I am feeling quite pressured at the moment. Well, I have been for a few months actually. I am not sure what to do. It is about my future etc. Obviously people often ask me what I do, and I have to say nothing. They ask what I want to do and I say perform. Then sometimes they ask if I want to go to drama school and I say yes. They ask if I am applying. And that is where I am not sure. I have applied in the past, and had final recalls but not places. Getting a place on an accredited course at a drama school is tough - most of them take between 1% and 4% of applicants per year, so obviously it is stiff competition. But that isn't really the issue. I don't mind doing auditions - sometimes I even quite enjoy them, and if I don't get a place I can reapply - that is almost the expected thing to do. The issue is if I got a place, realistically would I be well enough to take it? It is really long hours - 50 contact hours a week would be the minimum, and usually it would be a lot more than that. And a lot of pressure. And I think you really have to be pretty stable to cope. It isn't unusual for people who have previously been fine to end up having breakdowns and having to leave. People assume that performing is just a nice, fun, light, easy thing to do, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
So every year I have the dilemma of whether I think I would be well enough to go the next September if I were to get a place, and therefore whether or not to apply. Last year I couldn't - I was having all the problems with my voice, and so it didn't even come up. But now that is resolved to a large extent I am back to not knowing what to do. There surely has to be a limit to how many years I can sit at home doing nothing, but when nothing has changed in terms of how I feel etc, how can I expect to be able to switch to doing something very demanding, with very long hours? My mum is taking it as a given that I will be applying for drama school this year. She keeps asking me if I have got my audition pieces sorted and if I have sent off my forms etc yet. My singing teacher who I saw in the summer for my voice asked if I was going to be applying when I saw her. The general expectation from people seems to be that I will apply, which is understandable really because you aren't meant to just do nothing, and performing is the only thing I have ever wanted to do. But I don't know what to do. I can't imagine being able to cope with it, but then will I ever be able to?
I am not getting any younger. If I did apply and get a place for next September, I would be 25 when I started. That isn't that young. Ok for acting, starting to be quite old for musical theatre. Still ok, but definitely on the old side. Already too old for dance based musical theatre. So there is time pressure there. Everyone gives me the whole 'you're young, you can do whatever you want, you have your whole life ahead of you' line, but that is only true to an extent with performing. And that is the only thing I have ever wanted to do. I just want to be better. I want to be able to cope with things in the way that everyone else does. I don't want 'could I cope with this?' to be the thing running through my head at auditions. And it always is. It isn't just the course. That would be a lot of work and very stressful of course, but there is more to it than that. It would mean moving out. Having to look after myself properly. Having to flat share with other people. That would be really hard. If there weren't immaculately clean in the kitchen then I wouldn't go near it, which could be a problem. There are so many things that could be a problem.
I don't know what to do. Performing really is the only thing I have ever wanted to do. I was looking at prospecti from drama schools from when I was about 11, desperately wanting be 18 so I could go there. But by that time everything had gone wrong. And it has never been right since. If I can't do this then I don't know what I can do. It sounds really melodramatic, but if I am not going to achieve the only thing I have ever wanted to do then I really don't see the point in being alive. There is a 1 week course the week after Carousel at one of the colleges in London that I was planning to do, but thinking about it terrifies me. Not the course itself as such, but being away, having to live with other people for the week, how I would cope etc. And if I can't even cope with the thought of a one week course, then applying for 3 year courses seems fairly ridiculous. I really don't know what to do. If I decide not to apply this year I don't know how to explain it to people, and I also worry that I go through this every single year, and nothing ever actually changes, and I don't know how it ever will. I could tell my mum, and anyone else who asks, that I am not going to be applying this year, but ultimately that isn't actually going to solve anything. I am still going to be left in this weird limbo where I can't cope with doing the only thing that I have ever wanted to do, and can't see how I can change things to make myself able to do it. And if this is going to be my life then I don't want it.
I honestly don't know what to do. Do I a) get on with it and do the applications and auditions and see how I get on and then decide (expensive due to audition fees but an option) b) Force myself to do this 1 week course in a few weeks and see how I cope with that, even though the thought of it currently absolutely terrifies me. There is an alternative 4 day course that I could commute to daily, but to an extent that would defeat the object as living away is a large part of it, plus the other college is somewhere I would want to apply to - this one would just be doing it to work on skills, c) accept that I am not going find a miracle cure in 11 months and leave it all for this year and maybe every other year too, and accept that realistically this isn't something that I am going to be able to do, or d) other. Please reply with your thoughts. I really genuinely would like as many opinions as possible, and what you think I should do - a, b, c, or a suggestion you have? So even if you don't usually comment, I would really appreciate it if you would reply to this. You can even comment if you don't have an account - I have anonymous commenting enabled. Thank you.