Well it’s been well over a month since my last post. I won’t apologise; I wasn’t ready to write and nothing sprung to mind when I thought of things to try and squeeze out a post about. So I’ve waited. I’ve turned 23 in the time since we last spoke. 22 wasn’t my year looking back, although I am grateful for what it’s taught me. Patience really is a virtue and a rather hard one to master too. I have learnt if you want something you actually do have to work really hard to get it. Nothing falls into your lap, you must go out and take it. What you put in is what you get out. I have also learned more about loving the skin I’m in, and not feeling cringey or cliche when I write that but really meaning it. About the marvel of our uniqueness.
And now to business…
If you asked me what I believe in I would struggle to answer you, I am still learning and don’t think I could pin it down. I do however believe in kindness with all my heart. It can sometimes be hard to remember in the fast pace, self obsessive, consumerist world we are living in but it really is cool to be kind. Please let me assure you that there are days for me where being kind isn’t the top of my priority list and that it’s something I am working on. I do not profess to be the queen of kindness, not at all. It’s just that recently I have been witness to acts of kindness which have really got me thinking about how I live my life but also about the crazy acting industry some of us are trying to break into. I want to tell you about it.
I saw Emilia at the Globe last year and it blew me away. If you didn’t get to see it do yourself a favour and buy the play, soak up as much of it as you can, start a petition to bring it back. It will change you. Having sobbed for long enough after the play finished I leapt on twitter to share my excitement and spread the love of this glorious production. On following Morgan Lloyd Malcolm (@mogster) the genius writer behind this powerhouse play the cherry for the top of my cake was served. She takes the time to reply to most responses she receives, she is down to earth, she created space for mothers with young children and babies to see Emilia when the issue was raised by enough women. This kindness breeds kindness and trust and openness. It replicated the feeling of sisterhood I felt at the Globe which I now carry around with me most days.
Michaela Cole (Black Earth Rising, Been So Long) wrote and starred in Chewing Gum, the BAFTA nominated comedy series. Having received huge acclaim for her work she did something I hadn’t ever seen done before. She shared the scripts and notes for Chewing Gum Series 1 for all the world to see (you can find in her twitter bio for those interested, @MichaelaCole). For all aspiring writers to pour over, learn from and enjoy. This generosity wasn’t necessary but it was full of kindness. Rather than being protective of her work and her success she wanted to share it and help and encourage other writers do the same. The respect I have for her is immense and I cannot wait to see what she does next. She is the sort of person I would jump through hoops to work with.
Michelle Obama said “When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.” That’s the sort of world I want to live in. Idealist, I know. But I am seeing it happen at the top of the industry, at the very start and everywhere in between. It is often said that the industry is cut throat, every person for themselves, greedy but I have seen another side. Where people share their process, the contacts they’ve made, the play you should see, the book to read, the notes they made at the workshop you couldn’t get too. It’s happening and I know which side of the industry I want to be working in. If nothing else think of your brand. The people I have mentioned are all people I would love to work with. If you echo their kindness, the vibrations will ripple right through industry and the feedback will be that you are the person people want to work with for your generosity and kindness.
More than that though create acts of kindness, not just in the industry but in all aspects of your life. Start small. Practice kindness with your friends, family, nearest and dearest. Give help where it’s asked for, eek out when it might not have been but is still needed. Can you imagine what would happen if we all tried it? Think about all the karma points it would give you. Remember to be kind to yourself too. Life’s tough, but you can do it. Whatever it is, acting or not. Climbing the mountain. Quitting your job to pursue your dream. Overcoming your anxiety to go for drinks with a friend. Telling that person you like them. Coming out. Setting foot in the audition room. Starting the novel you dream of writing.
How much easier would it all be if people were kinder, more generous? What would the world look like? Try it. I dare you. I’ll leave you this, what better feeling is there in the world that doing something truly kind purely because you can.