What experiences and opportunities have you enjoyed during your membership?
I joined Everyman in September 2019. The first night was a bit of a disaster for me: I went to the wrong place at first and my phone kept making random noises! But I’ve been going to Clubnights and Melting Pots ever since. That Halloween, I got to do my first reading, as Frankenstein’s Monster, round a campfire setting. All the Clubnights and Melting Pots have been excellent and I’ve had a chance to perform a wide range of parts both male and female during this time, including Mr Collins in Pride and Prejudice, Mr Banks in Blue Stockings, and even Desdemona! I’ve also learnt some behind-the-scenes skills like lighting and puppetry. Pretty soon, I had the confidence to audition for productions, and I auditioned for 2020’s Festival; my audition speech was “Tomorrow and tomorrow” from Macbeth. I watched a tutorial from Sir Ian McKellen on doing the speech well, and I had a lot of support and help from Arnold Phillips too. I was excited to be offered a role in the ensemble. Of course, Covid hit shortly afterward – but I got to thank Sir Ian for his guidance in the Q&A of a Zoom chat I attended, and it’s also thanks to Arnold, and to the skills I learned on Clubnights. During Covid, I joined in with “Bawler’s Barding”, reading Shakespeare scripts on Zoom on Tuesday nights, and it was great as well to have Clubnights available over Zoom as well to keep things going. When we finally got back to offline, I auditioned for Blood Wedding – and that’s when I got my first role. I enjoyed the rehearsal process; I learnt a lot on how to improve my skills. The first time you go off-book and don’t miss anything is great – and when the director says “no notes needed” is even better! We ended up getting a standing ovation, which felt amazing. I’m excited to get back to Clubnights, and hoping to run my own sometime soon, so I do hope you’ll join me when I do. And coming up this summer, the long-delayed Twelfth Night, which I’m so happy to be involved in. I consider myself lucky to be part of such a fantastic group of actors and actors, so many of whom have performed professionally in London and with the RSC.
What have you learned about yourself from being a part of Everyman Theatre?
I have dyspraxia and Asperger’s, so I thrive on structure and routine; remembering scripts is sometimes a struggle, not just a case of saying the lines, but things like tone, diction, breathing, projection, pacing and rhythm. But everyone in Blood Wedding – and across Everyman – has been so supportive and encouraging, and I can really see my own improvement. The standing ovation for Blood Wedding felt amazing. We celebrated the end of the run well into the night, with tales around a campfire… which felt like a lovely “full circle” back to my first time reading at a Clubnight back in 2019.