Wednesday, 8 September 2010

But I am more cunning...

Having woken up this morning feeling panicky, I decided to dedicate some time to admin. My biggest issue at the moment is the fact that I’ve chosen to set passages from Pepys' Diary which come from the Latham and Matthews edition. I suppose I’d rather naively assumed that one version of the diary was very much like another. I’d forgotten that the shorthand Pepys used, regularly throws up wildly differing interpretations. The Wheatley version, which was “translated” in the 19th Century, is out of copyright but the Latham and Matthews edition most definitely isn’t. Even subtle differences would have an enormous effect on my work, and reverting to the Wheatley version could take me weeks. To make matters distinctly worse, the L and M edition is controlled by a theatrical agent; in this case, Lucy Dundas at PFD.

Having worked as a casting director in feature films, I've a great deal of experience when it comes to dealing with agents, and know for a fact, particularly with these big names, that if the million dollar signs aren’t flashing up in front of their eyes, they can decide to go painfully slowly, bordering on the; “don’t waste the air around me by bothering me with this crap”.

True to form, Ms Dundas has not responded to the email which I sent a week ago, and when I telephoned her today, she went from being “in” to being miraculously “in a meeting.” Whoever spoke to me asked me to email her instead, which meant “don’t ask me to ask her to waste her precious breath by actually speaking to you.” She seemed surprised when I dared to point out that I’d already sent an email. I asked that she asked Ms Dundas to phone me back as soon as possible. When I started to reel off my number, she sighed audibly. I suspect she’s used to actors who tug their forelocks and feel grateful that she’s even bothering to talk to them. Crumbs, do these people not know who I think I am?!

The one thing in life I refuse to be treated like is a nobody. Nobody in life is a nobody and everyone should be treated with respect.

After keeping me waiting for some time, St Paul’s School have now acknowledged that they can’t provide me with five trebles, which is a blow. They have a concert of their own on November 25th, which is a fair enough excuse. The music master at the school has given me a few other suggestions, however. Top of his list are the trebles in the choir of the Queen’s Chapel at the Savoy. Pepys mentions the chapel in his diaries and it was, I believe, very close to his beloved New Exchange. Oddly, all the trebles in the choir come from a single school in Orpington. Teachers, like agents, are notoriously slow to respond...

September 8th 1660, yielded another incredibly short diary entry from our hero. Pepys stayed at home all day but was called for in the evening by Sir William Pen, who gave him a glass of wine and chatted with him late into the night, no doubt wanting to find out more about this young pretender who seemed to be here to stay now that the Restoration dust was clearing. Pepys liked Pen, and wrote that “I find him to be a very sociable man, and an able man, and very cunning.” Cunning seems to have been a compliment in these times, reminding me of my highly intelligent 4-year-old godson, whom I chatted to one day, as we walked along the York City walls. We talked about his friend Tomas, who is both taller and older than him. “Yes” William said; “but I am more cunning...”

The Tyndarids

And by the way, if any of you want to see what Nathan's up to at the moment, take a look at this highly intriguing video...

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