When was the last time you had a really good belly laugh? The kind that leaves you sore and weak and happy to feel like that? What set you off?
I had one last night. On the telephone with one of my oldest friends, we laughed and laughed and laughed.
One of the things I love about talking to really old friends is the shared language that develops. There's a shared history mythology and recurring gags and moments to be endlessly referenced. I laughed until tears were rolling.
It was a good set up for today's work where I was making my annual appearance as the power crazed bullying doctor. My character is the kind of person who causes people to move out of the way with a mere look. One of my favourite moments of the day was when a student had bags on the floor which were blocking my pathway. I said nothing, just looked at the bags and waited. Soon the bags were being moved and the student was nervously apologising.
I took 30 minutes to shake the role off before I left the dressing room tonight. I sat and chatted to my fellow actors and felt the character lift up off my shoulders. I felt my face relax as I rediscovered myself and people started to relate to me normally again.
Anger and frustration that has accumulated over the last year was poured into the role. How lucky I am to have a place to channel it. I hope I'll have enough for tomorrow!
After the work today I went out with friends who had been working on the same job. Our meal was accompanied by raucous conversation and lots of laughing.
So when was the last time you laughed until it hurt? It leaves me exhausted, but I want to do it all the time.