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Confessions of an Undiscovered Star

Entries in life (9)

Tuesday
Feb072017

Christmas, Cabarets and Several Hallmark Movies Later...

Ok, ok there has been a lot of time since I last updated this but here we are - since I last wrote a blog Christmas has come and gone, I have performed a work in progress of my cabaret that I'm hoping to perform at the Camden Festival and we look like we exchange contracts on a flat FINALLY this week - Hozzah! 

I have been super busy as always but I have discovered my favourite way to veg out is hallmark movies, particularly the ones they show on all the channel 5 channels with the run up to Christmas. There is a something calming about predictable, 'nice' love stories.

Even Netflix is in on the act and I'm currently sat watching a made for TV movie about a woman who finds a list left by her dead mum that has just lead her to a short conversation with Rita Moreno - RITA MORENO PEOPLE! What a stunning woman. I'm now singing 'America' to myself; which is ironic as it's a song about plucky, young immigrants loving living in America and the current President is doing all he can to keep them out. But I digress.

I'll be moving over from Squarespace 5 to 7 soon (what happened to 6?) so this will look all a bit snazzier plus my new headshots will be up woo-hoo! They are already on my spotlight page if you head over there.

Take it easy and see you on the flipside.

Wednesday
Mar252015

Life and Death

This has been a really up and down week. Normally I say that because of the ups and downs of being an actor - auditions, sucesses and rejection etc - but this time I do mean life and death.

My mum lost a very close friend yesterday. They had been friends since secondary school and she lost her battle with cancer after being incredibly brave, organised and no-nonsense about the whole thing. She is one of these people that planned out everything but it was still obviously very upsetting. She was still pointing out typos on my website last week! 

Death is something that has happened a lot more in my life that I would have liked. Over the years I have lost my grandparents, a dear friend and my Dad.

Parents will often buy a pet for a child so that they learn about death and I have had a LOT of dogs over the years (I mean we are talking a LOT - my house was like Battersea Dogs Home as a child, or more so like 'The Darling Buds of May' I thought) and I'm not so sure it has made these deaths any less upsetting or shocking - there's just been more death. 

One of my dogs is not well at all at the moment and we are gearing ourselves up for an upsetting decision. I remember having a book as a child about a boy and his dog called 'I Will Always Love You', an illustrated children's story by Hans Wilhelm which if I read again now would still make me cry (I won't drop a spoiler as to what happens to the dog...) 

My Dad died just over 5 years ago. I miss him terribly and always will but he lived until he died which can't be said of everyone. He went suddenly and without a prolonged illness for which I am thankful. Understandibly I had a very hard time and I didn't cope particularly well for a good year - as well as dealing with grief I developed anxiety. 

A particularly hard thing I found was the lack of contact from friends. They probably felt they were being respectful, that it's a standard thing to give people space whilst they grieve, but I felt so alone.  I think people can find grief embarassing or awkward - they don't want to act or speak in the wrong way so they didn't say anything. They were probably waiting for me to go to them but I just didn't have the strength and the anxiety made me feel such a loss of control.

Obviously everyone handles grief differently and perhaps some people wouldn't mind being given so much space but I found it isolating. I might add that none of these friends are bad people or bad friends! Death is just a tricky subject.

And speaking of friends....

One of my dearest friends and former housemates from drama school had the most gorgeous little twins a week ago today. George and Sam are teeny tiny little perfect miracles and here I am holding Sam:

“Everything's a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping. The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thrush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That's the way it's supposed to be. That's the way it is...

Don't be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don't have to live forever, you just have to live.” 
― Natalie BabbittTuck Everlasting

Friday
Mar202015

'How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over'

I have taken to watching 'TED talks' in the bath - my phone is up on the windowsill I'm not insane. I love listening to uplifting, intelligent people educating and inspiring me. 'TED' is just so wonderful and if you have never watched a talk before have a search around YouTube to see what topics interest you - I like learning about subjects I know nothing about from a passionate professional.

Today I watched a great one by Mel Robbins that really helped me as I am definitely a victim of having tonnes of ideas but not enough time to do everything/I lose focus and go off and look at the next bright, shiny thing... This video isn't specifically bout acting, it really applies to life in general, but I think actors could get a lot from it.

Stop saying things are 'fine' and aim higher.

 

Sunday
Mar012015

All I Want is Ups! (And Advice from a Tiny Potato)

 

 Lucy: Sometimes I get discouraged.

