The Actor and His Drink

Thursday, 2 February 2017


So this honest post comes from me sitting in the BFI with a cappuccino, jazz music playing, people on laptops and myself trying my hardest not to ditch the coffee and buy a beer (it's just before 11am on a Tuesday).

A few years ago I read a great and hilarious book 'Hellraisers' by Robert Sellers. The book is all about the drinking habits of Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole, Richard Burton and Oliver Reed. Now the stories are hilarious and I recommend the read but the truth behind the book however, is not so funny.

As a creative person I find my mind ticks at a hundred miles per hour every hour of every day. Ideas flow through me constantly, I am fascinated by the world and it's characters and I am completely dream and goal driven. However, to get anything done I have to slow my brain down to a pace my body van catch up with and the only way I know to do this is to have a drink.

I decided to speak out about this as it is very easy to fall into a downward spiral with alcohol. We all know the stories of actors going to rehab and I have many friends that have relied on the drink just to get through a day. And yes let's be honest I have done this too.

As actors I think we suffer from a lot of pressure, from money troubles, to getting the next high (career wise of course), to keeping sane whilst the phone isn't ringing. And it is easy to suppress these feelings of depression with alcohol.

I don't know about you but some networking events scare the hell out of me and I like to have a few beers in the system to simply get through them.

I don't know about you but some nights I can't sleep due to creative ideas running round my head so I have a drink to get off to the land of nod.

I don't know about you but sometimes an audition can come easier to me if I have stopped off for one at the nearest pub before hand.

I don't know about you but some days I feel like giving up and drink can be the only thing giving me life that day.

We all need to be aware how much we drink, not just for physical benefits but for mental ones too. I feel I am aware of when things are getting out of hand and I have the strength and network around me to help, but not everyone does. This is why I am speaking up about it, as having a drink is not something to be ashamed of and is also one of life's little pleasures, but just be aware of when the acting industry and alcohol come hand in hand.

'I did quite enjoy the days when one went for a beer at one's local in Paris and woke up in Corsica'
PETER O'TOOLE

Keep an eye out on your friends people and see you next week. Oh, and if you are buying I'll have a pint please.

Joseph

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