Creativity Found: finding creativity later in life

Tara L Lacey – from studying law to returning to acting and founding her own theatre company

March 22, 2021 Tara Lacey Episode 12
Creativity Found: finding creativity later in life
Tara L Lacey – from studying law to returning to acting and founding her own theatre company
Creativity Found listener support
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Show Notes Transcript

Tara L Lacey loved drama activities at schools in Oxford and Trinidad, but put the performing arts to the side partway through her university career. Thankfully she took a brave step later in life and returned to the theatre, and is now an actor, director, producer and an educator.
Instagram: @creativityfoundpodcast
Facebook: @creativityfoundpodcast
Clubhouse: @clairewaitebrown and Creativity Found Connect club

Music: Day Trips by Ketsa Creative Commons License

Artworks: Emily Portnoi

Hear the podcasts I've guested on here, and join the Creativity Found Collective here.

Support the show here
Try the Fountain podcast listening app here

Buzzsprout podcast hosting 
Start for FREE

Support the show

Support the show here
Subscribe to the Creativity Found mailing list here
Join the Creativity Found Collective here


For this episode, I'm chatting with Tara Lacy, who loved drama activities at schools in Oxford in Trinidad, but put the performing arts to the side partway through her university career. Thankfully, she took a brave step later in life and returned to the theatre and is now an actor, director, producer and an educator. Hi, Tara. Hi Claire. How you doing? Yeah, good. Thank you. Tell me what your refound creative passion is okay. So, my refound creative passion in umbrella terms is performing act I direct I self produce, I am also involved in theatre and education now as well through I suppose, historical roleplay and with another company that I manage called shake the history tree, but I started my own Theatre Company, around 2011 called peppered with productions. And so through that I have been performing, producing, travelling with the shows that I'm involved with, so it's performing mainly. Fabulous. Love it. What was your experience of the arts like as a youngster? Well, I can probably put that into several categories. My first exposure was when I was at primary school, and I was a convent girl. And we used to do once a week, a lesson called Speech and Drama. And speech and trauma probably has a number of meanings to many people. But for us in convent school where we weren't allowed to sing, except at Christmas, Speech and Drama, actually meant miming. And it mainly was about reinterpretation of fairy tales. And I absolutely adored this subject and was very, very happy when I finally got an A in Speech and Drama. I think it was my last year at primary school, but the nuns are quite strict. So you know, they weren't giving us any, any plaudits, if we didn't necessarily deserve them. So that was my first experience of, of the Dramatic Arts if you like, and we used to do choral speaking as well, every Christmas in the church. And I used to love that they used to split us up into light and dark voices. And we used to tell the Nativity story every Christmas. So we only the older kids were allowed to do choral speaking. So I was very excited to be involved with that. And then when I went to high school, I was at school in Oxford, Oxford high for the first couple of years. And that was my first exposure to Shakespeare. And I got a couple of leads. I was Porsche and a Merchant of Venice and Titania and A Midsummer Night's Dream and I, as many theatrical people do. And many non theatrical people do absolutely fell in love with Shakespeare, as taxing as it can be sometimes. And then, when I was about 13, we emigrated to the Caribbean to Trinidad and Tobago, where my mom is from, and I pretty much completed the main part of my high school education over in Trinidad. And I really threw myself into the arts. It was quite a difficult period of time, because even though I'm half Trinidadian, I'd spent all my life over here in England and then, you know, obviously going over for holidays was was lovely, but being part of of life in Trinidad and having to engage fully was scary, really scary. So I gravitated at school, towards theatre, and was actually I think the first period of notoriety I think I'd call it was when I had to perform a monologue I'd had to plan this monologue for drama homework, and I got up in the morning and realised I hadn't done it. So I very quickly had To pull something together and decided I would devise a 10 minute monologue on what it's like to have a winter's evening playing out in the snow in the garden, which, of course, is completely the opposite of, of many people's experience in the Caribbean. So I put this on and one of the, the, I suppose the idiosyncrasies of that particular performance was that as a very skinny, kind of anaemic, 13 year old, I used to get very cold. So when I had been over here in England, I used to always wear multiple pairs of socks, pairs of tights covered with pyjamas and jeans on top, and then several layers and, you know, wearing glasses, I'd experienced that whole moving from the inside the house out into the garden and feeling your glasses steam up and things like that. So all of these things were filtered into the performance that I gave, which was quite writers with its reception, to be honest. So I think from there, that gave