This weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting Matt Nable at Supanova Brisbane 2015, where I was volunteering. I know of him from his guest-starring role as Ra’s al Ghul in The CW’s Arrow and didn’t think much of him until I saw him speak at his seminar in the Goosebumps theatre. At one point a patron asked how he transitioned from professional rugby player to actor and his answer was so unique and necessary:
“Because I have bipolar.”
As a mental health advocate, it was so refreshing to have someone be this upfront about the disorder, especially as it is a form of mental health other than depression or anxiety (the two with the most public awareness). Matt explained he was in a euphoric high when he began working on his first film, of which he was writing and producing with a friend until he promptly decided only he could perform the lead role. He had no inhibitions: at the time he was completely unaware of his amateur status and lack of knowledge about acting. People with bipolar, experiencing these states of euphoria, can experience success in changing careers because of this. I think it’s important to notice a positive side effect from whatever mental health ailment you may suffer, as Matt has. At the very least, the strength you possess to carry on and persevere is commendable.
After the seminar was over I went to speak to Matt to thank him for being so forthright about mental health and his experience of it. It takes a lot of strength to be open about these deeply personal experiences. He and I agreed mental health is something that needs to be spoken about and normalised in society so we can better identify and learn to live with it in ourselves and each other. Matt is an ambassador for the Black Dog Institute and I want to thank him again for his dedication to this essential cause.