Who inspires us ......
As a good West Country, growing up with Creative parents, I spent lots of my youth at small Arts Festivals. I was lucky to be exposed to brilliant street theatre and experimental devised theatre pieces as well as wonderful folk music. I think growing up with this weird 1980's version of the traditional Mummers Plays and the Artist associated with this world means I have, at my core, a storyteller's heart. I see theatre as a way to tell a great tale not as a means to become a star. Kneehigh are one of the best company's in the world for telling tall tales. I have known of their work for most of my adult life before they "made it big" and if anyone is in Cornwall over the summer then you should treat yourself to a night at The Asylum - it is pure theatrical magic and always an experience that will leave you altered, for the better.
As a teenager I was also lucky enough to work with Lea Anderson a phenomenal choreographer who worked on a Youth Dance project that we performed at Bristol Cathedral. Lea was a generous practitioner who went out of her way to offer me advice and guidance at the start of my career. I was unsure of which route to pursue as a performer and for a long time after the project she stayed in touch with me via email and was happy to respond to my many emails. Lea's choreography was inspired by the mundane and pedestrian and yet she created the most beautiful work. I was fortunate enough to be taught by a Dancer who worked with her called Pietro Cardillo, it is safe to say his influence can be seen in all of our work. Pietro taught me discipline, serving the story and how to have fun. Sadly in 2009 he passed away at the age of 37 but I know he lives on in mine and other performers work and hearts.
If you have half an hour to spare sit down with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and enjoy the world of The Cholmondeleys & Featherstonehaughs ("Chumleys & Fanshaws")
I was lucky enough to be awarded The Stage Newspaper Scholarship to train at The Academy Drama school and there I was introduced to the work of Viola Spolin and this was the final piece of the puzzle for me. I will always be grateful to Helen Alexander and Daniel Brennan for the introduction.
Spolin was an American theatre practitioner who specialised in using Improvisation to free performers. Her Theatre Games changed how I approached acting, creating characters and the role of the audience. I hope her teachings embody my work now as a Director and Producer and I know it informs all of my choices as an Actor.
These 4 quotes sum up all you need to know about Tin Whistle and me.
“Everyone can act. Everyone can improvise. Anyone who wishes to can play in the theater and learn to become stageworthy.”
“Through spontaneity we are re-formed into ourselves.”
"The audience is the most revered member of the theater. Without an audience, there is no theater. Everything done is ultimately for the enjoyment of the audience. They are our guests, fellow players, and the last spoke in the wheel which can then begin to roll. They make the performance meaningful"
“We learn through experience and experiencing, and no one teaches anyone anything. This is as true for the infant moving from kicking to crawling to walking as it is for the scientist with his equations. If the environment permits it, anyone can learn whatever he chooses to learn; and if the individual permits it, the environment will teach him everything it has to teach.”