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A ‘Fabulous’ Journey of Discovery


Some of us lead double lives …

Many years ago I discovered the joy of setting my ‘normal’ life aside and becoming someone else through acting and performing. I found I could leave my fear of speaking in public, of becoming tongue tied and making a fool of myself, by taking on a new identity and living someone else’s life on the stage.

Through scripting and characterisation, I could work through this new identity, create a backstory, change how I looked, where I came from, alter my personality and present my new self to a paying audience who, if I did my job properly, would not only laugh and cry with me, but applaud at the end – oh, what a joy! I discovered this was something I needed to have to fulfil my life.

But wait ... just when I thought I was happy with my ‘lives’, another opportunity presented itself – one of those opportunities that come along and scare you senseless, but just can’t be ignored.

A couple of years ago, I was fortunate enough to be asked to perform in the biennial extravaganza in Tauranga that is “Tarnished Frocks & Divas.” A unique event which introduces new concepts using the performing arts, it creates openings for women to be involved in a myriad of creativity – through dance, acting, costume design, set and lighting design, hair and makeup artistry, musical compositions and other diverse art forms. This was an incredibly uplifting experience for me, one that I thought would be hard to top.

However, last year I was brought in on the Development Team for the new 2013 show. A small group of very creative, talented people met for months and I found the process of developing a new show, letting my imagination run wild, along with other directors, producers, designers and musicians, the most uplifting thing I have experienced. Or so I thought … as the show was developed, I was then asked to carry on the process and become Assistant Director, the appointed Director residing in Auckland would work with our two leads and I would run rehearsals in Tauranga, responsible for pulling together the rest of the 100-strong cast of actors, singers, dancers and models. No small task, and as the months have sped by, I’ve discovered there is so much more to directing than meets the eye – constructing scenes, transitions, technical lighting and A/V, and making it flow so that the audience don’t get bored and fall asleep over their glass of chardonnay.

My position has grown so much, through highs and lows, I’ve given it my all (they’re now calling me co-director), and in two weeks time this very special piece of performing art will come alive for five thousand people over five performances. My nerves will be peaking when we open, especially when my Adcorp colleagues come along to experience the show.

This has been my own personal journey of discovery, fabulous at times, terrifying at others, but my advice will always be – take the opportunity when it comes your way – you never know where it will lead.
Marilyn Collins-Smith, Account  Executive





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