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Ups and Downs of being (with) a woman during a pandemic

What is up Strasberg Actors! We of the Strasberg Campus Team hope that you are all keeping safe and busy during these hard times (not that you have to keep busy, of course, there is no pressure of doing or being anything other than being alive). Nobody could have ever imagined that we would be here in this moment in time, what is going on in the world right now seems taken straight out of a dystopian play by Dennis Kelly, and yet here we are.

As we try to get used to the new normal, some of us can feel more overwhelmed that others, and I am now talking to you ladies. This month’s blogpost might seem exclusively dedicated to women, but indeed it isn’t, as I very much hope that will shed some light on the mystery of womanhood for men as well. What does this have to do with acting? Not a lot, it might seem, but actually understanding the way we work as human beings will make us understand our characters better. And especially in times when more and more men play women’s parts and women play men’s roles, I believe we have the duty to educate ourselves about each other. So listen up.

Women go through some major hormonal changes every month, the rise of oestrogen that peaks during the ovulation days will leave us feeling happy, energetic and, let’s say it, quite horny. After that though, while the levels of oestrogen start dipping, progesterone rises, making us feel sad, irritable, generally blue. This is when we need to be particularly kind towards ourselves and our partners (and of course our partners should be aware and understanding of the ups and downs that we go through monthly). Quite possibly, while locked in the house and unable to live our normal lives, anything can be the beginning of a tragedy; we got to the last episode or ‘After life’ season 2? No better reason for throwing a tantrum: Our partner just used the last bag of Tesco finest Earl Grey tea? It is probably time for divorce.

Feeling everything so deeply is both a blessing and a curse. Certainly as artists we benefit from the deep connection we have to the world through our bodies, on the other hand though, it can be exhausting for both us and the lovely souls whom we share a roof with.

The solution? Put it in the Art. Yes, you might have the worst case of PMS ever recorded, it has perhaps come the time to work on something truly dramatic. Pick up some Tennessee Williams, dive into some of the greatest Shakespearian tragedies, spare no energy or tears. Or jump into an acting class (like this one)! Put it in the work. You will grow as an actor and avoid killing your flatmate in the process (or perhaps you will avoid your flatmate killing you).

In ancient times, women were looked at with awe, for being able to bleed without a wound. We quite literally die and are reborn every month, we have the possibility of life and the darkness of death in us every four weeks.

Let’s face it, women are amazing -- but men also are, for putting up with us at times.

Stay safe people, with love and light -- and some darkness, too.

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