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Nadia's Trip to The Globe - London

Nadia Officer —

I have been acting Shakespeare specifically since I was 12 years old. I grew up being told I was “too loud”, “too dramatic”, someone who should “bite their tongue” and should just stick to academics. My experience with Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand, through the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand University of Otago, Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Regional Festivals over the past 7 years, including the National Festival held in Wellington in 2021, and 2022, the SGCNZ National Shakespeare School Production in 2021 and the SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company in 2022 have been the largest contributing factors to my happiness. Without the kindness, patience and generosity of my fellow SGCNZ members, I don’t think I would be the person I am today.

My first experience on stage was in the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand, University of Otago Sheila Winn Shakespeare Regional Festival as part of a team when I was in Year 7 of school. The previous year, I was told by a teacher that I was too young to understand Shakespeare and that a "girl like me" (referring to both my ethnicity and how quiet I seemed at the time) could never go far in acting, and that since he didn't understand Shakespeare, it is unlikely that I ever would. From there I took every chance I had to act. This led me to develop a strong passion for the performing arts that has only grown stronger as the years have gone by. Hornby High School really nourished this passion and that led to the biggest achievement of my life so far.

I was selected last year to be part of the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand Young Shakespeare Company for 2022 after doing SGCNZ NSSP the previous year in Wellington.

This was an extremely significant achievement for me and meant that I was able to travel to London in July of this year and perform on the Globe Theatre Stage with 48 other young Kiwi actors. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the Globe is a reconstruction of the Theatre of Shakespeare's time and is now a world-renowned theatre, education centre, and cultural landmark. I had the opportunity to work with distinguished directors, tutors, and actors, to cultivate a performance of King Lear to perform on the stage that some actors can only dream of. Throughout the two weeks in the UK, I managed to work with some incredible youth, travel to a place I never thought I’d get to be, and learn more about myself than I ever thought I could. I have now developed an even larger desire to study Theatre, my next step is the Hagley Theatre Company for the next 2 years.

Previously in my life, I remember being absolutely fascinated by the English culture, all the glamorous sides of being an actor. The West End, the Globe, being on the big screen! Being part of the Young Shakespeare Company of New Zealand has finally given me a push to pursue my passions. When I was younger I "wanted" to be a lawyer. Cliche I know. But I was always told that they’re just actors who get paid more than regular actors. In New Zealand, teachers and career advisors will always push you away from acting. But being a part of the company has taught me that the passion you bring to your craft can make an incredible difference in how you want to live your life. Working with my amazingly talented director Johnathan Woolf has taught me so much about being a real actor. He would tell us stories about how he had to work three jobs but it was always worth it to pursue the thing that he loves. The craft of drama, acting and Shakespeare is one from which few manage to make a living, but those with great passion are bound to turn it into their life. The first experience we ever had with Mr Woolf was one that I will never forget. Initially I was scared of him. But then when we got to the nitty gritty of it all, I was incredibly entranced by our process. Our Serpents Tooth Company already knew each other of course. But by working with Jonathan, we were able to build such incredibly strong bonds that will last us a lifetime.

I wouldn't have made it this far without the help of my drama teacher Mrs Joanne Clark. Mrs Clark has been there for me from day one. Whether it was directing me in a Shakespearean piece, or when I’m stressed about other things, Mrs Clark has always been there. She is my ultimate inspiration and has taught me so much not only about acting but also about life in general. She made the biggest effort to help me get to London and words cannot describe how grateful I am to have her in my life.

I would like to extend my thanks to all that have helped me get on that plane. Thank you to the Hornby Greater Residence Association, The Dove Trust, The Robert Twigg Fund, everyone who contributed to my GivealittlePage, Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand, Dawn Sanders, and the Inspire Foundation for being fabulous supporters and helping me start my dream life.

The experience of working on the Globe stage has been something I have aspired to do ever since I was taught about its existence. The thought of the ‘Wooden O’ was never something I thought I’d get to see, and I am so grateful I was able to perform on it. In July I had the privilege to work with the most talented group of people I have ever known to exist and perform on an International London Stage. From my fellow Young Shakespeare Company, but also the generous people who cared for us while we were there, the remarkable Mrs Dawn Sanders, Brianne Kerr, Tai Samalei, Marie Hunnieball, and Allan Roberts, to the people that were involved in our trip, they were the most incredibly beautiful people I have ever had the pleasure of spending my days with. My experience with SGCNZ has been a life-changing journey and I will always be grateful to all of those that contributed to the experience of being part of the company.

I extend my gratitude to Hornby High School, without the pursuit of 'Creative Excellence', what else really is there to enjoy?

Thank you, Nadia