more foreskin news

Thursday 29 Jul 10

I am delighted to say my friend David Mixner has blogged about circumcision and my involvement with Intact America on his site DavidMixner.com, and it has been causing quite a furor in the comments section. Discussion is the beginning of change, after all.

David is a really amazing man who has been a civil rights activist since practically stone age times.  No, really, he is a total inspiration and has been at it since Martin Luther King's time and was instrumental in the anti-Vietnam war movement and has been rabble-rousing ever since. Go to his blog and see for yourselves.

Talking of circumcision, I am playing Fire Island this weekend and the show is entitled Alan Cumming: Uncut. Yes, lttle do the burghers of the ile de feu know that they will be getting foreskin with their show tunes!  More tomorrow


boys and a dog in the pool

Wednesday 28 Jul 10

I am in my house upstate, having a couple of days of r and r, except I am so busy.  I have been reorganising shelves and cleaning things and airing my VW-mouse-infested-though-not-as-much-as-last-year thank-goodness-van, and erecting a whirly clothes  line pole

 Oh it's all go up here you know.  And I also edited this little film made from clips with my underwater flip camera in the pool over the last wee while.  I like it.

I didn't even swim today. But tomorrow I wake up, swim and shower outside, and then face the day.


oooofffff

Tuesday 27 Jul 10

Tonight I was leaving a party at my friends' house and I knocked a sweet smelling candle off the shelf with my bike helmet and it smashed and splattered across the wall and over the floor of the lobby and the loo. When this kind of thing happens there is no amount of apologising from you or remonstrating insouciance from the hosts that can mask the inevitable: I fucked up, and mucked up their pad, with hot sticky stuff that will be very difficult to get off.

What lesson can we learn from this? Be more careful when leaving friends' homes after a couple of glasses of wine with a bike helmet dangling from your bag whilst spinning round to kiss goodnight to other guests? Check. Don't leave seeet smelling burning candles on shelves by the door that might catch the attention of bike helmets of guests who are leaving and have had a couple of glasses of wine? Check also.  Let it go and cancel continue?  Double check.

Here is a picture of me in less clumsy times...

 


Foreskin man!

Monday 26 Jul 10

I was saddened to hear that President Clinton and Bill Gates made statements last week at the AIDS conference in Vienna strongly advocating circumcision as a preventitive measure in the fight against HIV/AIDS, citing 'overwhelming evidence' that it works and saves lives. 

Of course, the word 'might' being used in the same sentence as an exhortation to genitally mutilate on a mass scale should perhaps ring alarm bells.  It certainly does mine, and reports such as this one make me wary.  I have been looking at a lot of material online about this issue, here for instance and have been gratified to see that the issue has made it into the comic books, and as well as being entertaining, Foreskin Man highlights the politics and lack of objectivity in the reports and studies that advocate hacking off genitals above education on safe sex and more money for research and drugs.

On a happier note my friend Sue's company Streetwse Opera has made it through to the televised finals of the National Lottery Awards.  Streetwise takes music to homeless people and thereby inspires them and gives them confidence to move on in life, and I really advocate you all voting for them to help their work, and the lives of many who so need a leg up, in the future.

Finally, here's a little video of me swimming in Kuala Lumpur a few years back.


Yesterday..

Sunday 25 Jul 10

I had a fun-packed day yesterday.  Last night I attended the Watermill Gala in the Hamptons. I was an honourary co-chair and I have been several times to the event. It is a fundraiser for the Watermill Center which brings together young artists of various disciplines and from all over the globe and gives them the chance to make new work in an amazingly inspiring environment.  It is the brainchild of the wonderful director Robert Wilson (here I am with him at the Watermill several years ago), and last night the participants provided entertainment with installations in the forest, and with art pieces everywhere.

It was a fun night and I got to see some old friends, including the gorgeous Marissa Berenson (here we are in my dressing room after a performance of Design for Living on Broadway in 2001), and Rufus Wainwright (who auctioned off himself in concert and was bought by Alec Baldwin!)

 

 Earlier in the day I went to see my friend Anson Mount in his play The Fifth of July at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbour.  It was really amazing  and Anson was fantastic. It's by Lanford Wilson and is a funny, moving and sprawling tale of family and friends post Vietnam.  If you get a chance to see it, go go go.  I met Anson when he was a waiter at the Kit Kat Club when I was doing Cabaret.  He was still a student at Columbia then, and we became friends and worked together a couple of times, in Elle by Jean Genet on stage and in a couple of short films he directed.  So all in all it was a great day of theatre and art and friends old and new, and it culminated in a pool parrty and hanstands with lots of fun people  till 3am.


Into the night

Saturday 24 Jul 10

Last year I did a show for German/French Tv called Into the Night. I wandered around Edinburgh chatting with the lovely novelist Ian Rankin, and film crews followed us.  Here it is. We'd never met before and it is really interesting to get to know someone in this way, let me tell you.

 


It's the one that's best of all...

Friday 23 Jul 10

Have you seen the new Google images?  It's so great.  I found out about it hyesterdahy and geeked out for ages looking at old pictures and totally missed my spinning class.  Yes, I know, excuses, excuses.

Anyway, I found a few gems including this, on some atheist website...

I am moved.  I also found this one of me doing a photo shoot in Edinburgh last summer.  Do you see now why we get the big bucks?  Danger money, people!  Peril!

I am thinking a lot about Edinburgh as I have been doing some press for my shows there in August during the festival.  It has been a  long time since I have performed there.  In 2007 I was in the International Festival with The Bacchae, but it has been since 1991 that I have performed on the Fringe (in Victor and Barry's swansong).  I am looking forward to it.

