Why joining a Youth Theatre was the best decision I’ve ever made

Going back 5 years to when I was 13, I was incredibly shy, was being bullied and lacked a lot of self-confidence. This wasn’t exactly the way I wanted to spend high school. I remember my Dad telling me to try and get involved with a new hobby. After trying karate, swimming and bizarrely felt jewellery making club, I decided none of these were for me. I’d always been interested in performing and loved drama at school, so when I saw an advert in the paper for Central Youth Theatre I decided I’d give that a go.

Since that day, I’ve never looked back. The first day I turned up I was scared but really excited. Whilst I was waiting to go into the studio, hiding behind my Dad, I met another girl who was also new. Our parents started talking and pushed us together and we found out we had tonnes in common. When the time came to go into the studio, we left our parents without any hesitation.

Being part of CYT gave me an interest outside of school

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Mid-song during a sketch we performed at the Exhibition at Wolverhampton Art Gallery as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

Drama became a huge part of my life almost instantly, a perfect outlet to express myself I couldn’t wait until Sunday morning so I could go and spend the day rehearsing. My first play with CYT, The Last Tango of Whitby, was one of the most fun plays I’ve ever worked on. Pretending to be one-half of an old married couple was a lot of fun and really urged me out of my comfort zone. We were a small
cast which meant that we all grew really close, I’m still friends with these people now.

I got to participate in a once in a lifetime international festival

I did loads of fundraising for CYT. This was printed in the Express and Star running up to the Cultural Olympiad Project.
I did loads of fundraising for CYT. This was printed in the Express and Star running up to the Cultural Olympiad Project.

One of the highlights for me at CYT was the Everybody Dance Now Project – Cultural Olympiad Part in association with the 2012 Olympic Games. This was an international drama festival, which meant we hosted youth theatres from all over
Europe. This was a great opportunity to experience different cultures and also watch international theatre. We renovated a derelict railway station in Wolverhampton and made it into a theatre, how many people can say they’ve done that?! I have some of the best memories in my life from this week. It’s also a great thing to put on my CV!

Speaking of your CV

Being part of a youth theatre is such a great thing to put on your CV. Not only does it showcase some of your interests, but also shows an employer you’re confident, have good team working skills and also communication skills.

Transferable skills are endless

Being part of Central Youth Theatre greatly improved my knowledge of literature and different styles of acting. I performed so many diverse plays whilst at CYT. But 251798_421847587865874_2125598650_nbefore performing each one we also researched into the background, the culture and context of the time period of each through practical exploration, which was a really engaging way to learn. This knowledge was really valuable whilst studying English Language and Literature and Drama at college. I was even awarded the Trustees prize for outstanding achievement in Drama & Theatre Studies at college due to my commitment to drama in and outside of college.

Post-show euphoria is an unmatched feeling

Anyone who’s ever performed before, whether a play, musical or concert the feeling of the lights dimming in the final scene, is a welcome sigh of relief! The feeling when you take your bow is second to none (especially if you get a standing ovation!)

I made friends for life

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Even though we’ve all grown up a bit since our early teens, I keep in contact and
regularly see most of the close friends I made through CYT. Even my friends who’ve gone to University I go and visit regularly, but when they’re home we have a big get together. The friends I made from CYT have been one of the most valuable things I gained from being part of a drama group. When I started CYT I was being bullied at high school and had a handful of friends. When I’d been part of CYT for a few months, I had a really close group of friends who’ve helped and supported me through so much.

Performing can be one of the most enjoyable things to do, but the most important things I learnt from joining a youth theatre is to have fun with it. Drama is so much more than just pretending to be a tree as I’ve explained above. I urge you to go and get involved with a youth theatre or drama club at school/college and trust me you won’t regret it!

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