I’m back babes. Been in hiding since June (but also nurturing all the aspects of my life that help me keep Bluestocking spinning and a roof over my head…). And in the spaces between productions, the questions always come for me.

Making work and creating theatre – is it worth it?

As a woman wanting to develop, evolve and progress as an actor and creative, it was a natural step to start creating my own stuff when it became clear that unless I did that it would be…crickets. How do we get better at our craft without working? Endless classes and training are great but we need to be in front of an audience to practice, play and explore our potential.

I feel like I’ve spent so much of my life watching stories about and for men. We saw so much of it as kids we easily identify with the male gaze and seeing the world through their eyes, especially when it comes to how women are viewed. It began with the creation story, that women come after men, casually made out of one of his ribs. A fucking rib. Thanks.

This story was downloaded into our tiny brains before we had any capacity to critically think and the belief that women are superfluous to men, created for his amusement and pleasure, because he was bored, was sealed. So it goes deep.

Then we have a distinct lack of good, Human stories about women on our screens and stages, so we grow into young women again seeing this lack of true representation reflected everywhere we go. The message reinforced, your stories, your perspective, your opinions, don’t matter. They’re silly, girlish, frivolous. You’re silly, girlish, frivolous. Pink, and glittery, you’ll never have to face anything serious in life, you won’t have bills to pay or tribulations to overcome, just hair extensions and babies. You don’t need real heroines or stories to guide you through the journey of life, no examples of female heroism to inspire or ignite your own inner warrior, you can have some rom coms, there you go. All you really need to worry about is looking good and getting a husband.

We’ll keep the distrust and hate alive in tabloids stories and women’s mags, with WAGS at war and women pitted against each other, Meghan and Catherine, Victoria and Nicole. It’s easier to subdue us if we’re fighting amongst ourselves with internalised self hatred therefore lacking the self belief and love required to achieve our goals, assume a place at the table of power and create some real change.

Stories matter. They are the foundation on which everything is built. So yes, as a working class woman who never went to the theatre until I was in my late teens, with no connections in the industry and really very little idea how to navigate it (yet), it is more than worth it. The stress about selling tickets or how work will be received, the financial pressure of funding everything myself whilst also juggling several jobs to do that – yes, it’s all worth it. Not so I get to show off and strut about the stage being fabulous, though I’m leaning into that, but so we can finally experience women’s stories as important, vital, urgent and necessary to create the change we all want to see in the world. Female rage and the rage of all unrepresented people’s, all those marginalised, demonised and silenced, when tapped into and harnessed, can and will change the world.

So write, create, play. All of us, not just women. It doesn’t matter what gender, orientation or race you are, we are one Humanity. I have my calling to write stories about women but by no means simply for women, they’re for everyone so we get to connect with each other, to feel empathy for each other, surpassing labels, doctrines and all the ways we’re taught to limit ourselves and each other and feel ourselves as separate. That should always be our goal as writers and creatives, to explore what it is to be Human first and foremost, and how we see ourselves in each other. I’m just here to contribute to the rebalancing and one day we won’t even need these conversations, we’ll value and respect all Life and create stories to reflect that, but until then, let’s crack on.

Also exciting news coming very soon about my play I AM NOT A ROBOT!


It’s easy to forget how much work goes into producing a show when you’re in the middle of it. I began writing I AM NOT A ROBOT (originally called Android’s Dream) in February in response to a call out for short play submissions. I wasn’t writing at the time and needed a project so started something and here we are…almost at opening night!!! When I started though I had no idea where it was going to lead, most things I write sit on my desktop forever but this has just been different. Hard to say why apart from I wanted a goal, something to move towards, keep the mind occupied and challenge myself creatively. I reckon I was still under the influence of the wonderful sci-fi short fiction by Philip K.Dick and Ray Bradbury I’d read the previous year, plus I wanted a luxury holiday but couldn’t get one in. I’m always wanting to write exciting roles and stories for women to play with so wanted to see what would happen if I put these two people in a room who’ve known each other forever but who’s relationship is on the brink. On top of that they’re in a foreign country, it’s the future and (maybe) there’s robots. Who knows, it could work. That’s how it began…this is how it’s going.

