A Very Positive Challenge

This blog post is inspired by one of the Heels & Feels Challenges put together for this month by the lovely Cherelle.

You should definitely go and check out the challenge over on the Heels & Feels Instagram because it’s a lovely little challenge all about self-care and best of all theres no pressure to do every single challenge. It’s really chill and just a lovely little 31 day challenge.

Now onto the actual topic of this little post! Day one of the challenge was to write a letter to yourself. It was not an easy task to do. I did mine although a day or two late and it really got me thinking about how badly I treat myself. I wouldnt treat anyone else the way I treat myself so why do I feel it’s ok to treat myself that way?

I think we all put so much unnecessary pressure on ourselves to keep up with our peers.

I know Im particularly bad when it comes to this. Theres not a moment in my day where I dont tell myself that ‘this’ is where I should be in life when looking through social media.

That I should have been to university and got myself a job. Where instead I’m still in college trying to get my GCSEs because due to illness I didnt get them at 16. And that’s ok! Its ok to do things at the pace that suits you because life isnt a race, there’s no set time frame in which to do things. Hell, people go back to Uni in their 50s! It’s never too late.

It’s ok not to be like everyone else as well. Its ok to be you. A lot of my letter to myself was addressing that as well.

Being autistic my entire life I’ve tried to act neuro-typical.

Why?

I honestly don’t know. Probably because of the bullying for my ‘weird’ behaviour. Ive come to realise that it was everyone elses problem, not mine. That out of the people who care about me, Im the only one giving myself grief over being autistic.

It’s ok to do you. As long as your not hurting anyone in what youre doing.

Just be unapologetically you!

This is the letter I wrote to myself. It was and still is difficult to share.


Thank you so much Cherelle for this lovely little challenge, hopefully I’ll see you or one of the girls at one of the workshops soon!

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie REVIEW

I finally got to see Luke Latchman on as Jamie and oh my god was he phenomenal! As soon as I found out his Jamie dates I booked to see him because I knew he would smash it.

Luke’s rendition of The Wall In My Head was absolutely stunning and really got me emotional. I’m not a crier at shows but oh boy did I shed a few tears during this show.

His energy as Jamie was perfect and his performance completely captivating.

At this performance I was also lucky enough to see Kirstie on as Ray. When I saw her name up on the cast board I literally screamed in excitement because I had wanted to see her as Ray for quite a while.

It’s safe to say her Ray was everything I hoped it would be and her Limited Edition Prom Night Special was just lovely to watch.

Ray is my favourite character in the show because she has so many great lines and Kirstie delivered them with finesse.

I’m going to be sad to see her leave the show, but I wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

On top of that I got to once again see Melissa Jacques on as Margaret New. I just adore Melissa’s voice. I hang onto her every note, I really do. I could listen to her perform If I Met Myself Again and He’s My Boy for eternity and not get sick of it. She puts so much emotion into her performance and is one of the few performers who have made me cry because they made me feel so much.

Shane Ritchie absolutely smashed it as Hugo. I didn’t really know what to expect from him vocally, Id never heard him sing before but he blew me away. He was funny, charismatic and a very in your face Hugo which I loved.

If you get the chance to see Luke Latchman on as Jamie then take that chance! I know I’m always singing his praises but he really is something special when it comes to performs.

This was my 5th time at the show and it was probably one of my favourites.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

A Chat With Jabez Sykes

I asked northern actor Jabez Sykes who recently play Moritz Stiefel in Spring Awakening at the Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester which recently won Best Regional Production at the What’s On Stage Awards what inspired his love for the arts and what working in the industry is like.

What sparked your love for the arts?

When I was in primary school one of the TA’s also taught a Latin and Ballroom dance school and she invited a lot of students to come and have a trial day. I really fell in love with it, most of the other kids dropped out after a few weeks, but it was the first time I really felt like I belonged somewhere, this was where my love blossomed for the arts…
As I got older I wanted to do more than dancing as it was all a bit ‘tits and tooth’ for me, so I started at the Oldham Theatre Workshop, they allowed me a safe place to have an artistic voice. It was here I really developed my love for theatre, it was (and still is) an incredible place, and it will forever and continue to be very special to me.

Acting isn’t the most stable of jobs, and the industry is extremely competitive. How do you deal with that uncertainty?

I think for me it’s surrounding myself with good people.
It is unfortunately a very competitive industry, and in my experience, very unstable, but this is something you know going entering the industry.
I think you have to believe in yourself and find what makes you special.

Working in the arts is a challenging and extremely intense thing to do. Does the pressure to perform and be perfect all the time take its toll on your mental health?

Absolutely. Especially with auditions the pressure is on to get it right in that room which can be really daunting, and when you don’t get it right it’s devastating. Especially if you’re working a ‘normal’ job that you hate.
But again, you have to have enough belief to know that it wasn’t your best, brush it off and focus on the next thing.

How do you deal with times a performance may not have gone as smoothly as you wanted it to?

I honestly LOVE it when things go wrong (when it’s something minor anyway), I find it makes everyones senses switch on and find a solution. I think you just have to laugh it off and remember there are more shows to get it right.
We are human after all and mistakes do happen, sometimes shows with mistakes are the best shows, because it makes everyone more alert!

Do you feel pressure to present yourself to fans in a certain way and respond to them if they reach out to you and if they themselves may be wanting advice when it comes to their own mental wellbeing does that have an impact on you mentally?

If I’m being honest, I don’t really have any ‘fans’ so haven’t really been in this situation.
I will say that it is always hard to see someone suffering, however I am not a mental wellbeing/health professional and if someone is struggling they should reach out to someone qualified, as I couldn’t provide the help that they needed.
I would be flattered that someone felt they could reach out to me and always endeavour to reply, but at the end of the day, it is not for me to advise on someone else’s health.

What advice would you give to young performers wanting to get started in the art and to those who are wanting to audition for stage school?

I never went\ got into drama school, so my route into the industry was very different to most.
What I would say for people auditioning is, know your material for said audition.
However, drama school isn’t the only way into the industry. I will say it is much harder without, but not impossible.
Get out there and make it happen, if it is in you then you’ll do it.
Find a local theatre group, do whatever you can, but make sure you enjoy it. As soon as you lose the joy for something, move on!
Life is too short!