me the confidence to put myself forward for more things in Trinidad, because obviously, culturally, they're a very rich is a very rich society. And you have influences from across the globe, from India, from Africa, from China, from the Middle East, from Europe, and all of these things are put into a melting pot and they create, again, something completely new with what I would call Trinidadian culture. And so that could be a little bit intimidating, I think. But once I'd had this, I suppose positive reception from from people. I put myself forward, and I was cast in a show that we did for the National Secondary Schools drama festival, jesus christ superstar. And being from an all girls school, obviously, all girls had to play the parts. And I was cast as Jesus. And that was quite an exciting experience, we performed it for the school first, and then had invited all the boys schools that are around to come and see it as well. So that was quite exciting. There was a bit of an embarrassing moment there, which I could tell you about. But I'm not sure if it's, if it's that listening, to be honest with you. But I'll tell you anyway, so most, my most embarrassing moment in theatre, and it's what laid the groundwork for me being able to pretty much say that I could, I would do anything for my art, I think. So my grandmother had whipped me up a costume to play Jesus, and it was a sheet. Many people have probably had costumes made from sheets before by their parents or their grandparents. So it was the east of production, the very first time that we've done it for school and for the boys school. So the auditorium was absolutely heaving with, you know, adolescence, let's put it that way, three quarters of the way through the play. And Jesus, that's me, was in front of Pilate. And one of the guards, what they had to do was get some red lipstick, essentially, and paint some, you know, whip marks on my back. So they had to expose my back a little bit to be able to see the red blood. And unfortunately, one of my guards got a little bit overzealous with the ripping of my costume. So we are on stage and I'm kneeling in front of pilots, and obviously in huge amounts of pain, as I was, you know, being Jesus, and I could just hear this gasp, and this silence. And I was thinking, What is going on? And I very rapidly realised that my boob was showing in profile, because obviously Jesus at 14, I wasn't wearing a bra. And of course, I wasn't going to run off the stage. So I, you know, carried on and tripped on you think well, carry on here. This is what I'm here for. This is what I'm doing. And yeah, a lot of people were quite impressed with that, that it didn't run screaming into the wings. But I think at that point, I thought, well, if my boobs been out on stage now, I can do pretty much anything. But yeah, I digress. So Jesus Christ. That was That was great. And then we took that to the national competition. We had like a semi final and then we had the final and we did place in the final and I got an acting award for that. So that was very encouraging. Did you have a better sewn costume that time? I think my grandmother had repaired it by then. Yeah, definitely. I think the the guard was on strict instructions not to be ripping that side of my costume apart. Yeah. And then the very final year that I was at school, so what would equate to the fifth year when I was doing the equivalent of my own levels or GCSEs. I was asked to step into the shoes when someone had dropped out from the team that my school had put forward. For the national schools public speaking competition. It was run by a company called Trin talk which was an oil company over in Trinidad because being in South America and that's very rich with with oil, basically. Not a rich country. It's not used. The money's not used particularly. Well. I'm digressing again. But yes, that's the company that sponsored it. So I got asked to step in after the first heat for the impromptu speech. So you deliver a team where you've got one person who's got their prepared speech and the other one who's doing the impromptu. And I said, Yes, not realising that the impromptu was a little bit scary. And you pick your number out of the hatch, which would say what what order you would go in. And then you'd basically have to sit back and wait until the person who went before you was on stage. And at that point, you got to pick another slip of paper out of a hat, which would then be the subject that you would be speaking for three minutes on, and you'd have the time that the person was on stage who went before you delivering their speech, their impromptu speech, and you would have three minutes to prepare yours, and then out you go in front of the world to deliver so it was scary. But we we won that competition as well. So we were the national champions that year as well. So when my experience in Trinidad, being involved with the arts in general, I was involved with music as well. So I was playing the recorder at competition level, which a lot of people including my fiance, when I first met him thought it was quite eye opening. Contemporary recorder, I get a little bit upset when people criticise the recorder, but again, I digress. So I was involved across the board, really, in the arts when I was in Trinidad. It was the colour of my life it made it made it easier to get through some really difficult times that I had. I mean, being a teenager is never easy anyway. But I had some problems with my family