Updated: Nov 1, 2022
Hello! This year I’ve been working with the Grin and Tonic Theatre Troupe, touring high schools Queensland wide.
Since graduating from QUT’s acting course in 2020, I’ve had a few different school touring experiences- first in 2021 with Queensland Theatre’s Scene Project, and now G+T- and it’s been quite the learning curve.
Kids are indeed the most ruthless judges, and they won’t hesitate to let it be known if they aren’t enjoying themselves. However, on the flip side, if they’re into it - you’ll know. There’s no way to be precious about your performance as a touring actor. Your job is to tell a story in the most interesting and engaging way possible, so in the eternally wise words of one Brendan O'Connor - fail gloriously. Having the opportunity to play the characters that I do, particularly in the 3 abridged Shakespeares we perform (Macbeth, Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet), is the best part of this job. Making these works accessible to students is a challenge I genuinely love, and if they say Shakespeare “actually made sense” or, even better, was “actually funny” it’s a good day.
Another perk (other than looking way more hardcore driving a Hilux than my Mazda 3) is, of course, being able to come home to Townsville and spend time with my ThiNQ family. I feel so fortunate to have had my Bridge Project training. I know I wouldn’t be nearly as disciplined, thick-skinned or confident enough to do what I do without it.
School touring isn’t for everyone but if anyone has the opportunity, especially as an emerging artist, go for it. It has made me a far more resilient and capable actor, and also person (who can now overtake without heart palpitations, no biggie). I’ve met wonderful people in places I’d never expected to go, and seen some spectacular Big Fruits- the big orange on the way to Toowoomba is a painfully underwhelming personal favourite.
Make sure you get along to Xmas Crackers, and I hope to see you soon!