Jay Flavin is an actor and skills exchange member based in Youghal, Co. Cork. He has been a professional actor for the past 6 years and has been in a number of TV programmes and Films including; Ealu 2, The House, Between the canals, The Dark Room, Summer Blues and Walkers. His most recent film, “Between Canals”, was premiered at the Dublin Jameson Film Festival.
Below is a link to his show reel from the TV series ”The House” which was shown on DCTV in 2009 in which he plays the part of a Sub Editor in a National Newspaper who is putting the finishing touches to the next day’s edition before it goes to print.
It’s almost Oscar time again, and although it can seem like nothing more than a Hollywood showcase, look closer, and the Academy Award nominees can provide us with some good suggestions for entertaining viewing. I know that I particularly like to scan the short film lists, and this year sees two Irish shorts take their place in both the Live Action Short and the Animated Short film categories. Juanita Wilson’s The Door is a live action short, which tells the tragic story of one family and the how they were affected by the Chernobyl disaster. A world away from that is Granny O’ Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty, (grannyogrimm.com) whose twisting of a favourite fairytale may not be an original concept, but whose charm and humour have won over many fans. Granny O’ Grimm, and indeed several of the other animated shorts up for Oscars can be viewed on youtube, and are well worth a look.
Cork Arts Network (working title) is skills exchange member and follow up by various artists and arts workers to participation in the National Campaign for the Arts in 2009. Those involved feel that there is a need for a local cross-artform group that follows a variety of aims and activities. There is no formal structure in place for the network and there is feeling among some, if not most, of those already engaged that no formal structure is needed or desirable. A website/forum has been set up and is in development at www.corkarts.org – please visit the site to enter the discussion and get involved.
Do it, that’s right just fucking do it what are you waiting for, have an idea then make it happen now don’t wait, what are you waiting for, come on fuck it, fuck everyone, bang hard, be heard, stamp your feet, scream and shout fuck you fuck you fuck you begrudgers, the ones that say you can’t, that it’s impossible, that you need to be in the system, you need to apply for this grant and that fund you need special knowledge, arcane wisdom, a good signature and a natty suit to play the system, fuck the system you don’t need themand they don’t care about you, a number, statistic, category, filed away as a means to an end that means nothing, meaningless bollix to all that yes, stop saying I can’t, I might, I will, I should, stop saying someone else already has, stop saying what’s the point, stop saying I’m too tired, I’m too stressed, I don’t have enough money, I don’t have enough time, I’m not good enough, don’t know enough, can’t see enough, can’t feel enough, realising ideas isn’t for them it’s for you, to learn, to fail, to fall, to hurt, to stand up again and do the same again, the trick is to keep on learning, get better at banging your head against a wall until you drop dead, extinguished, lights out, here today and gone tomorrow, existence over, life forgotten so don’t waste your time with bureaucrats and trends and statistics and graphs and hurdles and walls and holes and people who shrug nonchalantly about everything you say, who state they know everything there is to know about everything, they’re liars, they don’t, don’t care, don’t hate, don’t love, don’t feel, don’t scream, don’t have an opinion, who spend their lives agreeing with everything because they want to be safe, cocooned, wrapped up, warm, comfortable in mediocrity fuck that fuck it all anyone can and everyone should whatever it is go out and get it done don’t mind them, obstacles are there to be jumped over, barriers to be burnt, walls to be broken ,smashed, destroyed, your life is a life worth fighting for so don’t let them grind you down, don’t let them take persuade you, buy you, compromise your light, burn bright, burn bright, burn. bright
I was in Galway for a one night jaunt with my wife, without our daughter (first time in a year), last Friday. I Enjoy Galway. I used to live there and always had a good time. In the evening, on the way to the pub, I was busily scanning posters, as is my want; for music, theatre, whatever…wanting to see what was coming up, what was on, if there was something worth catching that night. It just so happened that I did see a band advertised – a Cork band, a band I like - playing in the Roisin Dubh. Typical, our one night out and we ended up on the otherside of the country to see a Cork band (suffice it to say myself and my wife had a great night and Niwel Tsumbu and his band did not disappoint)
Today is my daughters birthday. She’s one year old. Been around a year – her entirety encompassed in 12 months. How much has changed. How relative everything is. But to see her awake and alive to the world you realise how much one can learn in a year. It’s astonishing the amount an infant learns in a matter of days, weeks and months. From a human being with no sense of the world at all to a cute little thing who eats dirt, licks the floor, pulls everything out of anything she can get her hands on, in, under, drinks out of cups, eats raisins, farts, splashes with her duck in the bath, sits on your head in the bed, stands, points, laughs, cries, plays peek a – boo and waves good bye every time you head out the door. All in all a new personality unleashed on an unsuspecting world. And I’ve been told this rate of learning continues unabated for years. How incredible.
