My first job was performing in a musical called The Good Enough Mums Club. I got the part when I was still at drama school. All of the cast – as well as the director, producer and most of the creative team – were mothers.
When I was still training as an actor, I became pregnant with my daughter Rae. Rose Bruford was very supportive and helped me to complete my training. In the last year of my course, I had connected via Twitter with an amazing producer and writer called Emily Beecher, and when they had to recast a part in the musical, she thought I would be perfect for it and asked me to audition.
I was super-nervous as I sat waiting my turn in a room full of much more experienced actors. After all, I was still technically a student and not a ‘real’ actor and we hadn’t even had our showcase yet. I had to give myself a pep talk, but when the time came for me to go into the casting room and sing my song, Out Here on My Own from Fame, the panel really boosted me. They complimented me on my big range and laughed along with my monologue performance. It was a real demonstration of how the people casting are on your side and really do want you to be good, as they want to get the best person possible for their production.
I now realise I shouldn’t have been comparing myself to the other auditionees. It was my complete difference from them that got me the job. I was a young mum, a little bit rough around the edges… and that is exactly what they wanted. That’s why, no matter who you are as an actor, my advice is to put yourself out there. Had I not been active on social media, Emily never would have known about me. People do not hear you unless you speak, and they cannot see you unless you make yourself present. Once you get that chance to be in the room, be as prepared as you can be. Anything can happen in that room – and if you’re ready for that, you won’t be thrown off.
Training: Rose Bruford College
Theatre includes: Front Room Theatre (Birmingham Rep), Tinned Goods (national tour), Dig and Delve (Half Moon Theatre), Harvest (Greenwich Theatre)
TV includes: Doctors (BBC)
Other credits: Member of Jumprov; Midlands producer for Monologue Slam at Birmingham Rep
Agent: WGM Talent Agency
Jade Samuels is performing as part of Jumprov at the Hoopla Festival on April 27 and at Monologue Slam, Birmingham Rep, on May 10. She was talking to John Byrne