Today I was working on The Good Wife again and had a hilarious scene with Mary Beth Peil who plays Jackie.  I love the relationship she and Eli have.  It's pure war, but all done so politely.  And today it involved laundry.

It's hot and sticky here in New York City. Honey has an upset tummy, as she often does on very hot days, poor thing. There have been a few emergency runs to her favourite tree down the street.  And on that note, bon weekend tout le monde!

I just re-read this and realised that the other day I basically made a commercial for the Ipad and today I am schilling Google.  I must try and do this for more personal financial gain instead of casting my endorsement seed so liberally on this blog, don't you think?

 


Spin, baby, spin!

Thursday 22 Jul 10

I started back on The Good Wife yesterday.  It was lovely to see everyone and catch up. It was a bit like going back to school after the summer holidays, except of course the summer is well and truly still with us.  I write this in my underpants. 

I had a sentence to say that was so convoluted, long and tongue twisty, but I managed it.  And today I have a day off. I like this acting in a TV  show lark.

Did I mention I took my first spin class the other day and thought I was going to die?  I have never sweated so much, and despite the fact that it is not a difficult concept intellectually, I couldn't get the hang of which way you are supposed to turn the little knob and so as a consequence I think I may have exhausted myself too early, and sat down a few times even when the teacher was screaming for us to stand up.  Talking of which, why doesn't she use a microphone? There is very loud music playing and she will have very damaged vocal folds if she doesn't watch out.  And also, hello, I can't hear you, even though you're shouting!  There is another one tonight and my friend Darren told me the teacher is the bomb so I think I might go.  Imagine if I became a spin addict!

Herer are two videos I found. The first is me on Jimmy Fallon's show launching itsasickness.com, and the next one is a weird painting with light video commercial thing I did ages ago for Turner Classic Movies, talking about one of my favourite films, North by Northwest. Enjoy!


an ipad commercial

Wednesday 21 Jul 10

I love my Ipad. I really do. I love how I have become slightly less available to people. I look at others frantically reaching into their pockets every time a buzzing heralds a new email and I smile.  I like having less buzzing in my life.

 And you can do fun things like this...This was in my dressing room just after my show at Broad Stages in Santa Monica the other week.


scooting aboot

Tuesday 20 Jul 10

Today I did a lot of scooting.  I don't know if I mentioned my scooter before. It's actually called an Xooter, and it has a brake on it and everything. I should point out that it's not an electric scooter or a Vespa or anything, it's more like a skateboard with a handlebar and, as I mentioned, a brake.

My scooter is really a concession to my realisation that my skateboarding days are over.  I had always wanted to be a skateboarder.  When I was a little boy growing up in the countryside of Scotland I would be so jealous of my friends who lived in the local metropolis of Carnoustie who had smooth pavements outside their homes, and streets and streetlights and all the normal accoutrements of succesful boarding. I had none.  I lived in the middle of a forest, the roads were uneven and gravelly and the only light by night was the Moon.  It was an impossible situation to reconcile.  I put my skateboard plans on the back burner.

Cut to about thirty years later.  I am a grown up. I live in New York City near a park where there are millions of skaters every day rushing around, doing tricks and generally looking cool. I get a board.  I get, for my birthday, one of the hot, skinny skater boys to give me lessons. I am quite good.  I go to Vancouver to shoot Tin Man and on the huge green screen stages where we shoot so much of it, I skate back and forth to my trailer, scaring the producers out of their wits no doubt but making the crew think I am totally cool, I just know it.

I return to NYC unscathed and a bit better in my boarding technique.  I sometimes go to appointments on my board.  Yes, I skate on the streets of New York, baby!  Soon I start a job in a Chekhov play The Seagull, at a theatre downtown quite near my apartment and so when performances begin I skate to work!!  I wonder how many Chekhovian actors do that, huh?! Not too many I'll wager.

The thing about skating to work of course is that you have to skate home. I guess you could just pick the board up and carry it, of course, but generally after a show you tend to go out and have a few drinks with the cast and friends who have come to see it and so you tend to throw caution to the wind a bit and decide to skate home, maybe even show off a little to your friends and skate alongside them as they walk to the subway or a taxi or a restaurant.  Can you see where this is going?

One night I was with a crowd of friends and we were enroute from the theatre to a restaurant.  My friend Paul was visiting from Vancouver and we were walking together, me on my skateboard and he alongside me suporting my arm on his shoulder.  We were having fun.  The sidewalk was a bit bumpy but I was a pretty good boarder for a 43 year old man and I could cope.  What I hadn't bargained for was the combo of the bumpiness and my amusement at Paul's hilarious stories.  I guffawed a little too heftily and before I knew it the board had slipped from under me and I was on the deck, and several inches of the skin on my side remained there, ingrained on the scraggy concrete.  I laughed it off, of course, my pride being the most hurt and all that.  The next day though I begged to differ.  I had a weeping raw scrape about six inches long, and suddenly my desire to skate to work was gone.

How many Chekhovian actors have to peel their linen costume trousers off their gooey, scabby hip between acts I wonder?  Not many, I'll wager.

Anyway, now I have a scooter.  And a helmet. And I zip around town and it's great fun, great exercise (fabulous for the abs apparently with all that pushing off) and all is well in the world.

I do feel a little bit of a dork when I dare to cross the skateboard park, but the cool kids don't seem to snigger. Too much

But here are pictures of me looking cool in a Gap ad and with my body painted as a Scottish flag, so screw you hipster skater boiz.


