So after my little trip to Burning Man, New Zealand and Cape Town I've come back to London. Don't worry - I'm whipping myself with guilt how lucky I am to have gotten that kind of gig. I worked in two out of the three. In Burning Man, I didn't perform, just fell twelve feet off an installation of a giant boot and ripped the ligaments in my thumb and am still wearing a brace - but it was worth it. Now I'm sitting in a taxi, in the grey hideous rain-dripping ride home from the airport and thinking, "Why?" My reason for 'why' I'm back here is (besides my family and friends and dare I say cat, Sox) I start my tour of Sane New World" again for about twenty dates (google where the show is, I have no idea) and then in the West End at the end of January at the Arts Theatre (I know where that is).
I've toured this show for two years sometimes I ask myself "why am I milking this baby around the UK till it runs dry?" My answer is that in the second half of the show, after the interval, the audience have a chance to talk and for me it's my happiest moment, to be able to connect with my people; my tribe. Most of my life I've felt so freakish and alone but this reaffirms that under our well-armoured fronts, we're pretty much the same (different hair-dos), We all want to be heard, we want some answers and we want to feel connected. In every theatre, wherever I've taken this show, the discussion only ends because we need to shut down the theatre otherwise we'd be there all night. I go out to sign books afterwards so we can go on talking. I love when people talk to me as long as they're honest and cut the small talk. So that's what gets me out of the house, on the train and 'out of Africa' (see Meryl Streep). Just before the West End, my new book comes out and then I'll tour the new show in spring but I'll always, I mean always, want to have the second half where the audience talk to each other and me. We don't have walk-in centres yet so it's the next best thing even though weirdly it happens to be in a theatre. People ask me if I miss what I used to do? I say, if they mean being the champion canoeist at Camp Agawak because that's something I used to do? Or do they mean when I played a bee in my nursery school play because that's also what I did? How far back do people want you to go? I think everything I did was to get me ready for what I'm doing now. This is the payoff and the payback.
By the way, this is a photo of the boot I fell off at Burning Man. There was a steel vine coming out of the top to get down. I put my foot on the first metal leaf and that was my last leaf. I then took off into the air and fell. People crowded around me holding my head thinking I'd landed on it. Someone asked me if I knew my name? I told him my name. Then they asked if I knew what day it was. I got it right. Then they asked how old I was; I lied. When they found Ed they asked him how old I was and he gave a different age. They took me away in an ambulance because then they thought I got it wrong from a concussion.