Here she is, writing a blog post about pantomime and my love of performing at long last (oh, yes she is!)
For those who are new here, or don’t know, let me give you a bit of background on this topic before we dive straight into this blog post…
My background before I went down the social media/marketing/content creation career path, I actually had strong dreams of performing on the West End stage and gave it a good go after completing a BTEC in Musical Theatre at Northampton College from 2010-2012, shortly followed by completing a degree in the subject at University of Chichester.
Now, performing is still a huge love of mine. I love to sing when no one is watching, I have a full playlist of Disney and Musicals on my Spotify and since 2017, I have been heavily involved in a local pantomime production company based in the small village of Syresham, near Brackley/Silverstone called Take Your Seat Syresham.
I have performed and even choreographed some of the dance numbers with the kids and adults for three different productions; Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs playing Snow White in 2018, Wendy in Peter Pan in 2019 and most recently, The Prince in Cinderella – I actually wanted to audition for a different role as opposed to the lead female role as I fancied a change!
It has been the best experience and I feel playing a different type of role really challenged me!
That’s why I’m surprised I haven’t shared a bit more about my love for musical theatre, pantomime and all things performing on here – and I want to share it more!
It’s a passion that once was a dream job, even though now I work in a completely different field, I have a lot of love for it…
Here are some reasons why I love performing in local pantomime and you should consider it too (I’ve also added some random ‘throwback’ performing photos of me in shows from panto and University!)
Making new friends
I first arrived with my friend, Ruth and we only knew each other. We felt a bit like fish out of water, as everyone around us knew each other and we were the nobody’s no one knew!
But it is amazing after rehearsing together twice a week and going through performance itself how close you can get with each other. Now, I consider my pantomime family like a second family and as much as it can take up a lot of time, I really enjoy the weekly socialising I get thanks to pantomime.
It’s lovely too, as a lot of the members are young children, of which I’ve grown close to thanks to performing with them and choreographing them and in return, I get to know their families. It’s all such a weird, but lovely bond I can’t describe.
You truly feel part of a community, especially when it’s based in a small village.
If you’re ever considering joining a new group, but feel a bit nervous about going on your own, bring a friend, if not, I’m 100% sure you won’t regret it!
Taking time away from screens
For my pantomime group, we rehearse every Monday and Thursday night between September and February and I consider this a great way of getting away from phone, laptop and TV screens.
I spent 90% of my time working against a screen due to the nature of my job and my side hustle, so reading from scripts and writing in notepads is seriously refreshing!
It’s my little escapism for when I need to take time away from social media and I’m doing something that is completely different.
During the actual week of pantomime, I find myself feeling so tired that I don’t have much time to be on social media or on screens, hence why this blog post has been pre-written before the week (imagine it!)
So overall, it is a nice breakaway!
Using different skills
Usually, in my day job and side hustle, I’m often using skills in social media, SEO, graphic design and marketing – but in pantomime, I have to use a variety of skills:
You certainly have to have a bit of confidence to act like a fool, to put yourself out there and to feel confident performing on stage.
You also have to have a good memory – script learning doesn’t come overnight and especially if you have a big part, you need to take time in learning your lines, dance routines, songs, stage directions and more. You basically have to remember everything back to front and inside out!
You also have to be a team player – if you’re joining an Am Dram group, you need to be part of a team and work together – after all, you are putting on a show!
Plus on top of that, I am using all old skills I learnt at University such as choreography, as I help out with choreographing the kids routines and sometimes even adult ones!
This year especially, I had to put together a whole ABBA medley which was all singing, all dancing!
So there are a lot of things to consider and even if you don’t have all of these skills yet, Am-Dram and pantomime is the perfect way to step out of your comfort zone and be around people that can help you. After all, it’s all about having fun!
Getting the performance buzz!
There is nothing quite like the feeling of performing on stage and getting that buzz and adrenaline!
The only way I can describe the feeling you get on stage and the feeling throughout show week is that you completely forget about yourself; you throw yourself into a role that is not you, that you become so invested in that role that it feels like a part of you.
Show week is mentally and physically draining, but somehow, despite all that, the rush of adrenaline kicks in so much, you’re able to fool everyone; including yourself!
But that feeling of applause when you’ve sung a song… now that, is one of my favourites! Fun fact: I used to hate public speaking (which I’m doing more often and getting more confident with) but get me on a stage where I can pretend to be someone else and sing my heart out; no problem.
Overall, performing will always be a part of me and I’m so thankful I have a place to express that passion.
So I could be biased here and say “Come and join us!” but I am all about showcasing Northamptonshire, so if you were thinking of joining a local Am-Dram or pantomime group, here are a few in the area:
- Paulerspury Players
- Northampton Musical Theatre Society
- Bozeat Players
- Brackley Players
- Corby Amateur Theatrical Society
- Daventry Players
- Duston Players
- Irchester Players
- KOS Musical Theatre Company
- Masque Theatre
- Wellingborough Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society