Fri 17 Mar, 2023
Inspired by the original Humans of New York, Humans of Shakespeare North Playhouse aims to document as many of the wonderful people who walk through our building each day. Giving a glimpse into who they are and the story they have to share.
‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players’ As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 7.
“My journey into acting was a bit of a weird one, it wasn’t the normal way in through drama school. I did a bit of dancing when I was a kid, but it was always a bit on and off because my mum couldn’t afford to send me to classes consistently. I was a really shy kid, so I didn’t do my first show until I was 14 in high school. After that I went to college in Leeds and did a musical theatre course for two years and when I finished, I could afford to audition for one theatre school, so I auditioned for Urdang. My mum came down to London with me and I got into Urdang, but I just couldn’t afford to go even though they gave me a discount. After that I was doing amateur dramatics at my local theatre and working in New Look for 7 years, I was there for ages!
“I struggled at first because it was almost worse getting a yes but you can’t afford it as opposed to no. It was like, yeah you’re talented enough but you just can’t and it’s not for you. I thought maybe it would just stay as a hobby for me doing amateur dramatics but then that changed, I feel very lucky.
“I had a friend whose partner ran a theatre company in Leeds called Wrongsemble. They came and watched a show I was in and mentioned that they were looking for more diverse and local actors and would I be interested in auditioning for a professional theatre company. I thought I’ll never get this because I didn’t have an agent or any credits! But I got in, so they gave me my first ever professional job and then from there recommended me to other people. It’s a bit of a random one but I feel very lucky.
“If you think that a traditional journey into acting is right for you and you have the support to go to a drama school, then of course do it because it’s great. But if not, then it’s about looking to your local area and what it provides. For me there were amateur dramatic acting classes and other opportunities. I feel like a lot of theatres now they have these communities and groups that people can go to, seeing theatre is important as well. Even just seeing theatre is an education and you learn so much from being in those spaces. It’s great that Shakespeare North has Pay What You Decide because some people just can’t afford normal theatre prices.
“I’d say stick with it as well, it’s hard work and there’s a lot of barriers and doors you have to break down, but if it’s something you love and something you’re passionate about, I believe that it will come to you. I spent 7 years in New Look thinking it would just be a hobby for me and eventually the tables turned, and I feel very lucky that it happened. Had I realised how many things were around me I could have maybe accessed that earlier and even started my career earlier than what I did. It is hard work, but if you love what you’re doing you’ll never have to work a day in your life. I think the industry needs more people who come from different walks of life because that’s what makes us want to make theatre for those people who we’re connected to as well.
“I’ve loved doing The Comedy of Errors! Everyone is so lovely, and we’ve all got on so well. Paul (Director of The Comedy of Errors) wanted us to come to rehearsals with an idea of who we thought our characters were in this world that Nick and Liz (writers of The Comedy of Errors) have created for us, but he was also happy to suggest changes and different approaches. I love that kind of collaborative approach it feels very freeing. Good rehearsal rooms have this approach of there are no right or wrong answers so let’s have fun with the script try everything out and see what works.”