Oh! Hello horrifically, deadly silent acting patch! What are you doing back here so soon? Honestly, there was absolutely no rush. I was doing fine. But, well, here you are…all quiet, unwelcome and absolutely pissing USELESS. There’s only so much sitting in coffee shops, hiding behind a laptop and drinking coffee’s that I can’t afford, an out of work Actress like myself, can do. And in all honesty, between me and you, it’s driving me absolutely insane.*Aaaaaand breathe.*

I had a good year last year. I worked solidly for 6 months and despite not having much time left to do anything else, I didn’t care. I loved being busy. But like everything in life, all good things must come to an end and that peach of a job is now long gone. So, today, I’m sitting in a coffee shop, writing this, drinking a coffee that must be coated in invisible gold AS IT’S SO BLOODY EXPENSIVE, with far too much time on my hands and I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. Apart from maybe buy another coffee. I know we’re only a few months into 2016, but it’s just far too quiet for my liking. When I knew my lovely proper acting job was coming to an end and that I was going to be faced with being out of work, my positive thought pattern went like this…

Ah, a break! That’ll be nice… You can use the quiet period to do the following:

  1. Learn the guitar.
  2. Write a play and submit it in all the suitable writing festivals you come across.
  3. Read that pile of acting books you’ve collected over the years.
  4. Read those self help books you invested in last year when you were having a rough, quiet patch. (Hellooo again.)
  5. Catch up with old friends.
  6. Sit in coffee shops, drink coffee and people watch. Observe the world.
  7. Take myself to art galleries, museums, and exhibitions. Feed my inner creative soul.
  8. Take up hot yoga.

Yeah, it’s not gone to plan. Here’s a little insight into how the above is working out.

  1. I did actually invest in a guitar. It’s pink and very pretty. Which helps justify the fact it’s sitting in the corner of the room, gathering dust.
  2. To be fair, I have followed this whole writing plays and submitting them, up. I went back to my Parents house for a few nights last week and spent time in my old room, writing and being a recluse (not my choice – all my mates back home have ‘proper’ jobs so it didn’t leave me an option. Oh and I’m homeless at the minute, so I’m currently ‘sofa hopping.’ That didn’t feature in my pre-out-of-work-actress thought process but life is full of surprises. I keep telling myself it will make more of an interesting autobiography.)
  3. The acting books are still all piled up. Haven’t touched one. I just feel too guilty to sit and read on a random Tuesday afternoon. It makes me feel so much more
  4. The self-help books are actually being tackled. “How to deal with the unknown” is a top favourite of mine so far.
  5. All my friends are at work. I need new out of work friends.
  6. I’m doing a great job of drinking coffee in coffee shops but I’m running out of money. Don’t get me wrong; gazing out of The National Theatre’s café onto the Southbank is wonderful. But on the 3rd consecutive day, the appeal wears off.
  7. I’ve done all the free stuff. And I’m too poor to actually pay to feed my inner creative soul. I’ll just sketch or something.
  8. HOW EXPENSIVE IS HOT YOGA? Bloody daylight robbery.

So, it’s with this blog that with one hand, I sprinkle a handful of motivation over you and a sprinkle of empathy with the other. Lets grit our teeth and get through this deafening silence together.

Unless you’re really busy and you’ve got auditions flooding in.

In that case, hurrah! Good for you. Fab…. Well done.

Just don’t tell me about it though, yeah? Please. I can’t deal with busy and successful people right now. Not until perhaps… April? Now, if you don’t mind, my £3.75 coffee is getting cold. Besides, I have books to read, dusty guitars to play and peace to make…

Series 3 of the podcast is coming soon, including interviews with Adrian Lester, Joanna Scanlan, Tom Riley, Kate Fleetwood and Jonjo O’Neill. Series 1 & 2 are available free on iTunes, along with a special live episode for Equity recorded in November 2018, and follow-up interviews with all seven of the emerging actors, conducted in October. Go have a listen

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Katie Redford

Actress/Writer/Face for the Radio