Creation really does feel like a second home to me. I attended my first workshop at the age of eight. It was ‘Shakespeare in a week’, and my first ever taste of the Bard. We put on a production of Romeo and Juliet where I, after requesting the part, played Friar Lawrence for the sole reason that my younger brother was called Lawrence. Luckily for me, I have since developed a more thoughtful way of choosing characters to play. That workshop was so incredible, I realised that I never wanted to stop going to Creation, and so I haven’t.
I have been in the Monday 8-10 and 14-16 groups, the Saturday 11-13 group, and am now one of the members of the first ever Creation Youth Company. I am coming towards the end of my ninth year with Creation, and have been taught so much by these workshops. From chorus work, to animal studies, to stage combat, to accents, you are always discovering new techniques every term. Every Drama Club leader I’ve been taught by has been absolutely incredible, and always bring a new and exciting way of acting to each term. At Drama Club, you put on a whole range of stories; I’ve performed in Shakespeare plays, classical works of literature, Arthur Miller pieces, and some more contemporary shows.
Having been able to vote on which play we want to put on is also a great touch to Drama Club, as it gives the Drama Clubbers more control over the piece. Drama Club has also introduced me to the people I would now call some of my closest friends. However, throughout this time I haven’t just attended workshops; I have also performed in the Christmas Youth Chorus, volunteered front of house, and taught as a Drama Club assistant for three years.
The Christmas show I was in was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which was also the first time I had ever been in a professional production. The experience was so incredibly valuable and amazing. We had two months of intensive rehearsals before performing a month’s run. My most memorable moment was being the first person onstage as a young child caught in the London blitz, and I can still remember the butterflies I felt while waiting in the wings to be the person to set the whole run off. When I look back on my time in the Youth Chorus I think of the chair and prop room at the back of The North Wall that became the home of the Youth Chorus for that month, and all the passive aggressive post-it notes the different groups left each other regarding shared costume! To me, it seems wrong to go to The North Wall anytime out of December because I associate it so strongly with Christmas, and when I go back to volunteer as front of house I can’t help myself feeling a little sentimental.
Front of house is also one of the strangest, and most rewarding experiences I have had. Every time you go to volunteer you don’t know what to expect. A personal favourite of mine is the time I was a fairy-like extra for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and had to skip and leap down the pavement in the centre of town in broad daylight once the audience were able to catch a glimpse of me. This was when I had the rather embarrassing moment of mistaking some members of the general public for audience, and started skipping away merrily in front of them to realise I had just made a complete fool of myself for no reason. The costumed front of house roles are particularly fun, but the out of costume ones are also amazing, and being able to see the show as many times as you want is always a bonus.
Finally, my work as a Drama Club assistant has also been very rewarding. It really is a huge honour to be able to teach the same Drama Clubbers, and see their acting skills develop, over a number of years. Having gone through the experience they are going through now, the only thing I can hope is that in nine years time, they will look back on their time at Creation Drama Club with the same fondness I do. Judging by the amazing Drama Club leaders I have assisted, I am certain they will.
Sadly, my years at Creation Drama Club are coming to an end, and the piece the Youth Company are currently devising is the last Creation Drama Club piece I am ever going to perform in. However I am certain that this won’t be the end of my Creation journey.