I was watching a recruitment advert for the teaching industry on telly last night which included a reference to what newly qualified teachers earn. It turns out it's more than I earned last year. In fact, it's more than I've ever earned in a year baring the time I made ghastly films for HSBC which none of the staff of the bank could be bothered to watch! That's quite something, isn't it? I'm a BAFTA nominee, and I earn less than a newly qualified teacher! I'm not complaining, of course. I chose this illogical path and, besides, I think I'm one of about six musical theatre composers in the UK who actually manages to make a living out of writing. It's the people in Arts Admin and marketing who tend to make more impressive sums of money in my industry.
People are always astonished when they find out how low our combined earnings are and ask how we manage to go on holidays and do such exciting things. I'm pretty sure the answer is simple: we've never had debts and we don't have children. I think children must be incredibly expensive to run. Most of the ones I know are fuelled on pricey hypo-allergenic pets and food, and seem to need an endless supply of new shoes. They grow out of old pairs like my Triffid-like plant, Isadora does with her terracotta pots!
I think other people take more taxis than we do as well...
I went to the hairdressers today and stared into the mirror at the bloated, addled, haunted-looking man I've become in the last four months. My hair is now speckled with grey on the top as well as at the sides. Rather interestingly the grey bits come in little half centimetre long blocks half way along the length of the hair, so an individual hair is black either side of a little grey fleck, almost as though the hair grew grey for a while and then decided to get some pigment again. I find that utterly extraordinary and think it might be the product of stress. There are reports of people's hair going grey over night when they were subjected to a period of great distress, and I'm wondering if the same happened to me, with the hair pigment literally saying "fuck this for a game of soldiers." Nathan says it is completely impossible for hair to suddenly go grey: hair is apparently dead so would not be able to change colour like that, unless chemically enhanced!
I continued to work on songs today, at the kitchen table, and even to and from the hairdressers. I've hit a stumbling block in the end number, which is detailed, long, and not quite there yet. And then there's the matter of this extra song which Nathan gave me the lyrics for yesterday. My body says stop.