I just got in to my n.1 choice of theatre school, a Royal conservatory. This might seem like a big deal or a little deal to you.
I spent the last 2 years of my life in what I now see as clinical depression. When my granny in Scotland died I was devastated it hit me at the worst possible time. I had started a master’s program I really didn’t want to do and I felt like art was dead for me. I had just broken up with the only girl who has ever loved me after almost 4 years. I was drinking all the time. Sitting down on a Glasgow street corner I looked up at Scotland’s national conservatory and I was jealous of these students who had everything where I had nothing.
My granny was my n.1 fan in everything I did no matter what. No matter what. Especially the arts. She never ever got mad at me. She always took my side and she sobbed every time I drove away to the airport. No exceptions. She survived world war 2 and she was a life long political activist for Scottish independence. She was my hero.
During my M.A. I got dumped hard by my new chick. My thesis got all fucked up and I had to keep on piling the extra semesters. I put on a bunch of weight. All my friends started growing up, moving on and settling down. Some kids where there for me and I will never forget that but I felt fucking lonely. I felt like I was never going to finish my degree and that I would have to drop out. That people would think I was an idiot. The idea of going to this school in Scotland became my new lofty goal of what I would do AFTER the degree... an AFTER I never ever thought would come. But I kept on thinking of what my granny would tell me but I still had trouble believing her.
After the pyrrhic victory of finishing my M.A. no one seemed to give a shit. The audition process became real and daunting. I could see the doubt in people’s eyes. People would ask me why I wasn't just getting a real job. It was really starting to get to me. I almost didn’t get ino 3rd year acting at uni (I was thinking of NYC during my audition in Ottawa). I kept joking that I was going to New York so my dreams could die. So when everything went great in NYC I saw that alone as vindication, I didn’t suck. Gained some swagger at the least. When I found out I got in this morning and everybody left the house. I said it out loud “Iain tu l’as faite” then I thought of my Gran and I sobbed tears of joy for the first time of my life. Like the athletes when they win the cup, like fighters when they get the belt. I know what they feel like now. I couldn’t stop thinking that the only person who ever believed in me was right. Everyone else was wrong. I think part of why I cried was cause she couldn’t see me do it... But I know that by me going to this school and TRULY believing in myself for the first my life, that’s how she lives. She lived through worse shit than I ever will, so I have no excuses. I have to live for her. She lives every time I create, every time I laugh, every time I work hard but more importantly every time I believe. Anything is possible.
p.s if I can do it, so can you.