Everyone has had their start in the world of the theatrical arts somewhere. It may not have been the most auspicious of arenas, but it the moment that we can recall as “the beginning”. A casual look at the plethora of “reality talent shows” in TV will inevitably have the traditional “first time” episode, where they drag out the old grainy VHS footage, superimpose a highlighted circle on the screen as the competitor gushes about the first time they set foot on the stage — and how they would probably never dress that way/talk that way/look that way/dance that way/sing that way again.
So, where and when was yours?
For me, I was five years old and living down in the Mornington Peninsula. I had already started playing piano at this stage, but it was my Prep teacher (I still remember her name, Miss Turner) who suggested I perform a song on stage after I sang for “Show And Tell”. A week later, I was on the school stage, in front of some 500 students, singing ‘Jamaican Farewell’ by Harry Belafonte with five other Prep girls doing the hula behind me. That day, I felt like a celebrity in my own little lunch box. The Grade 6’s carried me around on their shoulders during lunch break and got me to sing the song again.
The funny thing is, I was a very shy kid — hard to believe these days — but I learned that day that the stage had a special power. There was an invisible line that separated the audience from those on stage, and for the first time, I felt free to be able to express myself without fear of ridicule or reprise. The stage felt safe, a home away from home.
Since that day, I pursued a world on and around the stage. And while I’m more content to write for the stage than be on it, I still remember that day when I was five as the moment I discovered my love for the theatre. It was the day that the fire started in me, a fire that continues to burn to this day.
Again, I throw the question to you — where and when did you start your theatrical journey? What was it that set the fire alight in you? After all, that was the moment where you set your life’s course in motion; and that counts for everything.
Until next time,
Blog ya later!