An Introverted Actress

The Importance Of My Hobbies

I haven’t had this much free time since 2013. Since being cast in Les Mis six years ago, I’m very lucky that time between jobs has been relatively short or non-existent. Even in the short gap I had between The Christmasaurus in 2017 and Heathers in 2018, I managed to fill it by recording and releasing an album and putting on a concert at Cadogan hall! However, I handed in the first draft of my novel a week ago and I’m now waiting for edits and I have no performing jobs until I’m a guest in Jason Robert Brown’s concert on March 31st so I currently have actual free time. I have no work commitments and no obligations to do anything other than what I want to do…which is completely alien to me and in all honesty, I feel a bit lost!

I often feel that if I don’t have a specific goal or a purpose for the day, I tend to get up, make a coffee and after ten minutes of sitting doing nothing, guilt starts to creep in. This very loud voice in my head starts screaming “YOU’RE WASTING TIME! STOP BEING LAZY! GET UP AND DO SOMETHING!”. I’ve realised that I can’t just do “nothing”. Sitting and chilling is just not me. Even watching a series or a movie feels too still and I get restless (unless I’m at a cinema and I’m forced to do nothing but eat popcorn and watch). So I’ve come to realise that hobbies are my friend. If the only thing that can get me to sit still and focus on something other than work or social media is something creative and crafty then so be it! I also think it’s really important for me to do things that are solely for me. I feel real guilt when I’m doing something that isn’t financially lucrative. I recognise that I’ve done very well for myself as a twenty-six year old with two properties but I’m not "rich" by any means and I absolutely, categorically can not afford not to work. I have two mortgages, bills to pay and groceries to buy and no one else will pay any of that for me. I have  my Youtube channel and a couple of brand deals to tide me over whilst I'm not currently employed in a show and have no steady income but even so, panic is starting to set in slightly. However,  despite the panic, I do feel it is still important that I have a few things in which that kind of pressure doesn’t exist. Something I won’t ever make money from that no one else will ever see that is completely stress free and most importantly, completely mine. So here are some of my favourite things to do in my free time. 



















1. Doing My Make-Up
I know this isn’t really a hobby but I’m counting it as I get so much joy from putting my make up on every morning. Even when I’m not going anywhere and no one other than me and boyfriend will see my face, I love getting up, getting showered and then spending a good forty minutes on my make up. Finding good eyeshadow colours that go together, watching YouTube tutorials and copying along and using my fancy new “Bad Apple” Spectrum brushes that I bought just before Christmas! I find that there’s so much creativity in it and nothing quite starts me up for the day quite like doing my face!



2. Junk Journaling
Whilst I was sick and off work from Heathers, I was driving myself crazy watching social media at home. As well as my tonsils being the size of tennis balls, my mental health also took a real nosedive as I was reading tweets from people telling me how disappointed they were that I wasn’t there and even sending me pictures of their crying children due to my absence. I find being away from work when I’m ill hard enough because I feel like I’m failing in some way and that I’m letting people down but to then see physical evidence that that is, in fact, the case, I knew I needed a distraction. As it was around Halloween, I did a bit of pumpkin carving but  this was something I did every year and I wanted to try my hand at something completely new. I can’t remember how but I stumbled across “Junk Journaling”. It’s basically just scrapbooking in a messy, haphazard, fun and creative fashion and I very quickly fell in love with it. I save everything, anyway, from receipts and tickets to packaging and newspaper cuttings but I’ve never really got around to scrapbooking any of it and junk journaling seemed like the quickest and most fun way of saving it all in one place. I started by using a journal I was given at stage door in Singapore but it very quickly started to bulk up and now it’s literally bursting open. Then I discovered that making your own journal wasn’t as difficult as it seemed. I took a quick, quiet trip to my local craft store and bought things like hand needles, waxed thread and card and then went to a charity shop and bought an old, dusty hardback book that was a little worse for wear with it's pages ripped and the dust jacket missing. Then I went home and learnt via YouTube tutorials exactly how to make my own junk journal and now I can’t stop! I’ve made about ten overall, each one totally unique and I feel I get better each time. I keep being asked to make tutorials on them but, if you're interested, I think you're better off just watching the videos I watched right here. Johanna Clough is a junk journal genius!


