Alexandra is clearly a very talented and accomplished dancer and actress. It was a pleasure hearing where her motivation and inspiration to pursue this career has come from. However, what struck me the most was her fearlessness to take the leap into the unknown, trust herself and grow from her experiences.
Taking The Leap
Warming up at Liberdade
I’ve always loved the creative arts. It makes me feel free. It gives me the freedom to express myself.
My Mum’s Mum, my Nan, she was lovely. It was her and my Grandad that influenced my passion for drama. My Grandad loved musicals and that is how I got into it really. They aren’t around to come and watch me now, and I wish that they could be, but my Grandad had such a big influence on me. He used to be in a male voice choir and that is why I love singing.
Earlier in my career I was in the BBC talent fund scheme for a while and I had a call saying that they were auditioning for a role on a TV show. I got through the first stage and then got another phone call saying that I had a part in East Enders. That part was called Rosie. Pat Butcher had a sister and that was who I played. We were based in a care home but it wasn’t on set, it was on location. It was an amazing experience. I had chauffeur driven cars with my sister, we had caterers and I had my own dressing room. It was just so cool, it was crazy. Crazy but good.
Alex and Pat Butcher
Having lived in Newcastle all my life I moved down from Newcastle to London in 2017 to be closer to family. I was upset at first to move away because I had a lot of friends in Newcastle so it was hard leaving them, but I understood why. I do chat to them now and then which is quite nice. I think the reason it hit me so hard was because when I left I had a big leaving do and I had a tear in my eye. I knew I had to do it, it was a leap I had to take and its actually really nice to see my sister and my nieces more often. It makes me happy. They are the light of my life and being close to them is really nice.
I was in a physical theatre company called Liberdade for fourteen years in Newcastle. Three days a week I would go there. It was different to Chickenshed, it was a different life to the one I have in London. It was quite samey and I just thought that I needed to have a change. Again, I needed to take that leap.
Alex in Dirty Dancing
I had dreamt of being in Chickenshed, and now I’m doing it. I kept saying to my parents ‘I want to go down to Chickenshed’ and they kept saying ‘No it’s too far away’. But when I first came to London there was a show at Chickenshed and I went straight to the rehearsals. Although I couldn’t do the show because I was ill, that was my first experience of Chickenshed.
Since then I got involved in The Space Between Us which has given me more experience as a performer. At first it was a bit weird, because I did not know anyone, but I have gained more friends now. I feel happier and more comfortable at Chickenshed.
While my Dad takes me to Chickenshed and I’m not an independent traveller- although I would like to be eventually- I’ve gained more independence since being in London. I feel I can do more things for myself. Although I was confident when I was younger I am more confident now and I feel part of a community.
10th Anniversary Party at Liberdade
I have dance and drama classes in the week and I go to Chickenshed some Thursdays as well as being part of the Herts. Inclusive Theatre. I have also been a member of a choir in the past and also done signed singing.
Rachel has really boosted my confidence right up to the top and I really thank her for being such a good mentor and friend to me. Back in my early days I was dreaming about Chickenshed and now I’m doing it. I feel like I am living my dream right now.
Written by Holly with Alex
Through this project we hope to tell the stories of many different people and celebrate a multitude of perspectives. If you would like to share your story with us, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by sending us a dm on Instagram @growinghappyuk