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.  💜