Pondering On My Gradual Decline
But please, not into Bournemouth ...
POSTED BY DAVID PIBWORTH ON 11/08/2015 @ 8:00AM
As someone who runs a company that covers a variety of areas it's always a tricky one when someone asks ''so David, what do you do?''. My company represents Steptoe & Son and Tony Hancock's scripts, we run a drama school, we have a stage hire business, a magic trick and illusion wholesale and retail business, plus we hire in actors for corporate role play ...
I'm really enjoying playing Cricket again, although I do often wonder how combative a sport can be when it has meal breaks!
Outside of that - but still workwise - I'm an actor and director and occasional comedy writer. I sort of juggle where the most money is coming from and I do have Anna in the office and quite a few loyal people who put up staging and also people on short contracts such as corporate actors.
"When people ask me what I do, I just pick whatever I'm doing at the time and tell them that."
Could be stage hire, (which it is at present as it's the harvest for the stage hire), could be acting, could be writing, could be working out logistics of actors for role play ... oh, a variety of things.
Some people who do what they term a 'proper' job get confused by this way of working. In the main a proper job is one that you do from Monday to Friday from 09.00 until 17.30 and then go and enjoy the weekend, wash the car, trim the hedge or have a dinner party.
It also tends to be the sort of job that most people hate, so look forward to an early retirement with a nice golden handshake so they can go and live in Bournemouth for 4 years before they die of complete boredom.
Not for me I think. I don't mind working all hours to get things done and sometimes it's very long hours, especially when a few things cross together such as September could prove.
My other company MK Theatre of Comedy have the last 3 episodes of Fawlty Towers on at the Chrysalis Theatre in MK. I'm directing that, (a nice short one week rehearsal) as well as overseeing it all financially, plus David Pibworth Productions have stage hires going out all over the place, the drama school running, a large corporate training event just starting up (which could run for two years) and the rest of the standard, everyday stuff going on.
I am looking to slow it all down a bit next year, as I'll be 56 years old and just concentrate a bit more on the financially beneficial things. I think you have to realise that after about 60, you are not going to be able to keep up with the pace of life, so I'm pre-empting this by charting my own decline in a way that I want it.
I am setting out a plan – which I shall happily share with you - to find the best way to earn the most money by doing the least amount of work as I want to attempt sitting on my bum doing absolutely nothing with my daughter a bit more.
"But I want it to be a gradual decline rather than an abrupt one."
To this end, I have started playing cricket again, which is as good as doing nothing, but without actually doing nothing. It's a lovely game, but how people can get quite so worked up about winning or losing it is beyond me.
Any game that has meal breaks is hardy the most combative, so I do my best as wicket keeper and then go and try to hit a few sixes in order to minimise the need to run as my knees are a bit knackered now.
I shall also revisit scuba diving which is a relaxing and fairly easy pastime plus it's on my acting CV in the vain hope that I will one day get a scuba job on a James Bond film.
I also want to do more film work as that's pretty easy too. I've been in a couple of films as very minor characters and it seems that it is 90% sitting about and 10% work and that suits me if I'm being fairly well paid. I want to learn French and have one of those listening courses that I never get round to listening to, so waiting around on set is a good thing.
So while I am thinking of a very gradual retirement over a period of, um, I don't know how many years, I don't want to end up pottering in the garden or playing dominoes.
"I would prefer – to be quite honest – to end up pottering around Mount Everest and playing paint ball games."
I want to keep working forever and ever as I enjoy it, but I also want a bit of fun because it's not death that frightens me ... it's Bournemouth.
Until next time ...
David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions (DPP) which provide corporate entertainment and also actors for corporate training and development.
Having worked in the Light Entertainment field for many years and produced shows for Al Murray & Joe Pasquale amongst others, David is in a position to advise on well-known comedy and musical acts. DPP also represent Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's scripts which include Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.
He is the director of MK Theatre of Comedy who are very well known locally for their stage adaptations of classic comedy scripts such as Fawlty Towers, The Vicar of Dibley, Allo Allo and many others.
He is a long-standing member of Equity and the Directors Guild of Great Britain and has acted in, and directed, many productions over the years, mainly in Light Entertainment, but with occasional forays into Shakespeare etc. Every Christmas he is contracted as an Ugly Sister in Cinderella, currently with 'That's Entertainment' who also use him as a director.
He teaches eccentric magic for The Pauline Quirke Academy and MKTOC also run a youth drama school in Olney from the DPP offices.
David maintains his busy lifestyle is a surefire way to avoid being on any committees. He is married to Julie, and they have one daughter, Esther and live in Clifton Reynes, surrounded by dogs, cats and horses. They live so close to the church that David has instructed his daughter - when he dies and not before - to fire him over the wall from a circus cannon.