrument? Well I'd love to get back on track with piano and drums - I should really improve all existing skills before having a crack at another.  

A new language?  Meh. Trouble is, I can't commit to any evening classes because I don't know what the world of showbusiness has in store for me next week, never mind in 3 months time... and there's no way in hell I'm disciplined enough to teach myself via CD, book or DVD. Can you imagine?  'Good Morning.... Malo tau ma'u e pongipongi ni.....' COFFEE BREAK! Ooh, something vaguely interesting on the telly... check emails... have a bath.... you know what I mean!

Maybe I could stone 2 birds and combine another resolution (attend more workshops) with learning a new skill - stage combat or circus skills... good thinking Jaye!

Or maybe I could just learn how to stop typing drivel...

See ya, 2011!




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