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Walking through the doors of SAVVY

I have always been interested in performing arts, luckily for me I was able to attend a performing arts college, which influenced me to choose GCSE Drama, followed by a course in Performing Arts as I stayed on for Sixth Form. Although it was very stressful at times I thoroughly enjoyed every performance I was involved in. Sadly when Sixth Form came to an end, so did the performances. It wasn’t long after that I started to really miss performing.

I decided it was time to get back into it so I went online to search up theatre companies I could potentially join, and that’s when I found SAVVY.

Other companies I got in touch with didn’t get back to me for weeks, this is why I was so impressed with the company as they got back to me within the hour giving me information on show dates and also the days that the company rehearse during the week. It was on the Wednesday when I emailed SAVVY, and by the next day I was already on my way to visit them!

I drove down to Riddlesdown feeling excited, yet a little nervous due to the change I was about to experience. At Shirley High, there were always a few people I knew, even going into Sixth Form, but this was really different. I knew nobody. However I was more excited than anything, so I was able to ignore my nervousness.

I opened the first set of doors to let myself into the building. I walked up the stairs and paused (this is when the nerves really started kicking in) and it was at this point where I started to tell myself to go home and come back again next Thursday, but I knew if I did leave, I would have immediately regretted the decision. (Knowing me I probably would’ve put the next week off and the week after next off and so on.) In fact, I actually did leave the building and I started walking back to my car, but I thought to myself “I’ve come this far, I might as well go for it.” So I did …

I walked back inside, and when I opened the second set of doors I could hear a few people having a conversation, so I just awkwardly stood there for a while not knowing whether to walk in or not. I mean what’s the worst that could happen? The whole of the SAVVY Company would eat me alive? No problem! I opened the door and took the few steps into the pit, all eyes were on me and then… With a huge smile “Hello! How are you?” The mood had changed instantaneously. From what I thought would be a Lions Pit to attending a tea party with cuddly bears and unicorns (who obviously talk, because that would be weird if cuddly bears and unicorns couldn’t talk). Honestly, the nicest group of people I have ever met. Everyone made me feel at home straight away.

The best thing about SAVVY is that you don’t need to audition to get in, imagine if I had to walk in and audition straight away. I genuinely think I would have passed out there and then. Two months in and I’ve done my first show with the company ‘Back to Wonderland’. I enjoyed every millisecond of the show, from being on stage right down to the dressing rooms with the big mirror and lights going all the way around the edge. Like the ones you see in movies. I can’t lie; I felt a little bit like Tom Cruise. All that was missing were the sunglasses! I can easily say I’ve made some great lifelong friends and I am so glad I found the confidence to walk through the doors of SAVVY, a decision I will never regret.

By Yousef Sharif


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