Monday, 15 October 2012

One Verse - from this season's 'Word in Action'

Sophie Neville

An extract from Funnily Enough ~

24th April ~ When I was breaking down in the office, I kept muttering, ‘Oh Jesus. Help; give me strength.’ A prayer of desperation. I was trying hard not to cry but had fallen down under my desk and was grasping the edge of the filing cabinet, determinedly saying to myself, ‘I can cope, this is just a dizzy spell.’ Only a huge pile of scripts slid on top of me. Then the Manager’s Assistant came in, discovered me groaning under this mound of pink paper, heaved me up and off to see the doctor. ‘Well, Lord, I’m still ill. If you’re in control, please tell me what’s happening.’
I lie looking at the ceiling. Nothing’s happening. I’m not getting any better. One thing’s for sure: this illness just proves how terribly weak and vulnerable I am. It’s made me realise the astonishingly obvious fact that I only have one body and it’s not disposable. It is certainly not meant to be demolished by slogging away on some wretched series. As my Department Manager, said, ‘In the end, it’s just another television programme. If you were run over by a white van I would have to replace you.’

Had I let working in telly become my idol, my raison d’ĂȘtre? Alastair says if we let our jobs totally define us, it is of course gutting if they dissolve overnight. I have a horrid feeling that I’d let pride slip in too. I didn’t mean to boast, it’s so ugly, but when people at a drinks party ask you what you do, they never fail to be impressed when you say that you work in TV or the media. Pathetic isn’t it? The self-justification I think I held in place, was that it took so much hard work and determination to become a television director I felt I deserved to be able to say something for myself. None-the-less, like grotty old T-shirts, these vanities have to be flung out. I want God to be able to accept me, use me. Otherwise what’s this life all about?

Sophie Neville

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