What’s behind the curtain?

The old rejection email came in again. Another tape I was happy with. A project I was really interested in. Something unusual, something new, something entirely pointing to my skillset. We are all used to that shit by now, of course. I just pushed it down to the place where it doesn’t jump up and tried to look at the NOW.

The NOW involved driving some beautiful curtains that Lou has made from Ditchling to a lovely house in Lewes. My height was about to come in handy. I got to attach little plastic bits into little hooks above my head. It’s a shoulder workout, hanging curtains. Lou’s clients were a lovely couple. They seemed very happy, and I’m glad as I thought the curtains were beautifully done and a lovely material.

We were showing them to the client when one of them had to take a phone-call. “That’ll be his boss,” says the remaining client and names the TV channel I’ve just missed that job with. He works there. “Oh… funny,” I find myself saying,”I’ve just had an email regarding that channel.” I think I said it more for myself than anyone else. “What line of work are you in?” “I’m an actor. They’re doing this interesting show and I went up for a barrister.” A bit more of a back and forth leads to “that’s my husband’s show!”

So it turns out that an hour after getting the rejection email I find myself hanging curtains for the guy who is making the very thing I had been hoping to get but didn’t. Timing.

I held it together politely until niceties were dispensed with fully between the client and Lou. They really were lovely people. I said goodbye happily and drove round the corner, burst out crying in the middle of the road and had to pull over. A combination of things, I was raw already going into it interaction and has already been doing some unrelated crying earlier in the day. It’s all very close to the surface right now.

I’m glad to be getting the auditions. Plenty of my friends are hardly even taping these days. That little moment was just a bit too close to home. It pulled the old rejection back up into the light when it was still too raw. I love my craft. It can feel so stifling when the only way I can ply it is with a grey screen behind me in a friendly living room for a tape that goes nowhere.

I’m off to Scotland shortly for the eco-friendly off-road racing buzz, so it’s not like I’ve got nothing to look forward to. Sometimes it’s good to know it still hurts I guess. I’m harder than I was twenty years ago after ten years in the wilderness and now all the punches. I’d be worried if the emotion didn’t bubble up from time to time, mixed with all the existential dread and the deep realisation that these life choices I made are not quite carrying through in terms of even half of what I hoped for them back when I sat with mum on her death bed waiting for Bright Young Things to hit the cinema and assured her I’d be okay.

I AM okay. Just sometimes I’m okay and sad.

Theatre cheered me up this evening though. Laura Wade’s “Home I’m Darling” is back touring and came to Brighton Theatre Royal. Nothing like good writing and good acting to take one’s mind off not having the chance to do good acting with good writing again. I booked tickets for Lou and I on impulse and I’m glad I did. A beautiful old theatre, and probably dark a lot of the time or housing the likes of David Copperfield.

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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