Huffington Round Up

Oh dear, I’ve been rather remiss on my website updates recently but I can blame it on being too busy actually writing stuff for publication. My Huffington Post column has been a hive of activity so if you haven’t seen them be ready for a lot of reading. Trust me though, they cover lots of topics and are all a fun read.

I say fun, but the first is more serious. As part of the Huff’s campaign to get more disabled people in modelling that they have run throughout February together with Models of Diversity, a campaigning group I wholeheartedly support, I wrote something exploring how the lack of representation in the media and fashion worlds mirror a wider issue around inclusion. While a serious story it included a snap of me modelling way back in 1996, when I was the first disabled model to do catwalk at LFW. Enjoy – Have We Really Said Goodbye to the Back of the Bus?

Following in the more political vein, I next explored my worries about the government’s proposed Housing Bill and how some elements of it might negatively impact on disabled people. It followed some rather unpleasant exchanges on Twitter, but then what do you expect from a society that has painted disabled people as scroungers? What was most funny was I was raising an issue around Pay To Stay which only effects those working, yet my concerns led to Twitter Twats going for the old “you disabled people with all your benefits” line. I won’t say much more, as you can get the full skinny from reading the article – Is It Really So Hard To Understand?

After so much serious stuff I needed a bit of light relief. So after a wonderful night at the launch of Graeae Theatre Company’s new artistic collaboration with the Central Illustration Agency (yes they are called the CIA!) I felt the need to tell the world about – Reframing The Myth. Hope the review drives you to see the exhibition as it is wonderful.

Talking of wonderful, another event that I just had to tell the world about was my taking part in the Southbank Centre’s Dahl In A Day reading of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, as part of their Imagine Kid’s Festival. I total joy to be asked and to see so many children transfixed as I told Miss Honey’s Story.

Lastly I had the honour of getting a sneak peak at the new Gary Numan documentary, Android In La La Land. As a life long Numanoid, it was a real joy to see the human side of Mr Numan. It’s going to be a must see for any music fan, but as it explores his recent diagnosis of Asperger’s it also will be o much interest for anyone who has been touched by Neurodiversity. Or if you just like great, up beat, life affirming music docs.

So that was it. I’ve also had loads published in other outlet’s but that’s another post. For now, enjoy reading and I promise to be more conscientious on the website from now on. Is that a resolution for 2016? Yes!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail rssyoutube

Xmas show dates announced

It might be late notice but if you are in the mood for a little bit of festive fun then  visit the Graeae website and find out about a new show I am appearing in, Deck The Stalls.

Featuring a cast of talent young people, it’s a ten minute piece of dance and theatre that has Christmas at it’s heart. Not only do I appear in the show but I co-directed it, with the amazing Amit Sharma and Choreographer Laura Dajao.

So Christmas starts now, with Deck The Stalls!

The Dec The Stalls cast ready to rock!

The Deck The Stalls cast ready to rock!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail rssyoutube

Latest Huffington Post Article

My latest article for the Huffington Post has just gone live. It’s a review of the Graeae Theatre’s production of The Limbless Knight, which premiered at the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival this Friday.

It’s a great show, that entertains and challenges in equal measure. I described it on Twitter as “Like being hit by a brick wrapped in a beautiful velvet cushion”. For a longer exploration of what I saw in the show see the Huffington Post Entertainment section.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail rssyoutube

The Moment I Became Me

Well hello Bloggersphere, sorry for going so quiet recently. It’s been a bit of a crazy time. February was marred by a period of chronic pain, which was nice. And as soon as that passed my work load went through the roof. Mustn’t grumble about that though. Another reason why I haven’t been to prolific on the blog front is that fact that I now get paid to write articles that are so similar to my blogs by various publications that I am finding I have to keep my best ideas for those paid jobs. So that really is nice. But it does mean that I am trying to think of what to actually blog about. So while I struggle with what I can waffle on about in the ether (for free) I thought I’d tell you all about a project that I working on at the minute, and more importantly the actual real events that are behind it.

Me and my brother when I was 14, just before my spine went wrong.

As you may or may not know, when I was 15 I was very ill. I was rushed to the Royal Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London, and was put in, what it transpired, was a terminal ward. Very early on in my stay I asked what I thought was a doctor what was wrong with me. Without batting an eyelid he informed me that I had cancer and that I was dying. Suddenly I was a boy of 15 who was about to check out. I was still a virgin, who had never been to a nightclub or dyed his hair. Or at least these were the things that I would never do that I listed in my mind. I had to ring my Mum to tell her, in floods of tears, and then laid in bed for the nearly 24 hours despairing about all the things I would never do. Then the next day my parents arrived and together we asked my surgical team what was going on. It then transpired that I did NOT have cancer, and while it was serious I was not dying. The worst thing was that the guy who had told me this turned out to be an orderly wearing a white coat. Funniest moment during this was seeing my doctor grab this orderly and pin him against a wall, while shouting at the top of his voice. He was not a happy man. So while I was not dying (yippee), I did spend the next couple of months being treated in a terminal ward, watching almost every other patient passing away (boo). Sometimes in very gruesome ways. Real horror film stuff.

