After completing A-levels in Drama, Media and English at Richard Huish College, Taunton, I decided to take a gap year. I wasn't even sure whether University was the right thing for me...and spent my year working, writing and doing conservation work. That I loved Drama and Performing so much, I struggled with the idea of going back into education - as for me, all I wanted to do was to find a way to be on stage or have a job where I can become whoever I want to be. Going to Exeter University to study drama worked very much in my favour though. Through manipulating my degree in regards to what modules I chose to take, I moulded my degree into one that ended up working very much with people - especially young people - and that's where I found that I had a strength and a passion for getting young people interested in drama. Whether this was done by using tools we learn within drama to build confidence and self-esteem, or nurturing people's creative ideas and help it evolve into a piece of theatre that they can call their own.
I currently work at Exeter College as a Support Worker on a course designed to get vulnerable young people feeling like they are doing something that is 'worth' it again, to build their confidence and social skills. However, drama still burns in me - and I am striving to widen my role within the community and work with others in a more creative environment - as well as hopefully performing myself.
I do private one-to-one drama projects with a young man with learning disabilities. The last project I did with him was to create an advert, where I set very specific lesson plans to take him through a real theatrical process where research must be done before the final product is in reach. After choosing his favourite topics after drama exercises in how to make any everyday object 'exciting' for the public, I aided him in creating his own logo, buzz words and then small script. I filmed him performing in the advert after aiding him to remember his lines and actions, and created a DVD for him to keep. I am currently organising space for us to do another project together.
Working with Headbangers Theatre Company and the University of Exeter Medical school, I have been part of a team that tours a drama project to primary schools in the Devon area. The programme looks - through an interactive and engaging delivery of activities, scenes and group discussions - how to live more healthy lives. The children meet a set of four characters - each who have an aspect of their lives in which they are unhealthy, or can be a lot healthier. The children, in picking the character that they share the most in common with, help the character to kick their bad habits and try to live life more healthier - and in this one step removed process, finding ways in which they themselves can live much healthier lives. My role was the facilitator, and I ran the project in three primary schools.