at that time, as many teenagers encounter, you know to do with not just I suppose what we might say is his teenage culture at the time, but you know, it was it There was also a clash of cultures also, because I was perceived by some as being particularly westernised. I don't think I was actually I was quite a quiet little, little thing apart from when I was on stage. And maybe that's what appealed to me so much about the arts is the opportunity to have a voice when you might not feel that you have a voice elsewhere. From an artistic point of view is a very, very productive period in my life. Yeah, that sounds amazing. It sounds such fun. And like you say, a really good, artistic experience for you. Sadly, that all stopped when you went to university. Can you explain why and what was happening in your life during that time? Yes, absolutely. So before we leave Trinidad, and just before I came back to England to do my a levels, we had a parents evening. They were always very exciting. And nerve wracking, I'd say. So anyway, we had a parents evening, and my mom came to school and was told by my teachers that given the experience that I was having in the arts through theatre, and public speaking, they thought that I was talented, and that they could really see a future for me on the stage, if that was the way that I wanted to go. And that was a massive red flag to my mom in particular, who pretty much freaked out and said to me, you're not doing theatre, this is even before I suggested that that might be the way that I wanted to go, you're not doing theatre, keep it as a hobby. Even better, why don't you think about jobs that you could do that you could employ your skills? I know, why don't you go into law. And this was when I was about 16 or 17. So I wasn't really taking it too seriously. But I was very aware that she was adamant that theatre wasn't going to be for me, other than as a hobby. So came back to England, went back to Oxford high and did my, my A Levels. And I remember applying for universities and applying for law, because that's what I'd been told to do. And I wasn't really given the opportunity to argue about it. It was more of a this makes sense. This is what you're doing. And my mom had come over to the UK, in the 60s on her 18th birthday, her actual 18th birthday, she came over from Trinidad, hadn't ever been abroad before. And she came over as many of the Windrush generation to study nursing. She became a nurse, and then a midwife, and she met my dad and so didn't go back to Trinidad and, and the rest is history. And my brother and I are here to tell the tale. And I think for her, coming from a background that was quite poor and her father built himself up from sweeping floors to having his own business, left school at 12 and taught himself so many things and achieved a lot and was able to send his all five of his children abroad to study and to to make their way in the world. My mom felt that myself and my brother needed to be a step up from where she was. So I think she felt very concerned that we were able to look after ourselves financially, and to do better than then she has done in life. And she's done brilliantly. But that's the perception, I suppose like, as a parent now I completely understand where she was coming from. But I don't think my parents really took the time to listen to me. Maybe they were afraid to listen to me, I'm not sure in case I was contradicting what they wanted for me, but I don't think they really knew who I was. And fundamentally, I don't think I've changed, particularly in terms of, you know, there's little bits and pieces that make up my personality and my character, and what's important to me, they were all there at 16 and 17. And I think if they had listened to that, they would have known that law wasn't for me. It's one of those things that I think with my own children, I'm very keen to listen to them and try and and communicate with them in a way. That means that they feel that they're being heard. And I certainly didn't feel that. But I suppressed a lot of my feelings. And I remember my teachers saying to me at the time, are you sure you want to be doing or are you sure this is for me? For you, sorry? And I said, Absolutely. Yes, of course. But I knew deep down it wasn't. And when I went to university, I'm seeing all of these people who had come in and chosen their courses. And then we're thinking Actually, no, maybe this isn't the right course for me, I think I'll choose this instead. And I looked at them and absolutely all thinking, I really wish that I could change course. But I don't feel I can, I don't think I even have the ability to raise this subject with my mother, my mother, particularly, because she just won't accept it. And I didn't feel I didn't trust myself, I suppose to make the decision on my own. So consequently, I did law I did very well, it wasn't a, you know, a labour of love. I do get quite passionate, and I'm a bit of a crusader about things. But I think I'm a little bit too idealistic for it. So I finished my degree, I didn't apply for jobs in the legal profession. And I didn't go for law school at that point. Because it wasn't something that I'd wanted to I felt like I'd achieved what my mom had wanted me to do. And then I was going to try and deviate at that point. So I went and did some pa work for London Underground and the Jubilee Line Extension project as it was at the time. But I encountered quite a lot of, I suppose, misogyny in in