Life Drawing: A Life Under Lights

By Jessica Martin

A graphic novel memoir about life as an actress, singer and artist in the big city

Friday, 19 May 2017

Reflections in a Mirroball

Reflections in a Mirrorball

At the time of this update, I am about to open in the revival of a cult Broadway classic musical "Ballroom" at a bijoux fringe venue in London, Waterloo East Theatre.

The multifaceted mirrorball spinning in the Stardust Ballroom is like a metaphor for my quick change life as actress, singer, artist, writer, wife and mother. In the show I employ the skills of acting, singing and dancing, playing the central role of a widow and mother whose life is revitalised by Ballroom dancing and romance. In my own life, I am juggling crowdfunding and writing my graphic memoir, together with rehearsing and performing a new show and making sure my home life doesn't completely self combust!  

So far, so good. I think the essential thing is not to be overwhelmed by the forest but deal with the trees first. For the moment my foot is slightly off the accelerator with banging the drum for my book "Life Drawing". But I'm not too concerned. In fact I am very excited that this particular theatre production has turned up when it has, as it seems the ideal in media res for the start of my memoir. The themes are so relevant... a woman's identity, death and rebirth, nostalgia and the rediscovery of a lost passion - dancing.

I shall be able to impart the behind the scenes creation of a fringe production, the challenges, the new friendships and skills that make good theatre work so exciting.

The lyrics of the iconic song from the show, Fifty Percent declare
"Life is anyone's guess. It's a constant surprise". 
Tell me about it. "Life Drawing" will reflect the many twists and turns which looked at in hindsight, are simply the threads of a vast tapestry...cue Carole King!

The very special aspect of "Ballroom" in terms of its meaning in my own life story, is that my mother and father were brought together by social dance. My late father Ido Martin had a successful band leader in Soho of the fifties and the youth of that day would conduct their courtships to the sound of his Mambos and Cha Cha Cha's.

I like to think that I wasn't a twinkle in my parents' eyes but more a Cha Cha in their hips and feet!

So I leave you now with some hints of things to come as I head down to Waterloo to have take up the loveliest job I can think of...storytelling through song, dance and drama.

Cha Cha Cha!!

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