By Rollo Skinner
Every actor would kill you for this… I want to kill you for this…”
My agent’s dry response as I explain why I can’t sign a three series deal for a new Netflix kids show because my heart’s no longer in it. A year ago I would have killed me too, but I’ve realised it was time to stop chasing someone else’s dream and start living my own.
Rewind 24 hours…
Marc has just accepted me back onto the course (after previously deferring)..
Triumphantly, I head out and have a haircut, no longer hostage to the fear of missing out on acting roles with too short hair….
Then my agent calls to say I’ve been cast in the show…
I struggle to keep the utter shock from my voice. In fact, it felt like someone had died… The new short-haired version of myself was lying dead on my bedroom floor, just moments after his first breaths.
“Right ok! Heading to Cheshire on Sunday. Ok… Costume fittings Monday morning… “
My mouth is dry as my brain scrambles to make sense of this new reality…
“Congratulations, Rollo this is fantastic!”
I put the phone down.
I message Marc – the second time today.
I’ve just found out….. I won’t be able to start….. Apologies
The phone rings, it’s my agent again, to discuss the contract.
“So, very exciting, they want you for a three year option”
“What does that mean?”
“You have to sign for 3 years”
“3 years?! Can’t I sign for 1 season? “
“No it’s all or nothing. We need a decision by the morning”.
This is it. This is the moment. One of those moments you read about in other people’s lives. I have to make a pivotal decision. Do I take the easy route? Keep my agent, my friends, my bank account (temporarily) happy?
Or do I take the hard route? Do I listen to my Gut? And head into the unknown?
The choice was simple.
Easier than I could’ve ever thought.
My voice is emotionless, almost robotic as I give my agent the verdict. Blinkered; my sights set excitedly on the future.
I drive off into the sun, blaring Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’, heading south, south to Brixton…