that environment. And I decided that I did not want to stay where I was working, and then started looking for jobs. paralegal work, really, and then thought that I will go to law school after all, because there's nothing else. There's no other options for me, and I got a paralegal position. And then I went on to law school. And I can't tell you the pangs I had walking to the college of law as it was at the time, and I had to walk past Rada that was behind the College of Law to get to I at that time, I had moved away from the arts. But there was still something deep inside me that pained every time I walked past Rada thinking that's a road untraveled. And that hurt, I think, to pursue my legal career, I had to shut down the creative side of me to leave room for the I suppose the the methodical, and the analytical, I really just shut down the creative side. So where I've been quite a prolific writer that went and when I went to university, just going back a little bit. I, the first year I was there, or the first time I was there, I did join the drama society, but then I met my husband to be and I pretty much stopped all the theatre stuff. He wasn't a theatre person. And he wasn't particularly encouraging. And I think I was just at a time in my life where there were other priorities that seemed to be more important at that time. So yeah, the stage was boxed in some way. And then after my legal career, I and it's it's a long time ago now because my eldest is 20. So I stopped, I think, in 2000, practising because I was on maternity leave, and then we moved from hartfordshire back to Oxfordshire. And yeah, I started raising my children and I ended up well, I had my son and then three years later, I had another son. And then two years after that, I had a daughter so and in between, then I had three miscarriages as well. So it was a quite an emotional, intense decade, I suppose, where the family took priority. So theatre was then far removed from my existence. But you know, I wasn't happy. I suppose. There were lots of reasons why I wasn't happy. I didn't have a particularly happy marriage. It was quite fraught, to be honest with you and I think whilst I was engaged in raising the children, for the most part, that's where my love bloomed. And that's, that's where I put all my energy into my children and my relationship with them and raising them in the way that I thought was was best with my ex dipping it now and again, but towards the end of our marriage, when it was particularly difficult. My ex husband pretty much goaded me into joining our local amateur dramatics group. And he said, you know, you might as well you always said you would get it this go on then. So I did, because I felt like I was losing my footing in terms of the marriage and the relationship. And I thought, now I need to do something for myself. And I think my eldest was probably about, gosh, eight at the time, so my youngest would have been about two. And I had lost all my confidence. I didn't know who I was, aside from being the children's mom, and being a wife. And it was a very, very scary experience for me, one that I had to really push myself into. And it wasn't comfortable. It wasn't comfortable at all. But I'm so glad I did it, because it shaped the last decade of my life. Crikey. So how did you do it? You've mentioned that it came from quite a negative place. Knowing you now I know, it turned into a very positive thing. Yes. How did you how did you put that return to theatre into action? So yes, as I mentioned, we were a difficult place in our marriage. And my ex husband without getting into too much detail had basically said he didn't know what he wanted anymore. And by this stage, we'd been together almost 20 years. So not married for 20, but been together since University. So I think that really was like a massive splash of cold water over me to try and and find who I was, again, because I was thinking, Well, my security basis completely, you know, being obliterated here, I need to find some ground, that's mine. So he did, he said, Well, you've always talked about there to want to go and join something because clearly, you're not happy. So I did. And I got in contact with bamboo cosplayers. And the first time I went, it was lovely, because they had somebody over from another Theatre Company leading a musical session where they were singing, and they had a keyboard there. And, and I really enjoyed, that was a really nice introduction. For me, actually, it put me in my comfort zone, because you know, you can get in your little zone and sing and not worry about anybody else. Because I think for me, at that point, actually, facing people, looking them in the eye was a real problem for me, I think, because there was, there was lots of emotional issues in my marriage. And I was at an Arab, which I was unrecognisable to myself now, just from the point of view of just lacking total confidence in in anything about me. So being into this in this situation, where I was just in the zone and singing, and I didn't have to talk to anybody, but I was there was a real triumph. And then subsequent Tuesday's, I went along, and there were one or two people that were very welcoming, and others, you know, you just feel like you've joined a group, and everybody knows what everybody else and everybody knows what's going on. And you just feel like you stick out like a sore thumb. And I think there would have been lots of opportunities for me to just say, you know