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Drama

From the age of three until eight I went to dance classes. Every Saturday morning I'd go and practise ballet or tap. We put on a show every Christmas and I had a sash with rosettes on where I'd taken part or passed something-or-other.

I really liked it, until I didn't. I think I got bored of the perfection involved in it - I didn't quite feel good enough. Even the phrase "good toes, naughty toes" feels telling in retrospect.

When I was nine we saw a poster for a local drama class. I don't remember wanting to be an actress but it seemed like a good thing to do so I went along.

The classes weren't like a stage school, prepping kids for big smiles and perfected movements, it was purely drama, and it was playful. Early on it was fun little improvs, but then they taught you about technique as you got a little older - emotional acting through Stanislavski, that kind of thing.

I loved it. It made me nervous but it just felt so freeing. You couldn't get it wrong. You could make people laugh. You could be vulnerable and be supported. You could find your way through things.

I went to the same drama group from the age of nine until eighteen, working my way up through the groups. I only performed in one of the shows, which is a shame looking back, but by the time I had the confidence to do so I was working part time. Still, that meant that I had all of the fun and none of the pressure.

Amidst growing up, insecurities and school stresses, it was just the perfect release.

I think this class really changed things for me too. I found something I really loved and got good feedback from. I met people through studying drama at school that I'm still friends with now, having bonded through working together - making genuinely good things, whether A Level performances or sketch shows outside of school.

Then I went to university and discovered a whole other kind of drama with contemporary performance and new writing and so much that I didn't even know existed. And again, performing got me through tough times. Whatever was going on, I could throw myself into this other world for a little while.

And now I'm 25 and I work in theatre and have done since I left university. I'm not on stage but rather marketing and press, but getting to be in a rehearsal room or just see so much theatre - I feel incredibly lucky.

And although we used to go to the theatre when I was growing up, I wonder how much of this would have happened if not for finding this perfect, challenging little drama class.

I'd like to get back to it somehow, to performing. I don't want to be an actor but I do miss that playfulness and making something good in the moment. Maybe now I'm in London I'll find some class that's not too intense.

I just love a bit of drama. I don't think I'll ever let it go.


Written as part of Cassy Fry's DIYCreativeClub challenge. For anyone living in Kent, the classes are still going - I learned so much through Spotlites.

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