And plenty more fun besides. I won’t lie though there’s been times where I’ve seriously questioned my decision to write, produce and perform in something. There’s tons to do as producer and when your focus wants to be on learning lines and working on character, there are things are cropping up left right and centre to be addressed. I feel exceptionally blessed to be surrounded by an insanely talented, experienced and dedicated creative team. We’ve got a good balance between professionalism and having a laugh which is always key. I’m learning an extraordinary amount from everyone and being challenged all the time, and when things start getting a little too much I just have a word, take some deep breaths and remind myself why I want to do this in the first place. Yes it would be nice to sell loads of tickets, yes there’s anxiety about how it’ll turn out, the what if’s are in full swing but I just have to remind myself again and again it’s all just learning. It’s when we attach all sorts of meaning to things going ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ that we halt our enjoyment and progress, feeling nothing but anxiety, worry and stress. I’ve been there and it’s not fun. Take the pressure off, find the joy in each moment, keep creating new things, tell stories, laugh and play. That’s all there is.


Opens 14th – 17th June, The Kings Arms Salford


Can We Be Honest…?

Ima try be vulnerable with you now.

Let’s talk about the overwhelming Fear that comes up when you start putting yourself out there. I’m currently producing my next play I AM NOT A ROBOT, a ‘surprise project’ that came as a response to a call out for short plays. I wanted to put two women in a room and have all manner of shit go wrong  for them so we could laugh and be glad it wasn’t us. It came clear it had more to give than 15 minutes to give so I extended it for another call out for 30 – 40 minute plays hoping to God it’d be picked up so I could slink at the back of rehearsals scribbling ‘notes’ wearing a beret and being THE WRITER. Wasn’t to be. Neither company I’d written it for wanted it and after the initial slew of negative emotions that rejection brings I saw the clear gift they’d given me (gratitude to SWITCH MCR + Up’ Ere Productions for helping me write it).

I realised I had a play here that I hoped an audience would have a lot of fun with that reflects Bluestocking’s original ethos and raison d’etre – to show women as Human. Fallible, daft, complex, selfish, silly, fucked up, loving, all things women are yet we rarely see.  Time to put my money where my mouth is.

If this bombs my name’s all over it. Better lean in. The Fear is real. Feels real. But my coach – Jessica Paul (look her up) always says, ‘girl – you got to hold hands with the fear’. For me there has to be an acceptance that it might ‘fail.’ All manner of things could plausibly go wrong. Yes – maybe no one will come, yes – maybe people will hate it, yes – maybe I become the laughing stock of the MCR fringe scene – maybe maybe maybe. When these fears enter my consciousness, I try to hold them, acknowledge them, and say ‘yes, yes that’s a possibility,’ but guess what? My growth, learning and experience is vital and the only way we grow and develop is by doing things we’ve never done before. It’s by taking bigger risks, stepping out and forging ahead.

I’m not naturally a confident person. Forces in my youth smashed my confidence to bits and it’s taken a lifetime to rebuild. But my confidence expands each time I say yes to the whispers of a project then bring it to fruition. Don’t ever let me or anyone make you think any of this is easy. It’s doable, but not easy. The admin – producing, casting, marketing, planning and prep is one thing, time and energy consuming, but mainly a tick list exercise. The writing is another – will it be any good? Can I execute a good ending? Will people connect with it? So many doubts come to stop us in our tracks and we can sabotage ourselves at every turn. But we gotta see that for what it is and take the leap anyway.

We might fall, we might make fools of ourselves, we could be laughed at for all the wrong reasons. Or – and get this, we might succeed greatly – more than ever dreamed possible. Maybe is our true fear. That we won’t be able to handle how great we can be. Who knows? All I know right now is we need more women’s stories and more working class people leading the way for other working class people to say this is possible for you, we don’t have to live small lives never doing the thing that makes us happy because we feel we’re not worthy of it. We can actually do what we like, it’s just Us that stops us.

Stop getting in your own way.

And  (shameless plug…) come see my play – 14 – 17h June, I AM NOT A ROBOT, Kings Arms Salford.

