Although I claim to be quiet and unassuming when I get an idea in my head I will go for it right enough! I have developed a more precocious element to my personality hitherto unseen. An example being when I invited myself along to sing backing vocals on the recently produced ‘This is Stanley’ CD. I have never been ‘headhunted’ (hideous concept) for anything. No-one else recognises my worth and I have reached a time in my life where I just let them know instead. I have always valued modesty and humility in people but think I need to redefine my definition of what that actually means. How will people know if you don’t put yourself out there?!
That is certainly what I did back in April when I performed in the contemporary dance piece COAL at Newcastle’s Dance City. Re-reading that it is still hilarious to think I was associated with anything like that. BUT I WAS! Anyone who knows me or follows me on Facebook will know all about that experience as I did witter on about it lots and lots. I do believe it will be an experience I will always look back on as a major one in my life. I remain proud and privileged to have been given an opportunity to play a Pit Woman during the Miner’s Strike in this incredible piece of work. All of the dancers – but the main female dancer in particular had a huge impact on me. There are a handful of women in my life who I will never forget and TC Howard is one of them.
(A play therapist who worked with children with social and emotional needs in an inner city school in London and was my tutor during an intensive ‘Listening Matters’ course is another woman I similarly admire. It was in 2006 and I can still recall the words she said to me and the room we sat in the day she gave me the feedback on the assignments and work I had done.)
Anyhow, back to me being a pushy woman…the COAL team were recruiting women for Durham’s show (Nov 10th and 11th at the Gala). We have a FB group where all of the women share the love of COAL and support each other as the show tours and picks up more of us. Obviously I knew I would be going to see the show when it came to Durham but kept ‘joking’ about the fact that there would be no-one suitable to play the wives up here and if pushed I would reprise my role and so on (I know – a laugh a minute me…) Naturally I couldn’t be a wife AGAIN – I mean how would they have explained that away! (Yes, I have a two paragraph statement in my documents stating why Jaene Davies was chosen to be a Pit Wife for the second time ‘just in case’ it should be required but sadly it was not)
So, you could view the next part of the story in one of two ways.
Either a) they all love me and respect and value my input and opinion
or b) they thought it might finally quieten me and make me realise that they have all all moved on and that I am but one woman in a cast of many
Because I said I could be in Durham in 20 mins (an outrageous untruth on the number 16) and they said ‘come along!’. I was changed and on the bus passing Daisy Hill before I sent the text saying ‘Oh…are you sure?’ and then my phone ran out of battery (I think) because I never did look at the reply.
I attended the taster session along with 8 other women and got to pretend that I was trying out to be a performer in COAL. It’s only a ‘taster session’ before it happens. Afterwards it’s an audition. Being a part of the process again took me back to how I felt in Dance City in April – excited/thrilled/emotional/inspired/proud as well as exhausted after the bit boogie they do.
People have asked me since if I am going to act/be/perform in anything else but I genuinely believe nothing like COAL will ever come along again so the answer would probably be ‘No’. But then again, you never can tell. There may be something just around the corner (or the bend as in Pocahontas) that will see me pushing my way to the front…