Friday, 18 May 2012

Six Years On

Six years ago today I was one excited little person. Six years ago today I thought I was a couple of hours away from the start of a glittering career. Six years ago today I was mid-way through my final performance within the cottonwool-lined walls of the cocoon that is drama school. Six years ago tomorrow I woke up with a vicious hangover and a wondering of what on earth I was supposed to do with the rest of my life.

During my final performance, I'm pretty sure I was naively convinced that this would be the lowest point of my career. I loved the play I was in but I believed there were bigger and better things to come. Had I known then that my first job would consist of me travelling around Oxfordshire in a terrible white dress for almost no money then I'm sure you'd still find me cowering in the box-like singing room, clutching on to someone's discarded practice skirt and gnawing on my copy of Contacts. If I'd known that over the last few weeks I'd be using the phrase 'It's just so quiet out there at the moment' like it's going out of fashion quicker than monologues at auditions then I'd still be in the canteen now guzzling cheap baked potatoes. If I'd known then that I'd now gone for nearly a month without an audition then I'm pretty sure the students there now would refer to me as the drama school ghost who wanders aimlessly around the dressing rooms.

However, if you'd mentioned to me that within six years I'd have starred in an advert with one of my comedy heroes and that every single audition I get would send such a thrill through me that I feel like the most importnat person in the world then I'd probably have raced off that stage mid-speech and never looked back. Y'see, that's what is so ridiculously addictive about this job because you just don't know what the next day will bring. I remember a couple of months ago complaining on Twitter that I wasn't getting any auditions and there was nothing out there to even apply for. I was feeling utterly dejected and experiencing that familiar feeling of wondering what the hell I'm doing with my life. However, minutes later my agent was calling me with an audition for a pretty big feature film. That magic unpredictability is what's so wonderfully special about this stupid so-called career that we have carved out for ourselves.

Six years ago I firmly believed that I would be an actress forever. If someone had told me that three years in I'd find myself taking on an office job which some helpful so and so would try and comfort me with by saying 'But you can pretend you're an office worker so it will still be like acting' then I'd have attacked you with my 12 zillion headshots. That was a low point that I'd never imagined but I had no idea that during that pathetic low I'd also meet the love of my life and that my last day in that office (leaving because I'd got myself two acting jobs) would be one of the happiest days I've ever experienced. 

If I had the chance to have a quick word with myself back in 2006, I'd tell myself that it all works out in the end and that acting jobs do happen. I'd say that even the excruciating jobs are alright and not to worry when I find myself spending a good few months solely playing animals and children. But most importantly of all I'd remind myself to write everything down because it would make my future plans of blogging a whole lot easier...


  1. This is a lovely post. I have been having a real...low've told me what I needed to "read! - thanks :-) xxx

  2. Oh and... I too worked in an office where people would comfort me with the line ..."just see it as playing a role...act"!! Almost killed myself....