With Irish Arts Council Revenue funding results out last week there was some blood spilt. Some companies and festivals did well (staying on the same funding level is good news in these times) others went to the wall. While I am totally disillusioned with the funding culture we have created in Ireland I was nevertheless upset to hear about those that didn’t make the cut. In real terms it means jobs gone and in these recessionary times having no job is a deep hole to dig out of. On the otherhand those companies that did get drastically cut – for the most part – deserved to be cut.
I was thinking about all of this the other day as I was driving back from scouting a job down the country with my colleague. As I was babbling and ranting away to her – she was trying to concentrate on driving – about the funding decisions, a sudden thought crystallised in my head. One of many thoughts I have had in regard to the whole funding/not funding debate that has been raging between my ears for years, indeed one of the many reasons why I set up this skills exchange
Before the rugby. The Six Nation Rugby Competition begins today and brings to mind the fact that we have no sports writers in this blog. A culture blog with no sports section is like a house with no roof. Nearly finished but missing a fundamental piece to make it complete. We often think of sport as something outside our cultural framework – the topic of culture being primarily focussed on the arts; culture is art, theatre, dance…. Well. So it seems from where I sit. Sport seems to have its own individual place, its own context within our lives, separate from our daily cultural life when infact it is an inseparable part of our existence, even if we don’t follow any particular team.
‘A Report to an Academy’ is a short story by Franz Kafka told from the point of view of an ape. The ape, ‘Red Peter’, so-called for the red mark on his cheek, the only sign thought to distinguish him from his predecessor ‘Peter’, addresses an esteemed audience of academics on the topic of his life. Much of what he ‘remembers’ has been told to him. He doesn’t remember, for instance, the moment of his capture. That evening he came down to the shore to take a drink as usual. When the shots rang out all the apes in his troop scattered. He was the only one shot. He doesn’t remember the pain of the two wounds- one on his cheek, a ‘slight wound’, and one below the hip, the cause of his limp five years later. This part of his story was told to him long after the event.
I had found the perfect place to expire. A compact 1-bed flat just off the industrial heart of the city, with rusted bars spiralling upwards from the window-perches, cream walls, subtle furnishings. There were no paintings colouring the walls, the television was small, and the sparse fire crackled hoarsely and burnt small heaps of wood in the corner of the room.
My sole companion, Roger, a three-legged, wearied greyhound, loved lying by the fire, curled up, softly whimpering and flicking his gray eyes sporadically. Initially intended as a race-dog, an infection had attacked his left paw, and he was duly abandoned. I took him in, had the leg amputated, and nourished him through a decent life. He became the only one I could ever truly trust.
In the middle of the flat was the chair where one day I would sit down to die. Its sides were embroidered with faded begonias, and its cushions, their spongy interior now deflated, sunk low. The tattered arm-rests would comfort my limp arms; my eyes would be hollow and at ease, staring blankly at the clutters of photographs perched on the coffee table. I constantly fill the room with the aroma of fine Cubans; those who discovered me would not be met with the cruel stench of a body long given up.
These are delicious recipes for Almond Cake and Apricot bread and I hope you love them as much as I do
As part of my activities in the garden, I love propagating plants. I do this from both seeds and cuttings. However, more often than not, I end up with more plants than I need and I then give away the surplus. This gives me joy, as does the reverse. I love walking around the garden and taking note of the different plants and shrubs that have been given to me over the years. With a rush of pleasure, thoughts of the donor friends and relatives come to mind. Recipes have the same effect on me. When I try a new one and it is a success, I immediately think of who I should share it with. I also love to be given recipes by others and again I think fondly of the donor when I subsequently eat the dish, which is the subject of the recipe. And is it not the ultimate accolade for the cook to be asked by a guest for the recipe of whatever it is, he or she has just served? These days, it is principally my children who pass on recipes to me; they know what their crusty old father likes to eat. My sisters also come into the frame. This month, I have decided to pass on two recipes which have come to me from these two different sources.
Thoughts behind an Idea: by skills exchange punk poet Wasps Vs Humans
As a whole we are too obsessed with the celebrity. This is fame over talent and in most cases the new breed of celebrity is without any of it. They think their faces will earn them money and in some cases that is enough. We are living in an age where we will pay someone to attend a party; we will pay someone to get married, we will pay someone to live in a house, we will pay someone to open a shopping centre, we will pay someone to pose for a photo. Fame eats into us. We are all hungry for it to some extent and want to be recognised for doing, being, something, or someone.
