Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Yo' bro'

Lately I have been feeling very run down. I'm not quite sure why, but for the last few months I've been trying to shake myself out of a funk that just won't go away. It's nothing too serious, but recently it's been quite hard to get motivated - much harder than I've ever found it before. Part of it has been the fairly overwhelming experience of directing the Spring revival of Popular on-stage, with a cast of twenty-six and myself in the role of Cameron. It's a fantastic experience, with a wonderful cast, but I'm really feeling the pressure. Luckily, people have been as great as ever about wanting to come and see the show and it's so gratifying to hear that so many people are already excited about it. It opens in Belvoir on March 15th, by the way, and ends on Saint Patrick's Day. You can reserve tickets by contacting

I've been sitting down and thinking about what it is that's causing my bad mood and I think that part of it is a feeling of frustration with effort. I think it finally hit me that I've been making so much effort with work, friendships and relationships over the last year and it just hasn't been reciprocated. Do you ever get that feeling where you're banging your head against a brick wall? By no means do I expect people to make all the effort, but I think meeting people half-way is the very least we can do. If I can be bothered to out in time and commitment on something, then you should be too.

See, I hate with a fiery, burning passion those Facebook statuses that whine on and on about people's lives because they feel their life is somehow cursed. No! If your life is constantly going wrong or becoming too complicated, then it's not because of everybody else around you - it's because of you! If you can't at least acknowledge where and when you've made mistakes, then how do you expect your life to get any better? But, it's also equally frustrating when you can see relationships - personal or professional - where one person is making all the effort. And lately, I've felt like that. I actually wasn't really aware I was feeling that way until I sat down to have a big chat with my friend Adam (he's playing Blake in Popular, guys, and seriously, he's amazing). The more and more I talked it out, the more I realised a sense that I was trying too hard with so many of the things in my life, with little - or no - effort coming back to me.

Since then, I've been working consciously to sort out my mood. The first is that I definitely need to sleep more. The second is that I've decided the new policy in life is "f* it." Rising above it is no longer my style. Yes, admittedly, this new no-nonsense policy towards BS is very much inspired by The Iron Lady. (Oh, Meryl - is there anything you can't do?) But I like to think it's for the best. Thirdly, I'm trying my best to start focusing more on the positive. Last weekend, one of my best friends, Robbie, came home from uni in Manchester to see his cousin's show and to come to our friend Lauren's birthday party. (First of many, actually. Lauren thinks minimalism is for ugly people.) Robbie and I both went to Down High, did a play together over summer and, all things added up, we've spent about 17,000 hours in each others' company. 

At Lauren's, Robbie and I led the charge in the drinking games and he introduced us to the game of Bullshit. Delightful, guys - play it. (Quick note: not with anyone called Claire Handley or Joanne Law, as they will insist that there were elaborate/impossible conspiracies going on to trick them into losing.) And then, somewhere around 1 o'clock in the morning, we settled down for one of the glorious DMCs that come with any party.

One of the things that you can always say about Robbie, hand on heart, is that his loyalty to his mates is one hundred percent. He gets visibly (and vocally) angry when anyone hurts them and he can always be counted upon to have your back in argument. The next day, when he went back to Manchester, I was genuinely upset to see him go. And not just because in any situation, I can always rely on him to eat more than me so I don't seem like Percival the Piggy Pie-man.

That's the really great thing about solid friendships: they can always lift you up. And if you're a good friend, you should be able to do the same for them. 

Ick, is it just me or was that post far too feelingsy?

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