Monday, 26 April 2010

Corsets Again

Apologies for my absence. I am now released from my corset and trying to get back into a routine. The routine seems more constricting than the corset somehow. After twenty-five years of conforming to schedules and whalebone, I lack the required self discipline.

Anyway, I have discovered that corsets are certainly no more comfortable than they were several years and quite a few pounds ago. It is hard not to panic as the final layer goes on and the seam is stitched into place. The correct procedure is to breathe out, so that there is more room to tighten the laces, but that is not as easy as it sounds. How voluntary is breathing? It is difficult to deliberately stop. The exercises that you use to increase your lung capacity as an actor discourage the practice of high, shallow breathing; it is bad form. Just as ballet training stops you from turning your toes inwards, an actor's training forces you to engage your diaphragm. It was my old ballet master who saved the day though. In times of trouble, an incomplete pirouette perhaps, or a wobbly arabesque, the cry would echo through the studio as you attempted to regain your poise, "Where will you be when the war starts?" A little overwhelming for a ten year old, but inordinately useful as a tool of comparison in times of minor crisis.

The corset is laced, the dress fastened, the seam sewn. The small battle of the ribcage is won. I shall worry about the war when I've learned how to dress myself.

29 comments:

  1. Hey, Sophie!
    It's great to have you back, though sorry to hear about the foundation garment situation. For what occasion were you torturing your ribcage? x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh the torture, but, y'know, you do look fantastic!
    What film/play is this?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Absolutely!
    However, the question must be asked: are you trying to get into or out of that corset..? x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ah, well the above photo is actually from a production of 'Venice Preserv'd' at the Glasgow Citizen's, I think in 2004, photo by Richard Campbell. I didn't put up a picture from 'Jane Eyre' because they are still filming and probably wouldn't appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jane Eyre? Fantastic! Is it a proper 'up north' production? Is it for cinema or TV?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lovely to have you back.

    I can't imagine what I would be like struggling to fit in a corset.

    Looking forward to the release of Jane Eyre next year.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Speaking of photos, you should include that super sexy portrait taken by Trevor Leighton in your gallery. In fact, there are surprisingly few photos in there. What's up, Pup???? I hate to be a complainer, but I'm sure you'll agree it would be more offensive if I were to complain of too many pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes, too many pictures! Oh dear.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello? Anybody there?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Saw you on Lewis last night. Looking good! x

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dear Sophie, I just finished listening to The Painted Veil by Maugham, read by you know who. I must say it's one of the most pleasurable audio books I've ever listened to. The reader does a superb job, it was like listening to beautiful music. Your voice and Maugham's masterfully written text is a great combination. I haven't done any research on whether you've read any of his other books, your name just popped up in my mind when I was watching Antique Roadshow, Irish version, and I felt I should google you and thank you. Kind of a spontaneous thing.

    Regards,
    Sigurgeir Orri

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey, Sophie!
    I see that the BBC has commissioned another series of Land Girls. Excellent!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Sigurgeir, thanks for getting in touch. But am I to consider myself an Irish Antique?
    Yes, hello Lindsey, we start filming in June.
    And thanks, Janete, it should be very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It would appear that May is open season for mice. I rescued three of the little buggers from my cat today. The first I had to pluck from behind a kitchen radiator and carry it off the premises before setting it free in a flower bed. The second I persuaded my cat to drop from its mouth and allowed it to make its way tremulously towards the long grass under a honeysuckle. Unfortunately, the third has taken up residency in my utility room. My cat dropped it in her food bowl (!) from where I saw it make a break for the gap under the washing machine.
    I left the back door open for the rest of the evening, inviting the mouse to scuttle to freedom. However, when I locked-up the house ready for bed, I could hear tell tale scratchy noises coming from that nasty place under the washer.
    I’ll give it another day before I send in the troops. It had better not be sitting under there writing a blog about the best digs for mice...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dear Blog,
    How to dance in clogs
    On the stairs
    And other useful mouse accomplishments.

