I’ve been asking this question in the podcast from the start. So I figured it was time we got a definitive answer. Not from me, obviously. Over resident ‘acting cheerleader’, Anthony English…
Luck, fate, kismet. It has a variety of names and everyone of them it can be an absolute bastard. It is a precarious, treacherous
Didn’t train? Get that chip off your shoulder…
As we all know, knockbacks are hard to take and as much as we don’t like to admit it, they do take a toll. So sometimes, after the initial ecstasy and immense satisfaction of getting a job, the panic sets in. What if I’m not good enough? I probably wasn’t their first choice…what if my name was really similar to the person that they actually wanted…but now they’ve got me!? I can’t speak for anyone else but I spend almost every day leading up to the job in a mild (major) state of panic and self doubt worrying that it was all a mistake and that I am in fact not what they wanted at all.
Except when I’m not.
Over the years, since giving up on my salaried muggle job and leaving Belfast in 2009, I have filled the gaps between acting jobs (and plugged the gaping hole between acting earnings and London outgoings) by taking on paid employment of various kinds, with varying levels of financial compensation and, indeed, emotional toll.
It wasn’t until I got to Drama School that I realised the irony of my career choice. I thought that doing something practical, ‘Acting’ would work to my strengths. Little did I know that being an Actor is about 70% reading and, of that, at least half is reading out loud in front of people, usually to try and persuade someone to give you a job. Words are not my strong point. In fact, they are something I actively avoided when growing up.
Why did I become an actor again?
🎶 It’s the mooooost wonderful tiiiiime of the yeeeeeear…
With the kids jingle-belling and everyone telling you to MAYBE START THINKING ABOUT A PGCE BECAUSE YOU WERE ALWAYS SUCH A CLEVER CHILD AND AUDITION FOR EMMERDALE AND PERHAPS ITS TIME TO COME BACK FOR GOOD AS THE PROPERTY LADDER ISN’T GETTING ANY SHORTER AND THE MORTGAGE ADVISORS WILL LAUGH IN YOUR VERY FACE ON THOSE WAAAAAGES 🎶
I’m in a coffee shop with my headphones on, trying to dull the sound of the man next to me shoveling soup, disgustingly into his gob. I’m listening to actors on a podcast about acting, talking about acting. The guest is apparently quite good at it, even though he sounds pretty downbeat about the whole affair and as I continue to listen, I cannot help but audibly say the words ‘I’d kill for your life mate’, which causes the disgusting man slurping soup, to stop and stare at me. We look at each other for a second, before he continues to gorge noisily.