My sister is very bohemian, and I adore that about her; one of the most determined people I know she gets stuff done, but never stops asking “why?” In her head.
For quite a while my sister bought me cow memorabilia, everything from a mooing waste paper basket to a toasted sandwich maker! When after a few years I enquired why? she simply responded with
“I can’t really remember, but I just kept going with it”
She realised for both of us it was an important tradition to keep.
This year, my sister gave me two gifts that really struck a chord, and it’s these gifts that I want to share with you.
Firstly I received a diary ( wow I hear you say!) but this is no ordinary diary, it is a 5 year record of what will become of my life. Each day gives me 1 sentence to record what I did/ how I felt/ who I was with. This struck me as not only an excellent concept, but a real solution to a problem that I have.
My Career as an actor has not been as successful as I would have hoped, I leapt out on a limb (not an easy thing for me to do) and took out a loan to be able to afford a Masters degree in Acting from one of the top drama schools in the UK, and the gamble didn’t pay off. My friends and I have talked about it at great length, and we haven’t been able to put our finger on why?
It has worked for many others, but not for me. So every day I have questions as to why? Why couldn’t I sustain an acting career? Why do I (someone who is meticulously organised at work) always forget where I put my keys? Why can I stand on a stage and sing in front of thousands of people, but find the tube and crowds on the platform too much to handle? Why can I run a marathon, but not have the energy to make my self exercise?!
This little book is a way for me to remember what, with whom & most importantly why I am the way that I am! And just opening it up and seeing the possibilities felt like letting a huge breath out.
The second gift was a jar, a lovely hand decorated jar for our whole family to record the things that happen in our lives, all things great and small, that have happened to us, our achievements, goals and our happiness. It is sometimes hard to remember the good things. This is this kind of gift that brings a busy family together, and for that I am grateful.
No one ever promised that life would be easy. I don’t for one second regret anything that I have done. Especially my training. As an actor you are never done learning, the everyday is where you learn.
The characters that you meet provide insight – habits or mannerisms that can be developed from.
Put yourself in uncomfortable situations – stand at the front of dance class and watch yourself in the mirrors! And maybe you’ll discover something more about yourself.
Feel without restrictions, don’t hold it all in and become overwhelmed by the weight of them – you may just be surprised by what a release you feel.
Exist as you
So whilst this recognition of “why” will not improve my chances of getting a good agent or cast in a show. Maybe a better understanding of my self, will offer a change of perspective, and when you see the world from another angle, sometimes there is much more to be seen.