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Blog: Art School Confidential

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Despite nursing a SEVERE post-Totally Acoustic hangover, I managed to DRAG myself over to West London on Friday lunchtime to meet The Artist Tom Smith for a cup of tea and a PRACTICE, for LO! that very afternoon we were due at Wimbledon College Of Art to do a TALK SLASH CHAT called "Scary Monsters And Super Creeps" about superheroes, performance personas and SUCHLIKE.

It was all to do with the Acts Reacts festival at Wimbledon College Of Arts. The college is a part of UAL so as a GRADUATE (him) and CURRENT STUDENT (me) of Central St Martins (as seen in That Pulp Song, and ALSO part of UAL) we thought we'd apply to DO something at it. When we got ACCEPTED we had to think about what we were going to say and, several emails, one skype chat and one trip to the pub later, we found ourselves sat in his kitchen with a fully loaded Powerpoint Presentation having a bit of an old run through.

Much to our mutual relief it turned out to make some sort of sense even OUTSIDE of the pub, so we set off for the tube ready to ROCK. Unfortunately the tube itself was not so inclined, as the District Line was KAPUT, so we had to go back to his house and use the CAR instead. This took AGES and denied us the time for nipping into the PUB on the way, but it did at least mean I was able to discover that my phone has flipping SATNAV on it. It was INCREDIBLE! "Just put in the postcode we're going to and press that button" said Thomas and LO my phone TALKING to me! I was ASTOUNDED!

We got to the college and met the VERY friendly and capable people running the tech side of things, who got us all set up in rapid time. We then went in search of a coffee or similar, and were DELIGHTED to find a whole table of coffee and cups just outside... though less delighted to be told to GERROFF in no uncertain terms by the people who a) had ordered them b) were nothing to do with the festival. FOILED!

Further investigation uncovered a vending machine and, duly refreshed, we returned to the room, which remained empty until PRECISELY 5pm at which point a whole BUNCH of people - 18 of them, I think - rolled up and came in. PHEW! I had been imagining the two of us just sitting there CHATTING to each other ALONE - I mean, that was what we'd PRACTICED, but I had hoped some other people might come and listen.

We got going and I THINK it all went all right - it was hard to tell as it was so ALIEN to what I usually do. For a start, everyone was STONE COLD SOBER, and also some people didn't seem to understand poorly spoken Peterborough-accented English hugely well, so were relying on the slides (which didn't have text on them) for guidance. Also also I'm used to doing 3 minute bouts of SHOUTING followed by (hopefully) applause and occasional LARFS, whereas here we were talking at LENGTH about various ARTY-TYPE THINGS with no discernible gaps.

Thomas seemed happy with it, and audience members who approached us afterwards said they'd enjoyed it, so I reckon it was OK. Weirdly, for the second night in a row, I found myself talking to another Peterborough United Fan - you don't tend to talk to them that often when you're IN Peterborough, so two in London was very odd!

Job done we FINALLY made it to the pub, for a VERY MUCH needed pint - who knew YACKING about ART could be so stressful?

posted 7/3/2017 by MJ Hibbett

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