I remember the first day I set foot in the Lyric theatre, August 2018, I was doing a workshop for audition techniques. When I first arrived, I was absolutely terrified. I had just come from Belfast School of Performing Arts, where I was surrounded by a lot of children younger than me. I decided to leave BSPA so that I could pursue more professional training in acting, as it has been a great passion of mine for a very long time. Before beginning at the Lyric, it’s fair to say that I was a very anxious 16 year old at the time and the thought of talking to new people who have been training at the Lyric for longer, really scared me. Spending that week at the Lyric really helped me get out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to come back for more training.
A month later, I decided to join the Thursday theatre classes. Coming back to such a professional environment with new people was again very nerve racking, but at the end of that first class, I felt right at home and had so much fun. Two years down the line in the Thursday classes and workshops, I felt like I became a completely different person. I began at the Lyric as the more quiet person who was nervous to interact, and now I think it’s fair to say that Erin, our Creative Learning Schools Coordinator, would probably tell you I sometimes tend to be a bit of a rowdy class clown (sorry Erin).
After two years of weekly classes and workshops, I can say whole heartedly that I have made some of my best friendships there and have gained so much knowledge in the world of acting from so many professional facilitators. From improv to radio drama, vocal coaching, physical theatre, miming, clowning, biomechanics, prosthetic makeup, stage combat. You name it, they will teach it.
My journey with the Lyric has sadly come to quite an abrupt ending. I will be moving away for University, which is very intimidating, but I will take with me so many lessons the Lyric has taught me. Every train journey I had to take from Ballymena to Belfast on a Thursday evening, was completely worth it. If anyone is wanting to receive professional training in acting, the Lyric is the place to go. Not only will you enhance your knowledge, you will also meet people (friends and teachers) that are happy to help you along the way. I began at the Lyric as a shy teenager, and I’ve come out as a confident young woman who’s not scared to put myself out there. Join the classes and try the workshops. You won’t regret it!
(If you’re lucky, you may also see some familiar faces. I’ve ran into some of the cast members from Derry Girls like three times.)
Frances Mills, 18
Senior Theatre School