Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing


I’ve had this thought in my head for a while now so I thought I’d share, not least because I’ve just finished The Bridge and there’s nothing left to watch, ever again, seriously, it’s that good.

Those who know me will know I have a few crazy mental problems (non-serious). My obsession with sticking to the speed limit infuriates people every time I drive, while a block on all Nicholas Cage’s career errors has led me to believe that he is, genuinely, a great actor. But there’s one that comes out quite regularly and it is dissatisfaction.

When I was growing up I always though that you’d do something, or achieve something and feel, well, satisfied, you’d have a burgeoning sense of achievement and you’d relax comfortable that a good thing had happened and then, well, that’s the ending point to the thought. The thing is that I never really feel satisfied. When a gig goes badly I pick the positives away like a scab to find the errors. I hate practically everything I’ve written as not good enough while my directing I find generally just a bit crap.

Now at this point you could easily think that this is a blog post to get my ego massaged – it’s not. I’m starting to find it tiring, slightly depressing if I’m honest and it’s getting hard. At work everything I do tends to feel mediocre – of course there’s a balance, with finite resources only so much can be achieved, but my head doesn’t work like that, my head says I should be able to overcome this stuff – a running joke at work is that when a show sells out I describe it as having done okay – and while I joke there’s an element of me that wants it to sell out better, earlier, at a higher price.

Stand up and theatre is where it’s a real pain – Gaffer and the lack of anything to follow it has been really hard – to do something and be proud of it and then have nowhere to go – that doubt creeps in. The reason I’ve been avoiding stand up gigs (opposed to the show) has been a little bit of this, I don’t feel that rich warm glow if it goes well, I just feel, well, a bit empty.  I hate the competitive nature of it with other people, it’s a cock measuring contest which isn’t what art should be. Or maybe it is. I don’t know.

I’m not sure where I’m heading with this other that I don’t know what to do, in life, in theatre, in standup, in art. I feel like I had a plan when I was 16, 17, and now that plan is gone and in its place I’ve hit mediocrity. The embodiment of average. I wonder if everyone has this, does Martin and Saga from The Bridge (character names), do they watch it and feel a sense of what could have been? And how do we get out of it when it seems so very hard to grasp what change is needed.

Not sure. Probably time for sleep too. Night.