what, I can't do this, I can't do this. I'm not even sure I ever could. And that's where I was in my head. I'm not sure that I ever could do this theatre thing. Could I act? Now that you know, that was that was when I was a kid. People were just nice to me, you know? Not that I'm saying I'm amazing now. But what I'm saying is that, you know, you kind of have a way of colouring the past and thinking, maybe it wasn't the way that I remembered it. So I kept going along. And gradually I got involved in you know, performing. And I think I was there about four or five months, and I auditioned for the first show, which was a pantomime. But I got the part of the princess and I had to sing and I got to act again. And that was a real, it was lovely. It was really lovely to be pulled back into the midst of performance. And I think very quickly, I found my feet in terms of being comfortable. It was an escape, even though maybe the idea of it being an escape or it could be perceived as a negative one. For me, it was a very positive one because of all the turmoil that was going on in my personal life. It was it was a comfortable place to be eventually, and I got to actually start striking out on my own. Not only exploring What I liked how I wanted to deliver something, how I wanted to present something, but also how I wanted to present myself to the outside world. I can't tell you how scary it was to, to not have a pram in front of me. It was my comfort blanket, the kids and and I say the prime, but the kids were my comfort blanket, and I didn't have them there. And so that that was scary. But moving from that place of not knowing who I was to, to actually starting to remember who I was and to find out new things about me. Barbara cosplayers helped me do that. And I'm hugely, hugely thankful for having that opportunity. I love sharing my guests stories with you. But podcasting isn't cheap. There are hosting fees and software costs, tech to buy and time to invest in planning and editing. To make sure the guests sound great. And listeners hear the best content. If you'd like to financially support creativity found, please visit kayo hyphen, f slash creativity found podcast. going from one extreme to the other, then Tara, it's wonderful that you had you found that strength to push yourself to stay with the players. You You were on the committee with the players and you were chair for a while and you started peppered wit. So you've obviously gone on leaps and bounds. Tell me a bit about how peppered whip developed over the years. How being on the committee of that of the players helped maybe move that forward? Yes. Okay. So I probably was weird boundary cross players, maybe a couple of years. And I was asked to stand for the Committee, which I did. And I took it as a huge learning opportunity because I knew absolutely nothing. So I was with them for on the committee for two or three years. And then I was asked to stand for chair. And I did and I was delighted to be elected and I spent a year being vice chair and learning from from the chairman and he was very willing to share his insights and and to be approachable. And then I spent two years as chair and then another year is vice and then I stepped down so I had Gosh, I'd say 12345 or six years on the committee at boundary cosplayers and I learned a lot and it was at a time of great change for the boundary cosplayers because they'd always been, I suppose, not resident, but yes resident at the middle Art Centre and there was a lot of structural changes going on and managerial changes going on. I was involved with the changing relationship and the renegotiation of the relationship between bamboo cosplayers and the mill, which was difficult at times because of, of history, but was was positively handled and taught me a lot, I think, in terms of diplomacy. So I spent that time with with bamboo cosplayers, and on the administrative side, and we'd started to talk about festivals, and the possibility of going to the Edinburgh Fringe, I'd been involved with a small group that had re entered the Oxfordshire drama and network festival after a 20 year gap. And we've done very well and won an award, that there was disagreement about what sort of production should go. And I think at that point, I decided that I'd quite like to do it anyway. And it was from that decision that peppered with, came about myself and probably about four or five other actors that I'd known through bambrick cosplayers started peppered with and we had one of us writer play, which wasn't a particularly great play, I have to say, and that was probably what the players disliked in the first place. But that's fine. You know, we live and learn. But the point about it is that, that decision to take that play to Edinburgh, started peppered with and started a whole new learning curve for me personally. And it wasn't great. As I said, I think our lowest review was probably a three, no, probably a two star actually. But the point was, it was proper Edinburgh Fringe fair, bit inappropriate, lots of rude jokes, quite shocking. There was there was there was room to act in it. You know, it wasn't just rubbish. There was room to actually get to grips with some some meatiness in the play. But overall, it wasn't great. But that aside, it was a huge baptism of fire for us. And if I think about it in terms of the fact that in our first year of action, instance, which was 2011 to 2012. You know, we actually had a full blown tour and ended up in