My ideal dinner party

Monday 19 Jul 10

Brian, my trusty assistant, found that list of people I would choose to have dinner with!! It was for a Scottish charity called Victim Support Scotland.

So here then, is the line-up for my dead and alive people dinner party...

Bonnie Prince Charlie
I sort of sense he would be a bit prissy and it would probably be very entertaining listening to him tell tales of marching around the highlands in drag, covered in mud, desperate to get home to France for a croissant and a cafe au lait.

Gore Vidal
Because everything I have ever heard come out of his mouth has been either hilarious, contentious, outrageous,scandalous or a combination of all four, so the perfect dinner guest to stir things up.

Lord Lucan
Just because it would be really great to get the real story

and my Granny, because she was always the best fun and said the most surprising and nutty things and I would love to see her again.


A weekend of ask alan

Sunday 18 Jul 10

Lucas from LA has something to confess:  i must confess that im looking forward to see Burlesque in theaters.I realy like your acting skills and you do a fabulous performance in every movie i believe you did it with burlesque again :) , I was wondering about the soundtracks because i heard that there will be only twelve songs is it impossible? And do you have any favourite songs from christina from the movie?? Well Lucas, I too am looking forward to Burlesque. I saw a few of the big numbers being shot and they sounded and looked really amazing. I don't know about the soundtrack in terms of numbers of songs, and I am sure that since the film is still being edited there will not be a final list available yet. But I do remember a crazy good power ballad that Christina sings in the middle of the film that will rock your socks off. Now say five Hail Marys and be  good boy.

Linda asks:  Ever have your portrait painted?  Ever wanted to? I have had my portrait painted a few times and I really like it.  I especially like when you don't have to be totally still and can chat, then it is sort of a like a fun therapy session and the artist is your shrink!  Most recently my friend David Remfry has done a few of me, one of which was hung in the Royal Academy's summer exhibition a couple of years ago.  He has also done Honey and Leon several times too. And then my friend Grant Collier did one a while back (infact these pictures are from a shoot that he took to use as source materil for the portrait in 2000. ps smoking is bad, okay?), and a long time ago in the early nineties my friend Gerard Morris from Glasgow first did a portrait of me. Come to think of I have been painted or drawn by quite a lot of people, and also my husband Grant is an illustrator so there are always pictures of me appearing in my bags or stuck to the bathroom mirror. 

Molly asks: After a friend and I spent a while trying (and failing) to imitate your lovely Scottish accent, I was wondering- do you ever have trouble mastering accents or dialects for certain roles? If so, which ones, and what helped you overcome it?  I certainly do have trouble sometimes! But I just practice, listen to tapes and sometimes I work with a dialect coach if the accent is really unfamiliar to me. At drama school we studied phonetics a bit and so I still have that tucked away in my brain somewhere and it comes in handy sometimes. I think also that because I am Scottish and was told from my first day at drama school that it was imperative for me to be able to lose my accent and do a standard English one if I ever wanted to work, I have a more inquisitive and attuned ear!  How ironic that I make my living mostly by playing Americans these days.

From Marilyn: PLEASE...more photos of you doing yoga poses in your underwear.  It fuels my fantasies and gives me very pleasant dreams. I think you are the most talented, gorgeous man I have ever seen and I loved you in The Anniversary Party. Marilyn, I am blushing.  And you need to get our more! But I will see what I can do about the yoga and the underwear combo. It mohgt have to be swimming trunks and underwater yoga.

Jane asks: which five people (alive or otherwise!) would you invite to dinner, and why?  I answered this very question for a press thing a while back and have been trying to find it online today with little success. I can't actually remember who I said so I am rather curious to find out.  I think it was for Visit Scotland or the National Library of Scotland, but I could be wrong.  I will have another dig and get back to you.

From Mimi: Not a question but an apology for interrupting your show at Feinsteins Sat. before last. Seems the Gray Goose got the best of me, You were fantastic and made our trip to New York a memorable one. Thanks so much! Thank you Mimi. You were actualy really good value and gave me a lot of material.  No worries.

Cara asks: hey Alan, what do you do to relax? I come to my house in the country, where I am right now.  I am looking at rolling hills, I slip into the pool and have a sedate swim occasionally, I watch my dog rush down into the meadow and chase away deer.  Later I am going to cook our dinner over the fire pit. That sort of thing.

Alan, am i hallucinating, or do you only have one dimple...on your face that is. I think I have two but sometimes the less big one doesn;t show. Maybe I don't smile hard enough or maybe I am not fat enough.  I think it appears less and less these days.  But the first one is an ample sufficiency I think, don't you? Oh look, I think there are two in this picture with Marc from the Castro last weekend!

Gerald writes: I am so amazed and thrilled at your participation with Intact America and NORM UK.  If only more celebs could follow.  Have you visited the website  circumstitions.com?  I get so sad/mad when I hear of this being done to babies or teens - a bit like the twilight zone.  Thanks again, best wishes, and cheers. Gerald, thanks for writing. I didn't know about circumstitions.com, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention. There are some scary statistics on it.  It's great to find more and more places around the world where people are questioning why we do this to our children, and also especially in Africa where the whole idea that circumcision is neccesary to combat HIV is being undermined and re-examined.

I read you do not add people on facebook and I understand why. But if you ever start to, lol... It's not actually me on facebook, I am afraid.  Just someone still pretending to be me so I am sorry if I haven't friended you or whatever it is.

