Overwhelmed with life at the moment?

Anyone else feeling overwhelmed at the moment?
My brain at the moment is going through so many different thoughts and emotions. "I'm so lucky to be doing some performing work." "Global Pandemic." "Why am I feeling so overwhelmed from being busy?" "Why does watching the news feel like I'm walking over hot coals?"

It's a strange existence being an actor at the moment. Life is very slowly getting back on track. Shops opening up, spending too much money on Pret and Asos orders, slowly but surely going back on the tube and getting back into the gym.

I have been exceptionally lucky over the past few weeks to have been a part of "A Little Night Music" at Opera Holland Park. It was the most epic and joyous experience. After 6 months of no live performances, it was very emotional being in a space with other creative people again.
Whilst it was incredibly exciting, my body had forgotten what it goes through to do a show.
The adrenaline rush, the anxiety, the sore feet. Yet at the same time, the elation, euphoria and joy that performing makes me feel.

During lockdown I tried to remain as fit as I could. Some of my Zorro cast mates would meet on zoom every other day for a HIIT session, I've also been doing a lot of classes with Natalie Hope (Theatre Fitness Girl) amongst walking and just trying to stay in good health. Our bodies got used to an hour a day of movement, or at least mine did. 
We forget the everyday adrenaline we get from doing small things like going to your place of work. Even in between jobs when I'm teaching there is still that element of get up and go.

For "A Little Night Music" we only rehearsed together on Thursday through the show on Saturday evening. We had to limit time together as to keep everyone feeling safe. This meant for a rather intense and concentrated rehearsal period.
I went from 0-60.

Don't get me wrong, I had THE BEST time and my post show blues hit me hard, but I really did forget that what we do for living requires immense skill and stamina. 
The Sitzprobe was a very special evening. This was the first time in 6 months that I had heard live musicians play together. I felt as if my heart was going to explode. Going through a Global Pandemic isn't easy, we have all experienced it in different ways. I had really missed the feeling of being a part of a company and hearing live music. But, I have also enjoyed having a rest and not feeling the everyday pressure and anxiety that rules my life, so going back to that fast paced life was a real shock to the system.

Following on from Evita in 2018, I had a bit of a rough time landing a show. Many finals but not so many offers. I went 18 months of hustling hard. (Yes 18 months, social media can be deceiving). But give me a Global Pandemic and I have been fortunate enough to be able to perform and teach a lot, whether it's on zoom or live in person. Only someone like me could have a career that unconventional. As I have said in previous blogs, I am a planner. Having absolutely no idea what the future holds is an incredibly scary prospect for me. I'm trying to take each day as it comes in the best way I know how. Some days, I don't think I manage it particularly well, even when presented with exciting opportunities. 

When I was offered the opportunity of doing The Last 5 Years, I was so excited, but I was also very nervous. As much as I want to celebrate my own successes, I'm also constantly thinking about the wider state of our industry. Sometimes I probably need to take a step back from worrying about things I can't control and just focus on the good things and occasionally be a little bit selfish. Everyone is going to feel different at this time. I go through waves of smiling, laughing and feeling so grateful to have been given opportunities at the moment. But I also have days when I feel low and incredibly sad at the state of the world, the entertainment industry and my friends mental health. 

21 Too-Real Cartoons About The Struggle To Practice Mindfulness | HuffPost  Life

When considering the effects that the last 6 months have had on us, we rarely think about how it feels to just jump back to normal, or what seems to be normal. Between political unrest and the effects of lockdown, It's been a weird sensation of feeling like I've been holding my breath for months.

We all need to keep talking to each other. Support those who have been fortunate enough to be back audition or performing. A step forward in any way is amazing right now. 
Whilst I feel like my head is about to explode, I never take for granted the situation I have found myself in during this pandemic.
Lucky, lucky, lucky.

Em x

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