Scotland the Brave

Happy hogmanay! It seems to be the perfect time to reflect on what Scots and Scotland has achieved (not that I’m a woad-clad nationalistic chest-thumper!)

The decimal point
The hypodermic syringe
The Bank of England (not such a claim to fame these days)
The kaleidoscope
The overdraft (wouldn’t be without one)
Documentary films
Golf Clubs
18 hole golf courses
Tennis Courts (and Andy Murray )
Colour photographs
Encyclopaedia Britannica
The Gas Mask
The theory of combustion
The Steam Engine
The locomotive
The pnuematic tyre
The gravitating compass
The threshing machine
The fax machine
The telephone
Road surface
The telegraph
Kinetic energy
The macintosh
Electric light
The thermos flask
Auld Lang Syne
errr…Dolly the cloned sheep.
Finger-printing (though we’ve failed to keep up with advances)
Advertising films
The lawnmower
The fountain pen
The alpha chip
Obstetric ultrasound
Street lighting
Ante-natal clinics
Artificial Ice
The video
The photocopier
The thermometer
The pedal cycle
Writing paper
The bus
Cannabis (the active principle)
And we’ve never had a population of much more than five million.

Wha’s like us! Nae mony and they’re aw deid! Have a great 2009!

These are a few of my favourite things

My agent
Doug Stiven at Stiven Christie

My union

Where you can find me
Spotlight - page 2736
Oxford Actors Network

The best theatres
Royal Court Theatre
Bush Theatre
Traverse Theatre
Lyceum Theatre
Oxford Playhouse
His Majesty’s, Aberdeen
Old Vic Theatre
Finborough Theatre
The Tron
Jermyn Street Theatre
Northmberland Theatre

Festivals and fringes
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Actors Expo
Cornbury Festival

Film Companies
Gabriel Films
Mischief Pictures
Black Camel
SuperTeam Films

My showreel company
RoundIsland Showreels

A great space and costume wardrobe
Studio Boardman and The Costume Collection

Central Furniture
Empire Online
In Oxford Mag
Daily Information

Or, put another way, how come I can’t breathe in the one place I breathe easier

I breathe when I see the sea.I  am the sea, the sea is me. I always thought (still do) that I’d die at sea. That’s why I get nervous when I see P&O staff looking worried. That’s why I loved running naked in the snow on Balmedie beach in June. Not this June, not last June, but a few Junes ago. I’m there agin. Not sure everyone else is. Actually, I’m pretty sure they’re not.

But I can’t breathe in Inverurie.

I had a big row with my dad on Christmas day. My dad is an amazing guy and I love him loads, but we’re completely different. I don’t know what goes on in his head, and I don’t think I’ll ever find out. He’s not the kind of person to say. I don’t know how he felt when I was born, how he felt when my sister was born or how he felt as we grew up. We’ve never had that conversation - or any conversation. And yet, I know that he always tries to do the right thing. Whether it works or not. And whether it’s the best thing for him or not. I love him and I’m not sure he knows how much. And I do know that he loves me.

Anyway. We argued over the popping of a prosecco cork. It was a face to face, stand up shouting match (for about thirty seconds). Of the first order. The way I look at it, the WHOLE fucking point of any fizzy wine is not the drink, its not about serving up a drink of bubbly, it’s about POPPING THE CORK. It’s about celebrating life through the popping of the cork.

So I popped a cork. Dad thought it was too close to the chandelier and went a bit nuts.I went a bit nuts back. It wasn’t about the cork, it was about all the years and everything in between. I usually let it float over me and don’t react, but not this time.

I just felt suffocated - and that wasn’t the only incident.

I went to the Aberdeen panto, Peter Pan - the flying was awesome. The boy who never grew up. Salute.

I got into trouble from Aunty Moira for clapping too much and cheering too much. “Do you have to clap so much, Stephen!” I always clap a couple of claps afer the rest have stopped. I support performers. Good or bad, I’m with you.

But god forbid I actually display emotion. God forbid people know I’m alive. That would never do. That would draw attention to yourself and THAT’S JUST WRONG. Oh the protestant work ethic. How useful it is. How JOYFUL, how full of life - it’s not. Bollocks to that. I love performers, I love shows and I love life.

And for that, I’ll lay down my life.

LOVE to all.


How come I breathe easier in the one place I can’t breathe

It’s the question with no answer. Whenever I’m on my way up to Scotland, as soon as I see the sea I start to breathe more easy, but when I get ‘home’ I can’t breathe at all. It’s the one place where I am no longer Steve Hay (I become Mike Hay’s son). Hmm the never ending dilemma.

Still, we made it up Ok, and we’re here for Christmas. Early night tonight, so that Santa can get here early and fill my sack. Can’t wait.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic fun-filled and successful (however you measure success) New Year. May 2009 bring you all you desire - so be careful what and who you desire.

loadsa love from me.

Lurgy lurking

Ok, you don’t want to know about the lurgy. Fine. I’ve got it though. Just hope it’s gone by Monday.

The website has all its components in place. It’s alive. But have I (or Pete) created a monster? Time will tell. Credit must go to Alan Cumming for the err…inspiration. Some might call it thievery, I think inspiration  definitely sounds better. You may notice some similarities in the photos in Alan’s gallery and some of mine. I thought his were so good I kinda copied them, and Ed Nix captured the moments for me.

