becoming a self in history, becoming a self in my street

Katharine Messenger

Ever since I was a little girl I knew that I was an actor. I had one clear purpose and no matter what happened to me, I had my purpose and my whole life was about getting to the place where I could be what I knew I was. I finally got to drama school and very soon after graduating I got my Equity card. I was an actor, I had reached my goal. When I got there I found that it was completely hollow. Everything I had worked towards was not there. I met my partner at that time and had my children, but at the same time I tried to kill that part of me which was an actor and which had made me so sad. Suddenly last year I was rushed to hospital with a terrible headache. The doctor thought I had had a brain haemorrhage.

The story is more complicated than this, but I was not dying as I thought. Rather I was learning that I could not kill who I really was, and I found that I had to revisit that dream and allow that part of me to live. I know this now and it is very hard. I think it was easier before, because then I could just be happy. Still, even though it is hard, I know now I have to give myself, the actor, a life, because she will not go away.