Louis writes: I had the privilege of seeing your delightful show last night in San Francisco, Mr. Cumming. It struck me early on that what made it so charming -- in addition to the excellent material and the expertise and sophistication of you and your colleagues -- was the boyish enthusiasm you displayed. I have some questions, all of which (happen to?) come around to authenticity, which seems so central to the success of the act.  This may be the least interesting: How much of the anecdotal material is literally true? How much license do you take? Set aside obvious facetiousness. I, for one, wouldn't expect the dialogue you quote to be verbatim. But I ask because in recounting one of your wonderful stories (sorry: which one slips my mind at the moment), something struck me as implausible.  It's all true, Louis.  Some of them are indeed implausible but that's why I tell them!  Everything I talk about on stage actually happened Maybe the hardest (and stupidest) question is: Since you're an actor, and a good one at that, is there any particular reason for an audience member to believe that your authenticity is genuine? I'm quite happy to believe that it is, mind you. Why thank you. Since I begin the evening by pointing out that it took me a while to summon up the courage to do the show precisely because there is no characater to hide behind, and that I am being myself, open and truthful, I would hope that the audience would believe me. I think people can discern between a perfomance and a person. Obviously I tell some of these stories again and again, and that is where my skill as a performer comes in to make them seem fresh each night, but then everyone tells their funny stories repeatedly and you don't question their authenticity, do you?  Maybe you do.  And here's the one I'm most interested in: Why do you choose to retain your brogue in so many of the songs, and specifically in the one from Cabaret? I ask because it distracted me in that one, with the German words and all. I'm secure in presuming this is a choice, since the U.K. rockers always struck me as pretty good at imitating old black guys from Mississippi, and I don't suppose they've done the dialect work you have. Again, I am singing the songs as me, not as a character, and as I point out when I sing the Hedwig medley I have never had a sex change operation but I can still feel Hedwig's pain!  The whole evening for me is about stripping away the normal layers of character, accent and other attributes of my work as an actor and connecting with the audience as Alan Cumming the person.

I saw you 7/10 at the Castro Theater. It was a wonderful cabaret experience. My question is when did you know you wanted to sing as a child, and do you think anyone can learn to sing (well)? I asked Sam Harris this question, and his answer was that his father was a high school music teacher and he always had music in his home as a child. Is this true for you also?  I suppose I always wanted to sing.  I always did as a child, just as I do now. I sing as I walk along the street, everywhere.  But the kind of singing I do in my show is more about a desire to connect through a song and intrepet songs by being myself.  I think the singing I wanted to do as a child was more about showing off. There was nobody in my family who was a musician so I didn't have a role model in the way Sam did.  I think of singing and acting as kind of the same thing and I have come to be as confident at singing as I am with acting rather late in life! Isn't ths a spooky picture btw?  It looks like Lance is a ghost!

Does it ever bother you to know that you have younger women (20's) that are huge fangirls? Why ever would that bother me?! Bring it on!

I just wanted to let you know that I will never eat another rubbery shrimp again without thinking of YOU!  Thank you for a Great Evening.   love Ili B.  I am sure there is some relevance to this from one of my stories but right now it escapes me.  Or maybe there isn't. Either way, thanks. Love from shrimpy.

Have you ever done any movies where you kiss a guy? Not like the little pecks in Cabaret, I mean really kiss; like smooch.  I want to say duh, but I don't mean to be rude! I just did in The Runaway, I did in Ghost Writer, The L Word, oh lots of times. Other times onstage I have done too. I made out with Dominic West in Design For Living, and lots of boys in The Threepenny Opera.  I'm an old pro at kissing boys.


What happened on Friday

Friday 16 Jul 10

It was Friday, I went to the gym at about 6pm, something I had not done for a long time.  I haven't been to the gym for ages because I've been away but I also always try and go at times when it isn't so full, so on Friday I was reminded how self-conscious I am when I do.

There are lots of mirrors in gyms, and something perhaps about the fact that everyone is not interacting as they would normally in a room with people at such close quarters, semi-clad and sweating, makes for a weird combination of, in my experience, uninhibited looking and equally as uninhibited and brazen reporting of what they see to others not there.

Do you get what I mean?  Maybe it's just me and past experience.  Maybe the fact that someone wrote to Gawker.com and told them I was next to them in a boxing class makes me a little leery when I see a boy at the free weights section clock me and do a cartoonish double take in the mirror then immediatley grab his Blackberry and start tapping away. Who is he suddenly writing to I wonder? Is he tweeting that I am sweating away next to him?  Is he texting his friends? Maybe he just suddenly remembered he had to write an email but, as I am sure you get by now, that's hard for me to believe.

I have been in a bar talking to someone, a friend of a friend, and later realised that they has excused themselves, gone to the loo and tweeted about the fact that they were talking to me and that I had bought them a drink!  Last year I in was in a fender bender in L.A. and people very close to me heard about it because someone outside the bar where it happened tweeted about it before I had a chance to tell them. And then of course there's the cameraphones and the videophones and, oh hooray, the new camera that can stream instantly to youtube.

I suppose what I am getting at is this: when people ask me about my life and being recognised and people sometimes freaking out and screaming on the street, I tell them that I understand and accept it for what it is (I certainly prefer that to feigned insousciance and immediate grabbing of an electronic device!) and I just live my life with a huge level of self-consciousness.  And on Friday, I guess I just forgot. I was back home and getting back into a routine and I didn't have all my force fields fully fired.  That's all.


