I know I’m right near the end of my tour now, but I thought I would take a break from talking tour chat and discuss a topic that has been on my mind for the last week or so.
Why do you have a back up plan?
When I was little I went through the stages of childhood where every week you strive to have a career in every possible sector. For a long while I wanted to be a vet because I loved animals, I wanted to be a pop singer because the Spice Girls were life and after reading The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jaqueline Wilson I had a strong desire to become a social worker. I had always loved performing and acting and it was definitely in me from a young age to want to perform. When I finally decided that I wanted to be an actor, that was it. It stuck. I performed in every school show, talent show and summer concert there was going and I thrived being onstage.
I can honestly say that I am extremely lucky to have the most supportive parents I could ever wish for. Never once did my parents try and squash my acting dreams or steer me towards a more stable career of choice. They encouraged and still do encourage my passions and have never told me that I am being unrealistic. They paid for singing, dancing and acting lessons and helped me persue a degree in Musical Theatre and Dance Performance. They came to every show they possible could throughout my entire life and they continue to heavily support me to this day. Which I am more than eternally thankful for.
Unfortunately, for others that’s not exactly the case. I have heard so many stories of people who wanted to persue a career in the performance industry but they were talked down from it by their parents. Now, I’m not a mother myself (yet) but I can assure you, that when I have children I will give them everything. My wholehearted belief in my children’s goals and ambitions will be prominent and I will support their choices without hesitation. I find it difficult to hear of parents who don’t believe in their child enough. Surely this lack of support doesn’t bode well for that child’s future because they don’t have that anchored base of support that everyone needs to help them to soldier on. If my parents constantly questioned my choices and asked me things like “Why don’t you think about doing this instead?” or “Don’t you think you should have a back up plan?” Then I would definitely begin to question my own abilities. I mean, if my own parents didn’t believe in me, then why should I, or anyone else for that matter believe in me either?
The performance industry is the most competitive and difficult industry you could possibly enter yourself into and it’s up to you alone to make that decision. You might realise that it’s not for you, or it’s not what you expected and no one is going to begrudge you for changing your mind. There is always time to take a different path. But like I said, that should be your choice.
For friends of mine who have salaries and secure job positions, it’s a completely different world to compare to that of this industry. It’s true, we are in a constant state of “what next?” However, you have to keep going. If you want it enough, you will work hard for it and you will persevere until you get there. I am one of the most determined individuals and I will stop at nothing to achieve my goals. There have been so many times when people have asked “what are you going to do if you don’t get what you want.” My answer to that is always “but I will.”
I don’t have a back up plan. I don’t have a plan b. Surely having a plan b means that my energy and time would be put into making sure my plan b was secure, rather than focusing my attention on what really matters. If I take my attention off of my goal then do I really want it enough? Probably not. I would be losing my self belief and backing down to the devil of the industry that tells you that you’re not good enough. Sorry devil, but that’s not me I’m afraid!
The same goes with telling your child that they should have a back up plan. Why? Let them strive and attain their dreams. Don’t take their attention away from working hard at what makes them thrive. Imagine looking back on what could have been and realising that you let plan b take over and now you’re unhappy. I would hate to look back and regret my choice.
Not only do I not back down on my self belief, but I don’t ever let my Diabetes stop me from being who I want to be. Don’t ever accept anyone telling you that Diabetes will hold you back. When I was first diagnosed I thought about things that I thought I wouldn’t be able to do as a “normal” person anymore. How wrong I was! Diabetes has never held me back and I have achieved more than I could have imagined and I know I’m going to achieve more still. My perseverance and determination always wins. With Diabetes I have danced for 7 hours a day, I have ran a half marathon and have toured various shows around the country. Did Diabetes stop me from doing any of that? No, no it bloody well didn’t.
There are so many successful individuals in the performance industry who have Diabetes. Amelia Lily, Jonny Labey, Nick Jonas and Halle Berry to name a few. All of whom have thriving and varied careers.
If you want something enough your desire and determination will spur you on to achieve. Hone your craft, learn every day and refine and develop your skills. Don’t ever let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do in terms of your future. You make your life your own and you take control. You carve your own pathway and you make the choices. Asking for advice is different, because everyone is allowed that privellage. At the end of the day, this is your life and you make of it what you choose. Be bold and be strong.