My scrapbook is finally finished!! It has taken weeks, and a lot of star stickers, but the end result is definitely worth it! I've really enjoyed reliving my stage door journey with this tour and being able to go through all these photos and tickets and remember all the crazy journeys and amazing performances. It was a huge task but immense fun, especially now that it's all done and I can sit down and look through it as a complete story. My favourite pages are possibly the ones I did for individual cast members - getting to remember the first time I met Dawn Williams, Cassie Clare, Ben Mundy, Joel Morris and Adam Lake - and going crazy with the star stickers on Adam Lake's page was a lot of fun, even if I was finding star stickers on the carpet for days after that! Some other very special, lovely pages to work on were the ones where I say both 'Goodbye' to Joel as Carbucketty and then suddenly there he is back again! Because really, those were possibly some of the best memories of the tour - that day in Birmingham when I first got to see him back in the programme but wouldn't let myself believe it until I saw his face as Carbucketty again was so special to me, and I did then proceed to cry throughout Act One because I was so overwhelmed - perhaps I should have added somewhere in this scrapbook that Joel Morris holds the title of 'Person Who Has Moved Me To Happy Tears With His Performance The Most Times Of Anyone Ever', as it is a title to be very proud of!! These people and these memories are so special to me and now I have this wonderful scrapbook to show people and tell them the stories of all these amazing, talented, magical people! So thank you to all of the cast members who signed this scrapbook for me and to all of the cast for every performance, photograph, memory and for just being such a fantastic bunch. And of course, thank you to those extra-special, lovely people who gave me so much of their time and became such a huge part of this Stage Door Scrapbook Story: Cassie Clare, Adam Lake, Joel Morris, Ben Mundy and Dawn Williams, you guys are amazing and I adore you all!
When the UK leg of the 2014 tour of Cats was coming to an end, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I could come up with to buy as a unique souvenir of the time I had spent getting to know the tour and its cast - naturally my first thought was to ask the cast to sign a programme or poster/picture for me, but it occurred to me that something like that really didn't come close to capturing the amazing story of the tour and of all the wonderful people I had come to know in its cast. Eventually, after a lot of though, I decided the best way to tell that story would be through a scrapbook, which I bought shortly before my final visit to the show in Birmingham and asked the cast to sign for me on the 'title page', with a view to putting all of the photographs and theatre and train tickets and the like I had amassed in the time that the tour had been going, and all the little stories and jokes which had been shared and told, all together in one place throughout the rest of the scrapbook. I recently completed all the pages of this scrapbook and it has been so lovely to be able to go back over all those memories and really see the story of my time with that tour told back to me in pictures and tickets, and I honestly think that it's a great idea for anyone who regularly visits stage door as it really is a wonderful use of all those photos and tickets, and there are so many beautiful and creative things you can do to really make each page of a scrapbook unique, special and magical, really capturing the atmosphere of that stage door experience or paying a special tribute to a cast member/cast members who you have spent the most time with, incorporating favourite quotes and song lyrics and decorating each page with different arrangements of photographs, by using photo corners on some of your photos or by creating borders using stickers or glitter, or even by drawing in arrows and adding different comments about certain pictures and noting down times, dates and names.
By far my favourite place to go to for projects like this is Paperchase, who I think have the best and most creative ranges of all sorts of things, but are particularly good when it comes to offering a wide range of different, beautiful scrapbooks whilst also offering more basic designs. Another thing I love about Paperchase is the number of scrapbooks with black pages which they have on offer, as I was very clear in my mind that pictures and memories from Cats the Musical would really look special with gold and silver picked out against a black background. Paperchase have an entire scrapbooking section on their website for you to look through, and they cover it all from stickers to photo-corners, even offering different types of photo corners such as some gorgeous silver ones and smart black ones - there is so much choice on their site and it really helps you get creative and come up with the look and feel and style you want so you can match it up to the mood and tone of the show/tour/stage door/person who the scrapbook is based around. Don't get me wrong, it's time-consuming and is of course an awful lot more complicated than a signed programme or poster would be, but it is something which would be unique and special to you and which you can tailor to you own memories and experiences, giving you something that you are more likely to look back on and be able to tell a real story about.