Foreskin, wall st, etc

Thursday 15 Jul 10

First of all I am so glad today that the monumental Wall St Reform Bill was passed. Okay, it has been watered down, Ok it is not as fierce as it coud be if the Democrats had a huge majority. But you know what? Shut up already. It's a start, and thank the Gods that in this lackadeisical, apathetic country there are still people in government who are trying hard to change things, and change really big things and not be pulled down by the malaise of stasis and cynicism, and look, guess what? They are actually doing it! Big things are happening! Big changes are a coming. We have been living in such a corrupt democracy and finally the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction. Don't get all bitchy now!  Give them a break! Obama is on our side, doing huge things with the majority he has.  This is an exciting time to be living in America when the structures of capitalism and class and race are being re-evaluated.

Also this is what the bible has to say about circumcision.  I actually don't give a rat's arse what the bible has to say because I believe it is akin to a book of fairy tales that has been taken and opened to huge and dangerous misinterpreation, but I just think this is an interesting cross-section of opinion and might open up some discussion. Thanks to Brian for doing all this research

Deuteronomy 30:6 (King James Version)

6And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

Luke 2:15-21

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. 21On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

Acts 15:1-12 

1Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved." 2This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the brothers very glad. 4When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them. 5Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."6The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."12The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.

 

Acts 21:21 

21They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs.

 

Romans 2:29; Romans 4:11-14; Romans 13:10

 

29No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.13It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless,10Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

 

1 Corinthians 7:18-20

18Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts. 20Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.

 

Galatians 5:1-6

 

 1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.2Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. 12Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh. 14May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which[a] the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

 

 

Ephesians 2:11 

11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)

Philippians 3:1-3 

 1Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—

 

Colossians 2:11, 13

 

11In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature,[a] not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ,13Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

 

Titus 1:10-11 

10For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. 11They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain.

 

Deuteronomy 30:6 (King James Version)

6And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

Luke 2:15-21

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. 21On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

Acts 15:1-12 

1Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved." 2This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. 3The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the brothers very glad. 4When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them. 5Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."6The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."12The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.

 

Acts 21:21 

21They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs.

 

Romans 2:29; Romans 4:11-14; Romans 13:10

 

29No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.13It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless,10Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

 

1 Corinthians 7:18-20

18Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts. 20Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.

 

Galatians 5:1-6

 

 1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.2Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. 12Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh. 14May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which[a] the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.

 

 

Ephesians 2:11 

11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)

Philippians 3:1-3 

 1Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—

 

Colossians 2:11, 13

 

11In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature,[a] not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ,13Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

 

Titus 1:10-11 

10For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. 11They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain.

 


Shame! Not Well!

Wednesday 14 Jul 10

I am not feeling very well. My assistant Brian told me that tomorrow is the first day in the near year and a half that he has beenw roking for me that I have no appointments.  But I do now: staying in bed, eating soup and being not well. Then gettig up in the evening and going to hot yoga and sweating a lot.

In the meantime, here is a video that shocked me. Shame on you Jay Z, Rhianna and Kanye West. Why is it that people seem to be selective in their understanding that words matter, and using that using the word 'homo' in a negative way has resonance way beyond some generic rap song. 

And then something about rap that is funny, for a change.


boo hoo

Tuesday 13 Jul 10

I am so sad right now. I just heard one of the Mel Gibson phone messages.  I don't know what is more upsetting -  that he and his girlfriend's relationship had dissolved into such a horrible, violent, painful mess, or that it is available for the world to hear. Of course, the former is far worse, and his anger and violence is obviously out of control, but in some way the way we have access to every detail of celebrity life and love and death and hate is a really awful inditement of our priorities as a culture.

Yuck.

And also, as someone who has heard quite a few angry rants in his time, it is a little too Pavlovian in its reach right now.

Ah well. Guess what I did today folks? I  did some more voice work for next year's Smurfs movie!! Yay! Great showbiz segue, Alan.  Gutsy Smurf is a feiity little thing and it was rather exhausting I have to say.  And actualy quite touching too. And funny, as I was emailing Neil Patrick Harris throughout and we were having a laugh about the fact that we were doing our first ever scenes together on film  - me in a voice studio in NYC today, and him on the screen in front of me, shot several months ago.  Funny old world.

I also did a reading of a movie I am involved with  called Dwelling.  Despite the fact that it is notoriously difficult to read a screenplay aloud (they are meant to be read, not heard, after all), it went rather well, some problems were spotted and noted, and I think everyone had a good time and was stimulated by the story and excited to see it executed. So fingers crossed that it happens ere too long.

Honey and Leon and I have been on our stoop just now grooming each other.  This involves me brushing them both, as they are shedding furiously - obviously their bodies' reaction to the crazy heat here in NYC -  and Leon licking me at every available second.

Now we're off to try and sleep above the noise of the fans in the bedroom. I hate AC, you see. I don't mean myself, natch. I love myself. You know what I mean. It makes me feel funny and I think it is really toxic.  So we do fans and open windows.  Sometimes we cave and put the dogs to sleep in the guest room with the aircon on. And my office is chilled too.  Even though it's a bit sweaty sometimes, I still prefer it to that icy weird existence. There you go.


Flying tonight!

Monday 12 Jul 10

I don't think I will ever get over how exciting it is to be able to write a blog post from the skies.  I am on another plane, yes, yet another one, but this one is taking me home and I am not leaving the ground for at least a month until I go to Edinburgh to do my shows at the Fringe Festival there.

This year I was determined to travel less after I counted up the number of long haul flights I'd done in 2009 and realised my carbon footprint was at a murderous level.  But it hasn't quite gone according to plan.  However, this week I start work on the second season of The Good Wife and one of the many good things about that is that it will be better for the environment as it will keep me at home in New York.

