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.
‘The opportunities you turn down are just as important as the ones you seize’ – President Bill Clinton
I spend a lot of time contemplating how making different decisions at cross roads in my life could have taken me down a dramatically different path. There are decisions that I have made that I have come to regret but it would be impossible to say that things would have turned out for the better.
Jim Carrey starred in a movie called the ‘Yes Man’ which was about a man who is unable to say no to anything that is asked of him. He ends up having to yes to things like giving people money and working the weekend at work, which in turn leads to a promotion for his perceived commitment to the job. I often wonder how life would be if you just said yes to everything and what experiences you would actually have. The closest that I have ever got to this is leaving the house without a plan and doing things on a whim. One Saturday we ended up seeing a lunchtime concert, adding drawings (not a skill of mine) to a big piece of art that was being created in a church and walking around parts of the City Centre that I had never been before.
I think we all self-censor our lives, set ourselves too many boundaries and in someways can stop living. It is very possible to be alive and breathing but just going from day to day without doing anything you enjoy. Working full time is massively draining and it takes so much mental and physical effort. I remember accepting a job where the pay was good but it was basically putting an end to my dream of working in the arts. In the end I had to leave because I just knew there was so much more out there for me. The biggest lesson that I ever learnt from working was how everyone is replaceable. My mentor in the job left and the company was never the same and a much worse place without them, but everything just keeps moving on. I was told never to put work first in my life and to enjoy it for everything it was worth but find what makes me happy. I believe you judge your achievements in a job not on your day to day activities but on what you did to personally make the company or guest experience better.
Pursue your dreams and never ever let someone tell you that you are not good enough. So many negative comments come from people’s own demons, own insecurities and own jealously. Be the person that you want to be and start today because tomorrow you could be just that much further down the line. It is never too late.