The anxiety was intense, I clicked on the email from Natasha Vaughan and bit into my bottom lip, I read the Subject line which said 'Congratulations' I could barely read the content of the email which explained I had been successful and have a part in the theatre production 'And There Was War'. In that moment I felt as though stars, bunnies and fireworks had been released into the sky above and I was soaring alongside them.
I honestly hadn't expected that outcome, what a moment, still filled with excitement my mind quickly flashed back to the audition process.
I turned up about 30 minutes late that day, already a bad start. As well as traffic; my lateness was equally due to do apprehension and my lack of confidence. As I walked into the hall, I saw a fairly large group of individuals sat in a circle playing a warm up game. I immediately challenged my negative self-talk and acknowledged that even though I was feeling fearful, I was going to give it my best shot anyway. I found an empty chair and jumped straight into the game “The great wind blows for all who…” The game continued and I found myself up on my feet swapping seats and making confessions.
After brief introductions and still sat in a circle we were put into pairs and given on the spot scenarios conjured up by the group. Mine was that I was a pregnant woman on an aeroplane having contractions whilst sitting beside a man having a panic attack due to his fear of flying!
The rehearsals that followed were challenging, insightful and filled with fun and reflective moments. Each session began with a biblical reflection based on a character from the bible. Jermaine would then link this into the challenges that we might have to face throughout the process. We would then pray and begin our warm up sessions. I recall one particular warm up where we were standing in a circle and we all had to put our hands in the middle and then hold onto someone else's hand. All our hands were interlinked and muddled up, we had to find a way of unravelling ourselves without breaking the chain of hands and form a full circle. Initially, it was exciting and fun, we were completely entangled and struggled to find a way out. I desperately wanted to give up but a fabulous object lesson was learnt that day. We did eventually work through the struggle, we pulled together as a team and those that were feeling discouraged were quickly encouraged by the positivity of others. We all cheered in great triumph and exaltation when we finally accomplished our goal almost an hour later. It was a moment of appeasing satisfaction and a lesson in persistence, team work and determination. That warm up really set the presidency for me as to what might lie ahead.
My experience in And There Was War was one of growth, unity, confidence building, love, faith and spirituality. We faced many struggles as a team, family bereavement, fatigue, challenges with lines and scenes, personal struggles, family issues and so much more. But what kept us together, what kept me going was knowing that we were doing a potentially life changing work for our heavenly Father. We were sharing a message of truth that we hoped to change lives and provide answers for the many questions people have about the condition of the world today.
Being a part of And There Was War is one of my greatest experiences ever. I worked alongside a supportive, hilarious, creative and loving cast.
Following the recent auditions in May 2016, And There Was War UK tour begins in November. Keep posted for further information as you really don't want to miss out on this one.