Paris Spivey

Tell us your Faust Story!
After getting hooked from one summer programme, I enrolled for the term time classes - and I literally just did as much as I could. I performed in productions, took part in Faust Festivals, saw lots of live theatre and attended workshops hosted by really cool people like practitioners from Shakespeare’s Globe or textile artist, Matthew Aberline. When I turned 16, I became a student leader and started to help out more backstage at shows.

What is your earliest Faust memory?
In my first summer workshop, I played a super camp royal advisor to a King and I wore a giant red boa and milked every line. My favourite part was when I got to say 'This isn't just any crisis - this is a FASHION crisis!!' and had a dramatic meltdown centre stage. I think this was the awakening of my deep love of fancy dress and characters with a certain je ne sais quoi.

What is your favourite Faust memory?
I might have to be cheeky and say it’s a collection of all the memories I have of being backstage with my friends. Also, the backstage area is 100% where all the best shenanigans arise. I'm not going to spill the secrets, but I can tell you lots of laughing and wheezing happens whilst someone is playing dead on stage.

What was your biggest challenge in participating and leading in drama workshops and productions?
I had really struggled with not getting roles that I wanted (narcissistic - I'm aware!) or not having a performance turn out exactly the way I had envisioned it. All I wanted to do was prove what I thought I was capable of. But it was a really important life lesson for me, because I learnt how to carry on - being upset is okay, it’s the actions you take AFTER that’s the important part!

What did you gain from your experience at Faust as a student and / or as a leader?
I really gained a deep appreciation for youth theatre and the impact it can have on a community - and the impact it had on me. I always feel so lucky that Faust was something I could look forward to on whatever day of the week it was. It was an opportunity to simply be myself in a safe space. When I became a student leader, this was exactly the kind of environment I wanted to help foster for the young kids.

How did studying Drama and Theatre impact your life?
Inherently, theatre is about telling different sides of a story. I think studying drama really helped open my mind more to people's own wildly different experiences in life. Thanks to Faust, I was able to take part in a collaboration with a Refugee group for a public performance piece about the experiences of refugees. Workshops like that really helped me get a wider view of the kind of world we live in, and the steps we can take to learn how to understand each other.

How would you describe Faust to someone new to drama and theatre?
It’s been a few years since I’ve moved away from Hong Kong. But whenever I think of memories of home, I think of Faust. Faust introduced me to my passion for theatre, the confidence to go through life, and most importantly all the amazing people I still have in my life now.