It's been four months since my last (let's be honest, first) blog and one would love to say it is because I have been stupidly busy with my comedy career, people pulling me here and there, "Hatty you've no time to write a blog...No, not even a hour while you're on that train journey to a gig in Brighton...it's just not possible." Well yes, I have been quite busy it's not a complete lie, but as they say there's always time if you really want to make it.
However, it was brought to my attention early last year that I suffer from what I think is a common disease (excuse) amongst creatives: lazyitis. Do you wake every morning with a gut reaching feeling of anxiety (Usually because it's past 10am and I know I should have got up earlier and therein the guilt starts)? Do you think of all the things you have to do and then think how can I avoid doing them? Do you watch Loose Women? If you have all three, and especially the latter, then you have it bad.
As I said it came to my attention last year when I was sitting-in on a friend's live radio show and they had a woman who was a psychic and a life-coach on the show (oh, how handy that she had the psychic gift as well as being a life-coach). Anyway, after the show my friend introduced me to this psychic life-coach.
"This is my friend Hatty, she's here to watch as she may cover me on a few shows in the future."
The woman asked "What do you do?" Which for some reason made me angry because my friend had just explained I was training to do her job so it was obvious I was entertainer/presenter of sorts, so the truth is she touched on a nerve.
I replied with the usual "You know, bit of this bit of that"- when you're a self employed comedian-cum-actress (cum-professional daytime TV watcher) it's hard to give yourself one label, MAN!
"Oh," then she paused as though she was looking into my soul (and disapproving of my outfit, red lipstick and headband) before saying "I probably shouldn't say this, but... "
I should point out I'm someone who isn't sure about all that psychic stuff. I mean, I want to believe but after her performance on the show where she was just too positive to everyone that came on air so I wasn't convinced. There were a lot of people who had lost loved ones and to every single person that came on air she said "Oh yes, the minute I heard your voice I could tell you'd lost someone (no shit Sherlock) and they're here with me now and they say they are doing well." Well they're not because they're dead. I'd be more convinced if she'd said "Your husband is at rest now but says he is a bit pissed off you're going out with his brother, although he likes what you've done with the house."
However, faced with a person who possibly hears things from the dead I defy anyone not to be on tenterhooks for what was to come next after they've already said "I know I shouldn't say this, but... " and then paused.
"What could it be?" I thought. "That I'm gonna be stupidly famous? And she doesn't want to scare me? What, what, what?"
She continued, "You're a little bit..." and she raised her arm up in the air as she said "Lazy," as if to say "it's not me it's just what I'm picking up from above, not my fault." WHAT? I was furious. This woman had known me for all of 60 seconds and I never even asked for a bloody reading anyway. Great. No "well-done" messages from loved ones that had passed on saying how proud they were of me because, against life's pressures (so many crap TV shows to resist watching), I was sticking with my dreams, not giving in to the man. No. Even the bloody dead were telling me I was lazy.
So why write this now? Well I've been cooped up in bed for over a week with a horrible virus which is the worst thing for a lazy self-employee. Ah, you may be confused and think that surely this is a dream come true, a real reason to sit and watch the whole second series of One Born Every Minute on 4OD (it helps me see others in worse pain). But no it's not a good combination. Lazyitis and a heavy cold = alternate guilt factor.
I Just wish I could enjoy being ill, but it's impossible to be guilt free if you're self-employed. As I work from home, (yes writing all those fabulous jokes and sitcoms) it's like you're being ill in your office on company time whilst using the company computer and eating all the company biscuits. Which would be fine if the company wasn't 'me'.
However when you reach for the last Lemsip (other brands are available and less expensive) in the pack knowing "I don't really need this any more" and it suddenly tastes more gross than comforting, I'm just left to face plain old lazyitis. My fellow creative friends try to reassure me with "oh darling..." (they are all Dickensian and Oscar Wilde types of course) "It is common for us creatives to procrastinate (posh for lazy) we put off through fear that it might be crap and that we may fail. We are always thinking 'I need more time, I need more time'." There is a theory (my writing partner Tony Mac Murray told me) that what you produce will be the same whether you do it over two weeks or two hours. I'm definitely part of the gang that has to force themselves to work under panic. Fear of failure is a much more poetic way of saying "I just want to have a nice cup of tea and watch other people being lazy on Celebrity Big Brother!."
I promise it won't be another four months till my next blog, I've got an appointment with a life coach and I've heard they're very good for motivating and making you feel good about your self ;) and for any casting agents out there I'm not a complete bum it's just jokes innit right? Right? - I'm very hard working when given the deal see all my stuff here hattyashdown.wordpress.com
I've worked very hard to create two event pages on my Facebook (I know, well done me) for up coming previews of old and new stuff I'm hoping to do for an hour show. I'd very much love to have your support either the 24th Jan at the Hideaway Tufnell park or 26th Jan Etcetera Theatre Camden.
See you then. Stay motivated and don't listen to dead people!