12 September 2017

The Final Countdown


2 more sleeps until I head up to Scotland to begin my next adventure. Though I don't start rehearsals for another 6 sleeps, it worked out so much cheaper to go up a few days earlier and spend some time exploring Scotland. I've booked into a hostel in Glasgow a few days before I start rehearsals on Monday, in Ayr. I've never been that far north before so I'm rather excited to go on my first proper solo adventure. As I'm in Glasgow for 3 1/2 days, I figured that I'd see if it would be worth looking into a day trip to Edinburgh as well to make the most of my time. To show how little I knew about Scotland, I thought Edinburgh was at least a couple of hours away from Glasgow. I found out it's less than an hour on the train so I'm definitely going! It's just a shame that the fringe festival isn't still on because that would have been amazing. 

**If anyone has any recommendations of fun things to do solo come rain or shine in Glasgow/Edinburgh please let me know**

This week, I also received my script for the Panto and it was very exciting. I've already begun shaping my characters and bringing them off the page, as well as learning as many of the lines as possible and getting to grips with the script and the story as well. Knowing that there's a lot of ad lib in the show, there's not a massive pressure to be word for word so as long as I am completely familiar with the script, in rehearsals it will develop organically. (Though knowing me, I will probably know a good majority of the lines by Monday). I read through the script quite a few times and played the songs when they appeared, and oh my goodness, I can feel how tiring this panto season is going to be.  But I'm super excited for this change of pace and hope it'll be something I really love. Playing 4 very different characters is going to be one hell of a challenge but it will make me a stronger actor (I hope). This experience is going to be a massive learning curve for me as I'll be experiencing so many new things. They will be skills I can carry forward with me in life, whether I decide touring pantomime is the life for me or not. 

The biggest challenge I have to face though, even before I leave? PACKING. Where do you even begin packing for 3 1/2 months, knowing it's coming into winter so I'll need more layers, but it's not cold enough yet to be wearing them so a lot of your case is a bunch of 'just incases'. It's been very stressful trying to get my case to a weight that won't break my arm. I was planning on taking a cabin sized bag. HA. I realised very quickly that my coat and hoodie filled up 70% of that case so what am I supposed to do? I wish I could say that if it wasn't coming into winter it wouldn't be a problem, but this weather in the U.K. is so unpredictable that it's safer to pack those things anyway. 

I've decided. I hate packing. 

I'll attack the case one more time and whatever happens in the third time I sort it, is what stays. I'm just gonna have to pretend it's super light and accessible. Hey, I'll practice the whole 'acting' thing. 

There's always gonna be last minute stress, I just have to learn to deal with it. Oh, I have no bank card after the end of September? Cool. I'll figure it out. That isn't stressful at all. Here's hoping that Mr. Postman can save the day and bring it this week! Putting way too much faith into Royal Mail but I have to. It hurts. 

Anyway, the next few months are going to be an amazing adventure... maybe because I'll have no way for paying for things unless I find a bank to get cash out, but it's all part of life. I should have been more prepared but there's not a lot I can do about it now other than hope for the best. 'I'll figure it out' is going to be the saying of the tour. Who needs 'what goes on tour, stays on tour', something as cool as that, when you can just say... I'll figure it out. 

31 August 2017

Fitness to Focus

Just a short little update on what I've been up to -

During the last year of Uni, I found myself slacking in the fitness department, what with so much going on at one time. It was hard to go the gym as often as I wanted to. I put on a lot of stress weight, and now I'm trying to take some off. Since coming home from Uni, I've been in a bit of a slump waiting for my next big move, and not really doing much. I've had a few too many 'duvet days', which hasn't helped with the whole overweight, unfit girl trying to get her life together thing. Last week, I said to myself, enough is enough. I need to get into a regular fitness routine if I'm going to be of any use when I begin rehearsals for tour in September. I began with an app called '7 minutes' which is just an intense 7 minute workout, and it doesn't sound like much... but my goodness, you work up a sweat. Especially for someone who isn't very fit. Doing it every day though has made things a lot easier, and it even gave me the confidence to get running... outdoors... where there are people!

