On Leaving Acting… From The Other Side

To the actors who read this, I implore you to adhere to the philosophy of this fine website and have a moment of honesty. How many times have you considered doing ‘that’ in your career? Yes, you know what I’m getting at – THAT! When was the last time you considered, and whisper it if you must, quitting acting? Perhaps you declared your intentions in a moment of frustration after that tampon commercial never materialised. Or maybe it was a slow burn – that niggling feeling that there must be more to life than trawling through The Stage once a week and screaming at your agent. You just know there has been some terrible mix-up at the ‘life factory’ and that you’ve been dealt a lousy hand unbecoming of your talent.

Anthony English

Actor turned PhD (Moral & Political Psychology). NEET to undergraduate tutor. Feckless youth to funded researcher.

Acting Ghosts: Haunted By Your Last Role?

The real problem with ‘ghosts’ is not having anyone believe you. But the experience of it can still be very real. And its impacts on your own mental and physical health, and your valued relationships can be severe.

I’m referring to a range of actors’ experiences – from not feeling your ‘everyday’ self after a show, to the shock/surprise of reacting as ‘the character’ to everyday life and family stresses, to being traumatised or fatigued by the emotional and physical demands of a role.

Mark Seton

Aims to inform and empower actors to better manage the ups and downs of the performing arts lifestyle.

Researcher and advocate for the health and wellbeing of actors; Founder and Director of the Actors’ Base Camp; Co-editor, “About Performance: The Lives of Actors”.


Today, everybody adds to their own personal ‘showreel’ in their careful editing of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, championing a particular kind of 21st Century myth-making. If Comparison is the Thief of Joy (as Jonathan suggested in an earlier post), then in a world where social media’s increased role in self promotion has led to a rupture between narratives of success and the day-to-day realities of being a jobbing actor, joy is being stolen daily from under our noses in the biggest online con trick of our time. The art of self-promotion has shifted into the mainstream, but some of its unintended consequences still lurk in the shadows, rarely talked about and almost never admitted to publicly.

Chris Tester

Box office monkey, bartender, usher/auditorium interventionist, workshop leader, Ian/Dan/Mike (delete as appropriate) the ‘awkward’ finance manager with problems that need to be discussed in a role-play context, Sarah Kane scholar, (FIFA) football manager, Menzies lookalike and Cumberbatch soundalike, personal trainer and capable carrier of spears (both actual and metaphoric).

Journal, Mental Health|

Facebook Highlight Reels: “Comparison is the Thief of Joy”

As the number of survey responses approaches 200, I’ve taken a look through the statistics gathered so far and have noticed some interesting, if (from my perspective) unsurprising, figures.

Jonathan Harden

Actor. VO. Director.

Former barman, waiter, cook, labourer, ‘tugger’, security guard, dish washer, removals man, bouncer, office manager, Wendy’s ‘Crew Member’, Costa ‘barista’, snooker table maintenance guy, shop assistant, usher, boom op, golf buggy driver, and one-time pretend bank robber.

Started this thing thinking nobody would listen.

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