We’ve Got A Lot To Do To Work It Out

Hello again people who somehow still read this blog regardless of the amount of activity, you guys are the best. As always being a student at drama school, there is a lot going on and a lot of projects on the way to worry about, to which I’ve started planning my own project.

Upon reflection at my time so far in first year, I have definitely made progress in my performing but there is also a part of me that is disappointed. It feels to me as I have successfully established myself as the joke of the year, the one that is there to make you laugh and be laughed at. I usually would enjoy this role, but trying to perform a serious role can be pretty frustrating when all you hear is laughter because ‘the funny one is being serious how stupid’. And me, relying on others for performance validation, goes into a state of depression after every performance.

With this in mind, it led me to wanting to organise my own performance external to the curriculum. If the first year hasn’t given me a script to really bond to, then I’ll just do it myself. Whilst I know this will be stressful to organise, all I want is to be proud of myself working in a group and entertain. It’s a lot of work yes, but that’s what theatre is. I don’t just want to settle for how I am seen, I don’t want to just be the butt of a joke, I want to be proud of my work and I want to share that with the group.

I’ll update perhaps on how the show is coming along.

All the Best

Gabby

Also I took myself out to a garden and saw the most amazing birds. Here is a wild parakeet native to Bexley just chilling out. The day out was needed.

Getting Away From it All

Today I’m writing on this blog all the way in Sainte-Maxime in the south of France. Term finished on Friday and the Saturday morning me and a group of friends were on the way to the airport for our strange adventure. Only a flight, tram, train and bus to where we need to go!

The last few days of a term are always the hardest for me. My self esteem takes a hit and I worry what the next term will bring. For now I’m trying to just get as much sun as I can and spend time with the people who make me happy and a couple of bottles of wine.

It has been hard recently what with going through a break up too, so I’m trying to find who I am without him at Uni. It’s strange, but my friends have been so good to me recently, which is what I love about my course. It’s not about the individual being strong alone, it’s the ensemble that stick together that make a piece work. I’ve found my insane ensemble who care about me the way I am, not in how I can be better. I am a decent person who just wants people to laugh and feel better, it’s just remembering that which is the hardest part.

Call a friend, you might need it,

Gabby

Short post for now until I get back on track with my break away from uni. I’ve been so disoriented:’)

I Am Enough

You know they say ‘fake it till you make it?’, well I’m hoping this philosophy may work on me one day. This has been the focus of my mind recently and one I have been discussing with a few of my friends.

Because what is ‘enough’? Enough for what? A pint of milk? (I am hilarious). I always thought my idea of not enough was a recent one, sadly I was wrong. Have you ever seen those ‘a post from x years ago’ and then you see the post and cringe badly? I had that the other day in a post from when I was 12.

Whilst still cringey in nature (and I obviously didn’t know how to capitalise letters) I’ve had this feeling of not being good enough for YEARS. This toxic mindset has been following me even before my edgy teenage years to almost adulthood. Why did I let this happen!? I’ve let it ruin relationships with people because all I want is validation for my ‘not enough’ complex. It’s got to stop.

My first step was accepting I need medication again and telling myself ‘It’s not because I’m not good enough, it’s for my health’. Also I’ve been looking more positively at the progress I’ve made a drama school, convincing myself I belong and spending more time with people. There are still some problems I need to address in me, some that will take more time but right now I need time for myself, to not hear from the things that bring me down. I am enough to live, I am enough for my course, I am enough to love and I am enough to prove I’m enough.

As Kesha sang: Don’t let the bastards bring you down.

You’re enough,

Gabby

Photo from my parents who are away on holiday living it up, you go guys.

An Anxious Actor: Gary Oldman Interview and Reflections

Hello all, long time no see. No I have not forgotten about this little blog I have created, I just have needed inspiration and motivation, something that has been in short supply as of late due to the amount of work I have had. A few weeks ago, my school had an old student return to do a talk, that student just happens to be Gary Oldman and I was lucky enough to see his talk, which opened my eyes a little bit to the acting world.

The talk began with Gary (I guess we’re on a first name basis) talking about his life before Bruford. He told us how RADA told him to ‘look for another job’ after his rejection was pretty shocking to hear. He went on to talk about the content of his old course and how things have changed. After talking a lot on his process and the difference of film and theatre, he began talking on the topic of mental health regarding regret. He mentioned how he had declined roles where the actors had gone on to earn oscars for that role which led to overthinking. ‘What would have happened if I actually took the role? Would I have gotten that award?’. The topic was furthered when Gary began to speak about ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’.

Before the filming process, Gary had experienced severe anxiety due to the expectation weighted on him. He had made Alec Guinness into an almost ‘bogeyman’ and almost dropped out of the role of George Smiley, thinking they would see him as a ‘charlatan’. His anxiety got so bad he took Beta-Blockers to cope until the first day of filming where he realised his anxiety was for nothing. The first day went really well, and he went on to win the BAFTA for best actor. If that isn’t the best case of unwarranted anxiety I don’t know what to tell you.

I mentioned the interview as hearing from such a well renowned actor about his fears makes me rethink my own. Everyday I have a moment of self doubt and I’m sure many do, but from an Oscar award winning actor is something else. He is a normal person just like you or me, an ex student of my school who made it big through hard work and perseverance. From my voice teacher who was a year below him, Gary Oldman was always working which led to his success. It shows that if you love something enough, with enough dedication it will pay off no matter how much later as long as you carry on.

