Theatre is my home from home! Like my actual home I feel like I need to spend some time away from it or I want to shuffle the furniture around but some days I just want to huddle inside it and hide away from the world for the day. Today is one of those days.
I go to the theatre a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean at least once a month, if not more. I have had incredible moments in theatres, but sometimes it just becomes second nature to me to be in an audience, do what an audience member does. I can enjoy - even love - the show but it doesn't always hit me. It doesn't always make me think, 'this is why theatre is for me'. I do have those moments but I often forget that I have had them and I wonder whether pursuing this 'dream career' is what I really want.
Last night I had one of those moments. I was sat in the press night of Chichester Festival Theatre's Mack & Mabel. The overture began and hit me, I mean really hit me. As much as the musical is beautiful and the show is incredible (everyone should buy a ticket), I am not sure that was why I felt inspired. Listening to the music fill the theatre, seeing the audience waiting expectantly, the atmosphere so palpable, I almost wasn't ready for the show to start. It sounds silly but I felt quite emotional. I am (as my friends know) a highly emotional person but I promise this wasn't the reason. That moment was a realisation, I belong in theatre. Yes, I may not know where that is yet...on stage, back stage, in the education department? I just know that whatever it is, it has to be in theatre.
In the past two years (well my whole life, but let's just focus on the post education years) I have been very lucky. I have had some amazing opportunities. I have served celebrities at Galas, networked with incredible people in the arts & cultural sector, been to private viewings & press nights, been involved in inspiring projects for young people and more recently sat on a panel with Lenny Henry! I am pretty sure I have had my share fair share and more of life changing experiences and I feel ridiculously lucky and grateful for those moments. But no way am I finished with theatre yet!
I am not in this for fame and I am certainly not in this for money, I am in this because it's who I am, it's what I know and without sounding arrogant, it's what I am good at. People don't take the arts and cultural sectors seriously enough (that's a whole other blog) but for me it's a way of life.