Finally, 3.Morning Pages. 
This is very new. By very new I mean…I started this morning but it’s something I want to continue so I’m adding it in here as a little bit of pressure to make myself push forwards. I’ve always heard people talk about Morning Pages and it’s always sounded a bit…I dunno…new age, hipster-ish? I guess I’d just never looked deep enough into it to really understand what it’s all about and why it would be beneficial for me to begin. But then I read a blog last night that convinced me to give it a go. I have an abundance of unused notebooks so I picked a pretty one from the V&A museum and started this morning. Morning Pages simply consists of getting up, making a hot drink and then sitting down for 30-40 minutes and writing a three page stream of consciousness. Apparently, the reason you write in the morning is to try and catch your brain off guard before your ‘ego defences’ come into play. There's less chance you're own self-involvement will, well...get involved! It’s a way to sweep your brain clear of any cobwebs before starting your day and as someone with few too many brain cobwebs, it’s something I can totally get behind. So, I’m only just starting out on this one but I love the idea and I will update you in a few weeks. 


If you’re a busy person, who is constantly giving time away to everyone but yourself, I feel like hobbies are so important. We all need a little bit of "me time" and I personally feel so much better when my hobbies have a physical result as I often feel like time has been wasted if I don't have anything to show for the time spent. That’s why journaling and writing morning pages seem like exactly what my soul needs to cleanse and recharge. 

Let me know what your hobbies are and why they’re so important to you! 



19 comments

  1. One of my fave hobbies is putting on make up too because it makes me feel happy when I can crate something great for myself even if I do it pretty much everyday. I also love watching your videos ( even your older ones) cause they just make me laugh but especially give me life tips for when I’m stressed out about something. I also like going for a run with my 5K app when the weather’s good enough Whilst listening to music such as the new Heathers soundtrack ����. Anyway glad to see you’re doing good, hope you keep enjoying your hobbies

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, love your vlogs and blogs. My hobbies are musical theatre/drama and music, both performing (none paid, amateur dramatics) and watching and I'm feeling blessed that my kids love it too, so that's something we're doing together. I've been doing it since I was four years old. Now, with a break from being ceared of ovrian cancer, I'm back in buisness; watching twenty One Pilots with my 16 year old on Saturday, and watching my son's school's production of The Addams Family Musical on the 13th of March. I found your vgs when Googling about the show, and started following them. Been singing a long to Wednesday's songs and Morticia's songs in secrets, as my son wants it as a suprise and he didn't know anything about the Addams Family before. I love Les Mis, my dream character is Eponine, watching Les Mis Swedish production when I was 11 and I used to borrow my mum's beige trench coat and brown cap and sing, my 7 yr od loves Les Mis as well, and he loves building barricades. My odest help out at his school's production, however this year is GCSEs, so he'll be concentrating on this, this year. Despite, what my parents thought, about my dream of being a musical theatre actress, I still went on a closed audition for West End's Miss Saigon, being adopted from Thailand in 1976. I was ill prepared, however I still got to sing in front of the Gods, and I overheard them saying, that I was he first person who was actually born during that time period in Bangok ( I was adopted). I will give myself more oportunities like this, one is NEVER too old :) and I've signed up with the "Star Now", acting and modelling agency. My dream was London and I managed this dream, currently living in England :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. My hobbies are reading, watching T.V.and going to theatre. I used to be in amateur dramatics many years ago.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I bet you have a giant list of books to get through, i’ve Started the #betterreads challenge and am just about to start book 7 of this year which is Eve of Man! I’m very excited and love having the time aside each day to get through my mountain of books

