Theatre | How I got started...

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Hey everyone, and happy Wednesday! I feel like I start every post lately with an apology for being a little absent, which is daft, because I know we all understand how sometimes life gets in the way of blogging! Which it definitely has been doing lately, but we will have a proper catch up about all that on Friday.

You might remember a couple of weeks back I posted about how I've been finding it increasingly difficult to blog about theatre, but that I wanted to change that, by starting a fortnightly (sort of) series. I wasn't entirely sure where to start with this, and then I was interviewed by some college students about my career. The first question they asked me was how I first got started in theatre. I guess they thought the beginning was a very good place to start, and so did I. I know I've blogged alot over the past two years about chasing the dream, and how I have done that, but what I've never really told you, is why theatre was the dream in the first place. So today I want to share with you the first time I realised I wanted to be on stage...

When I was a kid, I was a bit of a loner. I'd play alone in the garden for hours, talking to my imaginary friends and building an imaginary world. It's pretty hard to include other kids in your imaginary world when they can't see it, no matter how hard I tried. I could also be pretty silly, taking my grandads walking stick and pretending to be an old person, and I was always the kid that ended up pulled up on stage whenever there was a chance at audience participation, but it wasn't until I turned 9 that any of these things were ever connected.

Then Christmas term came around at school, and while I'd been Mary in the school Nativity at 4, since then I'd always been firmly cast as the narrator, but this year things were different. This year we weren't treating the parents of St Alereds Primary school to 8 different versions of the nativity story, this year each class was being given a different chapter of Jesus's life to play (we were a religous school in case you hadn't guessed).

Our class was telling the story of the old lady in the temple. The one where all the rich folk brag about how much they are giving to the church, and then one old lady comes in and gives everything she has, and Jesus gives all the rich folk some sass.

We were in the school hall, and our teacher was asking us to wander around the hall in different ways. Walk like your sad. Walk like your angry. Walk like you're an old person.

Walking like an old person was my jam.

I'd had hours of practice with my grandparents and their walking stick. So I just did what I knew how to do, and like all great actors are at some point in their life. I was spotted and cast there and then as the 'Old Lady who gave everything.' It came as a surprise to me, and the other kids, and I think my teacher. I was one of the clever kids, one that seemed to be shunned on and off by the other kids, there was already a girl in my year that was the 'drama' kid. But none the less, the part was mine, and I rehearsed, rehearsed, rehearsed, and eventually took to the stage, my grandparents walking stick by my side as my trusty prop.

From there I was hooked. I'd never fitted in at school (something I never really would) but at least now all the dots were connected. My imaginary worlds, my goofing about, and my extraordinary talent for always making sure I was at the front of the que for audience participation, they all came together to draw one awkward kid, that wanted to act.

I never went to a 'proper' drama school, after the school play I started going to a Saturday morning club where you could take part in different activities. Every week, drama was first choice. The class was ran by a local drama student, and in that class room, I kind of fit in. And I was good. For a 9 year old I was really good. Good enough for my drama teacher to put me forward for an audition at the university.

But that's another story for another week.

Can you remember the first time you found your passion? Did things suddenly seem to make more sense to you, or is that just me being me - slightly over dramatic?

Live life & goof around, you don't know where it will lead x

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