Since the agricultural boom of the early 19th century, cabbage had been one of Ireland’s firmest of edible friends – an easy grower more or less year round and a fine accompaniment to the potato. There are several varieties that appear through the year and during winter time it’s the black cabbage and Savoy cabbage that reign. The recipe ideas below involve the rather unglamorous latter.
The tough, dark, wrinkly leaves on its outside cover what is infact a quite clean flavoured cabbage. However if it is cooked at a high temperature for too long it does, like all cabbage, have a habit of releasing fairly sinful tastes and smells. In fact the Savoy cabbage is as appropriate as any to eat uncooked. Try it in a salad sliced thin, with some shaved salsify and horseradish. Or slice it thin and blitz it up with some vegetable stock, a little cider vinegar and seasoning and then put it through a sieve for most refreshing soup with a drizzle of virgin sunflower oil. When cooked though, unlike the majestic little spring cabbages that need only a toss in butter and herbs, Savoy cabbage is often better off with rather sterner encouragement.
Blaring the insufficient speakers, Peter Gabriel’s “. . . Tower that Ate People” rattles the crystal stones lined along the metallic grid to absorb the laptop’s brain toxic emf’s. Finger tips dik their familiar dik-dik-dik-dak-dikking rhythmic patternings on the keyboard, with a regularly sporadic, rallentandoed reach of the right hand to the backspace button diagonally right, dik-dik dik-dik*.
She’s been far away. She doesn’t even know how come she went. She just found herself back there again. Like she hadn’t ever left. Like she hadn’t even lived anything since then. Like that was all she’d ever lived . . .
Newly a wife to a legal officer in his second year of compulsory military conscription, she’s living in Suikerkop, one of the Air Force’s wild, nature reserves surrounding the Eastern Transvaal base.
Peaks of the Drakensberg escarpment rise purple in the west, flat to the horizon everywhere else -the ‘platteland’; scrubby, arid, bushveld, exuding the unassuming stealth of a nature soundscape that inveigles itself to an intoxication of the memory forever: chorusing bird exuberance on the clarity of sunrise air, into the morning, a building rustling, crickling, thwicker of busy insect percussion, on midday haze, the stultified, pinging hover of dozy reclining, perhaps punctuated with thumping hooves of an Antelope herd suddenly disturbed in its amblesome grazing, the emanating instruments blend a repetitive, baroque-like predictability in the cooling relief of afternoon; distinguishable solo calls announce evening, hyena howling laughingly, warthog grunting, in the night a far off lion roar, elephant trumpets, the domed-ness of the star-filled amphitheatre audible in its reverberating resonance of the soil thrum-humming below, in the dark right next to the window, Giraffe mandibles masticating leaves off the top of a tree – the collective echoes of an eternality.
One of our skills exchange members, a playwright, travels to New York to ply his trade
“Why do people live in New York? … There is no human reason to be here, except for the sheer ecstasy of being crowded together” Jean Baudrillard
I am not entirely certain why I decided to decamp to New York just as winter began to take hold – perhaps it was to share in this sheer ecstasy as Baudrillard opined or maybe it was an attempt to experience the city only to return to Cork months later to join the league of the permanently bothered, grinding people down with tales of grandiloquent negativity and false indifference.
I was fully aware that I needed to alter my way of thinking in order to succeed in any fashion in this biggest of all the big smokes. However, as luck would have it, I found myself in a Manhattan studio two days after my arrival, waiting to be called for an audition for a whiskey ad. Details at the time were rather sketchy but all I knew is that my friend, the actor and writer Ed Malone who had been living in New York for a number of years, had been asked to audition for this as they needed Irish people and asked me to accompany him to the shoot. When we got there, it was obvious that we were the only really Irish people here – the others all belonged to that unusual hybrid species known as ‘Irish-Americans’, with seemingly tenuous links to the country. This certainly boosted our confidence and we sauntered into the audition when our names were called, full of brio and bonhomie, much to the amusement of Janine, the casting agent.
our next DIY arts festival, the Trash Culture Revue, will take place sometime towards the end of the year. So if you want to create, produce, get involved, play, experiment, try stuff out, have fun, design, administrate, organise, volunteer or just come along then let me know
we provide free creative and production skills for your arts projects and events through our skills exchange so you can experiment, fail, make and play no matter who you are, where you are, what you do or when you do it.