It’s Thanksgiving and Trish and I are in London still. More than a year later. And we haven’t really left — I mean we’ve gone here and there… Athens, Amsterdam, Cardiff, Edinburgh, but we haven’t been home. To Florida. The school year is over and it seems that we’ve both become masters of our chosen subjects and now we’re picking up the fallout from this explosion of exposure to all of this stuff. I think the net effect has been an intensification of our intentions and our drives. Trish is, two months after East15, suddenly hardened by a new resolve. To succeed as an actor she will need to be thin, to be Hollywood, I suppose. Not sure if I agree, but she is adamant that if she reaches her older age without meeting success without having done everything she could have done she’ll grow bitter with regret. And I get that. I get that, that having to try. And really, it’s not a question of right or wrong. And it’s certainly not a question of worrying about anyone else getting their sensibilities bruised, or about supporting or not supporting some higher cause. It’s about the ocean in which we swim. It’s teeming with the drowning, all clamoring for land, and it’s every man (and woman) for him or herself.
Because I’m in the same troubled water, and the storm’s a-coming. As the placement with the RSC draws near its end, I find myself looking out over the deck at the waves in search of port. In some ways this has been hands-down the most productive period of my life to date. I have penned plays, engaged with some of the most well-known theatres in the world, completed an MA course at one of the preeminent drama schools in the UK, created several devised pieces of work with numerous partners, and made more friends and contacts in the industry than in any single period of my life previously. Still, it feels like I’m running standing still until I crack it open, meet with success, and shake its hand.
Outside the storm is raging. I can hear the drops slapping dully on the other side of the double-pained glass. The sky is grey and threatening; the clouds mountains of swiftly scudding dream-stuff racing through the air. But I’m inside, and there’s a candle burning; throwing flickering light and strange shadows across the thing on the table. The precious thing. My map. I can’t see the spit of land just over the horizon because of the pouring squall, but it’s there, and all I have to do is keep my course true.