June 2008. Brisbane. My sisters and I are seven years old, and we’re about to see ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ live. A pivotal moment in my life for sure. Growing up, I was always surrounded by music, however I was very uncoordinated so watching me attempt to dance must have been rather painful. Hmmm okay. Maybe not dancing, and most definitely not singing. What else could I do? Imagine a ball of energy that could talk for hours non stop, just imagine. I feel so incredibly sorry for my parents! I was enrolled into Speech and Drama and performed in Eisteddfods for several years, and I loved it- maybe because I could talk as much as I wanted, or maybe because I finally found my ‘thing’. Fast forward nine years. I’m sixteen years old, and I’m excelling in drama- the only subject I truly cared about. I’ve discovered my passion AND realised that I could do this for a living! I could be paid to pretend to be someone else. Dream job mate. Dream. Job. We’re being pushed to decide on our careers now. I write ‘actor’ in the blank slot of the career form. My teacher looks at me with a concerning look and says “Okay… but what’s your plan B?”. Plan B? I haven’t even tried plan A yet. Why do I need a plan B? I never understood it.
In 2018, I went to one of TheatreiNQ’s performances of ‘First Born’ and it. Blew. My. Mind. I was obsessed immediately. I thought who are these people? Why have I not seen a show of theirs before? How do I get onstage with them? As fate would have it, a couple of weeks later, I was at a highschool party when I bumped into Theodora Benson (Ringo). I was complaining about not knowing what to do with myself after school, because I didn’t know where to start my career in the Arts. Ringo mentioned auditioning for The Bridge Project to which I replied with “Yeah definitely!”. I had no real intention of actually auditioning. I had no experience. I went online and saw that TheatreiNQ were offering an Audition Bootcamp, run by Arminelle Fleming. So I signed up for the workshop, and eventually auditioned for The Bridge! I was over the moon when I heard that I got in. I remember my very first day of the Masterclass Workshop Terri and Brendan were running for The Bridge Project. I met all of the ensemble members of TheatreiNQ and the other fellow “Bridgees”. Little did I know, this company would become my second family to me. I was surrounded by incredible people who all had a passion for acting too!! I couldn’t believe it. A whole bunch of theatre nerds in the same place at once. I think one of the best things about TheatreiNQ is our wolfpack. Once a Bridgee, always a Bridgee. The support we have for each other is what makes this company so special to me. After two years of The Bridge Project, I put my training on pause last year for a quick break, and now I’m back for my third year! I’m very grateful to be given another opportunity to continue my training with TheatreiNQ. I often think about where I’d be if I hadn’t walked into that audition room back on Allen St in 2018. It’s a scary thought to have. I wouldn’t be the same person. I wouldn’t have been able to work with all of the incredibly talented actors I’ve worked with, and I wouldn’t be the actor I am today. PERIOD. The opportunities and experience TheatreiNQ have provided me, of which I will forever be grateful for, are endless!
September is always my favourite time of the year. Why? Shakespeare Under the Stars of course!! This year we’re performing ‘The Tempest’ and I cannot wait! If you haven’t already, grab your tickets now! (shameless plug, I know, but do yourselves a favour!!). As for the future, I’m looking forward to leaving home and exploring what’s out there! I’m excited to learn and improve my skills, to meet and collaborate with new people and also other Bridgees too. There are Bridgees all over Australia, so thanks to TheatreiNQ I’ve already got some pretty great connections! Speaking of Bridgees, three of TheatreiNQ’s Alumnis have actually created their own theatre company called Stacks on Theatre in Sydney! How awesome is that?! They’re currently in rehearsals for their next stellar show, ‘A Pinter Revue’ performing from 19th-23rd of July. Another shameless plug, I know! BUT if you’re in Sydney, check this one out!
Thanks for reading!