Charlie Brown: Well, Lucy, life does have its ups and downs, you know.

Lucy: But why? Why should it?! Why can't my life be all "ups"? If I want all "ups," why can't I have them? Why can't I just move from one "up" to another "up"? Why can't I just go from an "Up" to an "upper-up"? I don't want any "downs"! I just want "ups" and "ups" and "ups"!

 

 

I didn't get a job this week that I really wanted. This unfortunately goes with the territory of being a performer - your fate is regularly in someone else's hands and there are so many other fabulous people out there going up for the same parts. 

But how do you stay positive with constant rejection?

Whilst watching a Dallas Travers vlog she mentioned that in America your chances of getting a job is a ratio of 1:1500 apparently??! (although there is a different system with open auditions for every Equity audition so you could in theory audition for lots of things that you aren't suitable for constantly upping the odds). I haven't brought myself to think that it is here in the UK but it can't be as high as most of the battle seems to be just being seen - it would take you years to get a job with those odds!!

The actress Julie Bowen (Modern Family/Weeds/Lost/Ed) puts a positive spin on this situation in an 'Emmy Round Table' interview:  

I like how she just says it is a 'numbers game' and each one you don't get just means you are closer to getting the next one. 

Obviously there are times you should give in and try something else - hello half the people that audition for X Factor - but when do you know if it's that time or if it is just the 'Fraud Police' as Amanda Palmer references in her book 'The Art of Asking':  

(But what if you ARE one of those crazy people on X Factor who doesn't know they are pants??! *Shudder*)

Another thing that resonated with me was Teri Hatcher's comment at the start of the 'Round Table' interview that "you aren't out of it until you quit". Her career had many dry spells and rejuvenations - many times where she thought her career was over but just as she did something happened. A lovely friend of mine had a similar thing happen a few years ago, she was about to turn 30 and her career wasn't going the way she wanted so she was ready to jack it in...and then she got a big West End show. Perhaps it helped that she didn't care as much any more, I don't know. 

Thankfully over the past couple of weeks some very exciting things have happened and in the pipeline so I won't be down for too long. If you find yourself feeling discouraged and like Lucy Van Pelt up the top of the blog don't forget what Ginger Rogers and a Potato have told you:  

Thursday
Feb192015

30, Flirty and Thriving!

So this happened this week:

 

Ok so I didn't actually turn into Jennifer Garner! That would have been nice. But yep I'm now 30. It wasn't exactly like this either: 

 

Instead I was taken out on Saturday night by my wonderful boyfriend to see The Book of Mormon! It was fantastic! The West End of London on Valentines day night was not so great.

A bongo playing group of dread-locked chaps were holding demonstration to 'Reclaim Love'. I don't know who has stolen love and I didn't stop anyone to ask whilst the formed a huge circle, pushing everyone out into the road or into nearby shops. I'm not sure if this is the 13th time they have reclaimed love or if they just haven't changed their banner 'Reclaim Love 13' in two years. 

So whilst I was being forced to be part of a real life production of 'Hair' I waited for the boyf to turn up and tell me what my surprise was...and I started having an anxiety attack. I love so much about London but the crazy, touristy centre on a busy night is hell. But anyway the show was awesome!!!

On Sunday a large group of my friends met for my birthday meal at the Bonnington Cafe - my absolute favourite restaurant in London! It is a former squat and now a community vegetarian cafe with a different chef every night. It's just like being in someone's lounge - if they were serving you dinner and they had an acoustic musician. 

I had such a big group they sent me with a pad to get everyone's orders which was fine until one of the other tables of people wanted to give me their order as well. I had to explain that I didn't actually work there and it was just my birthday, which I then realised made me sound like I was having a special treat as I'd always wanted to be a waitress...?!

The night was perfect (despite confusions on times turning the night into Challenge Anneka and having to go to two different pubs first - the first was shut). I really recommend you visit the Bonnington!

On my actual birthday on Monday Jim and I traveled home to Amersham for a family meal at ASK with my mum, best friend and her little girl Bella. I sat on the floor with Bella and did 'good toes, naughty toes' and we practised our numbers and colours (it really is something I need to perfect now I'm 30). Then in the evening we went to see the tour of Return to the Forbidden Planet - a show I have seen so many times and LOVE! I started playing the saxophone because of this show so if it is coming near you soon go and see it!

I'm definitely 30, flirty and thriving! Well...I'm 30. But that's ok. 

I liked this video from Mel Kirk - have you just turned 30? How have you found it?