I downloaded a running app for beginners which helps with getting into the swing of things - building up your stamina and it's working really well so far. I've improved my pace per minute after just one run, and ran another 0.22km in the next one. The app shows your route and the line is coloured differently depending on whether you walk, jog, run, sprint etc. so it gives me a visual goal of what I've achieved and what I can do to improve. I want to make my line more blue (run) and purple (fast run), then eventually red when I can pull myself together enough to sprint. I think that's a bit further down the line though...

I've always sort of avoided running outdoors because not only is there a chance that I might see people I know and I'm really sweaty and disgusting, but also because it bothered my chest a bit for some reason. However, I wanted to give it a go anyway, with some motivation that came out of nowhere. When I went on my first run, I was about half way through and I felt like rubbish and wanted to go home. That was when this guy came running past and shouted 'Don't stop! Keep going', just as I was slowing down into a fast walk. That really made me smile, and it showed me that there are still good people out there who want to build people up, not just tear them down. Even though running and exercising is painful and I hate being sweaty, I'm starting to really enjoy getting out and doing something about things I'm not happy about, like my weight and fitness level. It's also a great way to just clear your head and just focus on smashing goals. Even though I ache when I get home, I've also got this new found energy because I'm happy with what I've achieved. With every run that I have done, I have beat a goal. Whether it's in distance, pace or calories burnt, seeing these achievements is what makes me keep going, and pushing myself even further.

Even though I haven't really lost any weight yet, I am finding myself getting fitter after every workout, finding that I can push myself further each time. To be honest though, even if I just achieve a higher fitness level, I'll feel a lot better about myself. To help myself with motivation, I also bought a Fitbit which is helpful with setting goals and sticking to them, and also beating them. It's a great feeling to actually have some motivation. Next step is to try and eat healthier or in my case, not over eat every day!


Also, through getting into my fitness, I have been taking my dog Valerie with me, and we've been discovering really nice dog friendly walks, and she's enjoying them too. She makes a really good running buddy, she runs along side me, even off the lead and will only stop occasionally if nature calls or if there's a tennis ball trapped in a bush. If she stops off for a dip in a stream, she's also great with cooling you down when she shakes off all the water from her fur. 
                                                                  Thanks for that, Val. 

23 August 2017

Behind the Iron Curtain

I've recently been employed as a part time Personal Assistant for a woman who is blind. My mother works with her every week but I will cover her if she needs me too, if and when. For my first day of work, I was asked to take Laura on a tour of the New Theatre, Cardiff, as part of her bonus for being a member of their 'Friends of the New Theatre' scheme.

I was a bit nervous at first, you know, being someone else's eyes and guide when quite often I've tripped over literally nothing. However, Laura told me how my mother walked her into a trolley and a lamp post... so I figured, if I don't do that... I'm good. It just makes you so much more self-aware of things you take for granted every day, like knowing when the it's safe to cross a road if the 'Green Man' doesn't go beep because you can't just run into traffic and avoid the cars. It was a great experience, and the actual theatre tour was brilliant. Bonus points to me for not accidentally throwing Laura down the many steps we had to go up and down during the tour. She didn't break a leg, so, you know...

If I had to describe a theatre, I would without a doubt, describe the New Theatre. It's just the image of what I would call a traditional theatre. It really is beautiful. During the tour, we were learning more about the things you see framed on the walls - from a programme from the first ever show, to the discovery of the foundation stone, to what spade was used to lay it. These are things that you may not notice in a busy foyer when you're waiting to see a show. They are things I will now be pointing out to people who I take to this theatre, as it's always nice to have someone with a bit of knowledge about the things on the wall... at least, I think it is. They may find me incredibly annoying, but alas, I couldn't care less.

The man leading the tour had so much knowledge about the theatre, it was wonderful. It was great hearing about the theatre from someone who was so passionate about it. Learning about everything that goes on backstage at a bigger theatre was incredible, you really realise how much hard work that the backstage crew have to do on a regular show. Some people were worried that seeing how it all worked would ruin the 'magic of theatre', where in fact, it just made it more magical. Theatre and magic go hand in hand to create one perfect illusion that everything runs like clockwork. You forget about the people who are waving across the top of the theatre, to make sure the flats and scenery go in the right place, that the lighting and sound cues are on time, it's honestly amazing thinking about all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes, that as an audience member, you never see. It's quite easy to forget that a show doesn't magically put itself together.

