Ongoing struggles and taking a break

It has been quite a busy year (so far) for me as an actor! I have been rehearsing and performing end-to-end this year and it has been an interesting mix of ups and downs. The highs have been wonderful as ever and the lows hard to ignore. I have had some of my worst experiences as an actor to date, the film I starred in still isn’t out, and my personal life has fallen to pieces.

To be quite clear, acting is still, as it has always been, the high point in my life. All things have their ups and downs. I have been part of some rough productions this year and they have left me feeling somewhat exhausted.  

I mentioned before that my mental health was in a state of steady decline. I did manage to get myself back on track and, for a time, thought I might even be ‘cured’! That, however, did not last. I was made unemployed which has proven to be a struggle I was not ready for. I am now back to square one.

My life being in this unfortunate state has given me an interesting opportunity to rebuild. I have developed a few wonderful friendships, something I wasn’t able to do effectively whilst in a mildly controlling relationship, and those friendships have helped me look past what I’m experiencing now.

Possibly the most concerning of recent developments had happened within the past few days. I had my worries but I’d managed to convince myself that those involved wouldn’t be quite so... evil? Yes, evil is a good word for it. This goes back to my regrettable “Heartbreak and the Stage” post. I mentioned a recent breakup which had shook my life up. I also mentioned that the relationship had been abusive (but not that I’d been defending this behaviour for about two years), however she claimed that I had been the abusive one. I hoped I’d heard the end of it when I cut off communication between us, however, I have encountered another ex-girlfriend who recently decided to get into the world of theatre. I didn’t see this as an issue, in fact we were getting on fine, until I heard that she had started to spread the narrative that I’d been abusive and therefore should not work in the theatre (even going so far as to claim that I am a danger to children which, considering I also occasionally teach drama to children, is a disgusting and damaging claim).  I had hoped that both mine and my ex-girlfriend’s reputations could be untouched by this unfortunate event since I do not enjoy causing suffering of any kind- however, I feel this has been taken more than far enough. Before she left me, she had demanded I quit acting- I’m now seeing how far she’s willing to go to make that happen. I have decided to privately share with certain people all proof I have that I had been the victim. I feel I have to do this to preserve my career at this stage. I have already noticed a difference in the behaviour of certain members of the production towards me.

To conclude this unusually long post: I have decided that I really should take the break I promised myself. I will be mostly inactive as an actor next year. I may take on roles in moderation that interest me. I feel, for the sake of my health and my enjoyment of the theatre, this is for the best. I have a writing project, a play, that I am eager to finish and have produced and so I’d like to take the time to focus on that.

Thank you, everyone who has followed me this far. I am not quitting, far from it. You’ll certainly be hearing from me.  💜

Our Country’s Good | June

From the 13th-15th June I will be performing with the Arden Theatre.

The play is based on the true story of the first convict colony to arrive in Australia and 2nd Lieutenant Ralph Clark’s task of directing a play with the convicts in order to introduce culture into their new society, hoping to redeem the convicts rather than punish them.

I will be filling the role of 2nd Lieutenant Ralph Clark and it is looking to be a good show!

Grab your tickets from  http://ardentheatre.co.uk/

Heartbreak and the stage

This will be a different entry into this, my professional blog. A personal tale that became entwined into my professional life as an actor.

Recently, the woman that I had every intention of marrying severed our ties by text. This was a confusing and upsetting  move that seemed to come from nowhere. We had just spent an evening together, I had spent a small fortune on a long promised, indulgent takeaway pizza order that she so persistently asked me for. We went to bed that night, I kissed her goodbye the following morning, hopped on the bus to work, and received the heartbreak by text. Three years undone in a few cold words on a screen. 

I am comfortable in the knowledge that I was always the most generous and loving of partners, however, I must admit that my decaying mental health proved problematic in the end, which is the reason she gave me for leaving. 

We, both being thespians, had both been cast in a play prior to the break-up, and so a professional approach proved hard to maintain when I found I was fighting back tears the entire performance. 

Upon the closure of that play, I found that she had began telling the people closest to her that I had been abusive and manipulative. I regret to have to admit that I had in fact been the victim of the things she had accused me of. To her credit, she apologised in private for the times she’d hit me or manipulated me, but refused to tell others the truth- deciding that she’d rather damage my reputation with a lie than her own with the truth. 

I hope, to all those that have seen me in performance, that my work was not affected by these events. Rest assured, I have made things as right as can be by passing on the truth and supporting evidence to mutual friends in order to stop the damage before it goes any further. It goes without saying that those who know the whole truth are utterly disgusted and disappointed in the person in question.  

I feel, despite the heartbreak, that I am in a better place now. I am able to enjoy my work and smile again. I would like to think I am now a better version of myself. 

Thank you for sticking by me. 

-Luke

2018: My Year?

As the end of 2017 neared, I promised myself at least the first quarter of 2018 as a break from acting so I could finish my writing. Well, life has a funny way of not going the way you planned.

The local drama festival is approaching and, for the first time, I can’t keep up with demand. I’m turning down roles that I would love to take simply because I’m already busy with other plays. It doesn’t look like that will change as the year goes on since I’m already being approached for auditions in April.

With my new film, “About Chris”, premiering in March and directors asking me to fill roles further in advance than ever before, this looks to be my year as an actor.

If “About Chris” is a success, I may even be able to afford more time to spend on my writing projects in between rehearsals. A week or so away from my full-time job could even be enough to finish off the script for my musical all together. 

We will see. 

 

Officially fully booked

My schedule this year has been nothing short of manic. Since the beginning of the year, I have been working on the wonderful musical, "All Shook Up" which we performed in June. I juggled that with a February run of "The Importance of Being Earnest" and rehearsals for an April run of "Visiting Hour".

Since then, I have been straight back to the front line, juggling rehearsals of "Year of the Hiker" and "Outside edge"- the latter to be performed in August and the former to be toured in September.

I can announce that, today, I was cast in "Dead Guilty" to be performed in October and I am attached to a pantomime (still to be cast) which opens in November into December.

 

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Quite the busy year. Time for a break? No, probably not.