Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Seeing the trees

“Sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees”

As my last blog post probably hinted at I’ve had a somewhat galling month or so. A couple of bits I can’t go into detail about on here (although I will later this week) and then some bits I can – mostly the stand up and theatre directing bits. Essentially life was feeling overbearing, I couldn’t see the trees (let alone the wood) and wasn’t really enjoying what I was doing and was finding it stressful (and it was getting me down a bit). Luckily, as it happens, I wrote that blog post and was sent a few messages from friends that really helped.

One in particular, felt like somewhat of a moment of self-discovery. I had an amazing chat on the phone (you know who you are) and an incredibly honest conversation. I think it can be really difficult to spot your own habits and personality quirks. Some I’ve been aware of for a while; I don’t like physical contact with people I don’t know well, a glass of wine gets me drunk etc… Others I didn’t really appreciate until I talked about it; I over analyse everything I do in minute details, I find it hard to shake bad gigs and am excessively self critical.

While these are fundamental to my personality just being told about them and made more aware of how they impact on me felt like a weight was lifted – it was amazing, almost instantaneous. I started thinking about recent gigs and shows and reassess them in the context of the gigs that happened rather than my slightly crazed mental ideal of the perfection my head insists on. It also made me think about overloading myself, and perhaps being guilty of trying to do everything sometimes. I think maybe some of the frustration I have comes with trying to juggle so many things and and I need to, occasionally rather than letting them fall perhaps just put some down.

Then,  and this was the most important thing that was pointed out, I should be enjoying what I’m doing. I broadened it out to life a bit, taking that worry out and relaxing and enjoying myself a bit more. After all what’s the point in doing all this if you end up miserable and unhappy.  Ultimately, when it comes down to it, stand up is talking shit to people you’ve never met to make them laugh, theatre is about telling a story to people you’ve never met so they enjoy themselves, and life is for living as happily and as contentedly (real word?) as possible.

So how’s it helped? Well after the chat I improvised 25 minutes of new material (and it felt amazing), I had ideas for theatre and musical theatre and baked bread. But I didn’t feel like I was pressuring myself to do any of them… It feels like a nice start… Still things to sort away from stand up (and as a result I’m going to take it easier for a month or two), but yes, much better.

Finally, I watched MOTD and I have to say Brad Friedel was brilliant on the show, insightful, smart and funny – please can we have more Brad and less Alan? Maybe add Tim Howard?

That’s all. Night all.

“luckily someone handed me a chainsaw.

Now I’m considering investing in a sawmill”