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Happiness II and a Big Farewell

05/06/2010

So, pondering it all, I have been a little, ever since I decided to abscond from the theatre world for a while in order to recoup.

I realised that I suffered serious, serious burnout. All self-inflicted. In short, I did too much. I tried too hard to be all things to all projects, and ended up falling in a heap. I put art, or the world of art that I had created for myself above and beyond my personal relationships, my family, my health, my happiness. I believed blindly in that ridiculous concept of self-sacrifice for the illusory ‘higher-goal’ which, in effect amounts to nothing but redundant ego-stroking, when you’re a non-functioning human being, tired, miserable and distracted all the time.

So, I decided to take a big break. No acting, no writing, no directing, no saying ‘yes’ when I really meant ‘no’, no panels, no (well, only very little) activism, tieing ups loose ends that I absolutely had to, and absolutely no theatre going whatsoever. So as to be democratic about it, you see.

The result: a most extraordinary sense of perspective the likes of which I have never previously achieved. The revelations that have unfolded themselves to me all make sense. I’ve been able to engage with a  kind of self-discovery and study that I left behind in first year at drama school, and I’ve thrown off the shackles of obligation that I felt to everyone around me to be “that kind of gal”. Getting out of the game was one of the biggest gifts that I have given to myself, because I now feel that I can truly address my arts practice in an holistic way.

Trust me, it’s quite a revelation, and quite a relief. The release of pressure and pain surrounding outcome; the fear of failure, and the constant self-flagellation was quite enough by the end of 2009, so that my only option was to abscond indefinitely. Business is delightful for me. It provides a strategic, intellectual and artistic challenge, while feeling separate enough from my arts practice for my brain/soul to not get muddied in that from which I am distancing myself. And you know, it’s tactile. It’s manual. So, while I stock take in preparation for the end of the financial year, I can take stock of myself in preparation for my return to a creative practice. I give myself the space to acknowledge my need for things like physical action, stillness and meditation. Concepts that I have previously (erroneously) held to be fatuous.

I’m not quite healed yet. As a maker. I’m on my way. I am going to feel my way back in, this time. Only do what really, really drives me. What pushes out of me with fierce imperative. What makes me good. That which makes me well.

___

On a sad note, this is just a little, personal farewell to the much beloved, and deeply respected Store Room Theatre. To Todd, to Ben, to Aidan and to Marcus, and all the crew, technical, administrative and artistic who have graced its halls since the boys brought it into being: Congratulations and Farewell. You will be missed. It will be missed. The Store Room, we will miss you. You have done great, great things for independent theatre in this fair city, and you will be dearly missed. With blessings go you into the ether and with love we fold you into the warmth of our memories.

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