But it hasn’t been easy. Being born with a facial disfigurement, I was bullied on a number of occasions which affected my confidence. I was also very shy and found it difficult to talk to people, always looking down and mumbling most of my words. But I was determined to overcome my fears and push myself to achieve this. My parents supported me by taking me to a local theatre company and with each class my confidence began to grow, I was finding it easy to approach people and have a full conversation with another person. I became hardworking, motivated and grew a positive attitude. This would also be my first step in building my interest in theatre.
With each production I was involved I was taken by the hard work and commitment of each member. I was amazed at the commitment and preparation each member brought to the production and how they worked closely each other from the Stage Manager take notes on each prop to the sound and lighting team that would work with director to create the mood and atmosphere of the selected scene. I would watch each production member work and during breaks I would ask them number of questions to get a better understanding on how they approached each task and the requirements needed to create an effective performance. When not performing I would even get involved with another production and take on certain job roles, whether sitting in the lighting booth and controlling the lights or working backstage during rehearsals and taking notes on selective cues and items needed.
With each project I was involved with I would make sure to write down what I had learned and take it with me if involved with other future productions. I would attend theatre performances around Manchester, whether it is The Royal Exchange’s performance of Punk Rock or a local theatre company’s production of Wuthering Heights. I would remember what I had written down and take notes on what I saw on the stage and behind the stage and study each action to see if I would do anything similar or take a different approach.
I consider myself a performer first but since starting collage my interest in writing began to expand and develop. During lunch break’s I would write little scripts which grew into a full two part murder mystery spoof called It’s a Wonderful Murder, continuing to push myself in developing something new and sharpening my childhood hobby into something productive. I would share my scripts with my friends and tutors and they would each give me feedback and what were the strongest and weakest aspects of the script. With each feedback I received it motivated me to keep writing and research other works in order to grow as a writer.
During my time studying at the University of Salford, I began to develop a strong interest in working as a collective and working alongside people who shared the same interest in developing new shows either it be a dark abstract performance that studied the flaws of human society or a fast pace farce about a dinner party between a rich and poor couple which ends in one massive pie fight. The group and I would work closely together on each production. From planning the story of the piece, the structure of each scene and what requirements would be needed prop or tech wise. With each rehearsal we would swap roles, one day I would be the director of the piece, talking with the cast about how to stage the scene and the next day I could be sorting out the publicity for the show and creating posters and using social media to persuade people to come and support our show. With each rehearsal I would learn the do’s and don’ts of each role, learning from each mistake or achievement and telling myself, ‘how I would approach it next time to create a flawless show each night?’ I would ask for feedback from both friends and tutors and write down the key points that were said.
A second interest that I developed was my approach to working on a media production. With each production I worked on I would observe how each team member would perform each task. How the person with the mic would make sure to catch the dialogue between the cast members, how the director staged a scene. From taking a basic storyboard and translating it in front of the camera. I was fascinated with the time that each member took to make sure that everything was perfect and were prepared to record again if any problems occurred. After filming was completed I would sit with the director in the editing room and watch him closely on how he edited the scenes together, which programmes to use such as Final edit pro and how the final product looked after completion.
With these collected skills I began developing a performance for last year’s Manchester Fringe Festival called This is Manchester. Being part of a professional theatre event was a milestone in my development and understanding. It opened my eyes on what needed to be done and how to work within professional environment, from creating a press package to be used for the festival’s website and published articles. Requiring and negotiationing the performance space with the owners of the selected venue and creating a strong communication between you, the venue owners and the people running the festival. I created the publicity for the show from creating the posters, getting them printed and going around Manchester to selected cafe’s and venues that would let me stick the posters up and for the aimed audience. I made sure that people were aware of the performance on social media by creating little teaser trailers for the piece and production photos showing the development I did for the piece.
Since Graduation and the start of this year I have concentrated on developing my writing and directing. One of my scripts was shortlisted for Contact Compacts last year and my script, The Madcap Laughs has been selected for the Now Part of Festival this year. Next month I will be begin production on a short film as both writer and director and the process casting the piece as well as gaining support of the northern based production company who are producing the piece with me, Sic Infit Productions.
In the future I would to be consider as a performer but extend that field as a writer and director of both theatre/ tv and film and create a production team that works with local and new collaborators to develop new and interested shows for a new generation of audiences. I would also like to company to support people who share the same ambition but either live in deprived areas or themselves suffer a psychical or mental disability and inspire them to know that it doesn’t matter if your disfigured or suffer from minor autism, if I can come this far, so can they, Because art doesn’t judge.
Thank you for your time