Tagged: Friendship

Why it’s important to have actor friends (but maybe not an actor boyfriend)

I’ve been struck down with the flu since Wednesday so been feeling pretty rotten and sorry for myself. I was producing snot at an alarming rate which was quite appropriate considering I was doing a promo job for Kleenex. I still went to work but I felt so weak that I couldn’t train at all. I haven’t been to the gym since Tuesday and was kind of freaking out about it but I’m glad I didn’t. I feel like I’ve given my body time to recover and now I’m ready to hulk smash it at Crossfit tonight.
When I was ill I felt really pathetic and sorry for myself. I feel like I’ve lost a bit of the progress I was making with my training and haven’t really done enough in the last week in the way of career building. I was stuck in bed looking up people I knew from youth theatre on the internet who are embarking on really successful stage careers in London west end and thinking that felt so far away for me. And also becoming green with envy.

Then I went out on Friday night with my close friend to see The Cherry Orchard at The Cottiers. She is also an actress at the start of her career having just graduated from drama school. She really cheered me up and forced me to put things into perspective. I really feel for her at the moment because she almost feels like her life has been turned upside down. Her course was really intensive and pretty much consumed her life for the past year. When it ended a month ago pretty much all of the close friends that she’d made in the last year moved away. She isn’t working and feels quite at a loss at what to do especially with hardly any of her friends around her for support. Checking in with each other gives us both a little shake and boost. It was then that I realised how important it is to have actor friends for the following reasons:

1) I’m not saying that we are special little sensitive butterflies but no one really understands what it’s like to try and be an actor unless you are one. Friends and family find it quite hard to understand why you don’t just “settle down and get a proper job”.

2) HELP EACH OTHER! When I was starting out as an actor I would ask people how to go about actually doing it. For some reason people like to keep “the knowledge” a closely guarded secret and don’t like sharing. I have no idea why this is. Possibly because you might go out and steal all their roles or something? But then you do find that lovely person who will help you and point you in the right direction. I always do my best to help my actor friends. A month or two ago I saw a casting for a play that required a male actor in his 30’s and I forwarded it to a friend. He got the part. If you help people then they might even return the favour *hinthintGeorge*

3) I love going to my acting class because I get to spend time with enthusiastic and creative people. I think when you are in a positive, encouraging environment like that it rubs off on you.

I’m annoyed with myself for the google stalking of successful people. Jealousy and bitterness is SO destructive and eats away at you. I’m now banning myself from being envious of people who are doing well for themselves. I’m going to channel it into making myself more determined to succeed.

On the flip side, you wouldn’t find me in a relationship with another actor. This is just a personal preference and I know plenty of actor couples but it just ain’t for me. Actors generally are quite self obsessed and I should be the centre of my partners life, not them.
I’m also a very competitive person. I go to the gym with my boyfriend and there has been times when we have wound each other up trying to be the best. It’s all a bit of fun but still not pleasant so I can’t imagine if that was translated into us both trying to get acting jobs. I’d probably find it pretty hard to deal with if my partner was more successful than I was which would result in bitterness and resentment. Actors tend also to be on the brink of being mentally unhinged. I have a friend who is in a relationship with another actor and they have a very passionate relationship. So passionate in fact that they can have screaming Taylor-Burton-esque arguments.
Nah, not for me.

I’d be interested to hear what you have to say on the subject. Do you think it’s important to have actor friends? Could you be Brad and Angelina?

Shona x