Edinburgh, in our first year of existence, that was quite something I had a huge amount to learn, and a lot to do it was it was a full time job, really. And, as I mentioned, the play not being great. We had to learn to deal with criticism. And I think having only been back in theatre at that stage for about four years or so was interesting. Yes, it was. You learn to overcome the personal slight from the critiques and understand that you know, somebody's feelings about something is, are theirs and they're personal. And of course, they're absolutely entitled to say how they feel. But that doesn't mean that you have to deviate from your path, you can continue doing what you're doing quite happily, and come to terms with the fact that somebody else might not like it. For us that probably fostered part of our ethos, which for peppered wit, which is about eliciting some sort of response, the whole purpose for us for doing theatre is is to bring something to our audience a question to our audience, for example, which elicits an emotional response or an intellectual response from them. If they don't care, one way or the other, we failed, but if they love it, or they hate it, or that, you know, then we've achieved something and and that's part of why we do what we do. So we've had quite a few projects since then, I think, we did awkward in 2012. Then we did the collector, the collector was a brilliant show. Actually, it was a two hander, full length play two hander about based on the novel by john files, about the undergraduate who is stalked and kidnapped and then kept as a captive in in a cellar of the person who abducted her. And then it's about their relationship, if you can call it that. The play was so brilliant, because it was it really got the audience to question where their sympathies lay, you might automatically think that you know, it would be with the with the with the person that's been abducted. But because you're you're putting a microscope literally onto each of these characters. People's sympathies were moving, you know, from left to right, all the way through the play. It was it was a really exciting project to be on and very intense 2019 we toured with a show called The Wasp by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm. And that was another two hander we kind of like our 200 is actually quite an intense women in the arts, it was two women. And a real shocker dealing with bullying between girls how deeply and intensely that can affect somebody and wreak havoc on their life. That particular play was full of twists and turns and you never really had a handle on it. Even if you thought you did right up until the end, which is just the sort of play that happened we'd like to do. Perfect. I was wondering whether the nitty gritty part of putting on a production and running a theatre company and trying to make ends meet. Whether that detracts from your enjoyment or passion for the actual theatre making? Absolutely not. I finances a difficult I mean for everybody at the moment. And I know that a lot of artists are finding it very difficult to make ends meet, as it was we were self producing anyway. And we have found it very difficult to make a profit from what we do. So part of that is the way that I think it's how difficult it is to get funding in the first place. And when you're not involved with new writing as well, that's an extra financial burden the licencing side of things as well. We're certainly at a stage where we're wanting to try and get some funding because it's it's very, very difficult to see a future where we continue to self produce, and we continue to put in the finances and not be able to recoup everything that we've put in. That's that's, you know, very difficult and not a scenario that can continue indefinitely. So I will park that on one side. And that's what happens when you're in the theatre. I think we do all the admin and we do the deal with the finances and how things are going to work. But when we get into the rehearsal room when we get onto the stage, that's all parked, and the real reason for why we're there, what we're actually trying to achieve the the picture that we're trying to present to people, the experience that we're trying to give to an audience. That's what takes priority. And if I'm not involved with anything like that, I do feel quite empty, to be honest and I certainly during this period of luck Down, I've been looking for alternative ways to express creativity. But if I'm not involved in something I get quite down, I think, and I don't realise it until I'm right in the midst of feeling really down and then you think, oh, what's missing? Are? Yes, it's no theatre. But yes, there's the stress and strain of actually, running the theatre company is not enough to stop me from wanting to do it. No. Good. That's perfect. Speaking again, of needing to be doing it. We're in January 2021. Now, so obviously, you've been through 2020. But how have you managed and what projects have you got going on now? My best friend, she very sadly lost both of her parents over the space of about 20 years to cancer. And she is a writer, she's a journalist. But she has written her first play during the period of time that her dad was going through his illness. She used writing as a form of catharsis and a way to process everything that was going on. She's such a strong and amazing woman. And I love her very dearly. And she had written this plane, she asked me to read it. And it's