I have been pretty lucky this year.
Most years I’m faced with the usual actor stress – money.
Or, actually, the lack of money in my life.
But this year, I’ve had fewer sleepless nights due to money worries.
As well as the odd acting job here and there, I have been working fairly steadily in temp assignments (the kind of work I have opted for in the UK so that I’m not tied into any one role – in the hope that earning money won’t keep me from pursuing the acting endeavours that I moved to these fair shores in the hopes of).
For the last few months I was back to a company I have worked for a lot since getting to London – in fact, they were my first ever temp placement over here.
I was working as reception cover generally, but, for the last two and a half months or so, I was playing the role of someone who knew how to PA to the big guys.
I was provided with an iPhone and a laptop to help me look the part.
I was dealing with someone else’s calendar, someone else’s flight bookings, someone else’s taxis and someone else’s presentations.
I was using my brain in ways that it had forgotten it could be used after a long time of not thinking.
It was great and wonderful and stressful and challenging and fantastic!
As is the way of #templife the whole thing came to an end last week.
That whole assignment, I mean.
So, in the Mary Poppins nature of my employment – “I go where I’m needed” – I left those friends and employers and have ventured off to other needy pastures…
The good thing about working for the company I just left was that they were very casual.
You know, one of these new-wave, everyone-can-wear-jeans-to-work-if-they-want-to kinds of places (as I talked about recently).
And so, this meant, I could wear anything I wanted.
And I mean that.
I could go from wearing jeans and a t-shirt one day to a dress and heels the next.
If I wanted to.
Which, let’s be honest, is the kind of thing I probably do want to do.
But on Monday?
On Monday I came crashing back into the real world of office work.
With a click-click of heels rather than with a resounding thud…
I was at a placement in a financial company.
I’d worked there before.
I’ve worked for other financial companies.
I know how it goes.
Lots of black.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m from Melbourne.
I live in London.
I’m fine with black.
But not when I am being made to wear it!
Sometimes – and I know this is outrageous – I like to wear colour!
It brings happiness to the day of drudgery…
And this brings us to this week’s mental conundrum.
And, therefore, this week’s teaching for you, my bunnies!
As I was thinking about the depression of being back to a robotic existence of:
- sit there
- say this
- do that
- eat now
- don’t move
I thought about which I preferred.
The answer is neither.
I don’t prefer one to another.
I prefer not having to do any of these jobs, and getting paid to work as an actor.
But, if I have to work in a non-arts area to pay the bills, I prefer having a mix of these jobs.
It’s like when people ask which type of acting I prefer – comedy or drama?
Stage or TV?
My answer is that I enjoy all of it.
I enjoy being able to work in comedy straight after drama (if possible).
I enjoy being able to work on screen projects after theatre (if possible).
I like mixing it up.
Variety is the spice of life.
That’s what people say.
That’s what’s been said.
The same rules apply.
Some days it’s nice to have free rein to wear whatever I have in my wardrobe, in whichever way I desire.
Some days it’s nice to have to work within the confines of a specific colour/style palette.
Some days it’s great to not have to think very hard.
Some days, I need to be challenged or my brain will turn to mush.
I enjoy a challenge.
In work and in costuming myself.
If I can’t be challenged, then I may as well embrace the opportunity to observe people.
And the people who wear suits are a different breed to those who don’t.
And they’re all equally good case studies.
I guess that makes the lesson something like…
Continue to challenge yourself.
If life isn’t throwing you any obvious challenges, find ways to challenge yourself.
And let’s all earn the big bucks doing it!
Here’s to earning more cash – to fund more international jaunts.