What a sad and reflective week in the acting world.
The death of Cory Monteith by drug overdose and the mysteriously found bodies of Paul Bhattacharjee and Richard Gent have been reported by the media this week. I expect there will be questions never answered but The Stage has taken these events as an opportunity to reflect on loneliness in the acting industry (see: Matthew Hemley – “Behind the camera – why acting can be the loneliest of careers” 18th July 2013).
The complexity of our sentient existence, all the emotions we carry, the decisions we have to make, mix that in with the whirlwind that is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vimeo, Soundcloud, blah blah blah – it is so easy to feel suffocated, to be drowned, to feel alone and that everyone else is doing and being something amazing. We need to stay humanly connected, we need to keep physically close, to make sure we get regular “look into my eyes and see my soul” time.
I have been very happy with my theatrical activities this week, which have given me great connection time. One of the things I have been doing is watching Edinburgh show previews at the “Living Room”. The Living Room is the living room of Colin Watkeys and Claire Dowie, my drama school teachers and friends. For years, they have been giving their friends opportunities to perform to a small audience to showcase their work and receive constructive feedback. It has been wonderful to support fellow creatives in this happy and loving way.
I hope we all, actors and non-actors alike, can continue to learn and reflect in times of loss and sadness as we have witnessed this week and be encouraged to keep the faith and reach out to each other.
In dedication, here is a great clip from the RSC’s Much Ado About Nothing featuring Paul Bhattacharjee as the intelligent and playful Benedick. Keep the spirits high “thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably” – three cheers for happy endings: