I'm 11 years old, standing in a toilet cubicle for a second time. I don't even need a wee. I'm breathing heavily because on the other side of the door waiting for me is my Mother and a script. The room next to that has a camera waiting to record me and has at least three people who want me to READ, a loud and without stopping. I come out saying 'I'm ok now'. But I'm not ok. The words jump around the page like animated characters. Other words out of context join in too. Idiot, slow, lazy. I can't articulate it yet but what I want to say is - I don't want to be seen anymore.
I'm 29 standing outside stage door. I haven't acted in over ten years now. But I find myself saying 'I'll help you'. He hands me his audition piece. I ask him if he's off script yet and tell him to 'run it'. It's charming but he's all over the place, it's his nervous energy. I slow him down, we add pauses and moments to take a breath. We play out scenarios in multiple emotions until something decent emerges. He thanks me for my help. Years later our eyes meet randomly on the street. I barley know him but he embraces me like an old friend. He didn't get the part, he got another one, a 'better one'. He looks more happy then I've ever seen him.
I'm 33 now and I have an idea. My 5 year old has a face on because it's time to do SPELLINGS. 'Let's play a game' I say. He loves animals and knows the alphabet backwards. I lay the animals cards out to match each spelling. We make up stories together. The Snake bites the two Elephants, the Elephants splashes the Newt in the water. First attempt is a disaster. He doesn't get it. Later in the evening he tells me he wants to try again. His expression changes, the shoulders lower and He gets it! He loves it! I call my Mum and tell her. He gets it!