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What it takes

So I've only just discovered Stumble Upon - if you haven't registered yet then I'd recommend it. Could easily become an addiction but for now it's just lovely!

I loved this image & its sentiment:

Thomas Edison also once said that 'opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work.' That's something to always remember - the best chances in life involve an incredible amount of effort and reaching any sort of dream involves continuous persistence and stamina - things which I'd consider more important than any innate talent or skill.

NINA. … I know now, I’ve come to see, that in our work — no matter whether we’re actors or writers — the great thing isn’t fame or glory, it isn’t what I used to dream of, but simply stamina. You must know how to bear your cross and have faith. I have faith and things don’t hurt me so much now. And when I think of my vocation I’m not afraid of life.

Anton Chekhov - The Seagull

Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second.
William James

In this business, (I was about to say show business but that implies a level of glamour, of which the actual industry is often lacking), success or even acknowledgement can often come down to both luck and contacts, but it's vital never to forget these ideas. Rejection is a part of the lifestyle of an actor, hence why we see more performers becoming increasingly diverse. If you can write, create and put on your own work then you are creating an opportunity for yourself rather than waiting for someone to sort you out. Even if you are not a natural writer, maintaining a circle of friends with whom you can work creatively can be important - creating work through collaboration and improvisation.

As part of the Brighton Fringe this May I went to a talk by Che Walker - a writer, director and actor. The talk was put on by Masterclass, a company who offer free talks for under 30s and stupidly cheap ticket deals, for example this Thursday just gone there was a deal to get tickets to Rosencratz & Guidenstern Are Dead, newly opened in the West End, for just £2! Literally no catch as well. Check it out. Anyway, within this masterclass Che spoke about staying creative by using this circle of friends, not just graduating and waiting to get a job but reading through a play together or simply getting together and improvising. He also said: 'there's no real mystery to this, you just work extremely hard' ie - you consistently strive to better yourself and your craft, but you also show persistence in dealing with setbacks and you keep going. As a director, he spoke about loving actors who take a risk. Even if you are recommended for being extremely talented - you've got to take a risk and you've got to do it in the room: being brave and open to choices. It's the people that push it the furthest that are the most exciting to watch.

On that note I'll share with you a video of a performance. My friend and soon-to-be housemate showed me this in a youtube marathon we had, sharing our favourite performances. It is Diva's Lament from Spamalot, a musical I've never really given any time to. Sara Ramirez is hilarious here but also vocally stunning. Her obvious skill makes this entertaining but its the little comedic nuances and vocal riffs which she adds in which make this so engaging and just incredible really. Enjoy.