Good thinking Cole Porter!
“I will never have to work this hard again…”; a phrase that has come back to haunt me on several occasions. Be it devising with ‘Gecko’ Monday to Friday whilst popping off to sing G&S in the evening, crawling about on all fours as a leopard and various other Narnian creatures or perhaps running around the pass track of an arena in a gold thong, knowing full well the stage crew wouldn’t be waiting with a towel. And now once again, I find myself in another physically demanding challenge of a show, finding new puppet muscles and the equally new aches that follow - hoorah!
But isn’t that a wonderful thing? I’m learning an entirely new skill, which although physically draining, is fascinating and the practising of which only makes you want more - the desire to learn, improve and ultimately succeed proving stronger than the want to stop through pain or fatigue. Bizarre! But totally brilliant.
I suppose it’s a question of gratitude. Firstly, for being in a job and secondly, for being in a job that challenges you.
On a similar thread, a friend of mine has recently been offered a job. Lovely. He’s subsequently turned it down. Ouch. Biggest actor’s sin? I don’t think so, no. Again, he was extremely grateful for the offer, but having just finished touring the world for 12 months he didn’t want to be out of London for another year on tour - perfectly valid. There’s also a part of him wanting to step things up and go on to bigger challenges. Brave and ambitious. Many points.
It would no doubt have been the ideal job for another actor, but it wasn’t the right path for this actor at this time. And surely that’s ok? I often think that we are trained to an almost parrot like fashion and must always accept any job offered to us. Don’t get me wrong, at the end of the day, a job is a job and of course we don’t always have the luxury to choose, but even as a recent graduate I always ask myself why I want to take the job - what will I learn from it? Is it an ambition to work at that venue or with a particular director, choreographer etc..? Is it simply to pay the bills?
All are fine and there will never be a right and wrong answer and no one else can make the decision for you. A job offer is one of the best parts of the actor’s life but we should never be afraid to turn a job down if we feel that’s the appropriate choice, for whatever reason.
Tomorrow sees me take a field trip - my first since Year 11 - to some stables in Wimbledon. Packed lunch, kagool and clipboard are all packed so hopefully it’ll go without a hitch.
And as a parting thought, don’t we all love those “end of a long day, sweaty, tired, emotional, still have to put the bins out, have a shower and read script for tomorrow’s rehearsal” brain mash moments…. and then Love Actually kicks in on the TV?