Oh, and my goodness, the stage looks a hell of a lot bigger when it's empty and you're actually standing on it. Looking out into the auditorium was amazing. It just too me back to all the shows I've been in, looking out and seeing the people, or in most of the cases, just the lights. It was amazing, nonetheless. Maybe one day, I'll be lucky enough to perform on that stage. A girl can dream.

I also loved seeing the theatre from the orchestra pit. Looking up at the amazing theatre from an entirely different angle was something else. It's all about perspective, seeing a sight you've seen many different times from a different view-point, is like seeing it for the first time all over again.

Fun fact but not a fact (I hope): The boards under the rails of the orchestra pit are there so the musicians don't see up ladies skirts in the front row. Musicians must have a terrible reputation! A fun little nugget from our tour guide. He made the tour really interesting and fun! All in all, it was a great day, finished off with a Greggs.

What more could you want?

30 July 2017

Choosing the Arts is NOT the Easy Option

This post sort of came about from my last post, coming from the idea that people need to give theatre and the arts a chance. Throughout my life, people have said to me that doing drama is stupid, and it's the easy way out if you don't want to work hard and do something 'academic'. If I had a £1 for every time someone has said that to me, or something similar to that... Well, let's just say, I could have got through University without needing to budget. Yet, every time someone has said it to me, I found myself laughing and saying 'Alright. You think what you want.' It's only recently, throughout my time at University, that I've started to ask why. Why do people think it's an easy option? Why do people think that drama students are stupid? Why do people think that a qualification in the arts is any less than a qualification in Science, Maths, or History?

When I told someone once about what my course entailed, they ignored everything I said about working every single day, sometimes 12 hours a day in busy periods, coming home and having research tasks to do by the next day, learning lines, remembering blocking etc. The one thing that always stands out is 'no written exams.' People always misunderstand this, and think that we are lucky. Your typical degree will have lectures, coursework handed in as a dissertation, and a final examination (obviously not the exact format, but this is an example). So this means, that your grade is reflected on the work you put in outside of class alone, writing your coursework and preparing for your exams. In my BA Acting degree, I was assessed every day. Every. Single. Day. We work in small groups so it's easy for our lecturers and directors to see who is pulling their weight, and who is slacking. They feed back to the moderator and tell them how we do in rehearsals, which is reflected in our grade. And because of the nature of our course, you can't take a day off whenever you like. I mean, you technically can, but it would be detrimental. You miss one day, you miss (approx.) 6 hours of rehearsals, which is pretty damn hard to catch up on. There isn't going to be a PowerPoint. You really learn the importance of team work, and you can't let your team down. You are a vital cog which keeps the process ticking over smoothly. People don't want to spend the next day's rehearsal repeating everything from the day before, because you couldn't be bothered to show up.

I missed one 3 hour lecture of improvising and devising in first year because I physically couldn't move out of bed. That's the only lecture/rehearsal I missed in my 3 years of university. You had to show up if you wanted to learn. You learn through exploration, and if you're not present to do that, what are you going to learn? If you're having a bad day, leave it at the door. You can't sulk in the corner, you have to give it your all no matter how bad you're feeling. One persons bad vibe can bring down the entire class, and it affects your productivity. This is something that you don't tend to get with any other degree. I've been there, I've had bad days. However, as soon as I let it affect me in class, that's where I started letting people down, and that's not ok.

Through studying Acting, I have learnt more about politics, and current world affairs than I ever did in school. I truly understood the importance of it, rather than just be given a text book and told to memorise it for the exam. From researching plays, to how other people have lived, though a lot of them are fictional characters, they are based on real people, and real things. Through this I learnt empathy. Empathy is something that not all people have, and I think everyone should have. Studying the arts has definitely made me a more empathetic person. When you work so closely with people, you learn things about people's views, their beliefs - something you wouldn't necessarily know if they were just in your class of 300 in a lecture hall... you may not even speak to them. I have made friends from all over the world during my time at Trinity which opens up great discussions about how things are done in their country, or even a certain part of the UK. To be honest, before coming to University, I didn't really have any political views. I was very unaware of how things worked, and that's down to me not putting in the time and research I needed to do to understand it. During my second year, I worked with an amazing director, who shone light on the importance of having our say, and doing our own research. Since then, I've tried to be as active as I can politically, keeping up to date with everything that is going on in this world, and most importantly, I vote!