‘What Iffing…’ + Other Tales

You could ‘What If…?’ your life away. ‘What If…?’ yourself into an early grave. I should know, I do it each and every time I make the first tentative steps towards producing a show. You’ve got to understand, this is all a big surprise to me. I know I’ve mentioned this before but I don’t think anyone ever foresaw that I would one day try my hand at playwrighting, running a theatre company and producing. Especially not moi. But I try to simply follow the call. It makes sense that I’d do this, for now. The moment it stops making sense, I’ll stop (and trust me sometimes it’s hard to make it makes sense financially…more about that another time). Every time I contemplate producing a new show, there are endless ‘What Ifs…?’ surfacing to dog my plans.

Here’s some:

What if no one comes? What if I fail? What if I offend someone? What if I lose all the money? What if nothing ever comes of it? What if I never get ‘there?’ (still not sure where that is…anyone?)

All ways my ego tries to stop me moving forward (all in an effort to keep me safe, bless it). The Fear (because that’s all these ‘What If’s…?’ are, just different variations of Fear), of what if I’m not good enough?

I know these doubts, fears and hesitations aren’t unique to me but I do wonder if, as a woman raised in a working/benefits class single parent household (and this does matter) that I, and those like me, must work extra super duper hard on our mindset and assuaging the fears that inevitably will arise every time you step our into the arena with your art and say hey, everyone…I got some stuff to say.

It’ll never be easy. But I know my confidence has doubled since I staged my first show almost 3 years ago now. I could never have envisioned I’d be here a few years later, booking venues, learning about funding, creating content, designing posters, producing events, writing plays. But each project I get a little bolder when inevitably no one dies and most people have a good time when they get involved.

I write this to encourage you too, if you’re ‘What Iffing…?’ yourself into obscurity.

How about this…? What if you win? What if all your wildest dreams come true? What if you prove them all wrong? What if you develop the courage to be the best version of you? Create art and change the world?

Let’s start ‘What Iffing’ that…


January Rambles

It’s been a slow gentle start into 2022 at Bluestocking Towers. I strongly resist pressure to launch into New Year with frenzied gusto and try sink into the realisation that it’s deep Winter and I am still hibernating thank you.

When Life doesn’t offer me an obvious route, my energy is low and there’s confusion and doubt, I’ve learned to wait and listen. I used to push and force things, firing off emails that went ignored, signing up to courses that turned out to be unrewarding and unaligned. I’m now trying to honour that if it’s not a fully bodied Yes, it’s probably a No from me.

More and more I come to see my New Year as Spring when the Earth welcomes back the light and the rest of the creatures unfurl from their Winter slumber. That’s when energy and freshness returns. Until then I’m taking it mega easy, no pressure, no haste, watching, waiting with patience. Building energy.

Having said that, I am slowly attempting to get our 2022 Digital Project (Dij – Proj) up and running but again, it’s slow (resisting the urge to call it ‘painfully slow,’ since that’s my ego wanting things to happen yesterday). It’s taking as long as it takes. But I’m becoming excited about the prospect of learning how to write and produce for film, writing a mini short that will be told through the camera and teaming up with people who have experience with this kind of stuff, I’m allowing that to excite rather than overwhelm me. The project is in it’s very baby stages. Because of that I can’t really even articulate what it is, it’s an abstract concept floating in the ether right now but soon it will be concretised and more tangible. We don’t have to have all the answers to start a creative project, we just have to follow the whispers, trust and allow Life to guide us. This is what I’ve learnt so far in the two years or so of building this company. My mantra is often ‘I don’t know what I’m doing, I’ve never done it before!’ but I allow myself to have a go and before I know it I’ve done it and have a better grasp of what I’m doing. Until the next time. This is growth. Messy often, step by muddy step, sometimes blind, grasping for another hand to pull us up and help us reach the next level.

I’ve got a couple of written projects in the pipeline (they’ve been atrophying in that old pipeline for a while now though). I’m summoning energy and clarity to move forwards. Trick is to just not stop, slow down to snail’s pace but whatever you do – do not quit – for God’s sake we need you. The first play I ever fully wrote, Shade Queen, is being performed at ADP this month so keep your eye out for that, that’ll really help me understand what’s needed to move forward with it. Nothing quite like having actors saying your words to help you realise what’s working and what isn’t.

