The Kelvinator? A Story of Burnout and Recovery…


The Kelvinator?
I remember a crew member (out of Gladstone) who used to call me the Kelvinator…why?
“No matter what happens, you still pull through,” were his words…or something to that effect. So I did…for the most part.
The thing about acting is that it is just that…acting…not actually being. So, while there were times when I’d be awake all night and in bed most of the day…and still showing up for the gig in the evening…all I really needed to do was act like things were okay (for a couple of hours anyway.)
While there were times of crisis and tension backstage…one of the more amusing ones being stepping off stage onto a backstage platform with a certain actress..and having the platform collapse under us. All we all needed to do was keep acting like everything was okay (for a couple of hours anyway.)
Anyway, even though my acting was well-received…even though my writing was getting lift off…even though one of my singles was picked up by a European label and distributed all over the world. In reality it became harder and harder to pull off the illusion of the Kelvinator. I was exhausted…and despite all the good things that were happening, I was actually very depressed.
In the back of my mind, I knew something would have to be done about this increasing disconnect between acting and reality…I could say fine speeches but I never really got around to actually doing anything about it.
Still, the day came when it finally all came to a head. I was on the phone with my sister (a nurse), she was concerned about the things I was telling her, told me to talk to somebody right away. I did…and soon some paramedics were over for a visit. Nice enough people…but not the kind of people you want over for a professional visit too often.
It was a pretty big wake up call.
Long story short it was discovered I was only severely burned out…only being a relative term. It took a year to snap out of it…and build up a head of steam again…even then, I was pretty determined to quit acting. However, my sisters kept pushing me to get back in the game…I kept saying no…even some dude named George, who later became my brother-in-law, called me one day to try persuade me to get back in the game and act with him and the group he was with…told him no too actually…quite firmly in fact. I was actually pretty ticked at them all at the time. In any case…being the ornery people they are they kept at it until I finally agreed to do one show…and only ONE show…strangely that one show was a smash hit, ended up as front page news (the headline is one of the pictures in the album below) and the phone started ringing like crazy…and I haven’t been able to quit acting since…but now I am pretty firm about certain on set behaviors and issues…why? Paramedics are fine people…I know some excellent ones…but I’d rather keep them out of my life if possible…besides, doing things properly is way less hassle anyway…
*Moral of the story. We’ve all got problems…but do what it takes to deal with them before they deal with you…and once and awhile it’s a good idea to listen to your sisters…it might even be okay to listen to your in-laws sometimes…even if they make you mad at first…



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