I like to think that I’ve made how much I adore performing very clear (I even wrote about it earlier this week) and that was made very apparent yesterday afternoon when I was presented with the award that you can see pictured above. On this day last year, we played our final performance of Fiddler on the Roof at our local community theatre and I was delighted to be singing my lungs out and dancing the bottle dance as Perchik. It was a pretty tough ride actually as not only was I a 15 year old who was tackling an entire song to a paying audience every night for a week, but I was also dancing a bottle dance with my friend Chris every night as well – for those who don’t know what a bottle dance is, it’s a dance performed with a bottle balanced on your head… yup. It was exhausting but I loved it and it was genuinely my favourite performance experience I’ve ever had.
Earlier on this year though, I found out about the NODA London crew properly. I’d heard last year that they’d come and seen the show and reviewed it but I didn’t really understand (all I knew is that they’d written something very nice about me!) Turns out that NODA is the main amateur theatre unity group in the United Kingdom and representatives see amateur productions in over 2.5K venues across the country, review them and then give out awards at a ceremony each June – the company’s patron is even Andrew Lloyd Webber! Unfortunately, people at the head of the society I did Fiddler with were in hospital at the time of this year’s awards, so it wasn’t until last month that I got word of the fact that I had been given one of these amazing awards – eeeeek! At first, I thought I’d won in one of the acting categories because I couldn’t imagine what I could’ve been eligible for. Turns out, I had been awarded the NODA London Flame Award for Inspirational Contribution for the Pursuit of Excellence in Theatre and I could not be more chuffed to have that title to my name. Fast forward four weeks and our local NODA representative came and gave me the award following the matinee performance of the show we did this year, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel.
I’m elated to be able to call this award mine and to be able to say that all that hard work I put into that show last year really paid off. It’s wonderful to have your passions and interests recognised in such a significant and poignant way and I’m so grateful to have amazing opportunities like this presented to me.