The people I have met are also so diverse, not only in terms of politically and where they're from, but who they are as a person. I have met people who are transgender, non-binary, LGBTQIA, you name it. Some of these terms I have never had never heard of before, and talking with people openly about who they are, and what defines them or doesn't define them as a person was eye-opening. So maybe I would have learnt about all this in life eventually, but I believe studying my degree was the best choice I could have made. It made me feel more connected with people, and I've said it before, and I'll say it again... I've made friends for life.

People have also said to me... what's the point? You just prance about on stage for a bit, learn a few lines. Surely that's not a degree? No. That's not the degree. If that's what you think drama is, you are wrong. So very wrong. How anyone can be that closed minded, and not see how much hard work goes into what we do, is beyond me. People have said 'Drama is stupid!' - well, alright. If you think it's so stupid and you don't appreciate it... Do me a favour, and how about you never watch your favourite Netflix programme, the next big blockbuster at the cinema... because I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but the people involved in those projects live and breathe the arts. Not just the actors you see on screen, but every single person behind the scenes who work tirelessly to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

I have heard many discussions where people have had nothing but bad things to say about University in general, and I'm not just speaking about drama any more. Personally, I believe that everyone should experience University if there's something you're passionate about, or you want to expand your horizons/knowledge.

And yes. University/College isn't essential, but education is.

27 July 2017

"I'm a BAGEL, on a plate full of Onion Rolls."

I've decided to do something a little different for this blog post...

For anyone who knows me, they know that I see a lot of theatre, mainly musical theatre, but I do go and see plays as often as I can, too. After every show, people always ask me, "Was it good?" and "Did you enjoy?", and the answer is always "DUH!"... and then I proceed to tell them every fantastic thing about it, giving them chapter and verse of why they need to see it too or why I need to see it again. After all, you can't just see a show once, can you?

Anyway, this month, I went to see Funny Girl for a second time, this time, with the one and only Sheridan Smith. I went to see Funny Girl last year, but we saw Sheridan's understudy Natasha Barnes. I mean, obviously she was fantastic, her name says it all, really. Seriously though, she was amazing, she's now the lead for the second half of the tour, I believe! Even though we had booked expecting Sheridan Smith, as soon as the show began, all our disappointment flew out the window. Barnes gave a phenomenal performance and I was completely blown away. Never under-estimate the understudy, because DAMN. They are talented! Of course they are! They wouldn't give just anyone that role.

However, since seeing Sheridan in Legally Blonde a few years before, I was dying to see her in Funny Girl because I think she's just wonderful... I mean, seriously, is there anything that she can't do? I've been a fan of her since her role in Gavin and Stacey, and she's always been one of my favourite actresses. So let's just say I was a tad excited to finally see her in the Wales Millennium Centre... so much so, that I started talking with a complete stranger in our row about how amazing Sheridan was and how she wouldn't be disappointed by the show, and to be prepared to be blown away. Then we started chatting about musicals in general and all the one's we had seen, and it was too much for my tiny little mind. I was going to explode. So I rambled on until the lights went down, and then I almost cried at the overture. Then I did. I was an emotional mess. Musicals just have this way of getting you to feel everything down to your very core. I cried a lot during the show, the cast was flawless, the songs were flawless, the dances were flawless. My face at the end... not so flawless. That finale had me in BITS. I was sobbing from the last song, and all the way through the bows, and even when the lights came up. My new friend I made before the show started? The stranger? Laughing at me with my mother. But I didn't care. My heart was happy and broken at the same time. Being truly moved by a show like that, is something that I will never tire of. Oh, to live and breathe theatre is one hell of an adventure. An emotional adventure.

And for people who tell me that they don't like theatre, I shall refer you to one of musical theatre's greatest lessons from Fanny Brice - "I'm a bagel, on a plate full of onion rolls." The point is that (loosely quoting) if all you ever had for breakfast was onion rolls, then in walks a bagel... you'd be like 'Err, what is that?!'... Until you TRIED it. And that's what people need to do. Give theatre and the arts a chance. There's so much you can learn about yourself, and the world through the arts. Truly, you're missing out if you just eat onion rolls for the rest of your life. Bagels are delicious.