So if you’re feeling creatively blah, unsure, a little off balance, unfocused and with nothing especially going on, lean into it and accept this is where you’re at right now. Fill yourself creatively, watch films, go to galleries, read poetry, try morning pages. The flow will return, just trust.

Moving on Up in an Uncertain World – 2022 + Beyond

Not that much has changed really. Before we had the illusion of certainty and now we see the reality. Nothing is or ever was certain only the present moment. Not even two sentences in and I’m handing out the Buddhism. Yup. But let’s remember things can and do change all the time, our ability to control reality is limited sometimes if not non existent, all we really do have control over is ourselves and our reactions to what is unfolding.

What’s happening in the World around us is affecting everyone of us and it’s messing with our heads and Root chakra which connects us with stability, safety, security and belonging. Our ability to feel safe on the Earth. Jobs being cancelled last minute, performances we’d arranged to see, social meetings we were looking forward to. The uncertainty and anxiety it brings is making people ill, to where they don’t see the point in living anymore. If anyone reading this feels like that I pray you reach out, you are not alone in this. Our businesses are being affected, big time, the things we’ve spent years of our lives creating and building. It’s tough, psychologically. And it’s been ongoing for too long.

So what do we do? We have to commit to deep self care. We have to stay physically strong knowing that impacts our mental and emotional strength. Find ways to soothe that aren’t alcohol or drugs, reach out when we need to vent, cry or wallow. Yes wallow but don’t live there. There’s still much work to be done.

We have to seek truth and knowledge, connect with ourselves and be honest about what we feel is happening here. We need to find discernment, stay away from excessive media (mainstream and social), learn to listen to our intuition and act accordingly.

We must do what we can and find innovative ways to continue to tell stories safeguarding our work against future upheaval. We must learn to speak our truth.

It seems to me Theatre is becoming a place where we must be seen to be thinking and doing the right thing according to the group, agreeing upon the same things, never being controversial, asking necessary questions or commenting on social issues that go against the grain. Is this really what we want? A uniform reality where any deviation from the norm can threaten or impose us with social sanctions that cost us our work, our livelihood? Where we must agree with the majority or risk being condemned? What is Art for if not to challenge the status quo? What has Art become if to challenge the status quo earns us cancellation, rejection and ousting? How are we expanding our minds and souls when all we’re seeing around us are the same opinions, the same thoughts, the same ideas expressed that all exist within a narrow bandwidth of what is possible? How judgemental, critical and mob like are we becoming when those who express a different opinion from us are swiftly and deftly dealt with and removed from the realm of acceptable creativity? These are just questions but timely for our time I think.

Can we seek to understand each other? Can we notice when we’re pouring scorn on another because their viewpoint differs from ours? Can we start to probe and question where our beliefs come from in the first place? Are they really ours and do we really believe them? Can we start to have honest conversations? First with ourselves then each other? Can we make space for uncomfortable opinion that differs from our own? Can we find compassion and tolerance for each other, our fellow human, knowing that is what great Theatre and Art is always supposed to do? Enable us to find commonality even when it feels like we’re totally different – we find the Truth, that we aren’t, we’re the same. All Human.

So we’re enter 2022 with this in our hearts. To do what we can to continue telling stories, entertain, to laugh and cry, to inspire, create meaning and hope, to drive forward even in seeming chaos and increasing silliness. And to seek and speak truth as we understand, to platform stories that do the same, that we remain free and open to ask questions, so we can continue to evolve, never shutting down, becoming closed minded and labelling before we’ve sought to understand. This, seems to me, the only way forward.

Truth. Unity. Questions. Openness. Connection. Free expression. Love.

Thanks for reading our sombre Xmas message – now prosecco + high jinks!

Merry Christmas x

So…What Do You Do?

Guest post by Kailey McGowan @somethingoodtheatre

Even though I’ve written, directed and produced my own shows since 2014, I’ve always called myself an actor. I’ve got a degree in Acting but working across multiple disciplines I’ve always felt that if I said I do it all people would think I must do at least one terribly! So I’d mostly say actor/facilitator.