A tray has just arrived on my table with some delicious looking gazpacho and a little  bowl of fruit.  I am seriously considering eating the fruit because there is no melon in it.  I have written on this blog about the fact that I am not a big fruit man and have received quite a ot of incredulous emails about it as well as some tips on how to get round my aversion.  Let me just say right now that I'm fine and no amount of persuasion will make me buy that drink product that the lady from Desperate Housewives with the smoothest forehead is plugging on TV these days. Uh uh.

While we're on the subject I will not be answering emails asking for storylines in the next season of the aforementioned The Good Wife, nor will I be giving out salacious details of my sex life, past, present or future.  I may talk about sex, of course, if I think it is relevant, and I will certainly talk about sexuality, but anyone who thinks that askalan is a portal to my underpants is going to be sorely dissapointed and should cease and desist straight away. (But those of you who leave comments and questions that do not ask the impossible or the unprintable, please do not be deterred. I love hearing from you.)

I had a great time in San Francisco and want tot thank the amazing, huge crowd who came along to the Castro and made it such a hilarious, joyous night; and all the people who stayed behind and waited to have their CDs signed.  I was so happy and proud after the show, and also it was great be able to say hello, albeit briefly, to so many old friends.

Fruit update: I have had a blackberry and it was quite nice. Here's Faye Dunaway eating an egg...


This is what I was doing last night

Sunday 11 Jul 10

 

 


Bloody hell

Saturday 10 Jul 10

Thank you so much to everyone who came along last night to the show at Broad Stages in Santa Monica.  It was a really great show for us and I hope for you. The theatre is beautiful and it was so amazing to sing in such a great space.  Lance, Yair and I all had a blast.  Then we went back to our friend Ricki's who threw us a party, and we all had a singalong. Sadly Lance left the music for the show on Ricki's piano, so right now our friend Josh is zooming his way to LAX with it, and Bil the lovely concierge from Virgin America is rushing it up to us in the lounge. Don't you just love it when bad things happen but they they are resolved so effortlessly. I think it's karma. I also love having a Bloody Mary before noon.

Update: Bill has just arrived with the music and we are a go situation, people.

My friend Eddie sent me this picture from Fire Island.  I don't think I have ever been wrapped round a telegraph pole there before. Oh, wait...

 


San Fran here I come

Friday 9 Jul 10

My friend Mark sent me this last week. I never thought I would see my name on the same marquee as Humphrey Bogart's!!!


Who emmy I anyway? Emmy I my resume?

Thursday 8 Jul 10

Today I woke up in a jet-lagged haze having no idea where I was, wondering why everything around me was flashing and buzzing.

Yesterday I flew to LA as I have a show here at Broad Stages in Santa Monica on Friday and then at the Castro in San Francisco on Saturday.  The night before was one of the hottest I have ever experienced in New York City and with two panting dogs and a sweaty man in bed with me on top of the lag I hardly slept a wink.

So last night I decided to get my body clock back into sync and took a sleeping pill.  I am a pussy when it comes to sleeping pills.  Once I take one I have about 20 minutes before I am completely comatose and then I will not wake up for eight hours. It's great, and it does exactly what I needed last night.

However this was not what was needed today apparently, as the Emmy nominations were announced here at 5.30 am (I mean, why so early, really?) and I was nominated for my performance in The Good Wife.  I got up for a pee at around 9 am and by then my inboxes were stuffed with congratulatory emails and calls but also missives saying things like 'Access Hollywood wants to talk to you at 11am'.

I made an executive decision that I would not be in a good place to talk to Access Hollywood whilst semi-drugged so made a couple of neccesary emails and went back to sleep, happy and woozy and emmy.

Now I am up and it's a blitzkrieg.  I think probably because I have been out of the country so much this summer I have not been cogniscent of the Emmy build-up so it now seems rather overwhelming to me, but also so heart-warming to get so many good wishes from friends and work coleagues.  It reminds me of getting married, or dying.  Obviously it's much nicer than the latter.

I remember my first taste of the American award frenzy when I did Cabaret on Broadway in 1998. I joked that I was going to change my name to Tony Nominee as I was referred to so much in that way, and so today of course, I sign off this post as Emmy Nominee.  Doesn't she sound like a diction exercise?


Amphibious fun

Wednesday 7 Jul 10

I went swimming and I ate my flip video.


Too darn hot

Tuesday 6 Jul 10

 

Today I started recording a talking book of Scott Westerfield's Behemoth, the follow up novel to Leviathan. which I also read last year. What a ripping yarn it is. And how nice to be in an air conditioned studio on one of the hottest days I can remember in NYC. Even tonight when I came out of a restaurant after dinner it was crazy hot.

I write this in my underpants, too hot even to do a handstand (though I did one today in the middle of the recording, fully clothed, to help jog my jetlagged body into action after lunch).

Here, I am proud to say is a sizzle reel of my friend Eddie's Chic report, and guess who gets the final word?  Oh yes.

Of to sweat now. I am so glad I don't have fur.

 


A weekend's worth of independent days' Ask Alan

Monday 5 Jul 10

From Claire re my post a few weeks ago about the extras on The Runaway: I used to madly love Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire. Your post about extras somehow reminded me of the scene in which Peter Falk -as himself (almost)- watches the extras and says "these people are extras - they are extra people" and begins to sketch them.  How funny you should mention Wings of Desire. I love that film and was thiking of watching it again soon. Bruno Ganz, the angel in the film was in my first feature film, Prague.

From Stephane: Do you speak french ? Mais bein sur!  Je suis Ecossais et j'ai appri le francais a l'ecole.  Aussi, j'ai tourne des films avec des franciais et une copine de moi etait une mannequin a Paris donc j'ai parle beacoup avec elle.

