K and I have been out this morning for an interview about her joining another Acting Company called Full Body and and the Voice. She did have an Audition with them many years ago but had also auditioned for Mind the Gap at the same time, and despite being accepted at both of them, we felt that Mind the Gap was the preferred choice and she subsequently went there.
After two years of attendance she didn’t pass the audition for a third year, and since then she has largely been ‘twiddling her thumbs’ here at home doing nothing! We don’t have a similar set up in our local area, and so we were really thrilled to be contacted last week to ask if K would be interested it a two year course that Full Body and the Voice have introduced now that they have managed to get some additional funding for the next few years.
We set off to Huddersfield on the bus and reached the Laurence Batley Theatre in good time. This is where Full Body and the Voice are situated (in an attic!) When we arrived, K was greeted warmly by everyone there. She knew quite a few of the others who are already students there. We were shown into the office, given a cup of tea each plus a brochure full of information about the company and some of their forthcoming plays. K and I were asked lots of questions about her acting history. We had meant to take K’s portfolio showing everything that she did at Mind the Gap but as usual we forgot it! We were also invited to go along to the next play that they are performing called ‘That was then, this is now’ which is in the evening and we certainly will be doing just that.
The only stumbling block as always is Transport. How does K get there and back home again? She will be expected to attend from 10.00am in the morning to 16.00pm in the afternoon on Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays. We did discuss her travelling with one of her friends who’s sister takes him in her car, and we also discussed getting funding for the cost of a taxi to and fro from various sources. I am also going to discuss the transport funding with K’s social worker to see what he suggests, but there is always a problem with this because she is exiting her own authority to attend, and they are not willing to fund travel expenses in this situation despite the fact that there is no equivalent Theatre Company for actors with special needs in our local authority.
It’s a shame if it all ends in her not being able to participate just because she can’t get there. I could take her I suppose, but it would be very time consuming if I did do that. Independent travel by K on this route is a different kettle of fish entirely to the bus journey that she used to make to Mind the Gap. There she had no roads to cross, she boarded the bus right outside our house, then in the Interchange she just had a short walk inside to the other stop for the bus up to Mind the Gap, where again she had no road to cross, just a short walk down to the building from the bus stop followed by a repeat for the return journey. Plus she was very familiar with the Interchange as we have always been regular visitors to Bradford (and Workwise who taught her the route and myself) instilled in her NOT to leave the Concourse area for any reason.
It worked out well and she became adept at that particular route. There were incidents of course during the two years that she attended, she was on the bus twice when it was involved in an accident, which for me wasn’t pleasant being rung up on her mobile by an ambulance attendant, and just before she left Mind the Gap, the Interchange had a bomb scare where I felt absolutely helpless because I couldn’t get there to her, nor could I make head nor tail what was actually occurring because K rang me to say that there had been a fire! Of course during that incident, the whole of the Interchange was cordoned off and all waiting passengers (including K) were sent to the nearby Hotel across the road to wait it out until it was declared safe. So even if I had jumped on a bus to get her, I wouldn’t have been able to access the Interchange.
Anyway, back to today, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that we can get something sorted out about the transport, it will be a real shame if K ends up not being able to attend just because she cant get there safely. I will keep you all posted of course about the outcome.