What is your earliest Faust memory!
I was 8 years old and doing my first Faust Festival (my first production ever). It was called ‘Wings of Butterflies’, and I played a monkey called Red. I remember walking on stage dressed in a leotard, a leather jacket and aviator sunglasses. I strutted onto stage until I reached a rock, which I swung my leg on as I proceeded to non-verbally greet a fellow female monkey. It's fair to say this was the peak of my acting career, before it could even begin.
What is your favourite Faust memory?
During another Faust Festival production called Offstage at Troy. I was doing a scene with a fellow actor and our dialogue had run out, and we were expecting someone to come on, and they didn’t come on. That first moment of blood rushing around my body as my heart started racing “what to do”, ‘fight or flight’. We stood there in silence as if we were waiting for someone. I then made the decision to speak the words, “he’s taking a while, isn’t he”, and to my absolute delight, the audience laughed. With this confidence the audience had just given me, I was determined to solve this. I then spoke the words, “We’ll meet with him later, I want to go get something to eat”, and we exited the stage. I later found out we were actually just meant to leave when our dialogue ended. But hey, if it hadn’t happened, it might not have been my favourite Faust memory, that is lodged in my head forever.
What was your biggest challenge in participating and leading in drama workshops and productions?
For a long time, it was confidence and dealing with the terrifying anxiety of being dropped off on a Saturday, at a place I had never been before, with people I had never met, already being an extremely shy and anxious kid. That shyness quickly wore off, especially during workshops, when we got to play and immerse ourselves in exercises, with Leaders who helped to create a comfortable atmosphere with focus, attention and joy given to each individual kid in the room.
What did you gain from your experience at Faust as a student and / or as a leader?
This question could be answered in an essay, because 10 years of my life was with Faust. So, there is an abundance of experience that I gathered. To be concise, I learnt how to be confident. I learned how to be comfortable in the uncomfortable. I learnt that it's impossible to avoid nerves and anxiety. Accepting that they are there, and using them as fuel, turning nerves into excitement (the same chemical reaction in the body), was the way to deal with the once horrible feeling before stepping onto stage. I also gained friends, who I cherish dearly. Friends outside of my regular school friend group, who gave me a refreshing new perspective of life and the place I was living. The list really goes to infinity and beyond, so I shall leave it there.
How did studying Drama and Theatre impact your life?
I honestly can say studying Drama at Faust, and my parents encouraging and paying for me to do so, gave me the opportunity to fall in love with a craft, that I will now do and focus on for the rest of my life. It gave me my purpose in life, a ship that I could get on with a clear direction of where to go (knowing all too well how many horrible storms I would encounter along the way). It gave me confidence, and the ability to leave the shell of a shy anxious kid, and actually experience the world and people in all its beauty, instead of staying hidden. It has impacted my life immensely.
How would you describe Faust to someone new to drama and theatre?
A welcoming, friendly community that inspires joy, growth, opportunity for all, and provides life changing memories and experiences. It's also important to say that those life changing experiences are NOT just for pursuing drama, theatre or acting. But for life experience. How you interact and perceive the world, your relationships, your characteristics and your drive to pursue and do anything you set your mind to.