Actor - bad education
1. What was your school like?
I went to a standard comprehensive in my hometown in Essex. It was a specialist performing arts school which means it ha extra funding for equipment for that sort of stuff.
2. What is your favourite memory of school?
Mainly using that equipment! I learnt a lot of skills both on an off the stage that were very useful to me.
3. How did your school experience influence/help your career?
Secondary school was my first real experience of acting and performing. If I hadn't been exposed to it I doubt I would have gone on to study it at Uni, met all the people I've met and, more importantly, be doing what I'm doing now.
4. Were you bullied at school? If so how did you overcome this?
Being a chubby, smart aleck drama kid, you do unfortunately become a bit of a target. However, quite early on, I discovered that humour is a good way to combat it. Being able to make people laugh was very important to me, as it allowed me to deal with some of the nastier of my peers. As a stand up comedian today, it's a tactic I still use. There's nothing more therapeutic than a laugh.
5. What was your favourite school subject?
Obviously Drama was right up there but I also really enjoyed English. My degree was in Drama and Creative Writing so I was able to combine my two favourite subjects.
6. What did you look forward to when you went back to school after the holidays? What advice would you give to young people who are going back to school after the holidays?
I had a small, close knit group of friends that I always enjoyed hanging it with so it was always good to see them again. Also, I was one of those weird kids who actually really enjoyed school and learning so it was never a chore to come back. My advice would be to just enjoy what you do at school and bear in mind that everything you learn there will be useful at some point, in class and out.
7. Was there anything you worried about when you went back to school after the holidays? How did you overcome this?
There were some subjects I really struggled with at school such as maths which I would always dread. My way around it would just be to learn what I could and hope for the best. My mum, always a fountain of sage advice, always told me that if you do you best no one can ask for more. It's a good way to look at things I think.
8. What was your favourite school meal?
My school canteen did toasted sandwiches that were always delicious. I'd have one every day.
9. If you had to go back to school again what would you change?
I'm not one to think about changing things. Everything that happened, good or bad, sculpted me into who I am today. There are good experiences and bad experiences but every single one is important. Besides, if everything was always awesome for you all the time, you'd end up being quite a boring person in my view.
10. What advice would you give to anyone who is worried about going back to school because of bullying issues?
As cliched as it is, always remember that people are there. From big anti bullying organisations such as this, down to teachers, down to your own friends, you are never ever alone. I won't pretend that being bullied is easy or that it's that simple but it's always worth remembering: no matter how low you feel, someone has your back.
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