Being an actor, currently in the hellish audition period for drama school that leaves a person beaten down and questioning WHY I even do this in the first place, they happen fairly frequently. I had one about a week ago. A crappy audition left me stranded in London in the rain (of course it was raining, how...poetic/pathetic) and I found a little coffee shop that usually leaves me quite content as it gives me space to work on current projects and happily faff around with my copious amounts of notebooks, donning various motivational quotes. But this time, it just wasn't working for me. I was finding it quite hard to shake it off and concentrate on the next project or audition so soon after the most recent rejection.
And I suddenly had a minor epiphany.
What I needed was Meryl Streep.
The formidable goddess famous for facing bitter rejection early on in her career, being donned 'too ugly' to be an actress (ludicrous I know, the woman gets more beautiful with every day she ages), has enjoyed a remarkable career and has become arguably the most celebrated actress of her time, holding the record for Academy Award nominations, with her most recent release The Post increasing her reign to twenty one nominations and three wins.
Between the sudden realisation that some escapism was what I needed and remembering Meryl's new film The Post was currently showing in cinemas, google-mapping the nearest Odeon and finding my seat, there was about 20 minutes in it. I treated myself to a deluxe popcorn and the day got laughably worse as I proceeded to spill it almost completely on the floor. The following exchange I had with the couple behind me was pretty pathetic as I exclaimed 'It's been a bad day'.
But the point of me writing this wasn't to revel in self pity and to put my shit day publically out in the open but instead, to say this; it actually helped. I left feeling that cinema feeling empowered, not only by the fantastic film but by the reassurance that every one of those faces on that big screen including not only Meryl (I'm just going to call her Meryl because I feel like I can ya know) and Mr Hanks but also the girl who had a great few lines, working for the government but sharing a quiet word with Meryl's character Katherine saying that despite her Government liegance she hoped The Press won the court battle- watch the film, ok? You'll know which bit I mean. All those people have all faced what I can imagine is a great deal of rejection to get where they are now and probably still face it, on a day to day basis. Because that's how this industry works.
But its fantastic.
And I left that cinema, tear stained and still looking slightly pathetic, (yes, I know, not exactly an emotional film but Meryl does that to me ok), I left that cinema more sure than ever of where I wanted to be. It's a remarkable thing what that can do for perspective.
Since then, to the great amusement of my family, friends, Instagram followers and most prominently, boyfriend, I have watched for the first time rewatched a lot of classic Meryl. Most recently the fabulous Mamma Mia, The Iron Lady, It's Complicated, Ricki and the Flash and Julie and Julia. Which coincidentally is about a young woman named Julie in the 00s who discovers the famous Julia Child's book on 'How to Master French Cooking' and decides to make it her mission to make every one of the 524 recipes in one year. The task essentially becomes her self help and I think in a way I've become Amy Adams' Julie and Meryl is yet again the Julia in this scenario. Meryl Streep Films are my French cooking, my self help.
Now hear me out; I'm not completely crazy because they even wrote a song about it in the 1988 musical Fame, 'Think of Meryl Streep'. Ok, maybe I'm a little crazy but not entirely alone in this at least.
So I know I may sound like a total head case, that's what my boyfriend says anyway, but my advice for anyone like myself, MAD enough to try and embark on this crazy world; is to find your own Meryl Streep.
For every shitty audition or just generally bad day, there's a Katharine Graham or Donna Sheridan to help you through it. Or maybe even a Miranda Priestly or Emmeline Pankhurst. The list is endless.
So thanks to Meryl for being so wonderful.
And thank you for reading my slightly mental declaration of love for my Hollywood hero.
So I'll finish with a picture of one of her finer portrayals, a fabulous twos up to the big guy that labeled her as an 'overrated actress', pah!....