I can’t tell you how good it feels to be sat writing this blog post after such a long break where SO much has happened in my life. I don’t usually get too personal on here because I started this blog for the sole purpose of writing Beauty and Lifestyle related posts, but that was a few years ago now and since then I’ve definitely broadened my horizons with content on here.
So the reason why I’ve been such a busy woman the past few months and completely neglected this website is down to a couple of reasons; firstly, I got a new job! Yay! And secondly, I got cast as a lead role in a musical!!
I’d really like to talk a little bit more about “9 to 5 The Musical” because in just a few short months it became such a huge part of my life being at rehearsals almost every night and completely immersing myself in the whole experience. One of my dearest friends Amy has said to me a few times now that “I must write this post for myself so that I can reflect on how wonderful the entire process felt while its still so fresh”. So here I am doing just that Amy!!
So, my character was Judy Bernly, a new employee to the office in 9 to 5 and extremely sheltered after having divorced her husband and going it alone in the world. She was a joy to portray because she goes on such a journey! The show centres around female oppression within the work place. Three women form an unlikely friendship and kidnap their sexist boss to start running the place the way they want to. Of course it was filled with Dolly Parton music that had been adapted for musical theatre and so many people said that they couldn’t believe they were Dolly songs because they fit the show so well. Generally, audiences thought the show was hilarious and for me personally, it was very challenging in some aspects.
I can safely sit here now and say that I loved the entire process of this show (except maybe the auditions because I never EVER audition well). So much so, that I miss it dearly and am very sad it has come to an end. As we didn’t have long to put this together, rehearsals were intense but it meant that wonderful friendships were formed and hopefully friends for life were made. The support and genuine kindness of the whole cast and creative team was so wonderful and it really did feel like a team effort which I am all about! I kept feeling the need to pinch myself because I just couldn’t believe that I was getting the opportunity to work with such talented people who I am now proud to call my friends.
Musical Theatre has always been a pipe dream for me and if you’d have asked 15 year old me what she wanted to do with her life, she would have turned to you and said she wanted to be in the West End. Since then, I have faced reality a little more and pursued other things that I am also passionate about. So I can’t tell you how much of a dream come true it felt to be on that stage singing my absolute heart out.
My big number of the show was “Get out and Stay Out” and vocally, it was incredibly challenging for me. In the run up to the show, our Director Sam organised for myself and Charlotte (who played Doralee- the Dolly Parton character) to sing our songs on BBC Radio Devon! I still cannot believe I did it after battling with my terrible nerves for so many years. I wouldn’t say I did it well but I am so surprised I even managed to set foot in the studios, so that was a real achievement for me and I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support that day.
(Charlotte- left, me-right and our lovely Musical Director Laura in the middle)
Fast forward to show-week and it felt like more of a dream than ever! Not only was I working full-time in a brand new office job that I’d never done before (oh the irony!), I was shooting off to rehearsals every evening until 10 and sometimes later! I barely had time to wash my hair, but I look back at it now and realise how exciting it all was.
(My Dr Nelson steamer has never come in so handy than during show week! I even took in a kettle for our dressing room so that Charlotte and I can steam between Acts- it was a serious life saver)
I was definitely nervous for the show but honestly not as much as I thought I’d be. I think singing on the Radio helped with this and also just the sheer determination to do a good job motivated me. I would have hated to sit here now and feel disappointed with my performance and like I had let everyone down. I can honestly say that I am so incredibly proud of myself and I can’t believe I did it. Aside from making my whole family and most of my friends cry, I still feel so amazed that I managed to do it and do it how I wanted to. I really couldn’t have pulled it off if I didn’t have such a wonderful creative team constantly pushing me, or such an incredible support network around me. I’ve always wanted to be good at this and though I am far from perfect, playing the role of Judy Bernly felt like my dreams had come true.
I don’t think I can even put into words the energy or the feeling you get when you come off of the stage having done yourself so proud and I think that everyone involved in the show should feel so proud of it and all their hard work! I know it’s a feeling I will never forget and not many things can top it for me.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who came to see the show, I hope you loved it! Special thanks to my besties who surprised me on the final day with balloons and pressies, they made me feel so special- as if I didn’t feel lucky enough already!
Thank you so much for reading this rather personal post! I promise the norm will resume as I’ve got plenty of posts that I want to do in the next few months and lots of things lined up.
See you really soon!
Lots of love,
P.S. I am absolutely loving my new job! I am now working full time at the University of Plymouth and it honestly just feels like home to me now. It feels lovely to help people pursue their academic careers as I know I definitely needed it all those years ago.
Show photos taken by Laurie Beth who was also in the show!