Veteran ac­tress fu­ture fo­cused

Western Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

Nancy Schroder of Ti­ti­rangi has a new chil­dren’s show.

So, who are you?

My name is Nancy Schroder. I am the artis­tic di­rec­tor of a stage com­pany called KISS, which is Kids in Show Seats. I am also the di­rec­tor of the Auck­land

Academy of Dance. I am an ac­tor and now I’m di­rect­ing.

What have been the high­lights of your ca­reer?

I went to bal­let and stage school in Lon­don. I came out here to New Zealand and the Mer­cury The­atre un­der the artis­tic di­rec­tion of Ray­mond Hawthorne, who gave me my first pro­fes­sional act­ing role. That was amaz­ing. It was the Cru­cible. I re­mem­ber my first steps go­ing on to stage and be­ing a se­ri­ous ac­tress and that was mas­sive.

What sort of feel­ing do you get when you go on stage now?

Be­fore I go on stage it re­ally is quite over­whelm­ing. I just have to be re­ally quiet, re­ally calm, do things re­ally slowly, set up re­ally slowly.

I can’t be an­i­mated or chat to any­one be­cause it will just heighten my fear that I al­ready have. But the minute I step out on to that stage, you go. And all that

‘‘I used to al­ways say if you're not ner­vous, you should be ner­vous.’’

en­ergy that you have been hold­ing on to just comes out. And that’s what drives you. That’s what makes a per­for­mance. Nerves are great. I used to al­ways say if you’re not ner­vous, you should be ner­vous. Be­cause nerves are what will get you through it. It’s your re­spect for the au­di­ence. It’s hard, but once it’s over it’s such a high. You get such a high.

And what do you tell your stu­dents?

Ex­actly what I’ve told you . Be ner­vous if you’re not ner­vous. It’s a good thing to be ner­vous, it gives you pe­riph­eral vi­sion. It makes you aware of things you wouldn’t nor­mally be aware of. That fight or flight, so if things go wrong you re­act.

Do you worry about the act­ing in­dus­try in New Zealand?

I think the film in­dus­try is re­ally grow­ing. We are a good in­cu­ba­tor of tal­ent. But I think in mu­si­cal the­atre and the­atre you have to go away. You have to go to Aus­tralia, you have to go to Amer­ica, you have to go to Eng­land. You have to try and make it there. Come back, yeah, but I think we just don’t have enough the­atres, enough shows or enough money. You have to go where the work is. What is your new show,


Tom’s Mar­vel­lous Imag­i­na­tion is about a lit­tle boy whose par­ents only al­low him to read aca­demic books. The word imag­i­na­tion is banned from the house. Then his grand­mother comes to stay and she kind of messes things up. She brings a story book. There are a few bat­tles and then the sto­ries start tak­ing over his bed­room and it goes a bit crazy from there.

Would you en­cour­age read­ers to go into the­atre?

It doesn’t mat­ter what you want to be in life or what you end up do­ing. Dance and per­form­ing arts are re­ally im­por­tant to do – as im­por­tant as sport. The con­fi­dence it gives you, the so­cial agility it gives you, which you can take into any ca­reer, any­thing at all. It teaches you how to take di­rec­tion from peo­ple, it teaches you how to take crit­i­cism from peo­ple and how to ap­ply that crit­i­cism. And I think that’s a re­ally im­por­tant thing for us to learn. It teaches you how to be dis­ci­plined. All those things you can get from per­form­ing arts you can take into any­thing.

So you love it?

Yeah, I do love it.


Ac­tress and di­rec­tor Nancy Schroder Nancy Schroder’s show Tom’s Mar­vel­lous Imag­i­na­tion is at The Auck­land Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre.

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