    ReplyDelete
  5. I found this to be a good read and something I need right now. I am currently in between jobs and finding myself with a couple weeks off for the first time since high school. I spent a couple days cleaning, watching Netflix, and hanging out with Friends but I very quickly found myself bored when my friends were busy, the house was already clean, and Netflix just wasn’t very busy. I’m currently trying to find hobbies for myself because I don’t really have any anymore. The one hobby I would say that I have is learning new languages. I’m currently relearning French (I forget everything I learnt in school) because my boyfriend is French and it is nice having a goal to work towards.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's great when you find things you love spending time on! I think make-up can definitely be a hobby - I've not learnt how to do it very much but it's like art for your face haha. :D I love music and dancing, both playing violin by myself to destress and the social side of dancing class! They're important because I love them and I can love them just for the joy of spending my time doing something I find fun. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love scrapbooking, I've become obsessed with buying books with diffrent paper in and funky tape. Last year I did an Instagram #my365 challenge of posting a photo every day for a year (admittedly It ended up being like #my345 but the principal is there) now I have the task of compiling scrap books with printed photos and captions from each day. I now need to find a way of making 3 scrap books into one! Such a nice way to end the day reflecting on last year and chilling with some craft. It's a great way of not sitting on social media for an hour or two and go into your own little world.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sewing I love making things I just made a harry potter cloak for a friend and I am very tempted to make a full blown adult one I have very little me time.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Its comforting and refreshing to hear this because I'm going through the exact same and everyone thinks I'm mad. I even think I am mad; if you'd told me a year ago I would feel like this I would have laughed or said that I would have loved to feel bored or have so much time, but I am so lost and really struggling! I was studying accountancy exams whilst being on a graduate scheme in a Bank and always had so much going on, every evening and weekend was spent studying working late or squeezing in friends and family to any amount of time I had free. I feel like I've forgotten how to relax and enjoy my own time without being super anxious that I should be doing more or achieving more, and it petrifies me! I have recently started learning Calligraphy, which is really challenging, and also trying to bake a little more as both are challenging but therapeutic and rewarding too. Thank you for sharing and wishing you all the best with your hobbies!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love following you Instagram so these blogs are like a deeper look into the person behind the camera! That sounded a lot creepier than I was going for... anyway ;) My hobbies are anything creative and crafty as they keep my hands busy and prevent my brain from either obsessively thinking about everything that could go wrong or downward spiralling (thanks to mental health isssues). My current favourites are crochet and cross stitch :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have a lot of hobbies I tend to cycle between... reading, crochet, sewing, knitting, embroidery, drawing/painting, watching TV&movies, making videos, and probably way more I'm forgetting right now. The only constant is that journalling and some sort of craft I can do in front of TV/while holding a conversation tend to be in there :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. My current hobby is learning how to cook. I've been blessed in life with first a father then a husband who are wonderful cooks. I was always a baker, though not a terribly inventive one. Then I discovered a YouTube channel that had basics on it and finally felt confident enough to try. And it's really fun! It is very gratifying to see an immediate reaction when I've done something well.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My hobbies include playing the piano and the ukulele until my fingers ache, singing, writing, reading, cycling and learning languages (yes, that's a hobby, I'm learning ivrit ontop of my Spanish GCSE). I've been wanting to try junk journaling though for a while as it looks so cool and fun and I hate being idle, like you

    ReplyDelete
  14. I started morning pages after reading this because I have such a hard time waking up in the morning. So far I'm liking it!

    ReplyDelete
  15. photography! Love walking around my city and going "OOO that's a nice place i could take pics!" or "Omfg that would be a good background!" Also, I find it i wonder a lot and find new places that are super cool!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Cross Stitch and reading are my hobbies! I love cross stitching because it's something creative that produces a pretty result! Plus, when I cross stitch while watching TV it keeps me from scrolling mindlessly through social media. I'm reading ALOT this year, and I realize I will probably hit a slump at some point, but it's fun! I'm currently slowly making my way through All that She Can See, it's my "bath book". I mainly check books out from the library, so I like to have a designated bath book for when I want to use a bath bomb and read!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love this - hobbies are so important. I fire spin, hulahoop, ballroom and latin dance and recently started learning how to crochet. I think junk journalling needs to be added to my list immediately :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I've been suffering from depression in the past couple of years, and I was always intimidated by your productivity. I felt like a piece of shit for watching Friends all day — not your fault, just the voices in my head interpreting things. That being said, I know I just didn't have the physical or mental energy to do anything else. Some more severe episodes still catch me off guard, but since Heathers I've actually done a lot better. The numbness sort of went away and I now feel inspired by your productivity. I mean, I try not to compare myself to you or others because there's just no point. But now that I have a bit more energy, I feel positively influenced not to watch Netflix for days on end. So, thank you very much for that.
    Anyway, I hope you're still enjoying the time you have for yourself and I wish you all the best in everything you undertake.

    ReplyDelete

Professional Blog Designs by pipdig