How can something emotionally exhausting be that rewarding?
People struggle in order to get rid of the hurt, to let go of the pain, to move on, to delete or overcome those images from the past that cause tears to flow and heart to ache.
Emotionally healthy people do this in order to grow, to become a “better version” of themselves, to have a healthy peaceful emotional life.
Actors, on the other hand, hold on to those images, feed them and feed on them, nurture them and recall them as often as they feel the need to, and willingly throw themselves again in those pits they had once struggled to get out of, in that pain they had once struggled to overcome, in that grief they had fought for so long to find closure for.
I’ve always questioned the “sanity” of being an actor, always felt this beautiful feeling I have at the end of an emotional scene is not as beautiful as it seems to be, always felt there was something “poisonous” to it.
I’ve always felt I wasn’t being fair to myself, always knew my actor self wasn’t being loyal towards my emotional wellbeing, but always knew there s nothing I can do about it.
I’ve always questioned the “sanity” of being an actor.
By Nicolas Mouawad.
Editor’s note: In my previous job, I had the pleasure to set an interview with Lebanese actor Nicolas Mouawad. We discussed different approaches for the interview, and through our conversations, I learned that he is very vocal about the struggles of actors and mental health; something that most ever speaks about.
For World Mental Health Day, Nicolas permitted us to publish one of his previous writings about mental health and actors.
Just through your phone and on Facebook, you can seek help and get guidance on what to do. There’s literally a whole centre on Facebook now dedicated to just that!
Facebook is working with its partners such as “Mahadesh Aly” and “Mesh Lewa7dak” from Egypt, Embrace as well as communities like Teach for Lebanon in Lebanon, to raise awareness around mental health.