WARNING: This blog post contains multiple references to The Sound of Music. It may be cheesy, but I’m cheesy so just go with it.

I know it’s been a while since my last post but I try to wait for the right inspiration before writing. It just turns out that I need to travel to another continent (and listen to an orchestra rehearsing one of my favourite scores as I write) to find it. So here is a little one that I hope provides you with a bit of inspiration too.

(As a side note, on the off chance you don’t stalk me, I’ve just finished playing Sister Margaretta in Curve’s production of The Sound of Music and now I’m in Cairo playing Sister Sophia. I can’t seem to break the habit. BADDUMMCHHHHHHH. Right, back to the blog….)

I’d never have thought, this time last year, that I’d currently be sat in a purpose built tent, in the middle of an Egyptian desert, rehearsing The Sound of Music. I don’t think anyone would have! In February last year I was working in a restaurant with little sign of relief. I only had my own self belief, thinking that something good was bound had to happen sooner or later.

Now, a year on, I’m in a very lucky position having just gone from one contract straight into the other – albeit, hilariously, a different production of the exact same show. I still thank my lucky stars daily. After leaving the Curve, I moved back to London and started rehearsals for The Sound of Music Mark II the next day. It was only going to be a short run, traveling to Beirut of all places, and would leave me funemployed for the unluckiest day of the year – Friday 13th. It was then by some strange twist of fate that our contracts got thrown back up in the air and we followed (in a plane, mind you) bringing us to Cairo. I must have said “what is this crazy life we lead!?” at least fifty times this week – if not today. I mean, on our day off we went for a saunter around one of the Seven Wonders of the World. What is this crazy life?

It got me thinking (you know what I’m like and we have a lot of thinking time whilst driving into the desert) about the uncertainty of our career choice and how we choose to look at that uncertainty. I know it’s daunting to have a period of unemployment ahead. Trust me, I’ve been that terrified waitress. However, I think it’s important to spin the potentially devastating thought into exciting ones. Try to find, or imagine even, the endless possibilities that could be on the horizon for you and keep working towards them – if only for your own sanity.

You’re often told (or, at least, I was) that it’s about waiting for the right job to come along at the right time. I know, for me, that was incredibly true. The right show for you could be just around the corner so it’s important that you’re ready for it when it comes. The thought of what could be should always keep you inspired and wanting to keep on top of your game (as much as I hate that phrase – it is a bit of a game we play).

I’m always preparing for hypothetical auditions of shows I want to be in, so when (not ‘if’ – positive thinking and all that jazz) the opportunity presents itself I’m ready to go. The best example of this neediness is that I kept on top of some Latin repertoire should The Sound of Music ever appear. So when Curve announced it as their Christmas show I said “I’m going to be in that!”* and started working towards that aim. Then, like London buses, multiple productions appeared and now – as the Rogers & Hammerstein Estate said to me (SOMEONE PINCH RIDOUT CIRCA 2014) – I’ve almost completed a hat trick of the Sisters. Who’s laughing at obsessive, over-prepared Ridout now!?

*DISCLAIMER: This is not how you get a job – I’m a very lucky girl – but positive thinking never hurt anyone.

Sure, this production will finish soon, my bubble will burst, I’ll fly back to London and I’ll get a ‘resting actor’ job. However, where previously I would have feared the unknown ahead I now know that I just need to keep looking for the next opportunity and trusting that what is meant for me won’t pass me by. After all…

Maria: Sister Margaretta always says “When God shuts a door”-
Captain: I know – “He opens a window”

So keep looking for that ruddy window. Who knows, you could end up in a hotel that looks over the FREAKING NILE. (I’m not over the fact that I’m in Egypt, can you tell!?) You truly never know what might be ahead. No-one knows what this year will be like for you but you can imagine and create an exciting one. You could also try climbing a mountain, fording a stream or following a rainbow as I hear they help.

Happy finding your dream!

Facebook-20150224-091331

Just, you know, getting photo-bombed by a London pigeon in front of THE PYRAMIDS (ignore the fact I’m blinking please and thank you).

Facebook-20150224-091530

Spot Ridout in the Curve Nuns & Buns.

“With each step I am more certain everything will turn out fine. I have confidence the world will all be mine. They’ll have to agree I have confidence in me!”

– Rebecca Ridout