• michaelabennison

Thoughts From Digs (Yeah... A Lot’s Happened Since September...)

I'm in a room in Manchester. It's 11:37pm on a Monday evening. It's two weeks until the end of my first professional job: Into The Woods at The Royal Exchange, Manchester.

Week 1 of Rehearsal: Featuring ALL THE NOTES!
Week 1 of Rehearsal: Featuring ALL THE NOTES!

I've spent my first Christmas away from home. I saw in the New Year with people I have known for less than 3 months.

Less than 6 months ago I couldn't have imagined having an acting job, let alone one as prestigious as this. And yet here I am, working (well, not right now. Right now I'm typing in bed listening to the soundtrack to The Theory Of Everything).

I am very lucky.

Many people find luck abhorrent. To admit that success is, for all intents and purposes, coincidental is to deny the hard work and dedication we've put in.

I was about to say I don't believe that. In fact I had gotten a paragraph into explaining why I don't believe that, and then realised I was talking utter rubbish.

I am privileged in many ways. I was born to parents who valued education, and instilled in me the value of learning. I grew up in a neighbourhood where I wasn't made to feel inferior because of my race. I went to, arguably, the best secondary school in my area; a school that was free for me to attend, relieving my parents of the financial burden of sending me to a private school (which they would have done). My parents payed for me to go on school trips and choir courses and tours.

I worked hard. I studied. I practiced. But all my hard work would have come to nothing if my circumstances had been different.

If my mum hadn't made sure I did my homework, or I grew up where people expected me to achieve less, or if I had never been more than 10 miles from my home town...

I wouldn't be sitting in a room in Manchester, living for 3 months in a city I had never been to before.

I often wonder what my life would be like if things had been different. I'm not sure how useful that is, but I hope it at least makes me more appreciative.

I am so lucky to live in a world where the worst thing that has happened to me today is that the WIFI in digs has been too slow for me to watch a YouTube video.

I am lucky to be safe and warm.

I am lucky to be working, let alone in a job I actually enjoy.

And, although I doubt I am loved widely (I mean I'm not Benedict Cumberbatch, after all!), I have no doubt that I am loved deeply by those closest to me.

And that's something many people, including myself, should remember more often.

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