Thursday, 11 April 2013

False memory

An interesting question was raised this morning when we discovered that some of the original London cast of Naked Boys Singing had requested that Nathan remove their names and any images of them in the show from his website. It seems slightly odd to me. Naked Boys Singing was a well-respected and rather charming show which wasn't in any way seedy. It was simply performed in the nude! 

That said, it seems some of the actors, who very proudly stripped off in the show on a nightly basis, no longer feel comfortable with the career decision they took back in 2009. Some are even claiming that  online images of them in the show are actually affecting their current career and indeed romantic prospects, which is very sad. 

Of course, attempting to rewrite one's past is a hiding to nowhere. Google "Naked Boys Singing" and there are pictures of the cast in Time Out, The Guardian and a host of blogs. Sadly, if the cap fitted in 2009, there will always be people who remember how good it looked!

My personal belief is that we make our choices and that we must stand by them because revisionism is dangerous. If Time Out refuse (as they will) to take the pictures down, do the actors take them to court, claiming that they were duped into having the publicity shots done, or forced into doing the show? When people don't get their way, they often default to "pity me" status. There's always someone else to blame for the decisions we make and huge cans of worms are opened up as the lies and cover stories begin to roll.

Personally speaking, I believe the past can only be embraced. You hold your hand up and say, "yes, that was me," and you nip an future exposés in the bud. Deny it all you like, but someone will always have an old programme hanging around in their loft. 

On that note, there's been a recent spate of people putting programmes from humiliating student drama shows on Facebook. It was Meriel's turn to be embarrassed yesterday, for publicly thanking the writer of the Yellow Wallpaper for giving her "inspiration an hope." "How pretentious was I?" said she. I instantly remembered walking around the York University campus barefoot in a kaftan, which is obviously a great deal more horrifying - particularly in the snow.They called me King Thesp, and there was a poem about me on the cubical door in the JCR toilets. 

..."You don't know the half of it", I said to Meriel.

Mortifying, yes, but I wouldn't lose those memories under any circumstances. They're part of the fibre of my being. They swim around the back of my mind in a sort of hazy, sun-bleached orb and one day, I'm quite sure, I'll have forgotten them entirely and in the process will have lost part of the essence of me. The kaftans, and crazy hair cuts, and slightly dodgy romantic liaisons are all part of me. And trying to erase them would somehow be denying my future. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure you looked fabulous, Ann. Every bit Carnaby Street chic