18 July 2017

Spontaneity is the BEST kind of adventure.

Well, I've just come back from a lovely little break in Spain after only booking it a week in advance. After spending months looking for holidays and things getting delayed, avoiding booking things, money getting in the way and time running away from us... I didn't think I'd get the chance to go away at all this year and it was driving me insane. So basically, I went on a load of last minute holiday websites and I said to my friend, who also had the same travel itch as I did,

'I don't know where I'm going, but I'm going. Are you coming with me?'

And of course, the answer was 'Yes. YES. YES!'. Within a couple of hours of looking, we found a brilliant deal and just booked it. Nothing planned, just 4 nights in Spain near Barcelona. Finally. going somewhere new, creating new memories and getting a well deserved break after finishing University this year. It was so exciting to book something and only have a 7 day countdown. We started trying to plan things to do in the short amount of time we were there but we just decided to plan to be spontaneous, as contradicting as that sounds. Obviously we knew that on one of the days, we wanted to go into central Barcelona as we were staying about an hour away from there. But other than that, we had no idea what we were going to do, knew nothing about the area we were staying in, but just turned up and just explored, and discovered the nicest little places in this Spanish town. When we first arrived, our thoughts were 'dingy, washed up, tourist destination that people have forgotten about' but that wasn't the case at all. We found where it was all happening and when we were sat out for dinner and sangria dining al fresco, we happened to be front row to some kind of 'drum-off' fiesta! There were groups of drummers doing their little routines, passing by us, and just making us feel really happy about our decision to come to this holiday destination.

Now, this may have been because of the Sangria... but either way, we had an amazing time. We then just sat on the beach and watched the sun go down, and it was just lovely sitting there, finding the prettiest stones and shells. It's moments like those I enjoy the most. That whole day was so completely unplanned, it started off with swimming in the hotel pool, sunbathing, eating lunch at the hotel bar, sunbathing and swimming some more, then a stroll around new parts of the place we were staying in, finding the cutest little restaurant and accidentally stumbling across the fiesta, then the sunset on the beach. It was just wonderful.

              The best times in life are usually random, unplanned and completely spontaneous.

I could go on and talk about how many memories we made, and all of the new culture we experienced, but I'm afraid it would take way too long. Travel is something that every single person should experience. When was the last time you did something for the first time? That's something that travelling can offer you. Every single day, you can try something new, whether it's food that originated from that particular country, an original landmark that you won't see anywhere else, or even just a sunset over a beach you've never walked across...

"Travelling's not something you're good at. It's something you should do. Like breathing." 
- Gayle Foreman

5 July 2017

The Tassel Was Worth The Hassle!

I'm officially a graduate! I have a BA (Hons) in Acting. 

The three years of blood, sweat and tears have come to an end. To get through those years though, I've had some amazing people by my side who have made the hard times more bearable, and far more enjoyable. Without these amazing people in my life, I wouldn't be where I am today. I am not going to name everyone individually because there are so many people who have had such a positive impact on my university experience and this post could go on forever, and nobody wants that.

It was a very emotional time and I managed to hold myself together throughout the whole day and throughout the ball. It was when I was packing up for the final time, giving in my final key, pulling my suitcase across the beautiful campus, saying "See You Later" because I can't be dealing with "Goodbye's", then leaving campus... I was not OK. My extreme tiredness and the heat didn't help with my emotional state. But again, I held it together, got on my train with my friend and began the journey home. When the train pulled off, my heart dropped as I realised that I no longer needed to come back to Carmarthen. Then I made a big mistake. I opened a card I received from one of my best friends who wrote this beautiful heart felt letter, and all of a sudden it felt like one massive goodbye, not to each other, (because that's never gonna happen let's face it), but to one massive chapter in our lives that has changed everything. As a person, I have grown and found out a lot about myself during my time at University. This is something that I may not have done if I hadn't gone to University, as well as the fact that I would never have met some of the people who I now consider to be my best friends.

I didn't manage to get pictures with all of us looking all super fancy, but you know who you are, you wonderful humans. Thank you for making my time here so much fun and you mean the world to me. So please, please, please, keep in touch because I'm already missing you all like mad and can't wait for the next time that I get to see you. As Winnie The Pooh said; "How wonderful is it to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."

