Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
I am currently enrolled in Werner Herzog's rather brilliant Masterclass on Filmmaking. As a result, he has inspired me to become a better storyteller, make my first short film and generally react to the world like an entrenched eccentric German film director prone to deadpan witticisms and borderline threatening manliness. He's also just asked me to walk a hundred miles.
So, next Wednesday morning (the 24th of May), I'll set out from my house and walk a hundred miles to a small village in Dorset. I won't question why Werner has asked me to do it, because that's half the point of the challenge. However, you might have a question or two about why I'm asking you to donate money in support of it!
I walk for several reasons, but chief among them has become the positive effect it's had on my mental health. Life as an actor and writer can be incredibly rewarding and I consider myself very lucky to be able to spend my days pursuing a career in the arts, but it's vagaries can often render you confused, stressed and isolated. Walking can help clear the mind and gain some perspective. On the whole, I feel like I've been spared some of the darker spirals that can take hold during a bout of black dog, but many others are not so fortunate.
A career in the arts, which is so reliant on self evaluation, self expression and self examination, can place a more targeted kind of burden on a person's mental health. And when you consider that one in four people in the UK will experience mental health issues at some point their life, then consider what the effects are on those in the performing arts.
Yes, the highs are incredible but the lows are indelible.
I'd therefore like you to support a group that is picking up the pieces of broken lives and renewing confidence in lost dreams.
And here's the quasi-political preachy bit: I'm genuinely worried about this country's attitude to funding, celebrating and protecting the arts. Without the arts speaking truth to power, you have despotism and if you don't take care of the artists, you have no art.
The British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) is a healthcare charity giving medical advice to people working and studying in the performing arts. BAPAM can help performers overcome (and preferably avoid) work-related health problems, and they are dedicated to sharing knowledge about healthy practice.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
So donate today - it's what Werner would want you to do.