New experiences – memories that will last

To say my recent weeks have been filled with turmoil would be an understatement. But as they say: every cloud has a silver lining, and, somehow, when everything around us seems to be falling apart, things often happen to change our perspective and give us hope.

The past couple of weeks have definitely had that effect. A few totally unexpected, new experiences gave me something to look forward to and for that I am incredibly grateful.

The first came as a total surprise right from the start. On a day off from work, when I was trying to unwind, I received a random phonecall. As the person on the line introduced themself (he’s a local TV presenter so I had a vague idea of who he was but not why he would be calling me), he chatted about an advert he would be filming. I quickly assumed he needed a professional dancer for the ad, so guessing he had called me in my capacity administrator of the national dance company to see whether I might know the right person to hire. Instead, though, I was asked if I would be willing to take on a small role!

Now anyone who knows me or who’s read this blog before understands how much I love theatre. But what you might not be familiar with is my history of working for the national broadcasting station. In my four years I did appear on-screen several times but, mostly found myself behind the camera – which I loved. That’s because speaking to a ‘machine’ makes me so uncomfortable! As a result, I’ve steered clear of TV acting. And yet I found myself curious about an acting opportunity this time around. Why?

Well, in all honesty, I really miss the performing arts – and I found myself eager to try something new and break free of my routine. I was looking for something that could serve as an escape and reduce my stress levels, at least for a couple of hours. So I went for it! And, in spite of my discomfort in front of the camera, I found it all rather enjoyable. Admittedly, I enjoyed having my hair and make-up done, but it was the whole team that made the day so wonderful. They put me at ease and we had a good laugh.

The cover image is a screenshot from this advert.

But it didn’t end there! About a week after filming the first advert, I was asked to do a second one, this time with a more prominent role and a speaking part. Again, I was quite nervous to be in front of the camera, but still really enjoyed the experience and working with the team. That said, I wonder if I’ll ever manage to really overcome the discomfort of being in front of a camera!

And my new experiences didn’t stop there as, a few days later, I was asked to sing at a wedding mass. Believe it or not, I’ve sung at funerals but never at a wedding before. Truth be told I always hoped that friends would ask me to sing at their weddings but it hadn’t happened so far. But interestingly, I will finally be singing at two this year, which is absolutely wonderful. I feel truly honoured to have been invited to do this, and am really grateful to my cousins and a very good friend for entrusting me.

The good news is it went well! Needless to say, I wanted to do a brilliant job of it, so nerves and butterflies helped me to focus, and my sister provided a much needed confidence boost. All in all, it was a lovely experience, and I would absolutely love to have more opportunities to sing at weddings.

A very short snippet from the wedding mass

Finally, there was one more experience I never expected to have: recording vocals for a track and being part of a music video. Since we couldn’t have a showcase, the school where I study music decided to film and record one of our ensemble sessions. The edited video isn’t out yet, and I’m pretty sure I’ll cringe when I see it(not at the vocals as such, but at what I look like!) but it was such a wonderful experience to have had. Rushed? Yes! Challeging to be in front of the camera? Yup! But absolutely worth it. And hey, does that mean I can cross ‘music video’ off my bucket list?

Well, this new experiences business seemed to have turned into some sort of cycle, and it climaxed big time! – at the end of May. Want to know more? I’ll share the details in my next post. See you there – and happy new experiences.

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