See­ing my daugh­ter on stage brings back mem­o­ries of youth

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

There’s no busi­ness like show­busi­ness, like no busi­ness I know. Of course I’m pla­gia­ris­ing from the clas­sic song writ­ten by the leg­end Irv­ing Ber­lin, but there has never been a lyric writ­ten more apt or that sum­marises just how it feels to stand on a stage in front of peo­ple and have them in the palm of your hand. Oh, the smell of the grease­paint! And, just as a lit­tle aside, it’s the only pro­fes­sion that I’m aware of where you wish the par­tic­i­pants harm while wish­ing them luck. It’s quite bizarre – “break a leg”. I didn’t have the best of school­days, as reg­u­lar read­ers of this col­umn are well aware. I wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed and was very small, which led to var­i­ous prob­lems – in­clud­ing a bit of bul­ly­ing, but mainly be­ing over­looked, lit­er­ally. But I did find so­lace when I hap­pened upon the sub­ject drama at sec­ondary school and a lovely teacher called Miss Pur­nell. I will never for­get her, for many rea­sons. First, I had my first ever crush on some­body who was real, in­stead of Sally James from Tiswas or a Far­rah Fawcett poster hang­ing on my wall. Se­condly, she be­lieved in me and saw some­thing in my per­son­al­ity that no­body had to date. She quite lit­er­ally gave me a stage to show off a tal­ent that I knew I had, but never had a chance to ex­press, namely, show­ing off. I would show off in­doors to a point, or to my close friends, but in crowd sit­u­a­tions I would al­ways take a back seat and try to be­come anony­mous. What Miss Pur­nell did was give me a con­fi­dence that had never been there be­fore and I thrived on it. It be­came an ob­ses­sion of mine and has ba­si­cally brought me to where I am now, on the ra­dio, show­ing off. My great­est moment was get­ting the ti­tle role in a school show. But I have to say the biggest kick ever was hav­ing the “com­edy part” in a mu­si­cal pro­duc­tion writ­ten by our head of mu­sic Mr Lewis called Moses Rules OK!, in which I was “Is­raelite 3”. There is not a bet­ter feel­ing than hear­ing the au­di­ence laugh (as long as it’s with and not at you), and I don’t think it has ever left me. So when I went to watch my daugh­ter ap­pear for Show­biz Academy at the Stag The­atre in Sevenoaks, per­form­ing Thank You For The Mu­si­cals, I cried like a lit­tle baby. So many emo­tions coarse through your veins in a moment like that. The over-rid­ing feel­ing is of just how proud you are, watch­ing your lit­tle girl hav­ing fun and en­joy­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence, and long may it con­tinue. But it also trans­ports you back in time and I could al­most see my­self stand­ing there, milk­ing the ap­plause and never want­ing to leave the stage. I take my hat off to you Rachel Dick­son, who ba­si­cally put the whole pro­duc­tion to­gether, with of course a lit­tle help from her friends. And also to your mum Kathy, who puts in an enor­mous amount of work be­hind the scenes and is ob­vi­ously so proud of her lit­tle girl and the ex­tended fam­ily called the Show­biz Academy. And just one last lit­tle aside, wouldn’t it be great if we could all be able to watch such shows at our very own the­atre in Ash­ford?

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