The Smoother Ride

I am enjoying watching other people’s lives unfold. It’s nice to see from an outside perspective how a career can appear to be slowing down, in a drought with no clear path forward and suddenly BOOM! A great job comes in. Everything changes – at least for the duration of that job, and suddenly things are back on track (wherever that track may appear to lead).

It’s a key driving force for performers in the theatre industry – you never know what’s around the corner, and it’s true to a degree. I am growing tired of living life like this however. Is “what’s around the corner” any better truly, than what exists now? It’s nice to feel that you are getting somewhere – but where is somewhere? Can you ever be anywhere but here? (Thanks JRB)

That said, it’s a thing of beauty when someone you know who has worked, grafted and struggled, suddenly has a career shaping moment – they get THE JOB. The sense of relief is not only financial, but life affirming. I am in the system, I have value and worth, I belong in the industry. The industry wants and values me. I EXIST.

When we got our first round of Arts Council funding last year, I had this moment. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I was almost sick. It felt as if I was given a big gift and the tide had come in for once. I’m not gonna lie, I really needed this to happen. My celebratory mood was quickly replaced however by the fear of going into the unknown (loved Frozen II), and then panic at how to make our budget and plans a reality. It didn’t last long, and low and behold the mundane crept back in. It’s the mundane that now interests me and I want to feel better “in between” jobs. I don’t want the highs to be as high and I don’t want the lows to be so low.

Take me back to my twenties and I would had said that this was a boring way to live. I would have worried that I wasn’t edgy enough, I wasn’t damaged enough, I was living too comfortably and needed some drama to make good art. Feeling better about my everyday life makes me work better, be more efficient, and less reliant on outside elements to bring me happiness. I don’t think there is such a thing as a permanent state of happiness as it comes and goes like other emotions, but I do think that you can feel more alive and connected. I want to experience things on a deeper level. Does this mean that the big, life changing events mean less? Not necessarily. It just means that there is less of a rollercoaster. I don’t want to be bashed around back and forth anymore. I’ll take the smoother ride please.

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