He opened the door with key No.11 and looked into the impenetrable darkness of the studio. In the short time he had been Artist in Residence here he hadn't familiarised himself with the location of the light switch. After fumbling awkwardly around either side of the door he put down the bags that were positioned uncomfortably around his frame and reached into the inside pocket of his Merc Harrington for his phone. Leaning back into the corridor so that he could find the appropriate app on the screen he soon had some light shining into the space that would be his productive home for the next year. The studio smelt of age, the carpeted floor and blue walls betrayed the period in which the room was last decorated…but he felt a warm glow from this, he liked the age, he liked the smell, somehow it made him feel that whatever was achieved in this room would be part of the fabric of the place…it would be another layer in the history of the building...and at this early stage that really felt like something. The switch clicked on the kettle and he quickly prepared a cup of tea in his favourite Aston Villa mug. It was his habit to write a list of tasks for the day ahead and he had been compiling this list in his head during the journey in on the train. Rehearsing the list again he peeled of the seal on top of the skimmed milk and poured. The list was quickly written out on a loose piece of paper on the desk, having selected to listen to Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Superfly’ Soundtrack he now sat back in his chair and looked at the wall to the left of his desk. The high silky tones of Mayfield’s voice filled the room as he pondered the array of preparatory sketches and scrawled words that littered the wall. Every experiment, note and idea he had would find it’s way onto this surface and he reviewed the previous day’s efforts whilst sipping at the soothing hot tea. He focussed on the last sheet of paper that he’d taped up…a simple list of possible research references. The first word CLOWNS the last word, MIRACLES…SWITCH Now they're some sad things known to man/But ain't too much sadder than/The tears of a clown when there's no one around, uh/Just like Pagliacci did/I try to keep my surface hid/Smiling in the crowd I try/But in my lonely room I cry/The tears of a clown SWITCH He felt a sharp stabbing pain in his elbow. It had now been two hours in the John Lee theatre; he felt the heat of the stage lighting on his face and the crack of his knee as he slowly rose to his feet again. He must have fallen fifty times now…each time was slightly different and he hoped that when he looked at the images from the camera he had set up at the back of seating area they would reveal all he needed to get this new idea moving forward. The mustard carpet that he now fell backwards on had mutated from a soft cushioning surface to a seemingly hardened layer of jarring granite. He decided to investigate the pain in his elbow and lifted the sleeve of his shirt…reddened, slight nick betrayed by a speck of blood but overall nothing that need concern. The insignificant wound did however signal a thought that this next fall should be the last for the day. Reasoning internally that he must have enough recorded material to review by now he walked purposefully toward the pillar that marked the end of the stage, his face and hands felt the connection and he tumbled backwards, his legs shot out as his back rolled across the floor and he lay momentarily breathless but ready to look at the footage. SWITCH New people everywhere…meetings, meetings and more meetings – where has the week gone? The speed of the week has impinged upon studio time…frustrations abound, what was that sound? Something downstairs in the early hours? Can’t wait to get back to the studio…work to be done. Turn again Geoff Tipps, the character that can’t tell a joke. In the sleepless dead of night, reaching for the DVD and turning the sound down to virtually nothing, series three episode three, “…you’re all clever London people aren’t yer…” SWITCH He walked up the stairs with some relish, stair-climbing was not his favourite thing but on this day, at the end of the 6th flight was the studio door that he’d missed whilst he had been away. The door gently creaked; he rushed into the dark and this time approximated where the light switch was with comparative ease. The cleaners had visited and left the gift of a tray for the kettle and assorted tea-making paraphernalia. The switch clicked on the kettle and he quickly prepared a cup of tea in his favourite Aston Villa mug. It was his habit to write a list of tasks for the day ahead and he had been compiling this list in his head during the journey in on the train. Rehearsing the list again he peeled of the seal on top of the skimmed milk and poured. The list was quickly written out on a loose piece of paper on the desk, he reached into his bag and pulled out sixteen large contact sheets that had been prepared after the last day of rehearsals in the John Lee theatre. The sound of Lee Mavers’ soulful voice provided the background to the next few hours of review. Selecting and transposing some of the images into the sketchbook for further consideration, he felt the thrill of the chase starting again…chasing work through and out of the sketchbooks was something that had always provided a buzz and today was no different. He looked at the images again and again and made notes again and again…the comments, thoughts and observations poured out of him onto the pages through his black Faber Castell pen and he wrote and wrote, thought and thought. He had arranged to meet Dr. Connie for tea and a crochet lesson and knew that he would have to stop at some point. He looked up at the wall and started to think about pinning up the images that he’d worked on today. The speaker started to throw out a chopping acoustic sound Side 1, Track 1…”Son of a Gun” rang out and he listened intently to the words for what seemed like the millionth timehe got up and walked over to the kettle. As he flicked the switch he paused and looked over at the list of references on the wall. The word GROCK jumped out, “I must add Pagliacci” he thought. ”If you want I'll sell you a life story. About a man who's at loggerheads with his past all the time.”