I’m pleased with them. I still want my own fragrance like Alan Cumming. I’d probably call it PurpleHays, not Tester-one, thinking about it, that’s a rubbish name. Still quite like So-matt-cho for a foundation powder for guys though.

I’m trying to get funding for a full tour of David Halliwell’s A Last Belch for the Great Auk. I have a few ideas, more of which some other time. David was a good friend, although he wasn’t always easy to be friends with (who is?). We were going to do Belch before David died, but never quite got round to it, so it’s great that Sarah Dodd loves it. It’s a really good play, and deserves a platform. It’s also a great role for me. Anyone got £10,000 to spare? XXX

Oh, and the photo in this post is from Kersti’s storytelling night. That’s my smoking jacket.

The curious case of the Count

Most people seem to think that Bram Stoker’s Dracula was     written after he was inspired by the cliffs at Scarborough or Whitby, or somewhere in Yorkshire. There may be an elephant of truth in that, but he was more inspired when he was on holiday in Cruden Bay in North East Scotland. He was exploring the beaches and cliffs around there and Collieston and found the two Slains Castles - my ancestral homes.

I actually lived at Old Slains. My first ex-wife Corrina and I bought one of the four houses on the peninsula, next to the one remaining castle wall, and with a cliff overlooking the North Sea and a rolling hill down to a beach on the other side. It was when I was first actually doing something about becoming an actor. I thought that I’d found the place where I could always come back to. Whatever I was doing, wherever I was in the world, I would escape and come back to this beautiful place with the gulls, the puffins, the seals and dolphins. We were there six months before we split up.

I remember feeling a bit like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, when he’s out chopping wood, going slowly mad.

‘New’ Slains is a ruin too, about four miles along the coast at Cruden Bay. The remains stand perched atop tall, sea-facing cliffs, constructed around an existing tower house built in 1597 by the 9th Earl of Erroll.

The last significant reconstruction of the castle was in 1837.

I miss the sea. Oxford is about the furthest you can get from the sea in the UK. I’m in exile. There are compensations, but I’m still wondering if I might have to move back to London to take the next few steps. Hmmmm.

Impossibly stripey trousers and chinese silk jackets

Uncle Sam’s really is the best shop in Oxford. Not only did I buy my two pairs of impossibly stripey trousers there, and my genuine Navy jacket, (see Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront), but I got a beautiful chinese patterned silk smoking jacket there tonight.

I need a smoking jacket for a storytelling evening I’m doing on Friday night at Kersti’s (photos to come). My genre is either Gothic horror or hard-core porn (or should it be hardcore) or both. I know what I’m doing story-wise, and I now have my jacket, but I still need a candelabra (how the hell do you spell Cande-ahh you know what I mean).

Anyone got one?

Oh, and when I say smoking jacket, I have plans for that too. Smoking and smoking. I’ve got the pellets.

Why it’s all good

Having one bad day got me thinking about the good. What have I done this year?

Reunion (Kyle Graffin) Dir: Mike Stuart Doorway Films
The Cheap Hit (Charlie) Dir: Shamus Maxwell Saxon Films
All The Tears I’ve Cried (Lion Tamer) Dir: Tim Winter Atomic/Long Insiders Music Video
The Pianist (Andy) Dir Adam Hoare Ungnome Productions
Dark Glass Dir. Paul Glynn Glynnpro
The Music Man Dir: Shamus Maxwell Saxon Films

A Last Belch for the Great Auk Dir: Sarah Dodd Making Space- — Oxford Playhouse
Never Tell Them (Captain Simon Jones) Dir. Joe Austin Burton Taylor Theatre
Jam  on That? Host/MC/Poet Jam Factory Oxford
Reflections in a Distorting Mirror Dir: Rio Fanning Oxford Actors Network
Playbites - Lunchtime play and a sandwich Oxford Playhouse

Cowley Road Carnival aftershow party (poet)
Roleplays for medical students
Roleplays for student doctors
Corporate for Somerfield
Roleplay for Leicestershire police

And for 2009? Watch these spaces
Full tour for Last Belch
Neilson play (maybe two!)

And the rest….

Wine, women and song

Life eh! It’s strange sometimes. Great for 15 months then a bad day just takes you down. I’m just glad the bad day was Tuesday and not today. Think I hit the wall after a week’s filming in my hometown. And i didn’t get any sleep after a late night poker thing after an early night poetry session which failed to live up to my high expectations. Still, it reminded me of my fluidity and that I’m ready for the next - whatever that is and however it comes.

I’m on the boat now, watching my breath crystalise in front of me. Went for drinks before the OUP show, after drinks at the jam with Igor, but I saw the show last night - hey, it’s a good ‘un. With a very interesting chorus line.

I’ve got the boys this weeekend - can’t wait. We’re going to the panto press night, Madagascar 2, The Mission for Mexican food, some christmas shopping and who know what else might occur.

like I said, I’m ready for the next. Right now, that could be Samoa (come on Ros), or it could be Skegness (if I abscond wth the money for Newsquests Christmas night out). Hey, I might get bored tomorrow, who can tell.

At least I got a new lightbulb and some lamp oil for the hurricane lights.

Watch me go!