To love is to...

Loving someone, and being loved, is the very best gift in life. I want to refrain from using flowery words to describe love, as a topic however, I do want to write about it - in a somewhat more metaphorical style than you'll be used to on this blog.

I've always wanted to live my life to the fullest, and for at least 18 years now being an actress was the only thing I could possibly think of that would meet the expectations I have set myself. I'm now 20, and acting professionally still is something I want to achieve, although I now realise it's not the only thing that will ultimately make me happy - the thing we all want: Happiness. And sometimes, acting is a very lonely thing, it makes us overthink our every action or choice.

Acting has always been, and I can imagine always will be, the most joyous, exciting, and overwhelming feeling; overwhelming being the most poignant emotion stated here. Being someone else, with other people, an audience, watching and thinking about this new person I portray, is incredibly overwhelming. But think about it, 'being someone else', and yes, I do believe acting is somehow becoming another person, is in fact quite a sad thing to want. Living as myself should be enough. Shouldn't it?

To fall in love with an actual, living person is, like I said previously, a true gift. But falling in love with a character, a new person I can create and live as is quite special. But is it a selfish love? Is it an urge to grow out of myself into another crazier, more interesting, more loveable person. The way I think of it is this: an actor - a person - is a brick wall, a classic, strong wall that holds itself up with the help of other walls. Aesthetically, it is quite simple, but not uninteresting. It doesn't need to be covered or hidden, it does its job by protecting its insides. Becoming a different person - a character - is like enveloping that fine brick wall, using thick plaster to cover the initial cracks, then choosing a wildly beautiful or interesting wallpaper to add a chosen vavavoom. But what happens when we as actors accidentally show our true selves? What if our 'tells' sneak through a performance, as they inevitably will: Our weight doesn't change when we act, we don't suddenly stop loving our family when we pretend to be someone else. So we therefore remain the same person. My name is still, Robyn Lovell, when I play a character.

So back to this idea of love. That warm feeling. Warm. Yes, it is quite literally a warm feeling, warm little butterflies swooping within us. Our bodies are a scientific creation, a marvel that I think is mind blowing; but what more is the fact that these scientific connections of veins and blood, bones and organs; within all of that are feelings that affect us emotionally and physically. I think love is the biggest effect in life; it causes jealousy, guilt, excitement, attraction, happiness. Loving someone who is real, and loving someone who is a creation of someone's mind - a character, obviously isn't the same thing, just as loving your Mum and loving your boyfriend isn't the same thing. It's a different kind of love. But that doesn't detract the quality, or rightfulness of that love. At least I don't believe it does.

To love is to live, and therefore find a kind of happiness. Like Barbra Streisand says in 'The Mirror Has Two Faces', "While it does last, it feels fucking great!"

Photography, Isabella Rubin