Insight into The Card 

by Cast Member, Isobel Chadwick

I had no idea what to expect when I joined the Claybody Community Company for The Card, but as someone trying to navigate the acting industry and gain any experience I can, I said yes to everything. I was given the opportunity to attend some cast rehearsals if I wanted to, as a way of learning about the rehearsal process – I decided to go every day.

At the start, I was really just observing, but I was soon welcomed into every part of the process with respect and as an equal to the professional actors. It felt so natural – I never felt out of my depth, just part of the process of creating a show. This experience was an education for me, a form of training, learning on the job but just getting on with it without being patronised or excluded.

It was so exciting to be given the opportunity and responsibility of opening the song on my own at the end of Act 1. I love singing and felt this was something I could completely trust myself to do, but it also felt significant for me, and made me feel truly part of the show. It was the perfect branch between something I felt comfortable with and capable of, and something with a solid element of nerves.

Throughout the run, every single show was a lesson and a joy. The main lesson being that things do go wrong, and you will make different mistakes every show, but it always turns out fine and finishes with the brass band playing and everyone clapping and feeling completely cheered up.

This experience was not only one of the happiest times of my life, but also an experience that gave me a tiny glimpse into what it could be to be an actor. The mixture of singing, laughing, twelve-hour days, dancing, being exhausted but having the absolute time of my life has only enforced my decision that I absolutely have to be an actor. I will go from this experience feeling assured, excited and extremely passionate about the rest of my life.