When you feel you can’t carry on – turn around and look behind you

I have to tell you the truth.

I can’t take more of this s**t. Today I’m feeling literally exhausted to the point where I’d be happy to throw the towel and quit. Yes. Q-U-I-T.

Although it has been a formidable two years with our show ‘Brexit’ I feel mentally overwhelmed. It’s not the acting that consumes me but the organizing, running and managing. A few years ago I was just a writer and actor, maybe surfing on the edge of the poverty line but in any case full of creative energy.

Having to wear the hats of the lawyer, manager, salesman,graphic designer, etc. there are times my brain feels like is on the verge of blowing up. But it doesn’t… I think it’s just getting bigger (my bowler hat is getting tighter)

Acting is hard, you have to show up every day and perform. Running the whole show, however, is much harder. It has come to the point that I enjoy acting just to escape the mental pressure I have to withstand once I’m off the stage.

That’s the reason why being a producer is not for everyone. The emotional toll is just too great. Eventually, you will have to confront depression and learn how to overcome it. Self-awareness helps a lot (I’ve done lots of meditation in the past – that’s very healthy) but  emotions can’t be controlled… you have to navigate through them.

With time I learned to recognize the triggers that push me towards the black hole:

  • Anxiety caused by thinking about all the tasks that lay ahead and the work that needs to be done
  • A feeling of not being in control because of the above
  • Long working hours leading to burnout
  • Lack of sleep
  • Excessive time spent in your head

At times there are simple remedy at the ready that can help ease the tension: sleep, sex, friends… and tango in my case… I dance tango quite well. Blogging can also be a useful escape valve.

Other times you just have to tackle the great beast face on and look at it straight in the eye, remembering why you do what you do.

For me it’s not just doing theatre because I love it, it’s more of a spiritual path. When you feel have walked so much on this path you can’t just take it anymore it helps to turn around and see how far you have travelled so far.

The dancer can’t see the music. The fish can’t see the ocean.

Keep calm and carry on.