As well as the wonderful people that I have met along the way though-out these three years at UWTSD, I can't go without thanking my amazing family and my best friends who have been there through thick and thin. A lot of the time without even knowing it, their support and unconditional love has helped mold the person that I have become. You guys are the best and I'm so thankful. From letting me rant about things that have gone on in Uni, talking about people that you don't have a clue who they are, supporting my productions, from the encouragement I get leading up to and during that stressful time, whether you come and see the end production, it didn't matter to me because I knew you had my back and you were proud of me no matter what. 

So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
What you have done for me means more than you'll ever know. If i ever forget to tell you how much you all mean to me, just know that I care so deeply, it's often hard to express. It's crazy to think that there are so many people who have influenced my life and who have changed it for the better. I can't imagine you not all being a part of my life. There is one very important person that is missing from these pictures though, someone who I wish was still present in my life, and that's my Dad. It's on big events like these where I miss him the most, and having people telling me how proud he would have been does warm my heart but it makes me miss him even more. I wish I could hear him say it because it would mean the world to me. In a way, he was there, because I carry him wherever I go in my heart. Not only this, I wore my special Cariad locket with a picture of him inside. He will be with me wherever my life journey decides to take me. Always close to my heart.
                    I love you all. So Much.

This post has already got way soppier and reflective than I thought it would be, so I'm going to sign off on a bit more of a positive note. To the rest of our lives, may it be blessed with endless joy and wonderful, cherished memories that you will take with you forever. I know that these three years will be the start of a lot of amazing stories that I share with people throughout my life. It's been an unforgettable experience. To us! 

30 June 2017

Signed, Sealed, Delivered! (I'm Yours)

So, this week has been filled with a lot of 'adult' decisions. I have had to fill in so many paper forms, online forms, you name it!

The biggest thing that happened though was that I received my contract (?!) for my job in September. Now that was a LOT of writing to read through, and a LOT of paper forms to fill out. It was very exciting yet scary, and it made it feel very real. I officially start rehearsals on 18th September in Ayr... Scotland! Then touring begins on 1st October and I'll be touring potentially until the 17th February, and a break for Christmas. Guess who's probably going to be on tour for her birthday and most of my friends birthdays? Yep, that's me. But hey, I'm not gonna complain, because (hopefully), I'll be doing something which I'm going to enjoy so much and I'll be with a great company who will make it all worthwhile. 

I'm really looking forward to this tour and it could lead to so many more exciting opportunities, so I'm ready to just throw myself in to the deep end and work really hard. What could be more fun than bringing theatre to little people who may have never seen a piece of theatre before? or to those that can't afford to experience great theatre? or even better, changing the minds of people who think theatre is stupid and can't be used to create social change. There are so many underlying messages in shows like this, and I'm so excited to start sharing them with the next generation.

I also paid £25 for a piece of paper telling me that I'm not a criminal. Turns out, I'm not! Go me. 10/10. I'm a good egg. 

Adult thing number 56453947 I achieved this week was registering as self-employed! There were so many words and terms I did not understand. I'm learning though... slowly. Ahh taxes, rebate, money, self-assessments! I'm getting there, I am, really. I've just gotta be confident and organised with it. That's going to be a blast! 

In other news, as I was writing this blog post, I received an email from the touring company that I auditioned for a week after my first one in London. They have asked me if I would like to join them on their Autumn/Winter tour. Unfortunately, I don't think it's possible for me to tour two shows at once! Though that would be an adventure just trying to pull that off. At least I know they liked me and what I showed them. I think I've found my calling in pantomime! Although I obviously can't accept this job, they have got my information now and maybe when I'm available after February, they could have an opportunity for me then. Who knows?! But right now, it's all about me just getting my face out there and showing people what I can do. 

What a time to be alive! 

Other than all these forms I'm having to fill out, I'm quite enjoying being in this real world. 

23 June 2017

The Best Week EVER!

I don't even know where to begin. I've cried so many happy tears this week, I just can't believe it.

It started off with an audition at Bluestone on Monday (such an incredibly beautiful place), which was one of the best audition experiences ever, although I didn't get the job, I had such a great day and nothing was bringing me down from the mood I was in following it.