When I was a kid acting was my safe space. The kids I got on with the most did drama and I always felt I could be myself there. But when I left drama school I became overwhelmed with the politics of the industry – who you know, what you’ve done etc etc. I felt I was getting jobs just for a credit so I could get the next job and the next job. Chasing this non existent thing – that if I just got that job I’d be… satisfied, happy. I never allowed myself to just BE with the present, fully experiencing each project as they came. It became about what venue would look good on my CV, what agent I could get to come and watch. I found myself not loving acting the way I always had, I’d let all the rubbish get in the way of the fact that I love making theatre. That’s it. I love it. 

So I let all of it go and started making work I was passionate about. I set up my own theatre company (Something Good Theatre) off the back of being diagnosed with a chronic illness and started putting out productions I wanted to see. I took on every role – head of marketing, chief casting director, executive producer, director – yep, going it alone is hard graft and finding the people who will support you and your vision is crucial, as with any project. 

When I found the call out for directors for Bluestocking’s All the Rage something felt very different. I’d never put myself in that box, I was an actor who did a bit of writing and directing. But when I was reading through the website, the company and work really resonated with me and I felt drawn to apply…what the hell eh? When I had the Zoom meeting with Victoria I was nervous because I’d never presented myself as just a director before, but I suddenly found it was easy to talk about my style and how I worked and the self doubt faded. I came off that call and bounded into the living room to speak to my other half about it, I was so excited and felt instinctively it was going to be wonderful to be involved. I was right.

It was so eye opening watching the self tapes. I’ve been rejected many many times and I was comforted by the fact that a part can really just not be right for you. That someone can have a little something that sparkles and it just fits with that particular role. It’s hard to put your finger on. I felt relieved almost, I’d been taking rejection far too personally, hoping and desperately wanting to be told I had the part and feeling absolutely devastated when I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong rejection never feels good but I know now it’s about finding that one person that’s right for the part and that’s that. 

Working on Zoom was a challenge but I directed ‘Motherhood’ online and so had already developed little techniques and practices I felt I could use, ways to help the actor tune into character quickly even when on our laptops. We did two days in person rehearsals and I loved every second of it, watching a piece go from script to stage, being able to develop the ideas in person, I felt like I’d tapped into something completely new and without the pressure I felt able to fully blossom in my role. I eased and relaxed into it and wished I’d been directing years earlier. 

There’s no end goal, there’s no finish line, it took me a long time to realise that when you get to that point you’ve been striving for you’ll always wonder, what next? What if we always enjoyed what we were doing and threw ourselves into the work, without wondering what next?

Becoming a Mum was a massive turning point where I felt my priorities shift and it became about taking on work I really wanted to do. Time even more precious when you have a little one. Acting was my baby and I held it on this pedestal which felt constantly unattainable, letting go of that pressure has kept me in this industry as I was getting burnt out. 

All The Rage was a wonderful event of two evenings of 6 short plays, it was a night at the theatre, a chance for us to come back together after Covid. But for me it was so much more, it was hearing female voices in management positions, feeling supported to be flexible around my family and my other work, feeling trusted to make my own decisions with the piece I was gifted to direct. I’ve seen some assistant director jobs online since and before I’d have probably thought I wasn’t experienced enough, or I didn’t have enough things that made me look like a “director.” All The Rage changed that for me, and although I still catch myself saying actor, and then stumbling through the other things I do, I feel I’ve got confidence now to stand in different roles at different times and claim the space as my own. Who knows whether in my next project I’ll be on stage or nervously twiddling my thumbs in the audience, all I know is whatever project it is I’ll be jumping in feet first and loving every single second of it. 

To Freedom – In A Cardboard Box

Bluestocking has taken over my life. It’s already grown well beyond what I imagined 2 years ago when I launched it with a solo show I rehearsed in my one bed flat with no heating. Now it’s a growing community of hardworking creatives ready to put Manchester on the map theatre wise. My once meagre ambitions have been blown into space.

Now we’re coming up to our first real event, two evening’s of brilliant new writing from emerging women writers at 53Two in October. Our community and visibility has increased hugely on social media, we’ve connected with artists all over the UK and have just raised £500 from generous souls donating to our Kickstarter (thank you thank you thank you).

There’s a palpable need for new stories and space to create work that represents women/Humans as we are – complex, intelligent, foolish, wise, scary, hideous, vengeful, blissfully in love. All of the above. The full spectrum of everything Humanity gets to experience. We want to see that, we deserve to know our stories and experience matters so we each feel we belong in this world. Loneliness is one of the most painful things we can experience and storytelling eases that pain.

