My life as an actor, part one
By Simon Barget
Sometimes acting gets so exhausting I have to take a break. It is exhausting being in character the whole time, feeling what someone else is feeling, thinking what someone else is thinking. All the damn thoughts. You might not realise this but you have to think like the person not just outwardly appear to be them. No relent. The outside comes from the inside, and if you can’t pick up on what the character is thinking at any one moment, what his particular stream of incessant thoughts is, then you won’t come across as convincing.
On my days off I sometimes just sit quietly all day, sit on my couch and close my eyes and imagine what it’s like to be me for a few hours. What it’s like to be my body, think my thoughts, not be taken over by someone else for once, but regain sovereignty, and I’ve got to say it feels so damn good to be me again after all the time on the set, to be able to relax, to be able just to breathe, I mean sometimes I can go for days without even realising I’m breathing, and it sometimes feels like time is running away from me and that I’m aging so fast as I put my life and soul into the roles that I am given and neglect myself in the process.
But sometimes I stand in front of my mirror and I look at the moustache they made me grow or the eye brows they plucked, or the hair they made me cut or dye, or my newly-pumped-up body, shoulders and arms, or the wrinkles they put in, the lines in my face that seemed to have remained there since, and I touch these things and I wonder who these things belong to, me or them, me or the characters, or even the producers, who owns these things, and it feels like something has taken me over and I need to do something drastic to exorcise the invader.
And then of course I wonder why I continue to do it, yes the money’s ok, yes I have bills to pay like everyone else, yes I don’t know how else I could make a living, all these things are true but sometimes I wonder if they’re all excuses and that if I really wanted to I could quit, I could rediscover myself, not necessarily be happy, but I could not worry so much about what people think for example, I would not be beset by a stream of constant rubbish from these characters, these fake people, they never existed and never will, not only would I not be forced to be something I’m not, I would not have to be something that doesn’t exist. I am an avatar and I feel I am letting myself down, and not only that my friends and my family too because only when you are fully and truly yourself can you bring something good into the world.