Since the age of 15 I have considered art and craft as my means of expression, a huge part of whom I am as a person and something that I need to tap into on a daily basis to keep myself sane.
In the last five years I have gone from working in the realm of Costume where I began as a fresh faced 17 year old to working in community engagement through classes in arts, craft, cooking and gardening. I would now happily describe myself as an Arts & Crafts Educator.
When I was working in Costume I spent weeks away from home running shows up and down the country in theatres of various sizes, traipsing across continents and living out of a small suitcase as we unpacked our wares and showed the world how good english theatre/dance/opera is. People used to question me on my show business lifestyle and I would calmly burst the bubble by telling them that in the end it still boils down to telling someone how to dress and washing their dirty socks. Then I had the chance to begin working in Television which is seen as the slightly more glamorous cousin of theatre. This just involved longer days spent in strange buildings – sometimes changing actors in pub toilets whilst filming on the cold streets of London, oh yes and still washing those dirty socks; but it was fun and seeing your work on the small screen always gave you a thrill. From here I progressed to the pinnacle i.e. the world of film. The budgets were bigger, the hours were longer still and the names tripping of my tongue had people google eyed, but you’ve guessed it I still had to wash those dirty socks!
Life threw me a curve ball and I had to change tack. The only job I had really known was now not possible. I had two children and one of them was not doing so well. Things were not developing the way they should and life began to change. Eventually we knew what was happening my son had ASC – Autism Spectrum Condition – and I had to rethink. Luckily I had already been putting my skills to use in running local Art and craft classes for children and families. People enjoyed them and I loved the interaction. Sometimes when my son was feeling up to it he would join in too.
Now life is settling into a rhythm. My son has an excellent school whom are challenging him and offering him an education he can access, and I have the time to pursue my new dream of sharing a love of natural craft with people.