Wrestling with the truth

I’m proud of that title. It sums up this post so well. I’m aware that it isn’t a revelation that my posts are often full of revelations from the proceeding weeks, but on this occasion the revelation has been that pretty much everything I’ve done over the past few weeks has had some sort of revelation attached to it. You’ll see what I mean.

Wrestling!

I might as well start with this. I went along to my first couple of wrestling training session these past two Sundays, after spending most of this year threatening it. I spent a couple of weeks doing DDPYoga every day and regularly going to the gym (OK, OK, I only went to the gym once, but the DDPY felt like a full workout to me so that was an achievement in itself) in order to get heartrate up so that it wouldn’t be a complete shock to system, but even so, the very first warm-up nearly killed me. I got through on adrenaline and by throwing myself head-first into everything (quite literally), and for someone that had never even done a forward roll before I was quietly pleased with myself. Truth is, it all happened in one big blur because I couldn’t remember anything the next day. I will say the other trainees were brillliant though – I didn’t feel judged at all and when I fucked up they kept on encouraging me and reminding me that it was only my first session. That meant a hell of a lot and gave me the emotional strength to keep going.

I woke up the next day in less pain than I expected, though it was not insignificant. I’d left the day after the session clear in my diary, as I knew I’d need time to recover. I had neck tension where I’d been protecting my head, a few bruises, slightly sore sides and a pain in my right shoulder. Nothing unexpected, and despite my body wondering what the fuck was going on, I felt really good all week.

Only problem was, the pain my right shoulder didn’t leave. I’ve had a problem with this arm before, so I didn’t think anything of it. I did a couple of photoshoots and struggled to hold the camera, but I carried on doing the DDPYoga and over the course of the week if was definitely getting better, so I thought I’d be able to work through it this past Sunday.

Wrong.

I felt a crunch in my shoulder while doing a roll at the start of the session and had no choice but to sit out the rest of the rolls. Since Sunday I’ve been in immense pain and propped up on painkillers. People who know me will know that I am massively reluctant to take painkillers, so that gives you an idea of the level of pain I’m in. Even now, typing this, my shoulder is telling me to rest.

Of course I’m fully aware that this is a simple sprain and thus rest is the only recovery option. I’m also very aware that this is a minor injury, and if I carry on training I’m going to get hurt a lot more than this. But this hasn’t put me off. I’ve seen nothing yet that makes me think I can’t do it, although I may not be the quickest learner. I’m also so far out of my comfort zone that it’s equally scary and exciting. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that stretch (pun intended).

Podcasts

James Bellorini was one of the recent guests on How To Be A Man

Two more recordings for How To Be A Man are finally in the bag, and I’m currently writing this from Kentish Town library ahead of recording another. I’m also in dialogue with another five or six potential guests and my only problem at the moment is finding the time to fit them in! I really enjoyed talking to my two guests these past couple of weeks. What I thought was most interesting is that although there were occasional parallels, there were times when they had experienced distinctly opposite learnings. This highlights the value of the podcast for me. I’m still learning when to draw parallels with my own experiences and when to listen, but I think the fact that I’ve recorded three interviews featuring three very different stories will mean that this podcast will be useful to a range of people from different backgrounds.

I’ve also realised that I’m going to need to put aside a good few days for the editing process. Those may be the days when I finally go insane.

Photography

I’m probably developing more quickly as a photographer at the moment than in any other area of my life. This past week I shot a charity convention in Eastbourne, and I completed the remaining character shots for the hosts at Bewilder Box. The charity event was useful for helping me understand the limitations of the equipment that I’m currently using, and it was a useful exercise in working with strangers. It’s funny, I used to be incredibly outgoing and very forthcoming at these sorts of events, but it felt like a real challenge approaching people and trying to get the right picture first time. It’s all still very much a learning process, though I suspect that my injury also made me grumpy and less tolerant than I’d usually be.

Comedy/Music

On Wednesday 3rd October I’ll be performing as the house orchestra at the last ever Brighton Comedy Open Mic (BCOM). Ant McEwan, who runs the night, has asked me back to peform a few comedy songs and prvide a bit of banter between acts. It’s been a while since I’ve performed, but seeing as this is BCOM’s big send-off, it’s something that I really want to do.

Speaking of comedy, I’ve also been cast in a new comedy showcase taking place at the start of November. I’m really looking forward to it. It was only when performing the script at the audition that I realised how much I’ve missed comedy acting. I sort of lost track of the fact that this is the reason that I got into acting in the first place – I’ve always wanted to perform comedy, so I’m delighted to get this chance again. Full details to follow shortly.

All in all, my projects are shaping up nicely. I’ve not had as much time to work on my new play as I would have liked, but everything I’m doing is enjoyable and I feel particularly fulfiled at the moment. Long may it stay that way!