Wednesday, 21 May 2008

I Was an Actress...

...once, for about two days - between finishing drama school and getting a job. I even had an audition for one of the most famous theatre companies in the country (nay, the world).

I wonder how many of my friends know this about me? I don't tell anyone at work and when people ask me what I did for a degree I usually evade the question but there is a bit part of me that misses telling people that I am an actress.

Not being an actress, you will note, but telling people that I am/was/will be. There are things I miss about acting itself, notably the acting - the feeling of taking a piece of text and making it alive, making it real for me and for an audience, feeling an audience respond.

But the associations with acting are not something I miss. Looking back I was always bored watching plays (how telling that I love feeling people listen to me speak but find listening to others totally un-engaging) and, as an actor, you're expected to spend as much time as possible watching other people's plays.

And actors. In my year of thirty on my drama course I think I found five people who I didn't find supremely irritating. This is not to say that all actors are idiots, quite possibly it is only drama students I find so nauseous, and even more possibly it is because they, like me, are quite boisterous and I don't like them stealing my thunder, but nauseating they are. The "Luvvies" column in Private Eye is testament to that.

Anyway, yes...I miss being a "going to be" actress. At school I was what people in the US call a "drama geek" and by all accounts a pretty good one. It was pretty much universally assumed that I'd be a actress, and probably a famous one at that. Or at least I think that was assumed - it's certainly what people said to my face but then I was a bit of a pain in the arse in those days (obviously, I'm perfect now) and I doubt I would have stood for any less. And there was certainly something pretty comforting about having such a clear and unquestioned predestination, even if it was one that didn't have any grounding in reality.

I'm glad I'm not an actress, even if the dedication in my youth has left me with middle management, it's also left me with challenges I relish and a life that, by and large, fulfills me. That being said, when one of my oldest friends berates me for giving up acting, even though I argue the toss with him, inside I enjoy the fleeting feeling of destiny.


minifig said...

I think that you were going to be a famous actress passed me by at school, but I was concentrating on being a famous musician.

When I say 'concentrating' I mean, 'getting stoned and listening to music'.

Voices From The Below said...

Hold on, that's what I was doing! No wonder I didn't get anywhere.