How did you start in theatre/arts?
I trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York after winning a scholarship from the New York Times and actors Cathy Tyson and the late Victoria Wood. I then returned to London and started working in fringe theatre and television.
You shifted into coaching/therapy later. What instigated that move?
At one point I hadn’t worked for six years, even though I was auditioning regularly. I was worried about my future prospects and feeling discontented, so I started to look at why I wasn’t making the sort of traction and progress I would have liked. I worked with a mindset coach and she made me aware of how my beliefs, points of view and expectations were working against me. We changed those and my career did a complete 180. I loved the work and decided I wanted to help other artists fulfil their potentials too.
What is the best piece of advice you have for students and graduates today?
Don’t let other people’s fears, failures, beliefs and expectations define your career and outlook.
What would you change about the industry?
It’d be great if the decision makers were willing to take more risks and cast their nets further.
Which practitioners do you admire most?
My non-negotiable is Uta Hagen. Her essential questions help create fully rounded and truthful characters. I also love the theatre director Sally Cookson for her unique and fascinating style.
What is the one skill every successful theatre professional should have?
Empathy is extremely important at all levels to create a unified and cohesive performance.
Any tips readers could put into practice to increase their mental/physical well-being?
A great question to ask yourself throughout the day is: ‘What feels good to do next?’– and follow the flow of that. Whether the answer is ‘Sleep more’, ‘Eat cake’, or ‘Go for a walk’, if you follow through you’ll increasingly feel better as you honour what your mind and body need. I would also limit social media time. Much better to use the time for a great podcast, to learn that new skill or to catch up with any projects you’ve been meaning to get done.