THE BLOG

Acting After Illness #13 Courage

05/09/2017 08:22 BST | Updated 05/09/2017 08:23 BST
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I have been filming.

A short film for Director Kasra Karimi.

This was my first lead role since the bleed in my head.

I'm excited about this film.

I'm excited to see where it takes me.

Did this role take all the courage I could muster?

Maybe. Maybe not. I don't know.

What stops us from doing things we talk about? What stops us from doing and making our dreams come true?

Is it courage? And, what happens if we find the courage to do something?

Too much courage and we may do something rash. Even, very rash if we have found the wrong type of courage - dutch courage.

And, with too little courage we may not even get ourselves off the ground.

I have also started to run on the treadmill.

It has taken a little over two years of going to the gym to get to this point in my journey of recovery.

Does running on the treadmill take courage?

Yes. Maybe. Perhaps. Perhaps not.

I am not sure.

I see courage as label, a badge, that you might choose to wear or not. Or, you might use it as a way to describe your actions or the actions of someone else.

I prefer this idea.

Improve yourself and the life of others by 1% a day.

Little by little, day by day.

For me this means showing up and acting. And keep acting. Over and over.

Writers write. They show up and keep writing over and over.

Runner Run. They show and keep running over and over.

I written about this before in my post Acting After Illness #8 Limbo.

As these little daily one percents compound you begin to make changes in your life and the life of others,

When I started to run on the treadmill, I ran for 10 seconds.

Then 10 seconds again and then 10 again and then 15. The seconds compounding, and now I can run for a good few minutes.

I'll keep running, keep compounding, and I'll see where it takes me.

This acting and this running is being overshadowed by some burning questions I have around the AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation) in my head.

I was born with it and I am pretty sure on reflection it has been affecting me all my life one way or another in so many ways.

I am thinking...

What if this?

What if that?

Would I have done better at school, in careers, in relationships?

Why me? (Why not me?)

I know that these are all simply thoughts. Thoughts that swirl about my mind like thunderstorms.

Thunderstorms can be super powerful, brutal, devastating.

I also know though, from my work with the Neuropsychologists, that these thoughts are stories, stories that I tell myself over and over again - most of them invented.

It's hard to get my head around this because my mind like to thinks it has agency. My mind loves to think it is in control.

Maybe I'm a control freak? I am thinking as I write this. Another story my mind has just made up. Tut.

But, here's the thing, I can choose the story I am going to tell myself. I can choose the way I view the world.

The word courage then should be reserved for real risks, something dangerous - Felix Baumgartners epic space jump. Felix jumped to Earth from a helium balloon in the stratosphere.

Making a choice about the stories we tell ourselves doesn't take courage.

It's merely a choice.

If you are a regular reader of my posts you'll know that Sweeties #3 Camden Fringe Special Edition took place at The Camden People's Theatre at the beginning of August.

There was a technical issue and we found ourselves without stage lighting. We only had the house lights.

The 14 actors involved in the show chose themselves. They chose to be better than the situation we found ourselves in and put on a wonderful show.

This was not courage. This was a choice they made. A choice to be better.

You can reach David via his agent Sam at Brown and Mills.