My name is Amanda, I am a Kiwi (New Zealander) currently living in London.
I moved here at the end of 2011. I’d been to London a few times previously on holiday & had long decided that I wanted to move here one day. After a holiday in the beginning of 2011 my mind was made up & I just had to finally do what i’d been dreaming of for years. So I saved up & got my backside here. I may not have had much of plan once I arrived apart from seeing all the shows I’d been dreaming of seeing & returning too, & getting a job, but I was here.
In September of 2010 my world literally came crashing down around me with the Sept 4th Earthquake in Christchurch. Those few moments of that first big quake were genuinely the scariest of my life, its moments like that where people say, your life flashes before your eyes. Truthfully my boring life did indeed flash very quickly by, as I stood in my doorway waiting for my parents to reach theirs & hearing everything crashing to the floor around me, car alarms going off and standing in pitch darkness at 4am with no power. What many who aren’t from Christchurch don’t seem to realise is that you have a big quake like that (7.2) there is not just a few aftershocks, they were relentless for the months following the original. It’s exhausting being woken at least 3 or 4 times a night with a shake & lying there thinking, do I need to get to the door for this, sleeping in your clothes & shoes just in case you have to go outside & everything else that goes with the fear of mother natures wrath. So after a few months I was excited to escape to go on holiday & land on some solid ground for a while.
On the holiday I saw Wicked for the first time & by the end of my holiday I had to see it again. It took some shuffling but managed to fit it in & even met the leads after the show, something I had previously not realised you could do. Rachel Tucker, Louise Dearman & Mark Evans were those leads & I genuinely think that if it hadn’t been for them I might never have got my A into G and got myself here. When I left London I left a piece of myself behind & that helped drive me to get back here too.
After less than a week back home Christchurch was dealt another devastating blow with the Feb 22nd 2011 quake, we were still having aftershocks from January and with this we were hit with a whole new cycle of them. The Feb quake, although smaller was much more localised to the city, and with an already weakened city, it crumbled with the force, lives were lost & changed forever.
It felt like theatre came into my life at the exact right moment, giving me the perfect escape from the harsh reality of living in a broken city, where every conversation seemed to start with, how’s the house/have repairs started/is that crack getting better etc etc… I escaped into this world thanks to Wicked & Twitter & haven’t looked back. I could go on for hours about how the Earthquakes because for a year that was my life.. 3 years on, my parents are still waiting for our family homes repairs to start. Christchurch is rebuilding & it will rise up out of the rubble stronger than ever for what it’s gone through. In that year that I was there, there had already been over 8000 quakes/aftershocks & for me my real escape couldn’t come soon enough. I wasn’t built for constant shaking.
So, don’t want to bore you anymore with that sort of stuff, moving on!
Clearly I love Wicked, and as I’ve said in my first post I see it alot, like alot alot, but it will always be special to me for helping me find the strength/courage to get here. I love so many other shows & see different things weekly. Love going to cabarets & seeing people perform music that they love. You can watch a show so often & see the performers do the same things over & over, knowing that they are just bundles of talent, but often times it’s in those more intimate cabarets & gigs that you see them (specially ensemble/swings) truly shine & blow your mind.
I’m an emotional theatre goer, the things that grab me most of the shows/songs/stories that make me feel, so pretty much if I shed a tear you’re a winner with me.
What more can I say? I’ve already waffled on quite enough I think.