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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Thom

Back home for Shakespeare and a cuppa

Honouring Her Majesty at afternoon tea
Honouring Her Majesty at afternoon tea. Credit: Melissa Thom
It’s cold, it’s mean spirited and I don’t like it anymore Alan Moore, on England

I recently flew back to the green and pleasant land for a whistle-stop tour.

Being back in London was a breath of (nearly) fresh air. The sun was shining and life was good. I made a point to hook up with friends and colleagues I hadn’t seen for ages — it was just the tonic I needed to ward off a cold winter and the usual blues.

Best of all was whiling the day away with my good friend at a place in Mayfair that does posh afternoon tea, served by men in boiler suits and women in pink plastic pinnys.

But the real reason for coming home was an audition at renowned theatre school, Bristol Old Vic — a pretty big deal for me.

As a voice actor, everything is performed behind the relative safety and anonymity of the mic in your own studio. But nothing can match the experience of getting up in front of a live audience (or client). It’s there that the real learning happens. And at the same time, it can be excruciating — especially auditions where you are performing to only 2 or 3 experts in their field.

But what makes life interesting is to just get up and do it.

So I did.

Sunrise over the Bristol skyline.
Sunrise over the Bristol skyline. Credit: Melissa Thom

I rattled through my Shakespeare piece, did an ok rendition of the contemporary monologue and hit the song right outta the park.

But upon reflection, as I walked out into the crisp winter sunshine, I realised I must have been insane. I CRUMBLED as I walked down the road, wondering what on earth possessed me to apply. And then promptly erased all embarrassment from memory as I went back home to my beautiful family, metaphorically patting myself on the back for giving it a go.

Cuppa tea
Cuppa tea. Credit: Melissa Thom

And then, just yesterday, I got an email with the offer of a place on their Foundation in Acting course, starting later this year. I’m chuffed to bits — just goes to show what you can achieve if you really put your mind to it.

So I’m off to celebrate (and muse on the current shit-storm state of affairs in my home country) with a magnum of pink champagne (read: cheap Rosé, perhaps with bubbles).

Pink Champagne in Mayfair
Pink Champagne in Mayfair. Credit: Melissa Thom

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