Saturday, 17 September 2011

Week 3, Day 6 — Putting it Together

If you've been reading this week (not sure anyone else is out there other than myself and Debbie, but to be fair I'm only writing for our benefit) you'll know it's been a week of ups and downs — and most of it down, if I'm completely honest.

Week 3's about recovering a sense of power, though I don't think I've let myself feel quite so powerless in a long time.  My week started badly due to a crazy combination of illness and work pressure, so escaping into my wee artistic bubble every day should have given me a reprieve from the madness.  But it didn't.  In fact, when I finally started to get stuck into the tasks this week they made me feel worse.  Rather than empower me, they unlocked insecurities I didn't even know I had, dragging up things I've dealt with in the past and long moved on from.  I started viewing things I'd previously been accepting of in a whole new light, filling myself with conflict and creating a whole new series of blurts for myself in the process.  I've started to doubt my writing, worried about my performance when rehearsals started, got myself annoyed and angry when trying to organise things:  I barely recognised myself at one point in the week, I was a monster!  I could quite happily have thrown in the towel, locked myself in my living room with a pint of tea and a duvet.

Today I decided to cancel everything and spend it at home.  I even cancelled my artist's date — sacrilege, I know, given it's only Week 3 and I missed Week 2's due to illness (I don't feel totally cheated though as last night's trip to the theatre nourished my creative self).  I just needed a day to myself.  I've spent some time learning lines, stopping only to watch a movie and some TV for a break.  The sofa has very much been my friend today.  I feel grounded for the first time this week.

Putting it all together, I realise exactly what's going on.  The week got out of control because I was run down, stressed and filled with anxiety.  It's getting close to the production now, and I will be exposing both my writing and my acting to an audience in a big way.  The part of me that was scolded as a 17 year old and told you'll never make it is screaming at me to run and hide and spare myself humiliation.  That's why the tasks were crippling me.

Nobody said this journey would be an easy one.  If I have to drag myself kicking and screaming to the stage in two and a half weeks time I bloody well will.  I've been working towards this goal for such a long time:  it's not even the finish line, it's barely even the first milestone.  These doubts need to be kicked to the kerb now or I risk derailing my career.  I've allowed myself to have a panic and tantrum, now it's time to say down with fear, down with not being good enough and down with anger.

I have one more distraction to get past.  Tomorrow night I'm singing at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with a 50 piece orchestra to an audience of around 2,000.  Oddly, I'm not worried in the slightest about this gig in spite of the week I've had:  I have faith in my vocal training and am very much looking forward to it.  I'm sure it will give me a much needed confidence boost and get the adrenaline pumping again.  All I have to do is work out how to carry that conviction over and use it to power the next fortnight.

Once more unto the breach.


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