Thursday, 11 May 2017

Quotes From My Teenage Diaries: Part 4: MY SOUL AMBITION

It’s June 1993, I’m 12 years old and my life is about to change to… technicolour. 

I was 12 when my dad, who I didn’t live with, and who had been absent for most of my growing up, took me on what he hoped would be an informative and culturally enhancing week-long holiday to London. Dad loved London for its museums and its history and I know he wanted to pass these interests on to me, his 12 year old daughter whose main interests were Take That, shopping at Tammy Girl and the perm she’d had the week before. 
Dad’s intinary was packed with an activity for every morning and every afternoon: British Museum, Natural History Museum, Madame Tussauds, The Planetarium, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Tower of London, Parliament, etc etc etc. Looking back I can see he picked a good mix of things for us to do, and I feel really lucky that I got to have a different type of holiday at such a young age, while the friends I envied were all off to Spain or somewhere similar. Plus I’d only ever been as far as Bridlington before so you know - London was a big deal. 
But the biggest deal of all happened on the Thursday night when we went to the Palladium to see what can only be described as THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH aka JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOUR DREAMCOAT. 

Aside from school trips I’d never been inside a theatre before and, of course, I’d never seen a West End show before. I was enthralled. I loved the show, I loved Phillip Schofield and very suddenly I wanted to be an actress. I remember phoning my mum from a payphone after the show. 
“Mum, I have an announcement: I’m going to be an actress.”
“Oh, are you love, that’s nice.” 
I’m not sure what I expected to happen but I really felt like my future had to involve drama school and musicals and stages and standing ovations. (Well, it has certainly involved musicals.) 
Here’s what I wrote in my diary after seeing the show, and also the night after, when I describe (very dramatically - so apt) how my father has taken the news that I want to be an actress. My notes added in square brackets. 

15th July: 
"Boring day [crossed out and replaced with ’not bad day' - I must have felt guilty] until 7.30pm. We went to Brit Museum. OK. 7.30 - Palladium. What an excellent evening. Joseph. Phil was brill. He looked really very sexy [you’re 12 - are you sure you know what you’re saying?]. At end he came up towards upper circle [oh yes - this was when he got onto a crane and his amazing technicolour dreamcoat all spread out behind him. Goosebumps!] Now I long to be an actress. [Good - you’re practising the drama]. Phil [yes, that’s written in a love heart]. 

16th July: 
If only they [who?] could understand how I feel then maybe they [who are these people?] wouldn’t laugh in my face. ‘Drama school. Ha ha ha.’ These particular ‘them’ ‘they’ is of cours my dad. [oh right - you’re just amping up the drama again - nice work] My soul ambition [that’s a typo but it actually works] is to act. Hope mum understands. Had a pic took with Phillip at Madame Tussauds. I love him.”

I went on to see Joseph several more times in my teens (with Darren Day and Jason Donovan. I always maintained that Phil was the best). Despite it being my 'soul ambition', I didn't pursue my acting career though I did tread the boards once, when I was 14: as a member of the choir (I was in Yr 9 and only years 10 upwards could have actual parts in the show - how rude) in our school's production of... Joseph. I still know all the songs by heart.


Quotes From My Teenage Diaries is an ongoing project as I re-read and reflect 
on the diaries I kept from the age of 11 to 16. 
You can read Part 1: BEST FRIENDS here, and Part 2: CONGRATULATIONS, here
and Part 3: MY FIRST BOYFRIEND, here.
There's a Facebook page too and soon - I hope - there will be a podcast. 
If you enjoyed this or can relate in any way - please do leave a comment or say hi on Facebook - it'd be lovely to hear from you.

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