Stacey writes: It seems to have been ages since you finished filming The Tempest - is there a UK release date yet and/or will it be making an appearance at the London Film Festival in the autumn? I don't know about the London film festival but I have heard that it is set to be released, in the US at least, in early December.

Kathy asks: what is it like being so well known? do you even have a private life? It's weird, obviously.  I never thought I would be in a restaurant in Singapore for example, and be asked to have a photo taken with people who know my work.  You just have to live with an extraordinary level of self-consciousness. But I do have a private life I think. I have great friends and I have been at this for long enough so that I have formed a way to have my own life that is not only about Alan Cumming.

Cat says: Here is my really dumb question because I can't remember even though I know you said it in your blog: What is the name of the movie in which you play Desrae? When will it be on DVD in America?  Wow, that is so dumb. Only kidding. It is a mini-series for Sky Tv and is called The Runaway and will be broadcast in the UK early next year.  As for elsewhere and a DVD release date, I know not young Cat.

Michelle from Chicago asks: I was wondering whether having been involved in acting and filmmaking has affected your ability to sit back and be entertained, yourself.  I'm not sure "suspension of disbelief" is the right term here, but it's a similar concept.  Do you find yourself taking note of how something's been done, and perhaps how you might have done it differently?  Do you see others' performances and feel the itch to be involved in them yourself?  Or are you able to turn off that portion of your mind and just enjoy? That's an interesting question.  I tend to find that I am able to totally let go and enjoy the experience of something unless a) I am with a crowd of industry types who tend to prattle on about whatever it is in a worky way and not an emotional way and b) if I know people in the film.  When these things happen it doesn't mean that I can't enjoy, but I sort of have to make a mental adjustment to suspend my disbelief.  I never think of how I would have done things differently, or that I want to be involved, but I sometimes notice things like locations I have been in, or continuity issues or little tricks of the trade.  But I get over it!!  There are more difficult things in life to deal with!

Jane asks: You have Honey and Leon now, but what other pets have you had, and what were their names?  When I was a little boy I had tow West Highland terriers called Shona and Kerry. I also had a pet lamb called Jimmy, and have had goldfish and a dove whose names I can't remember.

Alex from Coatbridge: I'm looking for tips for creating the character Emcee from Cabaret, I am currently devising a one man cabaret piece and wondered what you done to create the character when you done it with the revival broadway cast? I just thought of who this person really was and what his life must have been like and, in conjunction with the mood and aesthetic of the show, I tried to make him of that time.  Basically I thought of him as a glorified rent boy who had worked his way up, and the Kit Kat club was basically a bit of a sex club with some songs.
Good luck with your show!

i feel so horrible now! i've missed about a months worth of blogging and im literally on my knees begging you to give me a recap because i dont have internet up right now. please cpould you recap for me!?????? oh.... and please dont smite me that mite hurt just a tad.  Don't fret. There is no smite here. You can go to the archive at the bottom of this page and see everything from all time!!

You were in my dream last night wearing some very tight black dress and a boa before a show you were in, and when I ran up to you begging for an autograph, you scowled at me. I woke up and was sad. Haha so question time: do you ever get swarmed for autographs and do you ever say no?  I only say no when I am wearing very tight black dresses and boas and getting ready for a show.  haha.  I would say the only swarming happens at things like premieres or events or at stage doors or places where people know you're going to be and maybe they've been waiting for a while so they get a bit excited. It's not a daily occurence.

You are wildly photogenic and have the sexiest accent of any man i've ever heard.  please clone yourself and send me a copy. thanks!  But then you wouldn't think me special any more.  you are so beautiful, really stunning.  do you think there is an element of narcissism in some people being homosexual?  do you see this in yourself?  I kind of find the notion that being into the same sex as yourself is a narcissistic thing rather offensive.  I mean, I think if we love ourselves and think of ourselves as sexy then it makes sense that we might find other people who look and are similar to us attractive, but I think that applies to everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, and I definitely don't think that homosexuality hinges on it. And I think the most narcissistic thing I have done in a long time is post your comments about me!!!  Thanks though.

Kat from Oz writes: Love love love The Good Wife - been googling the future storyline (we haven't finished the first season in Australia) and came across your blog. I've never blogged a celebrity before but I have to say I'm interested to see the gay and lesbian activitism you do. Society is too uptight and should refrain from butting-into individual's lives. With trepidation my ex-boyfriend came out and told me he was bi-sexual, but he was surprised when I didn't see anything wrong. The relationship while it lasted wasn't the most conventional by society's standards but who are the prudes to judge, they should get out more. Anyway, I see you can sing as well so I'm off to YouTube to do a search. I also think Alicia should end up with Will because from watching the show he's looks like the more masterly kisser. So who cares if it makes Mr Gold's job harder, dammit Alicia answer the phone !!!!  Well said, Kat! Thanks for writing.  I will ask Julianna when we start back on Season two in a few weeks who is the best kisser!!

Jeremy has this to say: How have you resisted the Twitter bug? I have my tickets for The Castro. Looking forward to it. Did I see you at a dentist office in SF a while, well over a year, ago? I remember the voice and brogue and thinking, "There goes trouble, Oh, it's Alan Cumming."  Haha. First of all, yes, I have resisted twitter. I think it encourages people to talk about their experiences rather than to actually experience them. I think twitter is like people who take a video camera on a roller coaster ride.  I hate it. And no I don't think I was ever in a dentist's office in SF.  Come to think of it, I may have been in a doctor's office in SF, but definitely not a dentist's. But thanks, I like sounding like trouble.

