Oh, hello there. How are you doing? Me? I’m good, thanks. Yes, long time no speak. Well, you know, been busy and all that. You have too? Oh that’s good. It is good, isn’t it? Yes, well, beter to be busy I guess.
Urgh. Enough of the small talk.
Actually, I am equally good and not good. So for this post, I’m not going to be all British about it, or put on the show face that we actors use to justify covering up our feelings in order to not bring others down. I’m going to talk honestly and openly about what’s going on right now.
There is a lot of good, and for that I am incredibly grateful. I’m finally in a place that, with regular hours at Bewilder Box, and an invitation to return to a regular promo job that I did last year, I can now be both available for auditons/last minute calls, AND stop worrying about how I’m going to pay my rent. This is the point that I have been working towards for five long years.
This has provided me with amazing clarity, for now I am able to keep my diary clear, it is becoming obvious which other commitments are no longer helping with moving my life forward. Thus, I am making some big decisions about my non-acting commitments going forward. This, of course, has lots of knock-on effects. Feelings of not wanting to let anyone down, not wasting anyone’s time, and managing any lingering responsibilities whilst knowing that my heart isn’t really in it any more. Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, I will say that those affected by this thoughts have been involved in conversations along these lines. This is not a cryptic or passive-aggressive way of breaking news to anyone.
I also feel a responsibility, now that I am in this position, to share my journey with others so that they can learn from my experiences. In the same way that I set up BrightonActors.co.uk and (Brighton &) Hove Grown because they are things that were not present when I needed them, I feel the same sense of duty to help the next in line. I fully intend to share what I can, and I’m currently deciding on the format that this will take. I may release a one-off podcast where I talk about my journey, as I find words flow a lot easier from my mouth than my keyboard.
Speaking of podcasts, I’m really pleased with the first three SussexActors.co.uk podcasts. There are more in the pipeline, and I’ve taken a lot of confidence in how they’ve been received. I’ll talk about this some more on my Patreon page. At some point this year, my new podcast How to be a Man will hit the airwaves. Again, I’ll be sharing my own experiences of changing my life from a monotonous 9-to-5 to a life full of energy and creativity, and I’ll be interviewing various guests who have completed similar journeys.
Recently I’ve been writing a lot more too. I’m a sucker for a great musical and I watched The Greatest Showman twice at the cinema in the last couple of months. That’s the same amount of times I went to the cinema in total in 2017! It got me thinking about the concept I started sketching out a couple of years ago, so I returned to my work and have started fleshing some of it out. I’ve been leaning heavily on John Truby’s The Anatomy of Story to guide me, and I really feel like I’m starting to find not only my voice, but also my preferred mechanisms for delivering my message. I’ve already written the opening number, and I’ve jotted down some cracking lyrics, even if I do say so myself.
Despite all this, I’m feeling something that I can’t quite quantify. It feels a little like exhaustion, a little like a virus or flu, and a little like heightened anxiety. Although I’m not showing any obvious symptoms, I am generally feeling run-down, and everything feels like it is taking more energy than usual. At the Hove Grown launch on Thursday I really struggled to talk to people. My brain didn’t want to be challenged to come up with words and put them in the correct order. I tried to go to the gym, but although I wanted to be there, my head kept telling me I didn’t want to be there. I did what I could and then left. Though in my defence, that’s still a positive because a year ago I wouldn’t even have gone.
Actually, come to think of it, I’m possibly still recovering from that virus I had a few weeks ago. I dunno.
Anyway, now that Hove Grown is live, my workload quietens down a little. I’m doing some photoshoots this week, which I’m really looking forward to, and I’ll be able to get plenty of rest without worry about how I’m going to pay my rent. Hopefully that will put an end to this feeling.
Something I’ve adpoted recently that I feel has been hugely beneficial is simply allowing myself to sleep until my body wants to wake up. I’ve stopped setting an alarm when I don’t have anywhere to be. My body is now learning to wake up when it wants to, in it’s own time. It means I feel properly refereshed when I wake up.
That said, tomorrow morning I’m heading off to an audition for a devised piece of interactive theatre, which again is another piece of work that genuinely excites me, but it does mean setting an alarm. I suppose I should go and get some sleep.