It may be true that in my case that I am one of the weaker performers of my course, it may be that I have a long way to go in performance, but I’m going to have to be dragged kicking and screaming from my course. Acting is what I love, and I’m not going to let my mental health destroy that for me. Not ever.

All the best,

Gabby

Only my fringe is visible in this photo, but still counts as PROOF!!

Suicide: It’s Time to Talk

Hello people who still read this blog, I’m still shocked to hear that people do. I hope your winters have been okay and the dark evenings haven’t been too much. I’m still at drama school doing my module on the Maids and next week will finish for reading week. Sadly it’s not much time off for such a massive amount of time in class but I’ll have to make it work. I’m going to say for this that there is a Trigger Warning for this post so please don’t continue if talking about suicide upsets you.

I’ll be honest, my mental health has been on a pretty level low as of late. Whilst cutting down on beer instead I have been eating more and exercising less which has been a real downplay on my self esteem. Again with the winter months my desire to be lazy has been pretty strong, along with this the return of my suicidal thoughts has been a downer on everything. At age 13 I began to have these thoughts and didn’t realise that suicidal thoughts and obsessions weren’t ‘normal’ years later. Everyday I see posts about teens who have committed suicide and comments from teens saying they are going to commit suicide. In one day suicide of teens was mentioned five times just from Facebook which is concerning.

Living with suicidal thoughts in the back of my mind isn’t easy, and yet here I am. For me the breaking down of the irrational thoughts has kept me alive and the genuine consequences of that action to the point of tears. Here is a general list of things I remember to help me through, whilst they may seem dark they may help save a life:

1: Thinking of my parents having to plan my funeral, never getting to see me graduate or fulfil my dreams

2: My friends having to attend that funeral and look back on the times we had, knowing there will never be anymore

3: My boyfriend and how much it would hurt him

4: My dog never understanding why I never came home

5: Never getting to see my younger family members grow up

6: Leaving behind the things I wanted to do with my life

Thinking of this stuff brings me to tears, and makes me realise how much I have to live for, because there always is. If you are feeling suicidal please remember you are loved and reach out to someone or call 116 123 for the Samaritans who run 24 hours a day. Suicide is an epidemic for young people, but we can do this.

You are loved,

Gabby

It’s photos like this that make me smile with so many memories ❤️

Pushing Yourself Above and Beyond

Hello all, hope you are having a good start to your week. As this is being published, I am most likely still in my college completing my 12 hour Devising day and getting ready to go into my pyjamas and pass out. From Monday to Friday last week, my group and I have been exploring devising with games from 9am-9pm, something which I never thought I would be capable of and yet here I am, still on the course and not expelled for laziness.

My mental limits have always been an issue for me, the ‘Can’t do’ and ‘No way in hell’ statements still ring in my ears to this day. As a child it was the same with athletics championships where my worst enemy was myself. If anything causes me more than mild discomfort, the doubting side of me starts talking and the work becomes harder. Yet here I am, alive and well after five days of hard work and games. Nothing is harder than having a loud doubting voice and it’s hard to shake.

One key thing for me was knowing when to break to keep sane, letting yourself have some time and rewarding the self. For an introvert, hours with people is extremely draining so I have allowed myself to drink some coffees to keep me going. Additionally talking to my group members has raised my confidence, so being open about my mind and state helps pick me up and get me working. Knowing the final limit is so important, but most limits we face are false, much like hurdles in a race, and soon I won’t have as many hurdles.

See you on the other side

Gabby

An example of a bag outfit we completed last week, so many bags in our piece.

2019: What Comes Next?

Firstly I’d like to say a massive thank you to the people who still read my blog. I sometimes forget people actually read these until someone I know brings it up with me. I really appreciate you reading my ramblings and I hope they at least have a positive effect on you as you read.

So far I am 6 days off of medication and feeling okay, it has been really tough at moments and really tiring but the worst is over (positive thinking here). I’ve so far started trying to get into yoga before my diet change inevitably happens in my return to Rose Bruford, so let’s pray that this continues.

In all honesty I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, mainly because I believe change should be gradual and considerate. For someone like me, change is extremely hard, like diving into a frozen lake Bear Grylls style but without the knowledge. Therefore my next enemy to battle is beer consumption, something that is so engrained in our culture that it is hard to undo. So over the next few weeks I’ll be lowering the amount to where I only really drink at parties and nights out, should save some weight gain AND money.

(My cousin’s son doing what I’ve been doing this Christmas holiday)

Another thing that is totally not a resolution is keep this blog going. On reflection this blog is poorly written and organised, but you know what? It’s my poorly written unorganised blog and I’m PROUD of it. When you begin painting, you can’t expect a masterpiece on the first go, you get through the poorer drawings to improve. If I stop now, it’ll be a big regret knowing I never improved over time.

That is my message to you, that with enough time and care you can make most things better regardless of the pitfalls that come before you. If you love it enough, you get back up.

Go get em this year.

Gabby

It was also great to see some old friends, here’s my mate Ben after a big night looking like he’s not going to make it.