Entering theatre at different life stages – taking another path

Some arts practitioners follow a straight line into their chosen profession. Others take a more circuitous path. Moving from the UK to Australia, Helah Milroy shares her journey.
path. Image is a green hedge maze.

The decision to work in theatre is often not enshrined in a moment of clarity, but takes a meandering path. It looks different to everyone but, for some, the path leads them to their goal via a series of unexpected roads. Sometimes there are equal parts desire and reticence, fear and ambivalence.

The following three artists discuss their journeys of working in theatre. Each has walked a different path, but the common ground is that they have confronted circumstances, alternative interests and responsibilities in their lives, but they have been able to forge a path that is unique and has formed them as artists. They have built communities and networks within independent theatre that sustain them – and each work from a place of integrity knowing in deep ways how the ebb and flow of working in the arts can be challenging, but sometimes that is what makes the work meaningful.

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Maya-Rose Chauhan is a freelance writer, editor and copywriter with broad interests including creativity, community arts, mental health and social justice. She has had essays published in South Asian Today, Portside Review and in an anthology of emerging writers from diverse backgrounds via the Centre for Stories in Perth, Western Australia.