Biog...

The idea of writing about who you are and what you are doing used to be a strange one, like letting everyone read your diary.  As someone in the creative arts - self-employed and 'on your own' it is vital to promote your skills and talents to the world, yet many of us are shy, self-deprecating folk who just want to work; often the hardest thing is to blow your own trumpet.  And once blown, it is wide open to the myriad forms of judgement and opinions our media-savvy society enjoys.

 

However, the work's the thing!

​Sometimes the only thing is to get on and create some of your own if it's not knocking at the door.

My rocky road along the artistic highway has been full of memorable moments and a ton of adrenaline but I can honestly say hand on heart, it has never been dull.

Shy when performing at school and sadly, with no obvious mentor, I hid my inner passion until two fabulous local amateur dramatics societies began to give me roles and confidence.  After a near-fatal car accident put the brakes on my ambitions in my late teens, and feeling lucky every single day since, I craved some stability and turned to a degree in European Policy with a year spent working at Air France in Paris - an experience 'chock-full' of material for later life.

The passion still burned however, and a little drama school called The Academy in London's Whitechapel took a chance on a very rough piece of material and rounded me, thanks to their tireless and oh so dedicated tutors, over the course of two years, into someone who felt they could hold their own on a professional stage.

Small fringe runs and short film experience followed but fate decided to send me back to the south west due to family upheaval and almost accidental dog ownership.

A return to the amateur groups that had been so instrumental in my past led to an inevitable resurgence of the artistic passion (it never truly gets extinguished but you get good at sidelining it if you really must) and some very invigorating, outdoor Shakespeare productions in the grounds of historic buildings and a couple of classic Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams productions led to encouragement by fellow cast members to 'try again'.

That is where the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School comes in.  Former Students lists read like a Who's Who of individuality and variety of British stage and screen and it is humbling and somewhat surreal to walk through the door.

The school has the former BBC Christchurch Studios in Clifton to give all students a highly professional taste of working in radio and voiceover and I was chosen to be part of the Carleton Hobbs Bursary Award team.

Working with three amazing teammates, we all ended up winning contracts on the esteemed BBC Radio Drama Rep, two winning the award outright and two of us as runners-up who were subsequently invited to join shortly afterwards.

There my vocal journey really began as one day you are shut in a broom cupboard with a very famous face, vocally pretending to get amorous and the next, dusting off a South African dialect as you run with strange animals across the deadroom floor standing in for the savannah.  Working on John Le Carré's Smiley series, the director Patrick Rayner was wonderful in giving me time in studio to polish Bella the Baltic Strumpet in 'The Secret Pilgrim' amongst a star-studded cast.

The fourth and final year as Miss Isabel Graham in 'Home Front', BBC Radio Drama's commemoration of the centenary of the Great War and its largest-ever single commission for a series, has concluded a most moving and eye-opening journey as every season brings vividly to life not just wartime Britain, but early 20th Century Britain and how history really has been 'altered' depending on who is doing the documenting.

These experiences have all led me to the limitless world of voiceover, where the world is indeed your oyster in a 4 x 5 feet vocal booth - just you and the microphone...

© 2017 Keely Beresford