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Dear West End Producer: ‘What’s the point of anything?’

West End Producer West End Producer Photo: Matt Crockett
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That’s a profound question. Well, my dear, it depends on who you ask and what you want. Many people are driven by their career ambitions or by the things that bring them the most joy. And I think that is a good place to start.

Personally, I think the point of my life is Dom Perignon, late nights in the Ivy, and spending quality time with my Miss Saigon blow-up doll, but maybe others might be able to provide some more practical suggestions.

I asked some of my friends what they thought the point of their lives were, and they responded with: settling down and having children, finding a soulmate and building a life together, travelling the world and working towards landing a leading role on TV (and they weren’t talking about Doctors, dear).

People have a wide variety of aims and different ideals when defining what a good life is all about. Their tastes can vary according to their childhood, their career goals and how many Tom Stoppard plays they’ve seen.

First of all, I would say the main point is to have something to work towards – whether that be a job, a relationship, a project or simply trying to get a six-pack. Without an aim, everything can soon turn into a murky mess.

This is where some people struggle and often find themselves feeling lost. But this need not be a bad thing. If you are going through a particularly difficult time, feelings of confusion and uncertainty are normal – so don’t chastise yourself.

While it may be hard at present, and you may not be sure exactly where your life is heading, this can also be an excellent time to make big changes. The truth is, you don’t always have to know where you are headed.

The theatre business can be cruel, with constant reminders on social media and elsewhere of how successful everyone else is.

That other actor may be playing a regular on Hollyoaks, but wishing he was doing a school’s tour of Sarah Kane’s Blasted

But remember that you are on your own journey, and while that other actor may be playing a regular on Hollyoaks, he may be wishing he was doing something more rewarding – such as a school’s tour of Sarah Kane’s Blasted. No one is ever truly content, and those who say they are must be liars. Or the Dalai Lama.

Your question is about the point of every-thing – and that is huge. Instead, I suggest you break the question up into smaller points about your life and work on them one at a time.

It is also useful when considering big life questions to remember why you started. Remind yourself what your goals were, and be proud of what you’ve achieved.

Even surviving in London is difficult – so give yourself a big pat on the back and reward yourself with a large glass of cheap prosecco (not least because on Equity minimum you really won’t be able to afford anything more expensive, dear).

But, of course, the thing we all really want is happiness and love. It may not happen instantly – or even particularly quickly – but if we are open to it, give it and are not afraid to say exactly how we feel, then we will receive it back in bucketloads.

As Andy Dufresne says in The Shawshank Redemption: “Get busy living, or get busy dying.” And I love that film, so he must be right, dear.

Send questions to your dear agony aunt via Twitter @westendproducer

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