Posts Tagged ‘dancing’

Wheelchair raving and lumps in the road.

October 20, 2009

Inside I'm DancingThis year is officially the year of the eighteenths…so many of my friends are having wild parties, fancy dress, formal, Hawaiian, you name it, I’ve now got the costume.  So last weekend was no different, I went from one birthday meal (Nandos, which by the way do amazing veggie burgers, seriously, who knew?!) to a birthday party at the local rugby club. We all had a great time; I caught up with some friends I hadn’t spoken to in a while. Not many people were dancing when I got there so I grabbed one of my friends Mams and started the dance craze. That’s the great thing about being in a wheelchair, when you start dancing, people tend to feel that they should join in! It reminds me of a scene from one of my favourite films “Inside I’m Dancing” in which Rory and Michael go to a nightclub and Rory starts to dance. Now, before I get asked, yes, I’m a terrible dancer, I make Ricky Gervais look like Michael Jackson. There I said it, it is something I have to face up to, I’m an awful dancer HOWEVER I was the first person in a wheelchair to pass/take dance GCSE, oh yeah, check out my alloys.

After sweating off my Nandos meal in what can only be described as incoherent, completely sober and slightly deranged raving I went and sat in the bar with my orange juice (I was driving!) I was bent over across the table (sat in my chair) when one of my friends asked me quietly “What’s that?” whilst pointing at my lump on my back, which shows through my clothes like a great big bulge. I asked “What?” and he pointed again so I said “Oh, that’s my lump.”

“Why do you have a lump Ali?” he asked and for some reason I didn’t give him an answer, I distracted myself with another conversation, I was in a party spirit, I didn’t want to talk about how my nerves, bone and fat have mangled into a stupid ball at the bottom of my spine which makes clothes shopping unbearable. I felt bad after, I haven’t spoken to him about it since, it hasn’t come up but I can’t help wandering “why didn’t I just tell him?” and I think I know: It’s the part of my body I can’t cover up, it’s behind me so I pretend it isn’t there, I haven’t accepted it myself yet because I hide it therefore I don’t expect other people to understand it. Feel free to say what you think.

I went clothes shopping today and every time I tried a dress on I turned sideways and saw how my lump looked in it, fat and ugly I thought. I can’t wear pleats because they bunch up when I’m sat down, I can’t where puffy dresses for the same reason, I don’t like to show off my weak legs, I can’t wear drainpipe jeans because of my splints and now I’m obsessed with how my back looks…my back?! Bloomin’ heck, I need a personal shopper now!

Ali x

P.S. I’ve got a fancy dress party to attend next week, any ideas would be great, shopping for normal clothes is a big enough task, a fancy dress one…? ARGH!

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My Poker Face

August 27, 2009

Lady-Gaga11For the last month or so I have been having a rest from performing, I act you see. I do local am dram shows and shows with my college as well as the odd favour for a friend. I sing as well, mostly just musical theatre but you’ll find me in a band or a solo concert every now and then. The thing is; I hate performing as myself. I find it much easier to immerse myself into a character…it’s such a cliché but I really do believe it’s what gives me the confidence to get up on stage and loose myself.

Many people turn to me and ask how I can fully get into character whilst in a wheelchair but I just don’t think of it like that, it just disappears and a lot of people say that they don’t notice the wheelchair whilst I’m performing anyway…whether this is just them being nice is another story!

The reason I started acting in the first place was because I used to act differently in everyday life. I would be in the car with my parents and start talking in an American accent, or be sitting in my bedroom talking to myself, making up scenes on the spot to an invisible audience, for no particular reason. When I was in year eight at school I enrolled in drama classes. It was a massive release for me and really changed me as a person…I went from having no friends to making plenty, most of whom I still see to this day. I was quiet and reserved before I started acting and now, although I’m still naturally shy as a person, I feel I have gained an inner confidence… or is it an inner acceptance?

My Gaga (Grandad-long story) asked me today “What do the audience want from a show?” and I replied “They want to be engaged and immersed in a form of make believe” It made me realise that maybe this is what I do every day. I changed when I started acting, I made new friends and cut my hair but the question which keeps eating me up inside is: Is the ‘new’ me just another character in my pocket? Or did I actually become myself by pretending to be other people? I don’t know, I really don’t and I worry sometimes that one day, my mask will be knocked down and the real me will come out again. Will my friends still love me then? Bloody hell, this is deep eh?!

I’m still talking to myself by the way, although I’ve graduated from the mirror in my bedroom to talking to myself whilst driving late at night through abandoned towns….I swear to god one day someone will see me and report me and I won’t be allowed to drive anymore; it’s bad enough that I tend to sing Lady Gaga at the top of my voice whilst driving, god knows what people will think when they realise I talk to myself as well. Hopefully they will understand that it is my way of working things out and understanding how people think.

My Mum thinks I’m quiet at the moment, that I’m not telling her things, the truth is that I’m just trying to work things out in my head, I’ve suddenly realised that I’m in a wheelchair; that I can’t just go and sleep round my friends house’s, that I can’t go out and get drunk every night and it hurts; it really does. It feels like someone’s chipping into my well crafted character and telling me I’m interpreting it in the wrong way.

I’m constantly telling people to be themselves but I’m so frightened that I’m the one I should be telling that to…and I’m not listening.

Ali x

P.S. For those of you who are interested: Yes I love Lady Gaga, she’s the only chart music I listen to, the reason I love her is because everything she does is a stunning performance….and yes another reason is the fact that she is someone else when she’s on stage, watch her perform, it’s a beautiful example of some ones Poker Face (see what I did there?!).