My Youth Theatre Story
I never used to want to be an actor. One day I was playing on my own and thought ‘I bet being an actor is like playing games, but as a job!’ And ever since then I wanted to act, I pretended to be on film sets, and would redo non-existent scenes, pretend to break character and would dream of acting alongside my favourite actor, Josh Hutcherson.
My next door neighbour happened to run a youth theatre, so one day my mum told her about my new passion for acting while walking our dogs. So she said I could come along to one of their rehearsals to see how it is. Usually, I would immediately decile this offer, I usually hate the idea of a club, a group of new people. Especially at 13, when my anxiety was pretty bad though I didn’t know at the time.
The week up to that day, I was looking at their website, watching videos and imagining myself there. I was both excited and really nervous. I’d never done anything co-curriculum before. I’d actually been to see one of their shows a few year before joining, it was really good and I was worried I would ruin their reputation.
Finally, the day came. My mum walked me next door and we knocked on the door. They seemed really happy to see me. Their daughter was the longest running member, so I hoped I was in good hands. Another cast member was also there. She would go on to win an award for her role as ‘The Cat in the Hat’. She also seemed really nice. I said bye to my mum and got in their car.
The journey was really rather awkward, I was sat between two long time members, and I was the new kid. I sat in silence as they talked about Toy Story and inside jokes. When we got to there, I was surprised to see a school instead of a theatre. There was members that were walking in that I recognised from the website, (I am now friends with them).
When we got inside, we got in a circle and my neighbour, also the leader, told everyone to say hi to me. Already embarrassed, I wanted to go home. Everyone seemed so big, so tall, so professional. That day, we also read through the current show, ‘Dracula Spectacular’, I of course, had no lines. Then we moved on to the dance. I began to panic, not sure if I should join in or not, as my mum told me that I was just meant to be watching. But I got partnered with a girl probably two times as tall as me. We learnt a dance for the opening number, and I felt very uncomfortable, she was a really good dancer, partnered with me, a tiny, shy noob.
Although everyone was really nice, I didn’t fully enjoy my first day, I felt really out of place. When I got back home, I was semi speechless. I didn’t expect myself to stay for the entire show, maybe a few more rehearsals then I’ll get bored and leave. But I stayed for the entire show, we preformed it that October and, although it wasn’t the best show we’ve done, it was fun.
Then I stayed for anther show, and another, and another, and now I’m on my eleventh show with my youth theatre. I’m now the oldest in the group, and one of the longest running members. Yes, it has changed a lot along the way, almost all of the people that were there when I joined have now left.
During my time with my theatre, I’ve been a lot of different characters. Some of my favourites being Thing 1, a school bully, a police man, a chimney sweeper (I tapped for the first time) and most importantly, Milky White, the cow from Into the Woods, the critic said that the back end and I stole the show, getting the most laughs and even making some of the cast break character. That was an incredible feeling, having a room full of people find me funny and enjoy my performance.
Now I am rehearsing for my final show with the Youth Theatre, it’s a tribute to Manchester, after the tragic attack in May.
So, in conclusion, I want you to follow your dreams, no matter how big or small. I started off by playing games on my own, to acting on stage to getting a special mention in reviews. Even if you don’t feel like it was the right idea at first, give it a few more chances, it might just change your life for the better.
Have a fun life! 🙂