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Friday, 5 August 2011

Here, There and the InBetweener

Some months ago, I was giving an interview on the red carpet, in the days ahead leading to my character, Cesca Montoya’s big storyline on BBC 1’s, Waterloo Road (A well loved, and BAFTA nominated drama series in the UK). The interviewer was lovely and cheeky at the same time (aren’t they all?), and she asked me, ‘So, what’s next for you?’ I laughed, a little surprised as my new storyline had not even hit the screens as yet, but I went on to tell her about a comedy series which I’d be starting to film the following month, called, Pixelface. I was excited in telling her how different my new character was from playing the naughty school teacher in Waterloo Road, until she cut me off, and said, ‘Great. So what’s next after that?’. I thought to myself, ‘Really?’ But instead I smiled graciously back to her and said, ‘Uh well...I haven’t even started filming Pixelface, but how about you ask me that question in August (4 months later) when I’m done, and hopefully I’ll have some more news to share.’ And of course her answer to that was....‘Great.’ lol

It’s funny how you start to climb the ladder up to where you want to go, and some people are always asking you, what’s next? What else is happening? I find this amusing. But the danger for some actors or musicians is to feel an unnecessary pressure by these people, who sometimes forget that things don’t happen over night. I was always told by my mentors that any place worth going to means you’re gonna have to go through some twists, and turns, up s and downs, but it’s all part of the journey. Anything considered ‘over night’ is really in fact, a very looooooooooooong night.

Everyday I count my blessings for the opportunities that have come my way. I know a lot of brilliant actors and musicians who put themselves out there and punt away, and don’t ever get a look in. It really puzzles me. They are so talented, have paid their dues, have a good attitude on their shoulders, and deserve to be up there with the rest of them, but it just hasn’t happened, and who knows if it will or won't. Some of them have even left the business all together and changed their life’s direction – some begrudgingly, and unfulfilled, and some with an open heart and mind - which is so admirable and inspiring. It’s a tough one. Like myself, and for those friends and fellow colleagues of mine who continue on with their acting or music, being 'in between' jobs, or 'in between' gigs is an everyday normality...so what does one do when they're 'in between'? Waiting for the phone to ring? For me, I never wait for the phone to ring. I'm an Aries gal. You're never gonna see me sitting around twiddling my thumbs. My sanity depends on being productive - whatever it is, big or small, for work or for my family or for myself. But take note now, the 'in between' bits are just as important, if not more important then the here and there. It's what gets you from one milestone to the next and makes all the difference!

It’s too easy and sometimes tempting, to let things slide in the 'in between' bits. It’s too easy to start worrying, and wondering, or getting bored and not knowing what to do until the next 'thing' happens. In this business, you gotta think two steps ahead. When I’m not on set, I’m writing, songwriting and creating music, and when I’m not doing music or filming, I’m going to meetings, reading books, finding interesting ways of keeping fit (my latest craze was trapeze classes, but that’s a whole other blog altogether), meeting new people, finding new ways of being creatively inspired. These things keep me active and make me tick, and open to whatever the future might bring. The beauty of it, is that it's something within my control. Boredom is an unnecessary evil. There’s no time to be bored when there’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored. In my case, I really believe that life experience makes you the better actor. I learned so much about myself (good and bad lol) when I was away from home, when I traveled and saw how other cultures and how people lived and socialized. My father always told me since I was a little girl, to keep my eyes open to everything around me. And of course, Papa was right. I love people watching...I love immersing myself in different cultures when I’m traveling or working abroad. I’d like to think that all these experiences have helped me become a better human being, a better actor and a better musician.
Embrace those transitional periods...that's what I always remind myself to do...to enjoy that 'in between' chapter too. Cause the 'in between' can be just as exciting as the before and after. 

Yours Always, TGITPG xoxo