I’m on the Diploma…

I found myself stood in the same carpark, where I’d rehearsed Emmerdale scripts with Israel (@djiz) a couple weeks previous, as Ezra in casting watched over us and directed.

Ezra: ‘That was gooooood, you too!’

Me: ‘You cool?’

Iz: ‘I’m cool.’

*Nod….Nod….Nod….Nod.*

It was 9.30am. Leeds. Fresh as a daisy. Confident. Excited. Early. I still hadn’t brushed through my hair, but that’s the good thing. It didn’t matter. 

I was ready to get going, after a stressful & hazy time. No-one knows what I’ve been through because they haven’t felt it. 

I kinda didn’t want to cut away from my stress, because I was worried. I was worried for the people I cared about very much. But I did it and I did it to try and make something of myself. For my own happiness & my little family. 

It was the first day of my Screen Acting Diploma & I finally got there. Maybe not in the most organised fashion. But I got there.

It felt really good, to have made a decision, (you’re only decision away from a completely different life.) It felt good to have found a way, to have asked for advice, to have made a commitment, to have refrained from getting distracted and to have boxed ALL negative litter UP!! 

The litter got placed in a temporary holding cupboard, to be dealt with AFTER ‘success’ had to decided to glisten upon me. It WILL finally be sprinkled away. However, right now…it’s out of my hands and in that time I’ve chosen to be positive.

This is the part of my life where I didn’t let someone try and take everything from me, because they themselves were broken & had too much time on their hands. This is the part, where I didn’t listen to doubt, didn’t give up and fought for my own piece of ‘Happy.’ 

This is the part where I WON. I won as soon as I galloped into that carpark, at 9.30am, on Saturday morning and made a start.

It was sunny but cold. It felt great. 

I was there….

So…Ofcourse, I had stuff on my mind. You’d never know it. I’m chatty. I’m alive. But that’s how I work. It’s sometimes strange because often (AWAY from that carpark) everyone always thinks they know quite a lot about me. When the reality is, (like with anyone) unless you live their life with them, you actually know nothing at all. 

I love that carpark on Kirkstall road, because you’re a blue coded door away from the best world ever. Away from the ‘Yadda…Yadda.’ 

At YAFTA, none of the ‘yadda…yadda’ matters. Everyone gets it. Everyone gets on with it. Everyone’s filled with support. Everyone’s there to work hard, learn, do well and hopefully make something of themselves. Everyone’s there to share a passion and to develop their skills! We’re all in the same boat, taking the same journey. It’s competitive. But we support. 

I’m happy there. 

Once anyone steps into the car park, they’ve committed to developing themselves, their career, their talent. 

The thing about commitment….

If you commit to something, then you certainly want to do well & you SHOULD take that journey, with your head held high, your heart in the right place and with NO excuses. You have to prioritise. Sacrifice. But in the end it’s worth it…because you got to the finish line. You didn’t give up and I reckon most people don’t make things happen because they give up. 

So yeah, although anything can occur along the way. I’m just focused on getting to the finish line. Yet getting there with a full tank of experience, knowledge, skill and after an absolute outpour of hard work. I’ll learn everything I need to. That good old dedication/determination thing. It gets you far. Fast!

You can kinda have excuses for anything. But everyone has ‘stuff going on.’ That doesn’t make anyone SPECIAL. OR anyone LESS mighty. Everyone’s on the same playing field. Not just in drama school. But in life. 

What you do and how you perform, no matter what….shows people what you’re actually made of.

Right?

Preach over. 

Slide me a pina colada.

Back to the carpark…

Already waiting was a really tall Geordie, who dances, who I later knew as ‘Ben.’ I ended up scene partnering with him, hours later. We were ‘juiced,’ it was fun! 

Instead of my @djiz ‘after scene’ nods of approval, we air ‘fist pumped,’ and had victory grunts….kinda like lads, who kick things & shout ‘YEAH!’ It must be the Geordie way. Haha.) 