Tuesday, I got to catch up with one of my besties and we took a stroll through the woods, and it was so lovely. I didn't even care about the amount of fly bites I was getting.

Wednesday, I spent the day with my Mam and my niece. Wednesday's are always fun with those two. They make my heart smile. Especially when my three year old niece tells me how much she loves me and missed me. Melts my heart every time.

Thursday, I got a call from M&M Theatrical Productions and they said they wanted to cast me in their Panto season touring around the UK and Ireland from September-February.


Yep. I was unpacking at the time when I saw this number come up on my phone and I thought... Here we go... NO MORE PPI. But then I looked at the location of the call, and I recognised it as M&M's base in Scotland. I answered the phone, a bit wary, just in case they were going to crush my dreams, you know, every actors fear. Then he told me how impressed they were by my audition and that they had decided to cast me in their production of 'Jack and the Beanstalk'. Tears were forming in my eyes at this point and all I could say down the phone was THANK YOU SO MUCH. As well as confirming that I would be happy to drive a van. That's going to be a fun learning experience! He wanted me to confirm I was still interested in the position by replying to the email by the end of Friday. So there I was, naturally, refreshing my emails until it came through and then I replied straight away. SEND ME THAT CONTRACT! I was so happy, I was crying into my sock drawer. (I was still pretending to unpack). I then called my mother, and I just couldn't hold my happy tears any longer, I could barely speak to tell her what just happened. Your baby girl has got her first professional acting job! GO ME. This is the job that came from my first professional audition, so that makes me incredibly happy too.

So, I'm on such a high that I told myself that I don't need to worry about tomorrow's results because, well, I GOT A JOB. I was still a bit nervous for results, because that's just how it is. I can't turn off that dreaded 'results day' mentality. However, no matter what the result, what I've learnt is more important and how I will go forward with my life, and doing it with the right attitude, is what matters.

Friday. Results Day. 10:59, I load up MYTSD. 11:00. LOG IN.

Progression Letter.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours
Upper Second Class (2:1) 


*Cue more tears.

I'm so happy, I can barely breathe at this point. Then I decide to look at the module breakdown to see what I got in each of the modules to make me average out at this wonderful 2:1.

Module Breakdown. Yep, Yep, Yep, WHAT. Now I wasn't expecting that.

Site Specific Theatre. 70. A first. An actual first. Now, to a lot of people, this won't seem like a big deal, but I know someone who knows how much this means to me. Mr. Dave Ainsworth. Now, I don't know if you'll remember this conversation Dave, but it is all I've thought about. We had that meeting at the beginning of third year and we talked about how you thought after first year, I'd be one of those students who just muddles through and passes. However, in second year, I surprised you, by averaging out 2:1's and I begun working my butt off.

You then said to me,

"I would really love to see you get a 70 in Third Year, I think you can do it." 

Hey Dave. I did it.

Thank you for believing in me, and pushing me to achieve this degree. You have been such a massive part of the reason why I've pushed myself so hard. I'm so grateful.

So, to finish this post. I will end on another inspirational quote that I found on Pinterest, which completely resonates truth and relevance to what this week has shown me.

"Good things come to those who wait, but great things come to those who do."

20 June 2017

Waiting, waiting and more waiting!

Today's post is about how much I'm learning to be patient.

I've had three auditions in 11 days, and waiting to hear from them has been an experience. Every time the phone rings, I jump up to answer it, only to hear... "Have you been mis-sold PPI? If so, we can help you!" BLAH BLAH BLAH. Hang up.

Oh, maybe they've emailed I think... so I am now one of those people who check my email every time I'm connected to the internet. My record is three times in a minute. I also now regularly check my junk mail, something which I have never done. Honestly, some of the things that come up in that folder are just shocking, I sure hope no job offers ever end up there because it's a scary place.

I've decided that I need to go on a cleanse. A checking my email kinda cleanse. Maybe just once in the morning and once in the evening. Yeah, we'll see how that works out for me. Since writing this blog post, I've checked it five times.

Someone help me. I have no self-control.

At times like this, I find myself looking on Pinterest at the 'Inspirational Quotes' board and I came across this beauty of a quote.

"Patience is not about waiting, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting."

