Do you ever look at the clouds and think whats behind them? I do, all the time! The wider world fasinates me. When I was younger I believed that the world was flat, I also believed that the sun was located only just a few miles away. I believed in fairies and goblins and huge flying dogs. Anything I had seen in a fantasy movie, I had believed. I had no internet to show me what was real and what wasnt. All I had was my Roald Dahl books and the fasinating stories that my parents would tell me. THANK GOD I did not grow up in a time when the internet ruled the world. I had an innocent mind and I explored and played outside, building huts and playing games that involved using my imagination. imagination is the key to who we are!
But at what point in our lives did we loose our imagination?
At the age of just 10, it was a natural move into the world of acting. My over active imagination led me to being fasinated by the idea of telling a story on stage for an audience. It thrilled me! I joined a local drama school and starred in my first play, The Knights task where I played the Knight. I was only 10 but my memories of this production are still as fresh today. I remember the warmth of lights on my face and the silence in the audience as they watched me play a character in front of them. I felt at home on stage, I believe people call this, the acting bug.
I was never academic in school. I never let myself achieve anything because I always wanted to be the popular one so being intelligent simply wasnt cool. I acted the class clown. I drove the majority of my teachers crazy. If I got a laugh from the class, I had won. I used to draw pictures on the school walls and in my copy books hoping I would be caught out and a scene would be created and I would get even more attention. The only subject I applied myself too was English. I loved it. I threw myself into poetry and drama and I found these stories fasinating, I also loved Art, another tool I could use to showcase my imagination.
From the age of 10 right up to the age of 19, I actively remained on stage performing in many drama school productions and musicals. I would learn lines instantly, I put all my energy into these productions. I would read poetry and playbooks. My dream was to become a hollywood actor. I had applied to an acting achool in Dublin and after a grueling audition, got accepted. I loved shakespere and played Hamlet in the final year production. I still had that wild imagination that was roaring inside of me. I left school and went to acting college. I loved it there but to pay the rent, I began working in a highstreet fashion store. Thats where it all ended for me. Life took over, my imagination died. The need to perform was replaced with the need to eat. I was renting a bedsit in South Dublin and paying 100euro a week. The year was 2002 and the celtic tiger was on its way. People worked, they became successfull, keeping up with the joneses was in full swing. Everyone was trying to outdo one another. I still went to poetry nights and amateur theatre productions around the city and I found a group of friends who had similar interests and we shared the same goal but as life got harder, this began to unravel.
My last production was in 2006. A production called Fireface. Something didnt feel right about this one. I didnt feel the story inside of me anymore. I felt my art of storytelling was dying. All I could think about was the rent I had to pay, the car I had to run and the social life I had to keep up with. All of a sudden, acting and story telling wasnt cool anymore. I had gone back to being that bold teenager who wanted to look cool and threw away my talent. I was slowly becomming successful in the acting world and performing in some really credible productions, I also nabbed a part on a well known tv programme. On closing night, after I took my last bow on stage, I knew that I was never to return to the stage again.
When life takes over it can interupt your true path. Money will come and go and life decisions will take over. The pressure to conform and slip into that mundane 9-5 life becomes overwhelming and sadly, true talents can get forgotten about. Its my biggest regret in life. When I left the acting world, my imagination sadly went with it. Years of dreaming, creating and playing were now comming to a close. I went into modelling which, of course is a form of storytelling but getting into a characters mind and personality is something only people with wild imaginations can do. modelling suited my ‘schedule’ in life. I could plan better with modelling, I always knew when my next shoot was and fashion shows never ran past one night. It fitted into my fast paced life where the drama boy with the imagination had always tried to keep up.
Many years have gone by and only the other day I came an old box in my bedroom at the back of the wardrobe. Inside it, all my old scripts and pictures and ‘break a leg’ cards. It made me smile. It brought me back to a time when I was a little bit more innocent than I am today when characters on paper were more important than the dramas of real life. It was a time when all i wanted to do was storytell. I had let life take over.
If you have a talent, never let it go. Everything is meant to work out for a reason. Maybe I was never meant to stay on the stage. Maybe if i had I would never metthe people I have met today but has all that challenged me as much as the acting bug did? Who knows! Hindsight is a great thing. No matter how old you become or how many distractions come in your way, never give up on a true talent, be it in acting, singing, dancing or whatever it is that ignites your imagination. The world is a cold place, it needs storytelling
12 years on, I have an audition for a semi professional production taking place next spring. Im scared and nervous and anxious, im also excited. Im not scared about the audition, im scared about igniting my imagination again and going back to that innocent ambitious boy all them years ago. Maybe it will take my life in a new direction or maybe it will jusy remind me that life doesnt have to always be in the fast lane and we can all tell a unique story to those who will listen
Mine is only about to start