Podcast n. 174: “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Actor”
A typical day for me can look something like this: wake up, meditate, write in my journal, go to the gym, morning meeting/audition, lunch… somewhere, maybe with a friend, find a spot to perch for an hour or so, often the library, then maybe a class or another meeting, find another spot to perch, do some kind of acting related thing like go to the Drama Bookshop or meet a photographer, and finally an event or evening of theatre before heading home. In between there are a lot of subways and walks. And I do it all alone, the great irony being that I went into acting, in part, because I thought it would be a collaborative thing to do, filled with a lot of people and interactions and goofing around with cute girls. But the truth of it is that it’s a very solitary affair.
The other day I received some nice news. I can’t share it yet as it’s not official, but it could turn out to be a good thing for me. And I wanted to celebrate. But it quickly occurred to me that there was nobody to do this with. After the phone call I looked up and turned around to find… nobody. There were no co-workers to invite for lunch or drinks, no pats on the back from Jerry in accounts payable, no… nothing. Just me and the guy on the corner ranting about Jesus. And quite frankly, he wasn’t all that interested, no matter how much I tried to convince him that I would give my soul to the Lord if he would pretend to be Jerry from accounts payable just for a few minutes. So it ended up being me and the Beatles later in the evening, and we knocked back a few and sang our old favorites.
I wouldn’t trade my life. I enjoy my freedom and consider the island of Manhattan to be my office – it’s very nice – but it can be awfully lonely out there sometimes. Especially when the good things happen, which makes no sense. These can be the most isolating moments. This isn’t said for sympathy, but rather as an act of mindfulness. Better to recognize it than pretend otherwise. It just… is. So back I go, to the streets, to find another coffee shop that won’t be annoyed if I just sit there and read for an hour. I’ll be the guy with the backpack and raincoat looking for a spot to charge his phone. If you want to come over and say hello, please do, but I’ll have to leave again in a few minutes and turn my collar to the cold and damp, celebrating with the pavement preachers if they’ll give me the time.
For the Mineralava Musings, this is Edoardo Ballerini.