2 December 2020
“Hello! My name is Ella, I’m a theatre performer from Canton in Cardiff and I’m currently living in London.
My involvement in the arts is mainly as an actor, dancer and singer in musical theatre, but I also write songs / script, do photography, modelling and some graphic design. I’ve always liked to create in a lot of different ways and often find myself wanting to use all sides of my creativity in each project I do. I struggle to see myself ever choosing just one ‘thing’, I love it all too much!
Being a creative woman in Wales is important to me because I have a lot of memories from childhood of performing in Wales and learning from people who really cared about the arts and wanted us to excel in what we loved. Performing at the New Theatre with the Gang Show and going to EYT really shaped me as a performer growing up and I was constantly inspired by the people around me. There’s so many incredible female creatives in Wales, people that have inspired me massively and without them I might not have pursued the career I did. I would love to be an inspiration like that for young creatives one day too.
I was drawn to performing because I’ve always loved storytelling. I remember when I would go to stage school on the weekends growing up, I loved to sing but I would be most excited for acting class. Dance terrified me because I felt I was ‘too tall’ and stuck out, so I put all my effort into acting where I felt strongest. As I’ve grown up and finished training, feeling more confident as a dancer, I still go back to storytelling and finding something to play no matter what I’m doing. To my detriment at times when I’ve blanked on choreography after getting distracted by what the story is. But some people I value very highly taught me to find my ‘why’ first, and when you chase that everything else falls into place. Mine in performing is to live in a story and have it affect people in some way. I would encourage people to find their ‘why’ for whatever they do, I believe it helps give clearer sight to what makes you happiest!
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Among countless other things, what empowers me most about being a creative Welsh woman is I really just love Wales. I think embracing being Welsh is fabulous and naturally makes us more interesting too. We have a rich history as Welsh people and we’ll always be more connected to each other being Welsh. I’ve come to learn in the arts in general the more you live as your unique, authentic self the more people are drawn to you, and there’s few things more unique than a Welsh accent in a room of RP!
My biggest challenge as a creative woman is there’s so many of us yet we’re sometimes not seen or heard. Obviously this problem has improved massively and the presence of powerful women in this industry has flourished but I think there’s still room for more female led stories, creative teams and actors in every production. And on top of that women of colour owning these roles that have so traditionally been given to white people. POC are the back bone of the arts as I know it, as a jazz dancer I owe the foundations of my artistry to the work of POC. I want to see that honoured and better represented so that young creatives understand fully the legacy that has been left for them to continue. I struggle to accept this as ‘how it is’ and I want to continue doing what I can to see this representation come to life. There’s a lot of resources online you can support, one I recommend are the many posts on Jukebox Collective’s Instagram, they’ve put together posts celebrating black / young / female creatives & activists – it’s so easy to find these people who are making change happen in Wales and that’s a fab place to start!
Like all of 2020 it’s a bit of a mystery what’s next. Currently I’m finding a lot of joy in continuing my training and generally bettering myself personally and as a performer. I don’t think we ever stop learning and one incredible thing to come from this year is all the resources so readily available to us. So I’m going to be making the most of this time, resting, doing ballet in my living room, eating ice cream whenever I see it on sale and here’s hoping I’ll be back on stage soon!”