“You are so British now!” a friend of mine jokingly told me not too long ago. My first reaction was a simple “Huh, what?” and later on a realisation that it was true. Living abroad, you certainly pick up a lot of the local culture and I think it’s only natural. It’s funny how much influence the environment you live in and people you surround yourself with have on you.
When I was a child, my family moved to Germany for a couple of years, before coming back so I was able to go to Czech school – even though I spoke both languages. Yet growing up in two different environments certainly had a big influence on me, which I didn’t see as a good thing until now (I’m sure you can imagine why, being different at school was just not cool). As I mentioned in my previous post, I spent some time in the USA – a year and a half to be precise, which is not that long, but I feel like it has changed me a lot. Not only the experience of being on your own thousands of miles away from everyone that you know, but having experienced a different culture and mentality certainly leaves a big mark on one’s own mentality.
Being exposed to so many different environments, mixing and matching who I am now, sometimes makes me wonder if I actually have a place where I belong, because I really can’t quite place myself as being typical to any nationality. Yet in show business, there is a lot of stereotyping and those stereotypes are often far from the reality. Even though I like to believe that being a person from a mixed background is going to open up some great opportunities to portray characters from different backgrounds and bring some real life experience to the characters, I can’t help but to worry that I’m going to lose some of these opportunities for the same reason. Well, the truth is that I probably will experience both and there is no way of avoiding it – whatever is meant to happen, will happen. It’s just one of the things that an actor stumbles upon, especially in the part of career where one has to figure out one’s type, to submit oneself for parts that fit that type.
I really love to travel and change places from time to time; it’s always exciting to explore a new country, meet new people and change my life a bit, but lately I’ve learned to make the most of where I am. Most importantly, I’ve learned to consider home to be anywhere I am. I admit that is not so easily done as said, but being from a country that had its borders closed until about 20 years ago, I feel grateful that I’m growing up in a world where travelling is possible, unlike my parents’ generation. Yet this is still something that is a part of my overall mentality and it has an influence on my way of handling things. I think it’s really important to be grateful for what we have instead of complaining about what we don’t, and to work hard enough to keep it that way. I’m in a place right now where it is so easy to slip into complaining, because things are getting tougher and I do have to remind myself of what I have, to not go down the wrong road, but to enjoy the journey.
Image by Lenka Šilhánová.