He does Ballet. He’s ACE! He wants to do well and will. I’m so short in comparison though. He’s giant tall. I’m 5ft 3. It was like Dave (our tutor) was filming something for CBeebies. Lol. Either i need a fruit box to stand on or he needs to squat. 

The good thing was that it didn’t matter. No matter how tall or short, you can still tell/show someone how you feel. 

Beside him was Thomas (@Mr.Mondas) in cotton trousers. He was kinda posh and lives in a place, in the middle of nowhere. where jockeys are trained? Haha. (Did I get that right? I’m sure someone also said ‘the sea?’) 

Joel: ‘Are those trousers cotton?’

Thomas had been there for a year. So had Joel. 

Me: ‘In a year…we’re still going to be stood here.’

Joel: ‘Yes! Lol. In this exact spot.’ 

Thomas: ‘I graduate in March…I saw you at that workshop.’

Joel: ‘Yeah. I saw you at the workshop too.’

What can I say? I’m obviously THAT memorable. 😉 I actually remember them BOTH from the workshop. They were BOTH great talents. Great actors. In fact, all the YAFTA boys, SHONE on that day. I remember noticing that. It was the Coronation Street Casting workshop. We all wanted to do well. 

Joel: ‘Well done for being accepted in.’

Me: ‘Thank you.’

Thomas: ‘You’re gonna get given tasks!’ 

Me: ‘TASKS!!!! I didn’t sign up for tasks!!! Haha. Oh no!! I’m scared!!!’

Turns out the tasks were great. 

It’s almost like we all began by sitting in a semi-circle quiet as mice. 

Me: ‘This is like a creepy hospital waiting room. Everyone’s so quiet!’ 

By the end of it…we had learnt a mountain of skills, knew each other like besties, acted in, acted out, worked with each other, laughed, critiqued and watched ourselves numerous times on screen, with scripts, without scripts and with Dave as our guide to great acting. 

All our tutors have come from the top British drama schools, or they’re either current industry professionals, agents, casting associates, psychologists or in production. It’s amazing! The entire course is structured to lead you to success. If you do it all, work hard and do it well. You’ll certainly have a better chance at nailing it. 

I mean, who’s lucky enough to be Northern and get all that…in Leeds! Leeds is thriving right now. It’s a great place to be, if you’re in entertainment. 

There’s a great mix of people on my course. Some from down South. People who have driven for 4 hours to get there or stayed in hotels. People who are now living with the ‘Yorkshire’ part of their family. Lol. It’s insane! There have even been people who have flown in before. 

We did have to audition to be there. But that’s better, because everyone earned their place, their seat, their time. They were the actors that YAFTA believed COULD do it. (And they have many a success story. I hope I’m one of them, one day.) 

It’s not easy though. Haha. 

We did it for a whole 8 hours, with a break for lunch! 

Now, I’ve come from the evening classes, (they’re wonderful.) I learnt so much from Dave and the classes actually evoked my passion to take acting seriously as a career. However, the evening classes are only an hour and let me tell you…they’re absolutely worth it, but that hour DOES zoom by. 

So, I get it. This is intense. It’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be great. Our tutors are phenomenal and filled with expertise. However they’re not there to clap at everything we do (Haha) and pat us on the back. 

Dave: ‘Honestly, if you say you liked his performance because he’s hot, you’re out. You’re leaving! Lol’

Me: ‘Well, that was short lived. Haha.’ 

(FYI/ I AM joking. I work really hard. I’m like the hardest working one. 😉 ) 

But yes, our tutors are there to develop our talents, create wonderful actors and make sure the school and all the students involved….succeed. (Which is kinda handy.)

8 hours is loooooong and hard. It’s intense. Yet it’s only one long day. We can still manage our lives and there’s a lot of work we have to do, whilst we’re away from class. 

We were put through our paces…and I loved it. It was difficult, yet fulfilling. It was unbelievable. A great start.

Monica: ‘Do you reckon it gets easier?’ 

Me: ‘I don’t think so? Haha.’ 

I’m excited to be back on Saturday.

Let’s gooooo! 

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