From Blue Screen to Silver Screen

I remember as a child that I wanted to be on stage in musical theatre. I have always been a big fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music/musicals for as long as I can remember. When I was 3 and given a keyboard as a present, the first thing I remember playing was the main theme from The Phantom of the Opera!


Oh, how I would love to have played Christine! Shame my vocal range is of a lower range.

The first musical I saw was Evita when I was about 6 years old. I remember wishing I could do that when I grew up (well along with my wish of being a ‘Megastar’). On stage singing these great songs would be a dream for me for many years.

I had a friend at school who used to go to a theatre company every Saturday. They used to perform a number of stage shows in the theatres during the year. So I persuaded my parents to let me go along to see what it was like!

When I got there, we had great fun learning some very easy tap dancing moves. I had never tried tap dancing before and I didn’t fall in the sink! Sorry, bit of dad humour there. But I soon found there were a couple of key problems that ended my acting dream before it really started…

Firstly, you had to read out loud from a page. I don’t think I realised at that age that when you were learning lines from a play or show you had to read the lines so you could learn them. So when it came to auditioning for any parts within the show, it was pretty obvious that the kids who didn’t stumble over the words were far more likely to get the parts.

Secondly, I haven’t been diagnosed, but I think that I have Auditory Processing Disorder linked into my dyslexia as I found picking out accents really difficult. Even now, if I hear an accent I’m unsure of it takes me time to work out what people are saying to me, far longer than most other people I know. Trying to read lines WITH an American accent (which I literally had no idea at that time what the difference was) was a disaster!

I went home very frustrated and angry as I thought it would be fun and learning songs, but it wasn’t and I never went back.

I did however perform some Andrew Lloyd Webber songs on stage when I was in school on the stage, so my goal was kind of met on a far smaller scale.

Unlike me, there have been many dyslexic people who have gone on to achieve great things on the silver screen. Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Tom Cruise all instantly spring to my mind. Most recently in the news was Jennifer Aniston disclosing that she too is dyslexic!

For dyslexics who want to go into acting, whether on the silver screen or on the stage, don’t do the same as I did and give up at the first hurdle! There are plenty of dyslexic actors and actresses who are household names and have made it in their acting careers. Keep going and I’ll look forward to seeing your name up in lights.


Tom Cruise


Posted on February 10, 2015, in Blogging and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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