Yo! So back in june I started volunteering at Ego, helping out with digital marketing stuff and one of my first tasks was to write a blog and I did write a blog and I’ve since just finished my 2nd blog on a behind the scenes look at our last show which will be posted on Ego’s website once we revive it, anyway my first blog got lost in the shuffle with everyone being hella busy and the website dying, and it really wouldn’t make sense to post such an out dated blog on the Ego website. However I have been given permission to share the lost blog on here, before you read on please bare in mind this is from a few months back and we have well and truly Finished the Sanatorium… Enjoy!
Hi, I’m Kyle and this is my Ego story…
I first joined ego in September of 2015 if I remember correctly, although it feels like I have been here for a lot longer! I originally joined ego because I had just finished my university degree and to be honest I was quite depressed so I was looking for a place where I could use my musical knowledge and gain more confidence. I had absolutely no clue about what ego was about, my first night at ego was a real eye opener, it was so loud and everyone just seemed so confident. Of course everyone was super friendly and welcoming. I wouldn’t say I was sold about joining straight away as I was really nervous and shy, it certainly was never my intention to act, I joined thinking that I could create music for the shows.
The first show I was involved with Ego was a show called The Village people, and I created a piece of music for the show, although I wasn’t in the show playing an acting part, I did come to most of the rehearsals as I wanted to show my support and be as involved as possible, I didn’t realise at the time but the fact that I wasn’t acting and having to learn scripts and all that scary stuff meant that I could observe and get used to the group, this gave me a chance to feel a bit more connected with the group. I think if I jumped into acting and performing straight away I would have been too overwhelmed and quit. So what made me stay… why in the name sweet baby of Satan do I keep coming back? Apparently I’m not allowed to say Stockholm syndrome.
I kept coming back because I was noticing my confidence was increasing and I really started to feel like part of something, I know I’m generally quite a quiet person especially when I’m in a loud group and to describe Big ego, or any Ego group as loud is an understatement, I started to feel really comfortable and as I started to grow in confidence Georgina and Corrine encouraged me to play a small part in the next show.
The first show I was in for big Ego was polly the pirates perfect pet (try saying that with a speech difficulty).a show about polly the pirate and her misbehaving pet monkey “Fidel Faddel” the show was aimed at children so thankfully my first show wasn’t going to be complicated the character I was playing was called Shy shamus shrimp (again try saying that with a speech difficulty!) shy shamus shrimp only spoke two or three times throughout the show which was more than enough for me. I was very self conscience about actually acting to begin with, we’ve established that I’m not a very confident person, I felt really silly and embarrassed to begin with I just wasn’t used to it but I quickly learned Ego was all about having fun and of course putting on a great show!
As the weeks progressed and opening night drew closer, the nights and rehearsal times at ego got longer and this might sound a bit swotty but I really enjoyed being immersed in the show and ego bubble, Big Ego is a really funny, sarcastic group with at times a really dark sense of humour, which suits me really well. I think that my first show was a success, it felt awesome after our last performance I felt a great sense of achievement and really enjoyed playing pretend, even if I wouldn’t admit it at the time.
Polly the Pirates Perfect Pet forced the cast to behave and be kid friendly but the next show was the complete opposite “The Last Sucker” was really x rated in terms of language, in terms of subject matter and in terms of humour. “The Last Sucker” was a horror comedy about a family of vampires from which I was the son Daz, shortened from Daffodil! Deceased celebirities and historical figures, such as sparticus and jesus Christ who are now vampires and live with the family who made them and a group of Christian scouts who find themselves lost in a cave which just so happens to be the home of the vampires unbeknownst to them. I could spend hours writing about this show, I loved it so much, every character was hilarious from the pet gimp to the forty six year old foul mouthed pervy baby vampire which was my nemesis and adopted brother.
