I’m a writer, poet, dancer and actor. Born in Jamaica, went to school in Manchester, moved to Birmingham to study and, despite several attempts to leave, still live in this amazingly diverse city.
Until September 2005 I had no idea I’d take to the stage as a performer (although I’m no stranger to the stage as trainer, workshop leader and conference presenter). I attended an Artsfest workshop on Performance Poetry and got hooked. It started with poetry, then expanded into acting when I did the NCFE Performance Skills course at Nu Century Arts April – September 2007, and when I was asked to join the group Mahogany Tree it really gave me an appetite for singing and dancing. I started belly dancing in September 2007 and throughly enjoy it. It takes years to develop the skills to become a proficient dancer and a certain amount of confidence to perform solo. I’m a great believer in having a go, my performances are not yet technically perfect but they certainly have energy. But writing was and still is my main passion.
Since the age of fourteen I wanted to write novels and wanted to do an English degree but was persuaded to do science instead because there was a shortage of science teachers and surplus of English ones. Writing was always in my blood and got an outlet first with non-fiction publications through my work as a training manager, and then through my poetry. In 2011 I finally achieved my childhood ambition to write a novel, with the publication of my first novel Dare to Love.
I’ve got the bug now, tapped into a well, and my second novel Betrayed came out in hard copy in August 2012, although its official publication date is November 2012. I’m working on my third novel.
Although I write for the page most of my work is for performance. I love live audiences, love the energy and the instant connection. Listen to some of my live performances and see some of my printed work. My poems reflect my observations of life as a biology teacher, a residential social worker and manager, a trainer, life coach, daughter, mother, lover and friend. In 2011 I recorded RAW an anthology of my favourite stuff.
Its as it says, an album dealing with raw human emotions.
Although some of my friends claim I have been acting for years my first time officially on stage was in May 2007 when I played Joyce in Top Girls. I went on to play the Friar in Romeo and Juliet (played as a woman). My next performance was in Elegies for Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens – I played the one who preyed on young boys – see picture . I had the pleasure of co-writing a play with other course members in which I played Sonia, mother of a teenage daughter. The play ‘Twisted Roots’ was well received and may be produced again next year.I seem to have a thing with being cast as a mother as I played that role for a production of ‘Revisited’ at the Crescent Theatre directed by Kerry Murdock. I am now a member of Class Act based at the Custard Factory in Birmingham. This is exciting as it gives me the opportunity to be involved in films as well as plays.
I’ve always danced; have always loved it but again, until recently never saw myself doing it on stage and for pay. When I joined Mahogany Tree I had the opportunity to do just that – mostly Caribbean and African moves which comes naturally.
I wanted to challenge myself to do something that required more discipline on my part and by some strange turn of fate found myself belly dancing – and loving it. See one of my performance.