And then I realised, I've been going about this all the wrong way. Instead of just waiting, then complaining about waiting... I need to be productive with my time and not put all my eggs in one basket. If I just sit back and wait to hear off these three jobs, and nothing comes of it... I could have just completely wasted time and missed so many opportunities during that time. Even though it's only been just over a week since my first audition, there are a lot of things that could have passed me by. Obviously I've still been seeking out work, and applying for other things, but many times I've thought 'Oh I better not apply for that, just in case I get that first job.' But hey, the worst that could happen is that I'm going to have to choose between jobs and that's not all bad, you know, being in demand.

Not that that's likely in this industry... but I can always dream.

So, I think the point of this post was to give myself a kick up the butt to not dwell on things. I need to be productive, even if I am waiting for a response from a job. I can't just sit back and let good things pass me by. These blog posts are how I can sort of make sense of things in my head, so I'm sorry if this isn't interesting to read, but this blog is about me trying to find my place in this world. Although, If I can interest people in what I write, that's a plus I guess.

Anyway, if you're still reading after these ramblings... Hi. Thank you for bearing with me. Join me for my next blog post where I'll hopefully have a job offer or at least a post about dealing with rejection. (Already looking on Pinterest boards for 'Inspirational Quotes' to help me with that one, because it will happen at some point. Ah, the life of an actor.)

Maybe I'll just check my email one more time...

13 June 2017

My First Professional Audition Experience!

"The only failure is not to try."
A quote that I will without a doubt live by, for the rest of my life. Thanks, Mr. Clooney. 

7:20am Mega Bus from Cardiff to London. Arrive approx. 11am. Find audition location to suss it out. Go to Primark (I mean, it was only a short walk...). Have lunch. Enter audition location. Poop my pants. Immediately start looking around at my 'competition', turns out they were all lovely people. Enter the audition leader, who gives us a form to fill out with our details and a double sided A4 piece of paper which had 4 speeches on each side. "Pick a speech from each side, you have half an hour before we take you all to the space." Picked two contrasting pieces. Tried to learn them. Failed. But hey, I was so familiar with them by the end of that half an hour, that I had figured out everything I wanted to do on each line. It was Panto style so I had to make sure that I made a fool out of myself, the bigger the better, 'ey?! 

The pieces I chose were; Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, and Mrs Trott from Jack and the Beanstalk

Yep, I was required to do a Southern American accent and I didn't totally screw it up. Even if it did feel more General American (whatever that means). Go me. *Adds to CV. For Mrs Trott, it said 'colloquial accent an advantage'. I had absolutely no idea what that meant. So after muttering in a Yorkshire accent for a bit (and failing miserably), my friend turned to me and said 'Just do your Welsh accent!'. So I did. Turns out, in a room full of people who aren't Welsh, they really love the Welsh accent, especially because they didn't think it was my real accent! I hadn't really spoken to many people before I got up to do the speeches, and I did the Dorothy one first, so I think it was an interesting surprise. Banter.

So, following the speeches, I had to compose myself to sing a song as well! I decided to sing Mother Knows Best from Tangled. I managed to hold myself together, and it went rather well. I just decided to go big or go home and truly embrace the character. I felt that with both speeches and the song, they were all very different characters from each other so my choices were well thought out.

This audition was an interesting experience as we were all in the same room watching everyone's auditions. We got to see many different interpretations of the same character, and it was fun seeing what else people brought to the roles. Even though a lot of people chose the same speeches, they all brought something different to it. Most of the time. 

So, once everyone had got up to do their speeches and songs, the audition leader then proceeded to read out a list of names who they wanted to stay behind for a one-to-one interview and a general chat about what their company is about. 

They actually said my name.

It was the weirdest feeling ever. But I liked it. 

My interview was so relaxed and friendly, and the woman who interviewed me is also a graduate of the BA Acting course at UWTSD in Carmarthen, the first graduating year actually! Small world! 

Nothing is guaranteed with this job, but it's a very exciting prospect. They are beginning their casting process and I'm one of the people they're actually considering. That's pretty cool. 

I'm looking forward to seeing what this world has to offer for me. 

I think I'm going to be alright. 

The Final Countdown

So... 2 more sleeps until I head up to Scotland to begin my next adventure. Though I don't start rehearsals for another 6 sleeps, i...