The Last Sucker was a much more enjoyable show for me to be a part of for a few reasons, I felt much more confident and as a result was able to put more feeling and effort into my character and I was more interested in the show as it was my type of humour, I feel like during the run up to the show I was able to feel more comfortable and less anxious and as a result everything just got easier and people were getting to know me.
From having a couple of throw away lines in the first show to having a profanity laden hysterics inducing exchange and providing spastic squeels, I mean death metal vocals in this show, I certainly had a lot more responsibility and pressure in this show.
Performing in the Last Sucker was a blast, an absolute blast! Everyone seemed to love it and I feel like myself confidence grew exponentially during the production. After the final show, the atmosphere was electric, there were hugs, there were congratulations, it was such a wonderful high!
Unfortunately the high was cut short abruptly as we lost a member that night, “Monty” I don’t want to bring the tone of this down as my Ego story is a very positive one but Monty is part of my Ego story more positively than negatively! Monty was always Kind to me, he would always ask me how I was, Monty was very open about his mental health and knew I suffered also, he’d regularly pop up on my facebook messages asking me if I was ok? When I was struggling he’d always encourage me, Monty gave me his phone number to call if I ever needed a chat, Monty barely knew me at this point but he could see I was perhaps a bit low and could empathise and wanted to help, I really regret not being as responsive as I was but at the time, I just didn’t know what to say and was very anxious.
Monty’s sudden passing impacted the group really hard. Ego is so much more than a place for members to come and act in shows, Ego becomes a home, it really feels like we become family, I didn’t realise how much I cared about this crazy bunch of individuals or how much they cared about me, until we all met up after Monty’s passing and we discussed everything, felt everything necessary and comforted each other. On the night of monty’s passing he was the last person to speak to me before I left Ego and as the place was busy I was in abit of a rush to leave because my anxiety was really getting the best of me and I took the easy way out instead of staying a bit longer and celebrating with my friends and I hate to think that montys last impression of me, was that I didn’t have time for him. Montys passing made me realise that life is too short and as result I’m trying my best to be much more present and to stay after ego just to chat instead of rushing away, I want the people here to know I care!
Ego has helped me grow so much as a person and I love it here, I’m now spending most of my week at Ego in one capacity or another, on Monday I’m of course attending Big Ego where we are currently preparing for our show Entitled “The sanatorium” A thriller Based in a 1950s catholic run sanatorium. The rest of the week I’m volunteering at Ego, I’m mainly helping out with social media and online marketing, I’m really excited at the prospect of helping ego get more recognition and showing the world what Ego is all about! I also recently began helping Tim on a Wednesday morning With Ego orchrastra, a group of very talented group of musicians who come together to forget what ever disabilities they have and make extremely good music, I hope we can eventually record and upload some of the stuff we do in that group, As the group deserves to be heard and the work that tim and mike do in helping organising and encouraging the group to make fantastic music deserve recognition. On Sundays I attend Bold as bard productions at ego a mixed abilities group for people aged between 16 and 29. In this group we are focused bring the work of Shakespeare to life and improving our performance skills in the process. I would have never thought about coming to a group specifically performing Shakespeare stuff! I’ve never really understood the appeal of it, plus the language used is very difficult to understand as well as speak, Ironically this is why Georgina recommended the group for me, to improve my speech as Katy and John have vocal coaching experience. I’m actually really self conscious about my speech so having the chance to focus on it and improve my speech is really important for me, I’ve only attended two sessions so far and I can already, feel and hear some improvement!
Right! I think I’ve waffled on for far too long but before I go I want to make sure you understand how good Ego has been to me and for me, this is not hyperbole Ego is the reason I got out of bed this morning, I’m not always the happiest of people but more often than not I’m happier when I’m at ego! I Don’t have any family close by, so I can sometimes feel a bit lost and feel a bit isolated, but when I come to ego I don’t feel lost or Isolated, I feel like I belong here with these crazy individuals!
Thanks for reading!
Help keep Ego Alive and thriving by donating here www.localgiving.org/appeal/EGO/