I was fortunate enough to begin my professional career back in the 80’s at the age of 14 when I joined Central Television Drama Workshop (now called The Television Workshop) in Nottingham. It was a training ground for young actors and provided professional performance opportunities in T.V. film and theatre.
At the age of 18 I left Nottingham for university, first to Plymouth, where I completed a HND in Drama Leadership and Community Theatre, and then onto a BA (Hons) in Performing Arts at Hertford.
After university I found myself in London and with my newly honed skills I thought I’d be an actor. I have been lucky enough to make it pay the rent most of the time. So I spent several years as a jobbing actor (and occasional director) touring the country working for a variety of different theatre companies and venues, but as I developed more as a performer I realised that my passion was not for scripts but for a more physical approach to performance that mixed genres that focused on using our bodies as a powerful way to communicate that didn’t rely to heavily on spoken words.
This in turn allowed me to begin my journey of creating theatre that was accessible and inclusive, not just in its presentation but in the stories I told and the artists I worked with. Inclusive Practice has been key to my work for many years now, allowing me to share my knowledge on an international
This resulted in a more cross art formed approach to telling stories both as a performer and as a Director. Like a child in a candy shop I allowed myself to try different combinations of styles and techniques, working with a myriad of artists, some made me feel sick but others found their own harmony.
In 2005 this harmony resulted in my discovery of circus arts, which I have continued to develop ever since, starting off on a simple static Trapeze before working with Australian based Company Strange Fruit and developing new ways of creating accessible techniques and movement to perform on top of a 20 foot high bendy pole.
This paid off in 2012 when I was part of the professional aerial ensemble for London’s Paralympic Opening Ceremony where I got to perform on top of a 20 foot bendy pole as well as fly high around the stadium as part of the harness performance team.
In 2006 I became the Artistic Director at Kazzum where again I was able to develop my directing. I quickly moved away from touring traditional indoor shows and developed my skills in directing outdoor theatre, site specific theatre and multi art formed installations. Working in this way, especially outdoors, means that I have had to constantly challenge myself and always think about my audience. If you present your work in public spaces, where the trappings of conventional theatre etiquette don’t exist, this means your audience can leave any time they want therefore what you present has to make them want to stay and experience everything.
Today my Performing and Directing work complement each other, they feed each other and they hopefully allow me to create work that is never traditional or boring!