Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: March 2015

Random and rambling thoughts on turning 50

Preparing for this ‘milestone’ birthday has been weird. The most resounding feeling I have is one of ‘having made it this far’. I do feel, when I look over my shoulder at my past, that I could never, ever have imagined ending up here: That I would get to see what fifty looks like from this side.

When I realised I was the same age as the Fleur du Cap theatre awards I got searingly drunk. It sounds so ancient. I decided on the most immature shoes for a group birthday present to compensate. I want to shout from the rooftops, “I still feel 19!”, just like my granny Sophie would say, every birthday, “I don’t feel a day over sixteen.”

But then there are the funny little things. I get upset and outraged when I see schoolkids in their uniforms, smoking. Sis, I think. Don’t they know how terrible that is? But I was that kid. I was exactly that kid. And my reaction is so old womanish.

My friend Justin gave me some photos yesterday; ones he had taken a good few years ago. I was struck by how gorgeous and young we had been, and then I remembered how I felt about myself at the time. It was the same as now. What a waste of goodlookingness.

I remember when my friend, whose birthday is a day before mine although she is 10 years older, turned 40. I was surprised. Then, when she turned 50 I was shocked. And tomorrow she turns 60. It is outrageous.

All those things happen. Years get progressively shorter the longer we are alive. I think my memory is shot, along with my eyes. I can’t go anywhere without my readers. What a terrible word, readers.

And yet, I feel like the terrible, rebellious, outrageous young person I have always been. I still shout. I still have actual fights with people. I still voice my opinion loudly and resolutely, even though most children in Woodstock probably think of me as ‘daai mal ou tannie from number 14’.

What a journey. What an amazing time to force friends and family to do something hard, and amazing and celebratory with me. I am honoured to be alive in your presence. You are all my chosens.

Theatre Error

It has just happened to me again, prompting me to write the story of how I managed to get a home loan, even as a free lance actor, improviser and play maker. I was scrolling through twitter now and I saw an ad for a job, with the headline Theatre Unit Manager, and I was, oh amazing, a legitimate job for a theatre person, and I randomly clicked on it, trying to imagine what part of the theatre would have a unit to manage. Was it a box office thing? A backstage thing? And of course, the minute it came up I realised this was the medical and health kind of theatre, and it was a unit of that.

Almost 10 years ago, Big Friendly and I decided to try and buy a house, after being superb tenants for our whole lives. We found a tiny house in (a very less gentrified and very much cheaper than today) Woodstock, put in an offer (with all the naive, hysterical fear of first time home buyers, both of whom were free-lancers) and didn’t really believe we would be able to raise a bond. We were cavalier and cheeky about it, since we couldn’t see how it would be possible that even the filthy crook banks would give us the money to buy the house. But Standard Bank did. And the interest they gave us wasn’t the most terrible either. We were shocked and delighted. We had enough cash to pay for the transfer fees and all the legalities, and we went to sign all the papers at the special lawyer.

And that was when we realised what had happened. In our bond application we had very honestly described our fields of expertise. To make me more of a ‘Jack of all trades’ kind of person, I had put down my profession (it was very PC at the time) as ‘Theatre Practitioner’. All the correspondence was made out to Dr Megan Furniss. They had thought I had meant the medical and health theatre, assumed I was a doctor and had given us a bond because of it. It is important to note that the other banks had not been duped. They had not given us a bond.

There is no rest of the story. We got the bond. We have paid it off monthly, religiously, through thick and thin. I still think I could be bust as the other theatre kind of somebody.

Improv magic when I need it most

last night I was Stuck in the Middle. My name was pulled from a hat and I was the improviser chosen to be on stage the whole show while everyone else threw me into scenes, madly, randomly and with great gusto. This was one of our shows at our successful and fantastic improv fest, now in its third year and set to stay on the calender for a few more.

There is nothing quite like the rush of being on stage for a full hour and having unexpectedness thrown at you left, right and centre. Everyone thought I was amazing, but it wasn’t true. The team made it so. They did all the hard-core, creative work and I just responded. That’s what’s so amazing about improv.

Anyway, I needed last night. I have been a bit low on pure fun, and joy and love of being on stage and in a theatre. Last night was truly restorative. I went to bed smiling and I’ve woken up like that too.

I should tell you to make an effort to come down to the Kalk Bay Theatre tonight, for Superscene, but we are sold out! But, I am playing again on Monday night, our regular weekly show at The Galloway. So come on over for a bit of joy.

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