After switching my degree from a pure Computing Science degree, to allow me more freedom with selecting electives, I did a year of Theatre Arts. That year, something shook loose inside. I discovered a different side to myself, a side I rather liked. It was playful, confident, unashamed, and funny. The inner clown was released.
After uni however, it was “face reality” scenario. A strict dogma of accepting the fact that you need to get a job, and earn money. Voices not my own telling about what the real world was about. So here I was, with a BSc in Computing Science, struggling to find a job. All the big talk about how a degree helps you get a job was a flat-out lie. All the jobs I wanted to do said I was over qualified. Depressing.
I eventually found work through a retail trainee-ship scheme through the Perth TAFE. A retail trainee-ship where I was expected to attend a Retail Skills workshop, and work part-time with a retail employer. They, the employer, would get $1000 as a part of the program, and it would last a year. While a little demoralising, I actually enjoyed the work somewhat. I soon learned that with the exception of the managers and one senior staff member, we were all retail trainee-ship employees. I smelt a rat, and sure enough, at the end of the year, I was again looking for a job.
I eventually found employment with a PC Building company as a sales rep.I used my computing knowledge to redesign their sales and quotation process, shaving a process which could take up to two hours down to seconds. We were able to incorporate the quotation process into the sales discussions with clients making it almost seamless. Then the company went into liquidation, apparently deliberately.
This time, I made a big decision. I was going to the UK. During this time (about 2 years), I became more and more involved with the Community Theatre scene. Bouncing around between various groups, doing up to five shows a year. It was wonderful, and my passion seemed to know no bounds. I Auditioned for WAAPA. Three times for Dramatic Arts, and twice for Musical, but was knocked back each time.
I eventually had the gumption to ask why, and was told, and I quote, “I was too trained.” In WAAPA, as with most (not all) dramatic arts schools, they want students that have somewhere to go with their training. They don’t want the untalented, nor the overly experienced. They wanted untrained talent with lots of potential. Apparently, I was not one of these.
I considered NIDA, but a bigger idea formed in my mind; RADA in the UK. I had family in the UK. I didn’t have a family (that I was overly familiar with) in Victoria (Australia) which made NIDA less appealing.
So with the end of my second job out of uni, I packed my bags and heading to London. Ambitious, hopeful, and a little starry-eyed. And perhaps a whole lot naive. For a while it was great. I took sometime to visit family spread out across Cornwall, and they were all so accommodating. I did a little travelling , and started a little job hunting. I submitted an application to RADA, and visited some local theatre groups in and around Penzance. I was actually happy, and enjoying life. Then things took a decidedly odd turn.