Last week we got the big NO from our ACE funding bid. This is the second NO to funding we’ve had and though it changes very little for our next production, it raises questions about the sustainability of making new theatre. I remind myself it’s normal (shouldn’t be…) for new companies to produce work on nothing for the first few years. What scares me and can slow me down is when sneaky thoughts arise in my mind asking ‘what’s the point?’ Voices that whisper about how hard, how challenging it is get funding, that the company will never be viable because it’s next to impossible to get funded, that I might as well not bother. Urgh. It takes energy to constantly be aware and transcend the conditionings of our childhood.

Nobody expected anything from me. There was little support, encouragement or belief in my ability to achieve anything beyond a soul crushing 9-5. I’m not alone and we all have to deal with our demons. Lack of funds/money was common for a lot of us growing up and is a real barrier to artistic creation. The majority of us are conditioned to believe we can never become artists because the word evokes ideas of free time, constant streams of ready cash, freedom to dream, take risks and experiment, to indulge yourself and your passions. Who’s got time for that when the rent needs paying and your lekky’s running out? This is the reason we’ve found ourselves with an elite class of actors, writers, directors and producers who come from families with plenty connections, cash and freedom. We just didn’t have that. The idea that we’d grow up to be successful artists was literally laughable. Those people aren’t us and we’re not them. We’re excluded from theatre and artistic spaces all our childhood because we can’t afford it – if it’s not skidding down the dirt track behind our house in a cardboard box then it probably isn’t something we get to do. As kids, we know no one, not a single person who’s achieved anything like worldly success, let alone artistic success. But here we are, doing it anyway. Even when the internal voices whisper ‘you’ll never make it,’ ‘it’s impossible,’ ‘look at them they’re much better than you,’ even then…we crack on. We grab the battered cardboard box with our dreams scribbled all over it and we launch ourselves down the dusty slope towards freedom because… what else we gonna do? So no matter how many No’s you’ve faced and all the No’s to come, get up, dust yourself off and climb back up that hill one step at a time.

And look around you, there’s thousands of us doing the exact same thing.

We Held Over 100 General Auditions – Here’s What We learnt

Recently we held over 100 general meetings with performers and wanted to share some insights to demystify the audition process a little, if we can.

Auditions evoke a huge range of emotions which is handy since, as actors, emotions are our currency. Excitement, hope, terror, glee; you can feel them all at the same time culminating in the pit of your stomach as you wait to enter an audition room. I remember once walking to an audition feeling grounded and calm, but as I got closer to the venue nerves crept in so intensely I genuinely thought I was going to have a panic attack. No amount of deep breathing worked. I’d built the job up so much in my head, if I got it it would change my life, my dreams would come true overnight, I’d be a sensation, a star. Oh my days I didn’t get the gig and what a crash landing back to Earth. You’ve probably been there, I think experience helps. When we don’t get the job, it can be impossible to not blame ourselves and obsess over the tiniest detail. I didn’t shake their hands! I bowed and walked backwards out of the room (it was once! ), my Irish kept going Jamaican, on and on. There are certainly ways we can scupper auditions for ourselves for sure but there’s plenty of things we can do make an impression.

Rather than considering the casting people superior and giving them all our power ponder this instead – they want us to be amazing, to blow them away. They’re on your team and are excited for you. Viewed as collaborators, as equals, removing the hierarchy from the situation and feeling ourselves as artists in our own right, helps us generate a certain confidence and vibe that’s magnetic. And that brings me onto my first point;

Energy is Everything: Yup, yes and yas. Energy is having a moment and I predict we’re going to hear a lot more about it as we realise how important it is. The energy and vibe we bring to everything matters, especially in an audition room. We humans are masters at reading energy whether we’re conscious of it or not. We pick up vibes, even over Zoom. If we go into the audition feeling low, tired, hopeless, dejected, superior, guarded, it registers. Hey, we’re human. We have off days. But practising being warm, open and vulnerable in our day to day means we’re better able to access these energy states in important scenarios. So head up, shoulders back, smile and dazzle babes. Know you deserve to be there, you’re worthy of taking up space and we’re rooting for you, so root for yourself, be your own best friend, coach, support system. You deserve to shine your brilliant, unique light everyday, let us see it.

