A lot of people assume that to be successful within the dramatic and creative industries, you have to be multi-talented. Walk up on stage with your legs behind your head, singing “I Feel Pretty” whilst somehow managing to tap dance with your remaining limbs and automatically you’re suited for a job in theatre, the lead role in Les Miserables or the perfect person for that new musical that everyone’s talking about. Equally, many people truly believe that to be a famous critic featuring in every literary magazine in Britain you have to have a brain like a thesaurus and to have read everything from Roald Dahl to Nietzsche.
In my eyes, these are positive achievements that will aid you, definitely; but to really achieve something within any industry, creative or otherwise, you need to work at it with everything you’ve got. You don’t have to be a walking dictionary or a ballet dancing prima donna to be what you want to be; you have to be dedicated. That was how I decided to do Expressive Arts at GCSE and Drama and Theatre Studies at A2 Level; I knew that if I kept it at hobby level and took a relaxed attitude towards it, I would never get anywhere. I worked hard and got the best grades that I could: no one could ask more of me, and I didn’t expect them to. My hobbies consisted of singing, tap dancing, acting, creative writing and generally anything that could be construed as creative. It was never enough however, hence why the subjects were perfect for me. I liked seeing results for my passions, and I still feel that way now.
I’ve been doing tap dancing for a year now, and I get a huge satisfaction out of it; whenever I feel any strong emotion that I think will overwhelm me, I just walk into a little practice room and tap dance to my hearts content. It’s incredibly important for me to have an outlet, and tap dancing is just that. I’m not the stereotypical dancer, I don’t eat all the right food and I’m certainly not the shape of a dancer, but I work extremely hard to keep up. I love acting; transforming into someone else simply because I can, and most importantly because I want to is amazing, predominantly because of the variation. I often find myself doing this around the house or walking home; I begin creating a character in my mind, thinking of their given circumstances, how I can transform them into a three-dimensional character in front of me. It makes me feel safe yet exhilarated to know that I have that much control over myself to be able to do that, and then return to being myself two minutes later. Joining the Medway Little Theatre in January will allow me to develop and hone it to become a skill.
Singing is another enthusiasm of mine; it always creates a smile, no matter what. I’ve been part of the Kent Choirs for 6 years; I left last year so that I could concentrate on my A2 Levels fully, though I do wish to return once I’ve settled down at University. It’s always nice to have somewhere familiar to go back to amongst so many new changes. My love for creative writing also began with my love for singing, writing lyrics and music for myself – this soon grew, and I have found that my writing has improved heavily over the years through fiction, auto-biography and poetry, and now want to take this even further, whether academically or within my own spare time.
I took a year out of studying so that I could decipher what I really wanted out of my life; once I had left Sixth Form, I imagined that I would be happy making money and drifting calmly through life… and have come to realise how very wrong I was! I miss the vigour and excitement of learning something new, of reading new literature and drowning quite happily in debates about Shakespeare. It is now that I long to return to what I once loved and worked hard at, and it is now that I’m grasping my opportunities with both hands. Challenges, variation, passion, hard work and dedication are all things that are clamouring to be back into my vocabulary; this is where it starts.