Embracing My Inner West End Misfit
Working in theatre is a bit odd at times.
Sometimes your artistic heart's desire doesn't fit who you are as a casting commodity. Other times, on paper and first glace, you're considered ten-a-penny.
So the choice is yours. Do you contort yourself to fit into the present industry's moulds? Diligently (and potentially fruitlessly) carve out your own niche? Strive to become master of the one skill you own with pride? Become a jack of all trades, adding an instrument, puppetry, archery and aerial silks to your repertoire?
And what do you do if your strategy fails? Or the professional climate changes?
Finding your place in this crazy world can be a challenge. But whilst the tides may need to turn before some of us land that West End dream role, there are safe harbours to be found (and some of these harbours pay - who knew!). Over the past 5 years, I've found various tribes to embrace me in my theatrical waif-hood. From colleagues on acting jobs I've done, to co-workers at my resting jobs, to Facebook groups, The West End Gospel Choir and, most recently, the cast of "West End Misfits" (aptly named).
All of these stage-families have been filled with beautiful, talented and inspirational people. For some of them their time, like mine, hadn't yet come. But we were (and are) still able to play, create and make theatre together and have fun doing it - even if we're not Cameron Mackintosh's payroll!
If you're finding it tough, you're not alone. From fringe theatre, to new writing, to one off concerts and cabarets, there is room for the Showbiz Misfits. You just need to know where to look (or grab a spotlight and make some space).
"West End Misfits: Valentine's Day Edition" is on Friday 14th February at The Other Palace Theatre, London. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.