by Hannah Grace
Peace - when auditioning for jobs, when waiting for jobs, when waiting for auditions, there’s never a natural sense of peace. I get anxious about planning anything in case I get an audition, I feel guilty about going away, I get nervous and worked up. I would put all my energy and focus and anxiety into auditions. Yet this was not healthy. However once I learnt “Not my will but Yours” to God, I knew that He would open the right doors and close the wrong ones.
We only see one small piece of the jigsaw puzzle but God can see the whole picture. Once I had this perspective I was so much calmer and happier. I knew that I didn’t get jobs for a reason, it wasn’t about my talent, I didn’t need to take it personally. Instead I knew that maybe God was protecting me for some reason, or maybe that just wasn’t where God wanted me at that time. There was a higher purpose for getting jobs and also for not getting jobs. I knew that I wasn’t called to be a missionary in far off lands, instead I knew that I needed to be a light in dark places and a witness in the theatre.
Changing my perspective in this way gave me a huge sense of peace. Of course I would still get nervous for auditions, but it wasn’t about me anymore - it was about where God wanted me and if He closed a door, He would open a window. It helped me to be selfLESS in a very SELFish world. Also what was meant for me wouldn’t pass me by - instead God could move mountains to open the right doors and I saw this on numerous occasions through audition processes. There was even a time when I got a ‘no’ for a dream job and told to move on and forget that dream. I never did. I knew it was the right job for me, I had a sense of peace about it. Lo and behold three months later a call came in to get me back in the room and after working my socks off in those auditions I got the job and ended up covering three roles on that job! I’m not out for myself, instead I’m out for where God wants to place me for His purpose.
Stability - this leads naturally on to stability. Acting is one of the most unstable careers. It’s unheard of really to stay in one job for your whole working life. You just start one contract and could still be auditioning through the rehearsal period if it’s a short contract. As soon as you’ve got one job, you’re thinking about and planning for the next, unless it’s a longer contract. One minute you’re in work and the next you could be back to ‘normal’ life scraping together the pennies to pay the bills. Friendships come and go - they are intensive during the contract and then you find that you lose contact once the contract ends. Work comes and goes - there are times when you’re doing well, and the next minute you’re no longer what is needed at that time. You could be a lead in the West End one minute and the next you could be back doing silver service. Not only that, once you get a contract, there are a number of times when the show closes early and gets pulled. So all of a sudden the money you thought had coming in for a few months suddenly is taken away from you and you are skint again!
This is incredibly hard to cope with. How do I cope with this? I have God. A few Bible verses to back this up are: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) and “For I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 3:6) and “How great is your constant love for me” (Psalm 86:13). I know that God does not change. He is a constant in an unstable world - He is my rock. I have something to hold on to, someone to trust when times are hard and when times are good. Knowing that helps me through rejections, show closures and loneliness. I know that I am constantly loved by a good God who wants the best for me. I know that when things seem rough and unsteady I know that He has my best interests at heart and because of that He is saving me for something round the corner and we don’t know what that is because we can’t see the future. This stability definitely helps the mental health side of things in this career because without God I think my brain would be a mess and my anxiety would be through the roof! I like to plan, I like to be able to know when my next pay cheque is coming in. All this is completely alien to this career so knowing God is there with me every step of the way, helping and being a constant, is a huge blessing.