A helping hand along the way, at 15 years old I decided that I wanted to work in the theatre. 

Driven, artistic and with a passion which proceeded throughout my life from a young age is the desire to be creative and enjoy myself. Financial gain was not my main focus or motivation to pursue my dreams.

Am I still dreaming? Yes! Am I still learning? Yes! Did the financial reward through hard work, optimism, professional support, sharing learning and understanding come, yes!

How? Blind faith, self belief and willingness to learn.

So What Happened....

At 15 years old I had no idea how to pursue a career in Theatre, all I knew was the experience of going to the theatre was magical and I wanted to be a part of it. At 14 I went to work in a hairdressers, a Saturday job which I enjoyed, people openly gave advice and support in the running of their systems, meeting and greeting clients and free training on certain days of the week which I enjoyed and attended. It opened my eyes to life beyond being at school.

My desire grew for the Theatre, Andrew a fellow hairdresser asked me what my goals were, I told him. He was a a carefree type without rigid ideas and simply said that if I were you I'd go to London, go to Grease paint and study there. I took his word seriously and researched what that would mean to me. Born in Yorkshire and at the age of 15 this seemed quite a jump. When I looked at the cost of the course at Grease paint I couldn't see how my £1 an hour wage was going to get me there, I think at the time it was about £7,000 for a three month intense course plus the cost of living which seemed an astronomical amount. An amount I didn't feel I could ask my parents for.

I wasn't stopped in my track and decided the best way forward was to ask people at the Grand Theatre in Leeds how they made it?

After arranging an appointment with a wig mistress who had agreed to speak to me, I went along delighted to be given the opportunity. I arrived and was kindly taken through the theatre to the wig room, being back stage was an adventure in itself!

When I was shown into the wig room I was immediately taken back, a scruffy little place that posed to me as an Aladins cave!

The Lady inside casually knotting a wig, surrounded by shelves of things I'd never seen before aroused instant excitement!

The question...

How do I get to where you are now, what do I need to do to be able to come and work with hair, make up and wigs in the Theatre?

The simple answer was this...

Forget the Theatre for now, go and be a hairdresser and come back to this later, the work will then come easier later on.

I still have the image in my mind of how the wig room was at that time. It is different now, newer but still full of energy and creativity everything still just as magical.

What did I do?

I took her word as gold, not questioning it once! If that's the way then I would do it.

I left school and went into hairdressing full time, I loved training days and found instant gratification after every blow-dry or hair cut.

Job satisfaction every 30minutes! I was hooked! 3 Years of training and I was qualified at junior level.

I was also pregnant! The second part wasn't planned! Life had thrown a new dimension at me and I had to work out where I was headed. I needed shop floor clients and and repetition so that everything I'd learnt so far was solid. I worked hard, had 3 months off work which was the statutory maternity leave at the time and went straight back in working 4 days a week.

There were quite a few of us who qualified at the same time, to develop a client base I needed to move, I looked at franchises with the best training facilities and moved to Saks. Saks has a training academy and took working, competing and developing new ideas seriously with an artistic team that travelled the world. 

I enjoyed many years working at Saks, competing and developing new Ideas, making life long friendships, we all grew together and supported each other. My son now 5 years old. 

I loved the fashion shows, I loved the photo shoots and competitions I'd forgotten about the Theatre. 

One day a Make up artists failing to turn up to a photo shoot I'd organised with a photographer was a last straw, I wasn't happy and thought I should train and do this myself! We worked with MAC a lot a Harvey Nichols concession during show time and I could see there was a real interest in training staff there. I pursued a part time job but to no avail make up wasn't my background.

Where to look next...

I was advised that ladies from Yorkshire television were teaching locally in York, a two year commitment with an interviewing process, Wigs, hair, prosthetics, make up, what wasn't to be excited about! I had the time I worked part time in the hairdressers and volunteered at the theatre to gain experience, I was getting a place on the course! 

What Happened?

I found my place and fell in love with learning all over gain and remembered what I'd set about to do. I felt the magic!

There was no turning back! I volunteered at the Theatre, I volunteered at the film school I made new friends and found myself thinking of my next steps....

Now older and with more confidence from the years of experience I had working with people, I had better chances of developing my career but I also had new obstacles. After two years of training in Make up for Film, TV and Theatre and a good grounding knowledge of hairdressing what would I do next? I had a child, I was a single parent, I had a mortgage and a car to pay for, did I just give up my job and hope for the best???

I was given an opportunity.. A three month job on a children's programme, I had been put forward for, recommended.

Why? looking back my effort, my ability, my age, my experience made me the right candidate. Was it luck? Maybe, but then I'm a believer of making your own luck, nothing is given on a plate, if you work hard and are conscientious people notice!

I left my job and in blind faith I believed I could make it work.

I'm still here to tell the tale! 

Enjoying myself living my dream and being creative.

My son is now 20 years old and living his own dreams, I share this in the hopes you might realise yours!

My advice, be happy, work hard, know your self worth and always be kind to others, follow your dreams!

I'm currently working in Budapest on a great new series called the Alienists 



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