You may have noticed that it’s been a bit quiet around these parts lately. If you watch my weekly vlogs you’ll know that in around June this year I started attending a drama group and began working on a performance that was debuted on Friday. Acting is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a child. At school I loved taking part in productions – my favourite being when I was a nun in the Sound of Music.
As I’ve grown up, I’ve always pushed drama and acting to the back of my priority list. I was too scared to take it up somewhere around A-Level or at university because I’d been spooked into the thought process that hat I needed to take a relevant subject to get a good job. I wasn’t ready to step outside of my comfort zone. Eight years later I realise for the job that I’m doing, I could have had any degree under the sun and I regret not sticking with my passion. I honestly don’t regret much, but on this one I’m always asking ‘what if…’.
As time has gone on, I guess I became more aware of other people’s opinions of me and became far to nervous about stepping on stage. I looked up adult acting groups so many times but couldn’t make the journey because I’d lost confidence in myself.
But then something happened and one day in September last year, I decided that it was now or never (and I’d reached an age where I thought ‘I don’t give a **** about what anybody else thinks of me anymore’) and signed up to beginner drama lessons at a local drama group. There I learned all about acting on stage and slowly gained my confidence back. I’d go every week and learn all about improv, blocking, stage directions, learning to keep a straight face, speaking from the diaphragm rather than the throat…. the list is endless. This all cumulated into a monologue performance at the end of the course where I performed a speech on a stage, on my own, from MockingJay where Katniss addresses President Snow from the burning wreckage of District 8 (“If we burn, you burn with us”). I was so proud of myself for doing that – even if it was only to a room of five people.
After taking a short break I went back to classes in the summer and on Friday performed in my first show at a small theatre in Birmingham. I was nervous and scared about stepping on stage but also ready and determined to do this for myself. After the show I was elated and on the massive high everybody told me I would be. When I was taking my bow I had the widest cheshire cat style grin on my face.
I guess the moral of my story is sometimes you have to do something for yourself, follow your gut or take the risk. You have to step out of your comfort zone and forget what others think of you if you want to find happiness. It’s hard, and it takes determination but it can give a satisfaction like no other. I regret not taking up acting sooner and I regret not trying to study it at university. When I was making huge life choices at 17 years old, I wish I’d had somebody there who had told me not to worry about the future and my career and making money and that I should do what I want to do and follow my passion.
I’m really proud of myself! Choosing to step out of my comfort zone and forget what anybody else thought was one of the most invigorating experiences of my life. If two years ago you’d have told me I’d be up on stage again, I’d have laughed you off – but here I sit now, writing this post and I’m still grinning from ear to ear – and I can’t wait for the next one!