THE BLOG

Acting After Illness #9 Change

04/05/2017 12:41 BST | Updated 06/06/2017 17:11 BST

We often think that a change is something that we would like.

A new job, a new home, or maybe just a change of scene.

But, more often than not, when change shows up we burry our heads in the sand and we hide away from change.

We live in denial that a change has even happened or is in the process of happening.

We run to the hills, away from change.

When I fell ill, with a brain haemorrhage and the discovery of an AVM in my brain, my life changed in a single moment.

Everything I had ever known changed in that moment.

Change had shown up. Uninvited. Change can do that. Change can change everything.

I could easily write out a list of the changes I have experienced since the bleed but I want to keep away from doing that.

It's too easy for me to label each change as either good or bad.

That's what we do when we write lists. We categorise and label.

Good. Bad. Yes. No. For. Against. Tick. Cross.

Changes can be major and life changing or minor and nothing more than a mere annoyance.

Changes are not personal.

Changes are not good or bad or any other label.

Changes are what they are.

But what if we took hold of change?

I am a big fan of the work of Professor Barbara Oakley. In her most recent book, Mindshift, Oakley talks about the relevance of change in our lives today and that change is to be embraced because, with change, there comes opportunity.

Abracadabra. I can create change.

I can create opportunities out of change.

I am in the change business. Actors are in the business of change.

That's what actors do. Actors make change happen.

Actors walk onto a stage, or stand in a space and they create a change.

We all have this power.

Every time you walk into a room, the space changes.

You have changed the space through your action of walking into the room.

That's pretty amazing when you stop to think about it.

The same with the conversations you have, the emails you ping off and text messages you send.

Choosing your words carefully can make a change happen and bring about new opportunities.

You can make a change happen because you are part of the conversation and not separate to it.

Poets know this. Authors know this.

Playwrights too.

Each and everyone of us can create moments and opportunities, that, when compounded over time, will create a change that can make our lives better and make other people's lives better too.

I send out lots of emails to Casting Directors, Producers and Directors looking for acting opportunities that I might be right for.

I craft my emails to try and start a conversation, to make the reader sit up and take notice, to make a change happen and to create an opportunity.

This is the work for an actor making his way back after illness. Sending emails, making changes and seeking opportunities.

Mostly, I don't get responses. BUT sometimes I do.

When I do get a reply, I give myself a gold star for making something happen, for making a change occur and maybe an opportunity appear.

I stick my gold stars in my notebook.

My notebook is my book of gold stars.

My notebook is my book of experiments.

My notebook is my book of change.

My notebook is my book of opportunities.

My notebook is a powerful reminder that I can create changes and with those changes come opportunities.

​David can be reached via his agent Sam Brown at Brown and Mills. London.