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What is a Teaching Artist?

I was that wide-eyed kid in high school whose only dream was to be an actor. I spent every week waiting for drama class and every minute in drama class wishing it wouldn’t end. I soaked up every second hoping my drama teachers experiences in the theatre could be my own.

I didn’t intend on becoming a teacher, in fact I was against the idea entirely, but upon finishing school I didn’t get into the drama school I applied for and education happened to be my last option.

So I studied and eventually moved to Townsville to do the ‘drama’ portion of my study. That’s where I stumbled upon TheatreiNQ, and boy am I glad I did.

I can’t say my teaching experience hasn’t come in handy. I’ve mentored as a drama coach for Catholic Education’s Mulkadee for a few years now, I manage The Culture Club, TheatreiNQ's young school age program; developed a school holidays program in 2021 with fellow Alumni called 'The Performance Project', teach a weekly class at AWA (Acting with Arminelle) and most recently have become a Teaching Artist for Queensland Theatre.

I love being an actor and I love seeing that passion in young people. Teachers always say they live for the lightbulb moments with their students, and I can attest it is pretty magical. Seeing them thrive on stage, their confidence blossom and feel a sense of purpose, reminds me why I love what I do.

The teaching artist program with Queensland Theatre has been eye opening for my craft. As someone who primarily taught in high schools as a relief teacher (yes it was just as terrifying as it sounds) I often forget when working as a teaching artist, to be an artist first. Remembering why you love what you do and truly being yourself in the room is so important, not only so young people can connect with you but so that you are being authentic to yourself as an artist.

I’ve learnt I’m naturally quite chaotic as a teaching artist, I’m excitable and give every fibre of my being to exude energy and focus into the room. I want young people to feel the rush of excitement that I do when I walk into a rehearsal room.

I’m thankful for my journey thus far, for the experiences that have made me the actor and teacher I am today. I’m still learning, just like everyone else and will always strive to inspire that wide eyed kid in every classroom I enter to love the theatre as much as I do.

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