After spending several days in Dover at Arielle and Rich’s house, I am now back in Brighton.
It should be easier being here, at home… with Nick, amongst my things, sleeping in my own bed, but it’s not. It’s really much harder. Here the reality of the present situation is much more genuine, than it is anywhere else. Here I have to face the gravity our circumstances. Here I can’t block out the myriad of thoughts that creep into my head, every second of the day. Thoughts like my Mother’s 18 month battle with lung cancer. Or my 59 year old brother’s 9 month battle with pancreatic cancer and how I watched him die while sitting beside him stroking his forehead. Yes, here my mind goes to some very dark places. Here… my mind works overtime.
When I’m in Dover or up in London at Charing Cross Hospital, I’m “on.” I’m the leading lady in a grand production and I’m giving the performance of a lifetime! This is the biggest and most important role of my entire career. I’m playing the role of the family “matriarch;” an amazingly strong woman who consistently comes across as the cool, calm, controlled, and most important of all, optimistic. I’m playing the mother of a child/woman who has cancer. My role is to float from scene to scene with unspoken grace, dignity and determination that only a seasoned professional could pull off.
The crew and cast members are in awe, as my character so convincingly displays strength, poise, grace in every scene. I perform so well, they’re convinced it’s real. “Wow, how does she do it” I hear them whisper. “Talent kid, pure talent.”
Here, at home, without the camera and lights, cast and crew… it’s a much different scene. I’m not actually sure that I know who I really am, when I’m not “in character.”
As I busy myself with mundane chores around the house I notice my eyes keep leaking, for no apparent reason. WTF is this? Then, after screaming “Fuck You” and hanging up the phone on poor Joseph (who I’m sure is a lovely, young Indian man, just trying to warn me about a potential problem with my Windows application), I start to laugh at the absurdity of it all… until for no reason, I suddenly realize I’m not laughing, I’m crying! My head quickly gets buried into Nick’s shoulder, so that he thinks I’m still laughing and I have a minute to pull myself together. How’d that work out, you ask… Hmmm, maybe I’m not such a great actress after all.
But as they say in the business, “the show must go on!”
Next week, on Tuesday, it’s back to work… where we’ll be live, on the set at Charing Cross Hospital, and we’ll most likely be filming “Round 3.” As always, my performance will be flawless.
Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.
~ George Burns