    ReplyDelete
  16. An Irish Antique?! Would that be Maureen O’Hara, an oak settle or an original Oscar Wilde manuscript? In any case, that’s a very nice thing! I have been associated with much worse things, including when a friend called me and said, ‘I was just watching this program on TV about a mummified Egyptian and I thought of calling you…’ Maybe I should add that we were going to meet at a place called the Pyramid, a couple of days later.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Lindsey's Mouse18 May 2010 at 18:23

    The new digs are not bad, but there's not much of a view. I'm sharing with some fluff, five dead spiders and a ping pong ball.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I researched this Lewis show on YT after I read your comment, Lazy Writer. There's a vid of a collection of scenes from that specific episode, but only 2 scenes with our dear Sophie in it. I feel more than a little cheated that I can't watch the whole show. I'm assuming Sophie was the guilty party though. I mean, who else would it be? Fess up, Sophie!
    SR

    ReplyDelete
  19. Lindsey's Mouse19 May 2010 at 22:45

    Result! I managed to spend the night in the kitchen. The resident moggy is taking a keen interest in my whereabouts, though. Not sure this is a long-term lodge.

    ReplyDelete
  20. "Hi Sigurgeir, thanks for getting in touch. But am I to consider myself an Irish Antique?"

    Dear Sophie,
    you should stop by when the show is in your town and have you appraised. You might be worth a fortune! Original piece from the 60s, beautiful, talented, excellent narrator, good actress.

    I was checking Audable.com and the Painted Veil is the only book you've done, at least in their store. It's okay, I will only cry myself to sleep for several weeks.

    When I listened to the Painted Veil, I said to myself: I must remember her name so I can thank her. When the Antique Roadshow came on, with furniture and pieces and people speaking British (as opposed to American English) I was swept into the world of Kitty and Walter and Charlie and their life in 1920s China. That's when your name popped up.

    ReplyDelete
  21. That is extremely kind of you. I do love recording audio books and I always worry terribly about them, all that responsibility to the author and the listener. I have done a lot of other books for the BBC but not any more Maughm. Did you see the film? I couldn't quite bring myself to, but I'm sure it's excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Animal Formerly Known as Lindsey's Mouse20 May 2010 at 22:16

    Call me paranoid, but I think I’ve blown it with the landlady. I was just scuttling along the kitchen skirting board last night when the cat (thanks, mate) alerted the old dragon that I was on the move. I got myself cornered between the wellies and the recycling bin. Basic mistake, I know. Anyway, I made a break for it when the old dragon went to get some gloves. Well, I wasn’t having any of that. So I shot out and ran over her slippers. She didn’t like that, apparently, and swore at me. That’s when all three of us ran round the utility room a couple of times before I was bundled out of the back door with a balding sweeping brush.
    I thought about trying to get back in, but the place reeks of disinfectant now. Ah, well. Not sure I’ll be recommending the place.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Your site is a wealth of information. I've been reading your blog off and on as time permits. For example, your mini review of "films of the month" is helpful. I've seen only three of the ones on your list, Julie & Julia being one of my favs with Streep in her finest form.

    I've been wanting to ask, how do you remember your lines? Do you have to memorize the entire script, or just your lines? And do you use any mnemonic devices? Curious minds want to know.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks, Anon 21:30. I see you've chosen the quieter comments section, very wise. I'm so glad you like the film reviews. And your question, though I'm not sure if you are entirely serious, inspires a new post about line learning for next week.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Gosh, I hope I was serious! I have trouble memorizing written passages, lines. I had a devil of a time reciting poetry, Shakespeare, Browning in school. Was only in one play in my life, 'A Christmas Carol' in fourth grade and I managed to botch up the one line I was assigned, so I stayed away from Drama. I was curious because I always admire those with the skills and proficiency to do the things I can not.

    Memory is a curious thing: Like, one can have a photographic memory for visualization, spatial memory while others, for numbers.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ah, the one liners are always the hardest.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Ah, but now you're not being entirely serious. One liners are always hardest? I have an aptitude for remembering quotes, but when it comes to speaking, words don't connect well with utterance. I leave you with a favorite quote of mine:

    "I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library."

    Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, 1811

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Sophie! I glad that you back! Other day I was watching "Young Sherlock Holmes" and wondered how it feels a young lady of our time inside these costumes. Do you still remember that time to answer me? I'm wait anxiously your post about learn line. My memory is worst.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Yea Sophie, you do have a very nice voice. I listed to you read "A Dark Adapted Eye." Loved it. Listened to it all in one sitting. You're great! No need to worry. Oh and the picture is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete