Weddings vs Acting

On Thursday my friend Dan is getting married. I was best man at his last wedding. Thank God he hasn’t asked me again as he’d have to find a new best man with three days notice. I can’t go. Perfect storm.

His partner practices the same Buddhism I practice and knows my ex girlfriend. They have only recently moved back to the UK after emigrating to Canada. I’ve missed him. This is a chance to reconnect and plug into their lives.

Nope. Acting.


When we were at school, he was a one man army in my defence. He put up with mockery to be my friend. He taught me what it means to be a friend to someone. He barricaded his bedroom door once whilst I climbed out the window to escape. He was a rock. He is a rock. We have held contact. But if he’s a rock, I’m a Rick. (One for the Rick and Morty fans there!) Ugh.

Dan’s getting married in Wales, four hours drive from London, and I so so want to support it. His stag came when I was overlapping jobs recently so I had to miss it but I really thought I could make it work for his marriage. His wedding is this Thursday.

One of the four other actors I’m working with will be at the US Embassy in the morning for a visa interview which will take as long as it takes. It’s already a half day for her. I thought it made sense.

I cleared a day off weeks ago with all the other actors, but hadn’t thought it relevant to clear it with casting.

Thursday afternoon is the only time possible for the people who cast us to come in and see us in a run. It’s a necessary part of a process that has been interrupted anyway with recasting one part. It’s in the contract.

Despite this pending partnership! Dan and Jules! Getting married!

The heart of my pain on this is the fact that it’s a pattern I’ve been running on myself for decades. Up until this time I’ve never dug my heels in to try to put life before work. Normally I just sacrifice life to work unthinkingly and immediately. But I’m getting older. This time I tried to put life first, and tried to hold out but to no avail, which only adds to my sense of powerlessness. Dan and Jules are one of the shining flakes of joy coruscating around me. I now have to hit them with a shoe.


I sent the actual messages today. It’s the day they signed their vows at the registry office. I’m thrilled for them. I care for them both. I couldn’t bear to call and bring a down. I sent messages. He hasn’t read them yet so I might have to ring tomorrow. They’re busy and it’s a ton of work.

There’ll be an empty seat with my name on it and empty space in the ceremony where I was going to do a sonnet and some Buddhism. I’ve already offered to cover whatever my absence costs them fiscally. For what it’s worth.

It’s always hard when they aren’t actors; “Just tell them you’re sick!” “I really can’t.” Particularly when I write a daily blog.

This delightful vocation. It’s antisocial. No wonder such a high percentage at the Guildhall reunion have jumped ship and seem happier for it. I still love it, but … Oh compromise you old familiar beast. I’ve just been so lucky recently to have lots of work, that I’m experiencing the work/life balance skewed in an unfamiliar direction.

I have made a family of my friends. One of the last friends who knew both parents is back in the country and getting married to someone amazing. It’s a blow to miss it but miss I must.

“The show must go on!” It’s seductive. We are dancing into the fire though with it. I pledge to try never to do it again – to give cold advice.

Stiff upper lip. Chin up. It’s not helpful. Really not. I will listen to you and offer support.

I’m off to bed. Lovely day of rehearsal today. This feels really positive, this Twelfth Night. It’s going to be great. It’s such a strong company, and part of my job as an alumni is to lead the company positively. And I will continue to do so. I’m just having a moment. Don’t read too much into it. Better out than in. As before, so again. I sometimes forget people read this until I get to the end.

Trash-the-dress-wedding-photography-300x200

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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