An Actor’s Life (Was Not) For Me

Yes, it’s true, I once tried to be an actor…

Not a serious actor, you understand. I was never going to RADA or audition for the Royal Shakespeare Company or anything like that.

No, for a little while I dipped my toes into the wild word of amateur dramatics.

I was a student at university, but conversely, wanted to spend time away from my fellow students, and instead wanted to get to know actual local people from the city. So, somehow, I heard about an amateur dramatics society and decided to go along to one of their meetings to see what it was all about.

Yes, I was an arts student; can’t you tell? Media Art, if you must know.

It was like stepping into another world. They met in a very old, damp and musty church hall, with a stage at one end, kitchen along one side, and stacks of plastic chairs everywhere. People of all ages were milling about, some with scripts in their hands, some with cups of tea, many were just chatting and laughing. My first impressions were this looks like a happy place.

Before I knew what was happening, I found myself cast as a child (a child! I was 20) in a Christmas production of The Pied Piper of Hamlin. I must have been very convincing because people kept asking me which school I went to; and by ‘school’ they didn’t mean ‘university’.

I had to learn actual lines, wear stage makeup, and a put on a costume that seemed to consist of a pair of tights and an old yellow curtain. My part even demanded that I had to learn to juggle; I have many talents.

Yes, that’s me in the yellow curtain dress.

I stuck around for three years, dabbling in this and that, helping to paint sets, performing in a few one-off productions. In the end, I enjoyed the social aspect of it, but realised that the acting life was not for me.

These days, I am more likely to be found trying to write a script rather than reading one.

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