But all of this did really change who I was. By the time I was let home from hospital, nearly nine months later, I had truly learned how precious life was and it made sense to live each day as if it might be your last. I had experienced what it was like to lay in bed, dying with a huge list of things you wished you’d done. I vowed that the next time this happened my list would be of all the things I had done. So that is how I started living. I won’t say that it always paid off, and I have made some crazy mistakes in the name of having fun and living fast but I have made some amazing memories and done some amazing things.

Teenage Goth Mik, just out of hospital – notice very dyed hair!

So what has this got to do with my project? Well recently I have been writing a play with the help of the fantastic Graeae Theatre Company, based on this very experience, called The List. I am very nearly finished, with a just a few lines left to go. Then it’s just a bit of time doing rewrites and my first play is in the bag. What will happen to it once it’s done, I don’t know but I do hope it does get performed. I do know that the “dying/not dying” moment in my early years helped me find what was important in life and I feel that this play might be a much less traumatic way of helping others to do the same. (At least I hope it won’t be as traumatic – depends on how good my writing is eh?) If nothing else it would be a night out.

The funniest thing is that when I was at school my English teacher read out something I had written to the whole class as an example of terrible work. She said I was terrible at writing and would never pass an English O Level (Of course I did pass one with a B) Now every time I have another article published, perform a song or poem, and now do some creative writing I think of her and go “Up Yours” in my head. I won’t even mention my music teacher who told me I was tone deaf… I then went on to be one of the only pupils from my year to become a professional musician. School eh?

Right, that’s enough from me. Always remember, life’s too short to regrets. Or it’s always better to regret doing something than regretting not doing it. Might get messier or course, but much more fun!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail rssyoutube

Reasons to get yourself to this show!

I have just got back from attending the fantastic Graeae musical Reasons To Be Cheerful, and had a great night. It’s a great show and I can’t recommend it too highly. In fact I wish I could be in it, although trying to remember all of Ian Dury’s lyrics might be a bit beyond me! I have already written a few reviews of the show, so I will just say “Get yourself to this show ASAP!” They are playing at the Hackney Empire until Sunday and then move on to the Nottingham Playhouse from the 3rd to the 7th.

Do yourself a favour, it’s one not to miss.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail rssyoutube

Busy Bank Holiday

I find myself with so much to blog about that I feel I may have to end up writing about nothing instead. I wanted to cover politics, that wedding, disability politics and a myriad of other things, but have had such a busy couple of weeks that I haven’t had time. Now each subject has slipped to a position of equal importance and so I can’t decide where to start.

I wanted to examine my recent experiences with various disabled people’s organisations (DPO’s) and how each one has different politics. What would this splintering of direction mean for the future of disabled people and our fight for equality? I also wanted to delve into what exactly we mean by “equality” and whether this fight might cause disabled people to end up worse off that we were went we found ourselves unequal. As a republican I am finding the way British society is ramping up the crazy as we run up to the 29th of April is obviously causing me to feel the need to write something. Just not sure how much of feelings I want to make known as everyone seems to have been swept up in the spirit of this “joyous” occasion. Then there was the whole question of assisted suicide that seems to have even found a supporter in the BBC. With Terry Pratchett making a documentary following a man’s visit to Dignitas and claiming it to be a dispassionate study of the questions around the right to die, even though Sir Terry is a personal supporter of assisted death, those of us who who feel deeply against changing the current laws must make our voice heard or we will loose the debate. That’s just the top three.

In the end I must admit I find myself so full of thoughts that I end up with my head spinning. Never the best time to write something that will exist forever in the ether of the world wide web. So instead I will knock out a short blog, with no rants or deep thought. No this time I feel just thought I’d mention that this bank holiday my wife and I have been busy building furniture for my recording studio. In fact we have been action painting some doors for a cupboard that will be the home of my unused analogue synth collection. Loads of fun throwing paint around in our living room, and they have come up great. So hopefully by the start of May I will have a studio that works and can start writing music again, after an age away.

Before going all arty, I did an interview for a new online magazine, called Sin Zine with the marvellous burlesque and performance artist Marnie Scarlet. I videoed the interview and it will be up on my Youtube page soon, and the Sin Zine interview will follow shortly too. I plan to do a series of these interviews, and put them online, so if you know anyone who you would like to see me chat with please get in touch.

Lastly, I have signed up to appear in the new Graeae show, Broadway Babes. It is going to be a crazy show like their famous Rhinestone Rollers show, but with Broadway musical numbers. I shall be dancing my way through a half hour set of classic musical tracks… and I shall be in drag! Yes all those years when I was a New Romantic, wearing tons of make up will finally come in handy. I don’t think I’ll be going the whole hog, mainly as I really don’t have the figure for it. Instead I feel I’ll be a kind of dancing tranny. Tee hee. Anyway, if you fancy seeing how it turns out, come along to the Greenwich festival this year and search us out. I’ll keep you all posted when rehearsals start.

So I hope you are all enjoying the sunshine and are having fun this Bank Holiday? Today is the first day I’ve a minute to spare, and so I feel I may sign off now and go outside to soak up some sun before the weather goes back to it’s default setting… of rain.

TTFN

Mik

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail rssyoutube