Yo Ho, an Actor’s life for me!

It’s been a little while since I’ve written a blog post. To be honest, it wasn’t a lack of time or not having any ideas to write about but it was due to the fact that nothing has been happening! Today, sat on my sofa, a glorious Monday shinning through my living room windows, only when I prepare for quite an exciting week, do I decide to write about the fact I’ve not been doing much at all in the recent days (and months). The irony! Or even hypocrisy of it all!

My last post shared with you my graduation story and a little bit of what was coming up next but did I really explain what I was doing? Well, let’s have a look.

The time line of Emma Jenkin which I have so named ‘From Bath to Bamboozled‘ … It may need work…


July-September: Entertaining at a holiday park in the Exeter countryside. A familiar scene and one I dare say I miss a little. My roles included dressing up as one of two bears, prancing around a stage to a multitude of music, acting as one of the many children whilst my co-workers actually tried to do the job you were paid for and a whole lot of singing and dancing! Not to mention a cheeky gym session here and there.

September – November: Three days of rehearsals, over 40 songs learnt and six delightful costume changes accumulating in to two one hour shows ! Boy, was that a brilliant but exhausting tour. Me, myself and I continued with entertaining but on a much more personal level. I toured the south of England and Wales performing in nursing and care homes. It was incredible! The only difficulties were driving in London, having less time than the distance it took me to get there and being by myself for eight weeks! There’s only so much car karaoke one person can endure of themselves!

November – December:  TAKE A BREAK! STAY WITH US FOR THE SUMMER, LETS GO UPSTATE! Okay, I’m no Schuyler sister, but I did allow myself to have some holiday. I had been working six day weeks for four months, half of that by myself, so I was ready for a holiday. Tenerife was a lovely gift to myself!

December – Christmas Eve Eve: Elfing around! For the holiday season, I was able to share my excitement for Christmas with children and parents around the London area as one of two story telling elves. We were six teams of two and had our own areas to cover in the run up to Christmas. One home even gave us Christmas cookies! This was a huge amount of fun but the days were long. Due to a car mishap, it meant I couldn’t keep doing this for the contracted time, but I did mean an earlier trip back to my family for Christmas, even if it did mean a jam packed train from Paddington Station!

Following Christmas… what happened?

In my position, having worked for a large part of last year and working during university, I had saved up pennies to allow myself a few months of pure acting applications. The odd role came through, however it was usually for peanuts and given my new base in Lincolnshire, most of the money I made would go on travel anyway. As an actor starting out, that didn’t bother me too much as I was still able to gain experience, expand showreels and what not without being too out of pocket, but there is only so much of that you can do. Performers in any field work incredibly hard and unfortunately it’s very easy for employers to get cheap work outside of Equity agreements as every performer just wants to be in work.

Only very recently have I gotten some part-time work to keep myself ticking over as I find the acting I want to be doing. No one said this was easy. No one said it would be inexpensive. One of the things they did say; keep going! They also said ‘make your own work’ which, in all honesty, I didn’t truly believe until my little hiatus and I saw many of my university peers and companies I admire getting out there and doing it. Initially, I looked at them and was almost envious, thinking up excuses for them like ‘Of course they can do it, they live so close to London’ or ‘They went to a drama school and got and easy ride’. I slapped myself on a wrist and gave myself a stern talking to. What good comes from being bitter about those who are doing it? What did you do today? Sit on your bottom and think about what you could be doing? Go out and do it, Emma! It’s not going to come to you! Make it happen!

In summary, an actor’s life is not the easiest. Heck, it’s not even the most glamorous unless you’re earning enough to be glamorous. But it will certainly be an achievement when you get there and if you get off your bottom and start doing things, in time, you will get there. (That was definitely just a pep talk for myself there!) Have a wonderful day! X

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