Slloooooowwww Doooowwwwnnn: The mega frenetic pace of modern life means we have a tendency to rush ourselves and our speech. Take your sweet time, give yourself space.  Ok don’t milk it but do practice slowing down, enjoy the words, enjoy the moment and trust yourself. Be present and don’t try to get anything right, there’s no such thing. Do try to enjoy the process and the fact you’re getting the chance to perform.

It’s Not an Audition: Say what? Think of it like this, this is simply an opportunity to perform, meet new people, make some lovely new connections (not for the sake of ‘getting somewhere’, just for the sake of it). Maybe it helps to imagine you’ve already got the job, or there is no job to be had, just the chance to let go and act. Whatever, just take the pressure off yourself and have fun.

That for me was the key. Is this person able to have fun? Creativity is play, when we take ourselves too seriously we’re blocking the creative flow. It can make us self indulgent and insular. We need to be connecting and vibing with those around us to create true magic on stage. So open yourself to play, have fun. We don’t work in A & E.

I hope this somehow helps you feel a little more at ease the next time you land the audition x

Perfectionism – The Enemy of Creative Joy

No idea when the belief that I needed to be perfect lodged itself into my developing mind. Perfectionism masquerades as a virtue, we wear our ability to obsess and control like a badge of honour when in reality it’s a serious condition. Perfectionism is the enemy of creativity and a happily lived life.

I wouldn’t say I was a hardcore perfectionist but it’s definitely been woven though everything I’ve tried to do since I was a kid, leaving me feeling like I’m never good enough. The schooling system we’re put through has a lot to answer for, it literally pits us against each other, relentlessly grading us year on year from infancy. We come to know ourselves only through the lens of our perceived intelligence which is based on a supremely flawed system.

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid….’

Said Einstein apparently. And he knew some stuff. Depending on the amount of encouragement and praise we received at home can have a major impact on whether we give ourselves space now to make mistakes, be imperfect, support and cheer ourselves on when we stumble and fall.

We expect too much from ourselves, leaving little room for exploration and play. We expect ourselves to be expert masters at things we’ve barely studied or practised. We set unrealistic standards and spend little time truly reflecting on our progress and development. We could do with more self awareness, self compassion, relaxation and permission to let go, play, have fun, enjoy. Imagine that. Perfectionism be gone. It serves no one but the little commander within who believes they warrant no love, admiration or respect unless what they put down is beyond good – it’s hyper perfect. Which as we know is subjective anyway, my perfection is your dogshit. What we deem perfect today will shift and change next year. It’s a moving target that’s never actualised leaving us frustrated, never able to truly rest in contentment and satisfaction at what we’ve created or achieved.

We each have an internal critic, judge and saboteur. One of the many reasons following a  creative path is so challenging is that these aspects of ourselves are given ample space to run rough shod over our efforts. Expecting our work to be perfect will stifle the flow of creativity immediately. Take writing, many a talented closet writer wonders around the world never giving themselves permission to explore the craft because they won’t let themselves get past the first line. The only possible way I’ve been able to get beyond it myself is I literally give myself permission to be shit. That’s it. I don’t expect my offerings to be Pulitzer prize standard anymore. I do my best to notice when I’m judging my writing or anything I do, when I’m comparing myself to others and almost always finding myself inadequate. See it, accept it as illusion, let it go. Repeat.

Practising awareness and self compassion is a powerful way to release debilitatingly high standards and feelings of not enough-ness. If we’re to allow ourselves to be artists and create (as each of us was born to), free of concepts of failure and not good enough, experiencing the joy of play and connection, we gotta let go the judgement and absurd perfectionism.

The World needs more people pouring their heart and soul into what they love, willing to fall and make a fool of themselves, making art that speaks about what it is to be Human, so we can, as one Human family come together and know we’re never alone.

So ta-ta perfectionism, you’ve had your day but it’s time to embrace messy realism and the truth of our Human experience. Rawness, realness, sometimes a bit fucked up and ridiculous. This is Life and Art ought always to reflect that.