So, back in May - all the way back in Diabetes Blog Week I teased about a project that I had in the pipeline. No, really I did. And since then, I've been working away behind closed doors, and letting my ideas bubble away.
Now I'm ready to share them, and I hope, DOC, that you'll be pleased with what I'm planning.
Over the past four years that I've been part of the DOC, I've seen an amazing array of advocacy, from the ridiculous to the sublime, which have all been beautiful and marvellous in their own special ways. What has made them all so individually wonderful and perfect in my eyes is that all the people involved used what they were great at to make them brilliant. Which has had me thinking. What do I think I am good at? What are my skills?
Most of you probably know that I write for the stage. I've been doing it seriously since 2005, and I've been fortunate enough to see several of my scripts brought to life. But before I ever thought about writing, it was performing that I loved. I still love it - I used to perform professionally, so I certainly hope I still love it! I found myself thinking about the skills I have, and how I could use them in advocacy.
I've been planning to launch myself into creating and producing my own theatre for a good few years, and decided that this project I'd been working on would be the one that I would use to launch myself with.
I wrote a show, telling a story. My story. Using this blog as a starting point, I have written a one woman show of my experiences from diagnosis onwards, and I'm going to be performing it. In less than thirty days time. Yikes.
I plan for it to be warm, funny, engaging, and very, very honest. There's a lot of content that I've never spoken about here, and working on it so far has been an unusual and surprising experience. I also really want it be a success. And there are a couple of ways in which I could use your help, DOC.
Firstly, I need to start reaching people to tell them about this project. Wherever you are in the world, as the people who are passionate about the heart of this, you're invaluable. If you would take the time to check out the website of White Tree Theatre, my new professional operating name (the site is still a work in process!), follow on Twitter and like on Facebook, I would really appreciate it. If you have a friend that you think would be interested and you tell them, that would be even more amazing. I'm going to be blogging about the development over the following month with a more theatrical slant over there as well, so if that's of interest to you, it might be worth a few minutes of your time.
Secondly, and very bluntly, if you're reading this and you're in the UK, take a moment to consider buying tickets to see it performed. I'll be performing at Friargate Theatre, in York, (where I happen to work) on 22nd and 23rd November at 19:30. Tickets are only £5.00, and you can either buy them online here, or you can call 01904 613000 during office hours. Since I run the Box Office, you might even get to speak to me! I'm keeping ticket prices low, as I'm planning to run a collection on the two evenings to split between several D-Charities. I'm not aiming to make a profit from this, but I still want to reach as many people as possible.
As I'm performing this in November, as my contribution to Diabetes Awareness Month, I want to be able to offer as much information as possible, even if it's not discussed outright within the performance. I'm going to have an information stand at the theatre, and I'm going to be running a Q&A after both performances. Is there something in particular you think that I should have there to offer, or someone I should be in touch with? While I might have already thought of it, there's no guarantee that I will do, so do please drop me an email and let me know if there's something you think I could miss that I shouldn't.
Lastly, and I really hope this is something that the DOC will want to be involved with. I am very adamant that this show ends with hope. I don't want it to be depressing or pitiful in any way. I want to end with hope, and with that in mind, I am putting together a video, which I am inviting you to be a part of. If you would like to be part of the video, all you need to do is take a picture of yourself holding a sign with your name on it, and the words 'I live in hope'. Then email it to me. Simple as that.
Well, there you go, world. I've let this loose now - we'll see what happens next.