When people find out I work in show business they always want to know about the famous people I have met. And I have met a fair few. From aging divas with mammoth egos to down to earth 'normal' folk who light up the stage and screen.
Sometimes I have the unique opportunity of working with young performers who are just starting out. They are full of enthusiasm, wondrous dreams, and not a small amount of fragility. You sometimes feel like a surrogate mother or friend as you try to pass on all the secrets of the business you have picked up along the way.
By the end of the season, you have a soft spot in your heart for this fledgling performer who has all the experiences of life waiting for him in the future. Although you may never see him again, except on television, you remember fondly the short time you were friends.
One such bright and brilliant performer was Mark Priestley. It is with great sadness that I just learned that he committed suicide yesterday. I worked with him for three months on 'The Graduate' in 2001.
Bon voyage Mark. I hope that your next journey brings you joy and happiness.