As a child I lived to perform. From writing and staging plays in primary school, to local and regional theatre groups, weekly acting classes and one-to-one acting coaching throughout my teens, it was in my blood.
Then life led me down a different path. During my twenties and early thirties I travelled, lived and worked in over thirty countries around the world. I learnt to speak several languages fluently. I spent time with the UN working in some of the world’s poorest countries including Niger, Ethiopia, Bihar State and Nagapattiman in the aftermath of the Tsumami. I worked with the World Economic Forum in China. I spent a lot of time in the UK’s underground house and techno scene running nights and also promoting for one of the world’s most talented and successful music producers and DJs. I met my husband. I had three children. But I was lost. And that passion for theatre - the thing that’s either in your blood, or isn’t - was still there. And it was a voice that wasn’t going away. I decided it was time to listen.
2013. I was inspired to action by a production of Harold Pinter’s Old Times. My husband bought me a birthday present – a place on the Acting for Absolute Beginners course run by the wonderful Simon Bowen at UAE. From there, I signed up for the Total Actors Toolbox at the City Literary Institute, which led to a Foundation Year, which led to an Access to HE in Drama. RCSSD then opened its doors to me for the year-long Acting Diploma. In 2018, I was accepted into RADA. Since graduating in 2019, I’ve worked pretty much non-stop on a range of theatre and film projects. I've got several exciting projects lined up for 2021.
Throughout this journey, many people have said I was mad and some have openly laughed at me. One Drama School told me ‘I was clearly creative and needed an outlet for that, but I should think very carefully about what I was doing as it will be impossible’ (they rejected me). The Artistic Director of one theatre told me that without three years of full-time drama school training, he wouldn't even look at my CV. I chose to ignore these voices. I chose to listen to the people who were with me. To the person that said to me in 2014 as I sat heavily pregnant with my third child in my end-of-year tutorial: ‘If anyone can do it Emma, you can’. I chose to listen to and work with the many people that have given me opportunities to grow. I chose to listen to the voice within me. Ultimately, I chose to follow my dream.
Combining all this with raising three small children over the last seven years has not been easy. I’ve worked non-stop to ensure I combine training with performing as much as possible. I’ve now been in 30 plays and 10 films. The wealth of life experience I accumulated during the time I was away from performing has proven invaluable for my work. My husband and my family have been tireless and unwavering in their support. I have a lot to thank them all for.
I’m half Roma, first generation off a travelling fairground site. I take my stage name from my Grandmother. She taught me that if you really want to change your life you can.
My grandmother Lavinia May Wright (far left) outside her Caravan. She moved the family off the site when my mother was 3 years old
“And if they say that all your dreams are too big to come true, you tell them that I told you
“that’s what dreams are meant to do’’
(Dallas Clayton, An Awesome Book).