Alan Cumming, you are a hoot!  I live in South Carolina and that is a very common expression here for combining funny, poignant, goofy and perplexing.  And you are all those things at 6:00 am in China.  Damn nice looking, too.  Do you enjoy the world traveling or does it get "old" when you are working?  Will you have time to sightsee a bit?  I'm fairly new to the blog so 'scuse if this a redundant question.  You are a bold and brave soul to do this blog, but I have a ball watching the videos, although I sometimes feel as if I'm reading your personal diary.  I shall continue to do so with great relish.  I always thought 'hoot' was a Scottish word!  Thanks for your kind thoughts about me me in my undies. I do indeed enjoy traversing the globe but oh, it does get old too. Everything in moderation though, including moderation.  I have been traveling a bit too much recently and I am looking forward to some home time.  And re the personal diary: yes, that is what this blog set out to be. I wanted to get back into writing every day, I wanted to be able to be in contact with people (but at a distance) and so I suppose it is a personal diary that I am leaving open for you to see. 

From Joel: Alan, I'm desperately wondering how your campaign with Francis Hills is going! I am so excited about the possibilities, and I hope you've had some success with well-known peeps standing up for the rights of all healthy humans to not have valuable parts of their genitals cut off without their consent.  Please give us an update on how that is going!  Joel is referring to the photo project that my friend, photographer Francis Hills, and I have been trying to get off the ground to benefit Intact America and its UK counterpart Norm-UK.  We have been asking celebrities to be photographed wearing this sweater that you see me wearing for a book of pictures that would raise money and awareness for these organisations that are trying to turn back the tide of unthinking and unnneccesary genital mutilation of little boys. Welll, I have to say it's been a little difficult.  We have found some resistance in dealing with people's publicists about allowing their clients to be attached to something they percieve as so edgy and outlandish. I find that rather depressing, but it only reiterates the head in the sand policy that most people have about the issue altogether.  So we are going to try and approach people personally and try and do it more gradually, building up a portfolio and being able to show it to the next person we approach, then hopefully that volume will calm the industry types who are a little jittery about dealing with anything in the underpant department.  We'll keep you posted.


Hi Alan, I am intrigued by your last few blog entries.  Are you still filming WDYTYA or are your travels in search of family your own?  Also are you allowed to reveal if the painting of the 9th(?) Earl of Cawdor you showed is connected to the programme's revelations
?  I was filming for Who Do You Think You Are, but as for anythign else about the show, as my Mum said when I was trying to squeeze information about it out of her, I am not at liberty to say.

Tina says: I'm just about to watch "Suffering Mans Charity" so i thought id research it first. I read that you are the director and main character. Is it hard doing 2 completely different roles at once in the production of a film like this? Or would you rather have more input on your films? Sometimes I think a certan role sort of makes it easier for you to be the director.  John in Ghost Writer/Suffering Man's Charity is so much the center and aesthetic of the film that it makes sense for the person playing him to also be directing.  Just as it made sense for Jennfier Jason Leigh and I to be directors of The Anniversary Party. I think you just do what you've taken on to do.  I don't go around wishing I was the director when I am acting in something, but when I am directing and acting I just have more to do, more control over the entire look and feel of the film.  I sort of think it's all just the same thing, but you have more strings to your bow. And I enjoy acting when I am directing because a) I am much more prepared than I ever would be as an actor and b) there is so much more to think about than just my character and so c) acting is the last thing I am worried about and so I feel I do it better, and I like that. I think it should be done wihtout lots of obsessing.  Suffering Man's Charity (it's now called Ghost Writer) actually was very, very difficult to do for a variety of reasons and has kind of burnt me. I haven't had the desire or the courage to get involved with directing a feature since.  I just had too much of the crazy.  I have done lots of little videos and commercials and films but until I find something that I think I must direct, I am going to hold off.


At last........

Saturday 3 Jul 10

I am in a lounge at Tokyo Airport getting a bit toasted, but about to get on the last leg of my marathon and tomorrow I will be HOME!!!

This week has been one of the most insane of my life, and that is saying something. But it has been amazing and I certainly have felt alive and thought about life and love and family and who I am.

And it has been funny too.  See below.

Happy Independence Day everyone. I have rented a bouncy dinosaur to jump in this weekend. The perfect antidote to world travel and family revelation!


aaaaaagh

Friday 2 Jul 10

I have just spent over three hours trying to check in at Singapore airport.  Apparently because my Contintental flight last week was delayed and they booked me on some other connections it interfered with my return ticket details and so they couldn't get the paperwork in order to let me on the flight home.  Why not just buy me a new ticket and sort this all out later said I, tired and spent and not in the mood to be hanging around the concourse of an airport after a week of emotional and physical toil in the humid heat of Malaysia?  Well three hours later that's just what happened, except they couldn't seem to organise to pay it from the production office in London and so I have had to cough up on my credit card and they'll pay me back. Let's start the countdown to see how quickly that happens, shall we?

 Can you tell I am a little tetchy?! But wouldn't you be?  Anyway, I am now in a nice lounge, where I had hoped to be three long hours ago, and able to do some of the things I really need to do before I get on the plane.  But cancel, continue. At least tomorrow I will be back home, knowing who I am as well as thinking it and with the best ever truth for my next game of Two Truths and a Lie. 

And to cheer us all up, here is Elizabeth, the Who Do You Think You Are director after just eating a chilli yesterday.


A video wot I made

Thursday 1 Jul 10

This is a video entitled 33 seconds in Kuala Lumpur. Can you guess what it's about?

I sat in traffic a lot today. I also had the most amazing time at the National Archives.  And I ate less rice.



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