very, very good. And she had said to me, I would love you to take this with peppered with to fringe. And we just started to speak about this. And then obviously, we went into lockdown. And we had to try and work out a way of producing this play without being able to be together. And so we quickly decided that, because she had some contacts with animators across the globe, we had a bit of a brainstorming session on what about if we produce this plays and animation. And so that's what we're doing. That's been our project for the last little while, I cast the voices. And we have voiced it. My fiance is a sound engineer. So he was has been able to do all the sound, he's actually written some of the music for it as well. I also got him to voice act as well, which he was a little bit resistant do but he's actually very good. We've started working with these amazing animators to put together this, this show. And the interesting thing about this show is it's not a it's not like a an animated story. It's actually an animation of a theatre production. So these, these animators have produced drawings for each of us that they've actually based on us. So we spent a lot of time rehearsing over zoom. As you can imagine, as so many people have done just recently, because we're not completely finished yet. In order to put this animation on stage, the animators have actually built, they've built a theatre, in miniature. This story is centred around a group of cancer sufferers who meet in a in a village hall. And our animators have actually built one. And it's, you know, it's it's fitted out with little lights, it's got a lighting rig in there, it's got a set of it's, it's amazing. It's absolutely stunning. So this is what we've been involved with. And we're now at the point where we're looking for platforms, we are wanting to premiere it for ourselves. And we could do that. But we're also looking for short film festivals and potentially fringe festivals if they have because that's, that's where that's what happened with does it does fringe festivals. That's what we have done a lot of so whether there are fringe festivals with digital platforms coming up for 2021. This is where we're at at the moment, and this is what we've been busy doing and busying ourselves with. That is so cool. That's really an exciting project. What other plans do you have going forward? Well, I'm on the board of trustees at the loft. And they invited me to join them about 18 months ago and there's a lot of knowledge on that board. The loft Theatre in lemington is coming up for 100 years next year, 100 years young next year. There's a lots of people that once they finish their professional careers, from the BBC from the RSC that have joined the law theatre, and there's an immense amount of knowledge and so I'm really soaking that up at the moment. I've started teaching home educated children their skills as well. So around September time, I answered a call out from an Oxfordshire home educating group and so I've been teaching theatre and drama since September outdoors when we were able to but on zoom for some of it, it's really good to be able to see them blossom from some of those children have been so shy and watching them move from not being able to say hello to you on the very first day that they see you to then actually being excited To be in the class and, and exuberance and and contributing with their ideas, it's, it's it's absolutely wonderful to behold so I've been involved with that too. In terms of my plans for the future, My dream is to have my own small venue, my own theatre venue, it's so expensive to perform, and particularly when you're self producing well, even if you're getting funding, it's expensive. But venues need to be able to keep going as well. I'd really like to be able to give opportunities to those that don't think that they would be able to put their own shows on and I would really love to be able to break down some of those boundaries between the amateur circuit and the the professional circuit as well, because I think that there is a big wall there, which I think could be, could afford to be chipped away out a little bit. I love to be able to give opportunities to people that didn't think that they could have them so whether they're teenagers who enjoy theatre, but don't know how to move forward with it, or you know, giving the opportunity to young people to go and see shows, or to even awaken something in them that gives them that desire to want to be involved in something creatively. You know, those I think are quite significant goals for me for the future. peppered with a really keen and I am personally really keen to collaborate in whatever way I can and pretty much anything artistic to be honest with you. It I think it comes from that whole ethos of not having any boundaries and not in a bad way, just creatively. We are on all the usual platforms. We're on Facebook, search for peppered with productions. You can find us there. We're on Instagram as well peppered wit. We're on the interweb www dot peppered we're on Twitter to papplewick on Twitter. That's kind of obvious, isn't it? And you could email me personally, I'm Tara at peppered Thanks so much, Tara. I've loved hearing your story and your plans. And that's been really joyful and enlightening. So thank you ever so much. Oh, Claire, thank you so much for having me. It's been an absolute pleasure to talk to you and I hope we get to do it again. You're welcome.

Podcasts we love