This year I rediscovered something I thought I had lost forever – the joy of acting.
I acted (probably badly, lets be honest) right through high school – Youth Theatre, Drama higher, some plays. It all stopped when I went to University. I would watch plays and films and wish I was in them, but never do anything about it. The usual story of reality chasing dreams away, self esteem being too low, blah blah blah. Same story as my writing, and not a useful one to dwell on.
This summer I had a lightening strike moment and realised that life was too short, and that I needed to try acting again to see if I enjoyed it. I signed up for an intensive comedy workshop in Edinburgh (that’s an intensive workshop about comedy, not a workshop about intensive comedy) and went along, very nervous, on a late summer’s night.
Making people laugh, ‘being’ someone else, feeling strangely free and light – the thrill of it all hit me like it had never struck me as a teenager. I signed up for an actor’s training class at a local acting school a few days later and hit the books (and podcasts) to learn as much as I could in advance. I’m nearly at the end of my second term at the acting school, and love it. The teacher and other actors are all amazing to work with. Acting with the group has given me a new perspective on the screenplays I write, challenged me, and helped me to explore what I can do.
A highlight of the year has been something which has come out of all this, which I’m only going to allude to right now (unhelpful, sorry). I was cast in a feature, and spent most of the last month working on that with the most amazing people (some of whom are pictured above). I’ve pushed myself in ways I couldn’t have imagined even three months ago, and it’s been an extraordinary experience. Can’t wait to tell you a bit more about it next year.
Some days my confidence is very low, but sometimes when I’m performing I feel like someone has lit a fire inside me – it’s bizarre, brilliant, and I can’t get enough of it. I want to feel that fire in my body again and again, and I refuse to let this new love die.
It feels rather good to rekindle an old passion. Ever been tempted?