So many of us worry not about death but about the fact that we may get to the end and realise that we never lived. So many of us spend our lives not pursuing our dreams and afraid to be ourselves.
I have read the words ‘former actor’ so many times lately. What concerns me is that arts is something you go into for love. I know there are cases of pushy stage mums but later in life if you go into theatre then you do it for you. Family businesses like having a long line of dentists for example is different and I can see how one could be compelled to go into the family trade and it not being really what they wanted to do.
It is tragic that so many have reached the point where this often rotten industry has made you brand yourself ‘former actor’ etc.
Truth is people less talented than you will get the parts you want. People who don’t deserve to breathe the same air as you will sit there and judge you and they will criticise you and make you feel second class but please don’t let them make you give up and become a ‘former’ anything.
If I can ask one thing of you this Christmas it is to take down the ‘former’ and leave the word actor or singer or whatever it might be. Give 2018 a chance and try again and show those who doubt you that they have not beaten you.
The thing I find most annoying about the arts is that no matter how talented you are there is just no guarantee that you will ever rise to the top of your profession.
I always compare this with sports. If you are the best snooker player in the World then you can qualify and win the World championship. If you are a great footballer then you will be scouted and be playing soon enough in the big time. Yet you can be the greatest tripple threat out there and never be given a chance.
Always find it amusing to hear that Ronaldo had a stinker of a game. Imagine how much work you would get if you were a lead in a show and had a stinker or even better when players have a bad season. Oh they were shit all year in Phantom but we will still pay them a fortune and pick them. Would never happen!!!!
It is unfair. Truly unfair and you can be that good and never get through the system. I hate the fact that just for ease people cast or give opportunities to those they know or have used before. You may be so much better but it is easier to just use them. They also worry that you can perform consistently at that level and know the other person will deliever a decent job .You are a risk. Anything new is a risk and people have stopped taking chances. With a chance can come greatness.
Never doubt your own ability because when you do then you no longer have any chance. You are not delusional. You truly can be missed and be that good and deserving of those roles. Reality TV I detest and there have been many wonderful talents that have come through but seriously because you made into the top 32 on X Factor you are automatically more deserving? Bull*hit. A bit of autotune, smoke and s choir can make amateur seem like genius to the viewing public. Truth is nobody knows what great is anymore. That standard has been lost.
Please stick in there and there are still good people out there who want the best they can find. Be part of the change yourselves and raise the standards wherever you can. Shine my friends and blind them with your light.
Not getting into drama school or university can be a massive disappointment. Taking up an offer which is not at one of your first choice schools can also be disheartening. After all it is crazy expensive to attend and you want to make sure the course brings you closer to your dream.
It can literally seem like the end of the World. Especially if you are dealing with other life problems. I wish you could be in the room at our concerts when this conversation has come up and you would be shocked at how many big West End stars just did not get into their choice of drama school on the first or even second time of auditioning.
Keeping the faith is hard and it is a test of your character to keep bouncing back and trying again. You might be shocked to hear that audition panels are often nervous about making the right decisions. They want to see and hear from you and using your journey as the cornerstone to your audition selections is a good idea. There is never anything better than the truth. Not the sob story but the determination part. Show them that they made a mistake last time and you have taken the year to develop through lessons, life etc. Make your journey count in your favour.
Please remember that if you don’t believe in yourself then nobody else will. You can do it and you will do it. Take the negative out of your vocabulary. We are told off by Giovanni Malacrino constantly for using words like ‘if’ so turn that into when and never doubt yourself. We believe in you and you deserve to succeed. If you need something send us a message. 2018 can be a good year. If you need a kick then yell. Don’t turn in on yourself and let’s fight again for our dreams.
Check out posts by Michael Moor for audition tips. He writes some of the best that I have ever seen.
It annoys me that people belittle pantomime. It is often the very first theatre experience that a child will have. In the age of smart phones and PlayStations the theatre can still inspire and leave children mesmerised by its magic. That pantomime they saw as a child can lead to a lifelong love affair with the stage and the arts in general.
I know that these panto runs are hard with three show days and exhaustion. Yet every single performance you are playing to the future performers, fans and supporters of tomorrow. Give all you have and set their hearts alight with the mystesim of the stage.
The theatre still amazes me and that was started from watching pantomimes. I love the fact that for those few hours you are taken away and enchanted. You never think about the hours it took to write, produce, choreograph and the rehershals, casting and even the selling of tickets and front of house staff that make every show what it is and that is what is amazing about the theatre. For those few hours that is your real life. It may be a made up World but boy it is a special one.
Look at those smiles on the kids faces at a pantomime and then dare to question the place that pantomimes have within the yearly highlights of theatre industry.
To some of us it may not be Hamilton but to them it is just that! The best ticket in town.
Our very first Vlog sharing our autograph collection.
I have been asking friends over the past few weeks if there are any particular topics that they would like to see me cover in these blogs and the one that kept coming up time and time again was related to depression. I must admit that I have stalled on writing a blog on this until now but I am going to give it my best shot.
Before I write anything I just want to say that even though times can get very hard there is always someone out there who will understand and you are never alone. I think music in many ways is the best therapy because there is a song written about virtually every subject matter we could possibly come up with. Someone else has tread the boards before us and we can take a lot from that.
I think depression in general is on the increase but in the arts it is something a lot of us share. It is never a sector that you can rely on for stability and the constant not knowing where the next job is coming from is a massive struggle. You also have the massive highs that come from performing and then massive lows that often follow the next day or in coming weeks when it is all over.
The biggest struggle I face personally is with myself as I have an inability to switch my mind off from overdrive. There is always some battle going on in there and I am always finding something new to worry about. I find it very hard to just sit in one place and be completely relaxed. I am constantly concerned about something and that is at the root of my personal anguish. I can feel fine one moment and the next feel awful and it often doesn’t make any sense.
I also set myself exceptionally high targets or standards and the pressure that I put to get there often ends with me being dissatisfied or deeply frustrated . I often go through times when I think not one person in the World would want to hear anything that I have created and that I am simply good for nothing.
This often ends with the time I call ‘Falling Off The Edge of the World’ where you don’t want to see anyone, speak to anyone or even go outside. You simply cannot face yourself so you in many ways cease wanting to live for a period of time which can last for hours, days, weeks or even months. You can struggle through and continue day to day but sometimes it can just get to much and you become a recluse. You just want to hide away! and not infect anyone with the poison that feel has taken over your life.
Simple things can trigger these moods to come to an end. When they end I often feel creative again or have come up with a new project to keep me occupied, focused and inspired. I have an obsessive nature and I have to be obsessed with something.
The industry is set up to be hard to break and it can come with great times but everyone at some point suffers the down side. There are amazing charities out there and amazing people who can help you wherever you are in the World. Nobody should ever feel alone and there is always someone will help.
Being depressed or suffering from anxiety can give people thoughts that they no longer want to be here anymore. If you ever feel like that then you must reach out because you are very special and have something incredibly unique to give to this World. You must find the strength to continue and make the best out of the mess to find the best version of yourself. Be kind and look after yourself always.