By Mima Williams
“Discovering Graeae for me was like Harry Potter when he discovered magic and Hogwarts…”
Hey I’m Jemima, Mimes or Mima. I’m the new Projects Intern here at Graeae on a nine month paid internship. This is my first professional job out in the big, wide adult world. I’m quite impressed I have this opportunity and made myself proud for the first time in a long time!
Discovering Graeae for me was like Harry Potter when he discovered magic and Hogwarts. I had theatre in my blood but hadn’t used it.
How did I get to know about Graeae? It was back in 2013, I was really sad at this point. I was at home because my social care package for independent living fell through. A lot of things that happened that year weren’t that positive. But I had been told about Graeae, so I wheeled in one day, demanding to know about this professional, disabled-led theatre company that was in my neighbourhood! Soon after meeting Jodi at Graeae, I was invited to join the Rollettes, Graeae’s young company, as a Young Artist in Residence for their 2013 Christmas show. I was very excited. I really enjoyed meeting new people and working with (creative team) Mik Scarlet , Jodi, Laura Dajao and Amit Sharma.
Our first performance was at Theatre Royal Stratford East (TRSE), performing the curtain raiser for TRSE’s pantomime that year. Before the show, I was behind Mik and suddenly I felt sick – I had stage fright for the first time in my life. I told myself, “I don’t think I can do this”. Then, Mik forgot one of his dance moves and we both burst into laughter. And this helped me eventually get over the nerves.
April 2014 came, It would be my first holiday. I was exhausted. But then I was asked to play a part in the pre-show of Graeae’s production of Belonging at the Roundhouse. Brilliant! Jenny Sealey is one of the best Artistic Directors I’ve ever worked with. Being in the show was enjoyable and creative; compared to coursework I had to do over the holidays! Jenny asked for my CV afterwards. I was chuffed!
It was Christmas again and another Rollettes Christmas Show. I made another lot of new friends and enjoyed it thoroughly because we laughed so much and worked together very well.
Now in 2016 I’m looking forward to learning loads on my Internship, becoming more professional, making a name for myself in the disability theatre world and the wider arts field so I could get into the field long term.
With thanks to the support of A New Direction and the Creative Employment Programme.