October 2012

It is a wonderfully busy time for me. There is plenty of audio work to do and that in itself is a challenge. There is also the play The Hallowe’en Sessions that will be at the Leicester Square theatre at the end of October. It will only run for a week and will be a little like a show case in that we all hope some fabulous producer will come along and snap it up and we shall all be in gainful employ for a good deal longer. There aren’t a lot of rehearsals and that makes me a bit wobbly but nevertheless I like the challenge. Working hard to find the core of my character at the moment and then I can get to grips with my second character as I shall be playing two very diverse but slightly mad ladies in this production.

Meanwhile my social life has been a lot of fun and the highlight really has to be my good friend Philip Treacy’s fashion show. I am not in the fashion world and find these events quite fascinating. They really are theatre and this did not disappoint. Not only was the venue spectacular, The Royal Courts of Justice, but the models were divine and the Hats out of this world, literally.

Lady Gaga started the evening announcing that Philip was the most famous and talented Milliner in the world. He is!!  The hats are pieces of art work.  I have two that I treasure and even more special is the fact that they were gifts from Philip. Anyway the models were all dressed in Michael Jackson clothes that had come over from the States. It was great spotting favourites, loved the red jacket from Thriller, and it was fabulous having the sound track to Jackson’s life reverberating around the amazing hall.

The hats and the spectacle were certainly special but nothing quite prepared me for my encounter with Lady Gaga and Grace. What a pair. After the show I had spent an hour sitting in a small room sipping sparkling something with Grace. The odd visitor put their head round the door but this was strictly Philip’s time and Grace’ discretion allowed him to really be the focus of everyone’s admiration and interest. When Grace appears it can get a little crazy and she certainly wanted Philip to enjoy all the well-deserved attention.

Somebody, somewhere decided it would be a good idea if Grace and I retired to an upstairs room where there were comfy seats and a bar and also some well needed heating so off we trotted…miles and miles of corridors and stairs and at 10.30 pm on a Sunday night the halls were spookily empty and shadowy and stunning,

Cut to us ending up in a room sitting quietly in a corner with a small group of onlookers and three or four photographers but it was very much a private gathering and very low key. That was until Lady Gaga (call me Gaga) appeared. She swept over to our corner and popped herself down next to Grace. Then she proceeded to tell Grace how much she adored and admired her and how inspired she had always been by Ms Jones.  Before Grace had a chance to respond the Photo op was upon us. Everyone wanted their pics but none more than the photographers who saw a terrific opportunity to get Gaga and Grace in a rare possibly never before situation. But NO! Grace was having none of it. Gaga pleaded and Philip cajoled and others put their case for a few pics but again No!  In the meantime I had taken myself off for a quick diet coke and was watching the whole spectacle unfold. Suddenly Grace roared! There was a scuffle of photographers as she leapt forward to grab a camera. ‘No Photographs’ she bellowed.  ‘Delete, Delete! ‘She exclaimed. Gaga pressed on about the benefits of press and Twitter and publicity…did she really think she need to tell Grace about self-promotion…anyway suddenly Grace spotted me and declared that there was to be only one photographer that evening and that was ME!!!!   Yikes!!  I was thrust forward clutching my camera and ordered to get some shots. Trembling hands, Lopped off heads, blurry shots and dazzling flashlights accompanied by tut-tuts and murmurs and worse from the professional photographers . Everyone was jockeying for position. Relatively calm people were suddenly waving frantically my way to try and have me grab a shot of them with either or best of all both great ladies … All the while I know that these pictures are worth their weight but only if Grace says so. She insisted she could trust me and indeed so she can. Which is why you won’t be seeing any of Grace with Gaga right now.  Maybe later when she says its ok but right now they are for my eyes only.

The evening progressed and I slipped back into my seat with Grace and Gaga, Conversation was bizarre and we sat there with three enormous minders standing blocking anyone else. Gaga told me she was wearing a burka and I was rather stuck for an answer but she didn’t seem to notice as she proceeded to tell me how she would love to collaborate with Grace. She said something about computers and interactive and I saw Grace glazing over a little but her head swung around as she heard Gaga talk about maybe using Grace’s face on some computer game and how the fans would be able to manipulate Ms Jones’s visage. Well that idea hit the dust pretty damn quickly and Grace was very quick to point out that she and she alone was in control of her image. I quickly brought the conversation back to burka’s as one does and discovered that this particular one, once belonged to the late great Isabella Blow. Gaga informed me she was channelling her that night. Oh dear! Sometimes I feel so ordinary and straight …

As I left the room an assistant rushed up to me to ask if I might send Gaga some photos as she really, really wanted them as she SO adored Grace. I was asked if I was Grace’s personal, private photographer, glad to say I am just her long-time friend and proud to be so!