I played this game with a group of writer friends at dinner recently. We all protested that we had no fun or interesting or crazy anecdotes about us like others might - that we were all as normal as apple pie. Turns out, once you start talking about yourself and your life, every single one of us had something to relate that the rest found fascinating. So in the spirit of this (and isn't it better to do a writer bio this way than the more normal boring way?), here are some things about me that might be interesting: 1. I did a contemporary arts degree at university, one half of which was on writing and literature, and the other half was drama and theatre based. Which means among many other wacky scenarios, these are the things I’ve done on stage in front of an audience: - Enthusiastically mimed the entirety of Head Over Heels by Tears for Fears while dancing on a row of desks.
- Been totally, utterly, yes completely naked for 45 minutes straight.
- Chained to a chair for two hours watching static on a television screen, as part of a live art installation.
- Physically seduced a guy in a play in full view of his real life actress girlfriend, whose character was standing feet away on the same stage. Facing us. (They’re married now.) I would like to end this segment by saying that my campus was the kind of place where it was perfectly routine to see two naked guys covered in chocolate running past or a giant papier mache penis hanging from a tree as you walked to your next class. I loved every minute of my three years there. Contemporary arts, eh? 2. I once came second in a public flower arranging competition when I was nine. Cornwall, eh?
3. I used to be in a Morris dancing team when I was a kid. We performed in the middle of town on relevant events such as Mazey Day. Cornwall, eh? 4. Apparently I saw a ghost when I was very young. I don’t remember it. Ask me about it some time and I’ll tell you the story. 5. My grandmother was one of the highest decorated World War Two veterans in France. She was in the French Resistance. I like to think I’ve inherited the same coolly rebellious* attitude towards authority. 6. I can still rap every word of Coolio’s Gangster’s Paradise despite not having really listened to it since I was thirteen. I don't know. I'm not even that into it. 7. I was a pretty keen dancer and had one of those 'forks on the path of life' moments when offered the opportunity as a teenager to try and pursue becoming a professional ballerina. In the end I didn't love the life enough to do it, and frankly didn't have enough natural talent to ever make a successful career of it, rather than just a career. Still miss dancing, though. 8. If you ask me about the best gig I've ever been to, I'll tell you that it was Offspring in 2015. If you ask me about the best band I've ever seen play live, it's Baroness. Any year. 9. Two nights before my sister's wedding, my mother and I both dreamed about my grandmother. I dreamed she called me on the phone, asked me how things were going, and I spent some time bringing her up to speed on my life. The dream ended when I suddenly remembered she was dead, and said so to her. As she drove us to my sister's house the next day, my mother related her own dream, entirely unprompted by me, along similar lines. I hadn't thought about my grandmother properly in a long time - she died when I was six. Did we both dream her checking up on us as a reaction to the impending family event? Perhaps it was something else, something outside of us. I used to want to know which it was. Now I don't think it's either, as we currently understand things. And I don't think it matters. 10. I can still do the splits. People seem to delight in making me do them to prove it. * Translation: ‘infuriatingly, embarrassingly stubborn’