Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
I'm Poppy Almond, an actress.
What does your job involve? Give us the typical outline of a day?
The beauty of being an actress is that every day is different. Because I am in the middle of producing and performing in Henna Night, my days include a lot of organisation as well as just rehearsals.
For example today, I spent the morning in Snappy Snaps, printing off programs for the play. I then went to rehearsals and we did a few runs of the show. Afterwards, I helped carry a bit of set from Clapham to Balham and tonight I will sit and re-read the play and have a hot bath!
What’s great about your job?
I am able to dive into and explore someone else’s words, vision and imagination. I meet amazing people who I admire and aspire to be like. I get goose-bumps regularly and I am happy to go to work.
What are the bits you don’t like or find challenging?
There’s nothing I don’t like but I do, like many actors, find being out of work challenging. That’s why I have decided to produce my own work. I want to be flexing my muscles and choosing the work I want to do.
What are the highlights of your career to date?
Definitely producing my own show. Also, being able to travel to Asia and parts of Africa as part of my job. Performing at beautiful theatres that I have grown up being an audience member of such as The Savoy, The Shaftesbury Theatre and The Ambassador’s Theatre has also been amazing.
How did you get into an arts job? Have you also worked outside the arts?
I watched my friend Jemima in a show she did at Stagecoach when I was 9 and I figured if I did that maybe I could be the next Hermione Granger. My mum also encouraged it because she knew it would be 3 hours she could have to herself on the weekend!
Yes, I’ve worked outside the arts. I worked for clubs doing marketing and being a door-girl when I left school.
Can you describe your biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it?
When I got into performing, I fell in love with singing. I was 9 and realised I had a pretty decent voice – that was my first love.
About 3 years ago, I would go into musical auditions and leave and have a cry because of how ropey my voice sounded. I sought professional help. I asked peers if similar things had happened to them and in February this year, I had surgery on my voice to remove a cyst. It was so difficult – really isolating.
I’m still trying to overcome that obstacle. I have singing lessons regularly and I am just trying to build the muscle again. But I filmed videos of me singing before my operation and film regular clips (nothing snazzy) now just to notice my process and see how far I have come – and I have cone far, and am really proud of how far I will go.
Have you noticed any changes in the industry? If so, what?
Definitely! It is becoming less exclusive and more inclusive. I feel it’s a lot less judgemental about your background or where you trained and more open to people’s different journeys.
You’ve been granted the ability to send a message to 16-year-old you. What do you say?
Be patient. If you know something is good for you, wait for it, don’t jump to something second rate. And make sure you wake up every day with a smile.
Do you have any advice for young people interested in doing your kind of job?
Ask questions, meet people, talk, share ideas, create, celebrate others success, read, watch, listen, enjoy – get consumed by the industry, do everything you possibly can and even if you aren’t working. you will be doing the thing you love every single day.
Also know that. regardless of your journey and the way you get into it, you are valid and if you really want to be an actor, you will. Believe in yourself.