Lizzie has been a Stagecoach student for 16 years. We spoke to her about her journey at Stagecoach from a 4 year old Early Stages student right up to being a teacher for her school and other Stagecoach schools. We covered her highlights during this time as well as what skills she has learned over the years. Lizzie is moving onto the next phase of her performing arts training as she attends university in the Autumn. We also spoke to Lizzie's twin sister Megan, who had returned to Stagecoach in 2015 to join her sister.
We don't just teach acting, singing and dancing we allow children to be themselves, to be confident in who they are. The skills they learn at Stagecoach are not only fun and engaging but provide children with experience and the key life skills such as confidence and discipline to help them succeed in life.
Both sisters agreed that the skills they have learnt at Stagecoach have helped them in the world outside their weekly classes.
Megan who is currently working with babies and young children said -
“At Stagecoach as well as learning to perform, it teaches you how to act as a different character in your real world life, when I’m working with the children I kind of create a character to make it a much more interesting interaction with them.”
For many Stagecoach students the journey continues as they often decide to stay with us and become one of our teachers. In Lizzie’s case this was no different. She is currently assisting with teaching classes at other Stagecoach schools.
“The training at Stagecoach has helped me jump into the role of teaching. I know and understand warm-ups and drama games. All the skills I learnt while at Stagecoach, I am now teaching them to the younger kids.”
Lizzie is very thankful to all her teachers she has had over the years and especially grateful to her Further Stages teacher Ben Addington for helping with her audition prep.
Lizzie says that the students in her class were behind her all the way and even when the teacher was doing activities for her benefit, they all joined in happily.
Highlights of their time at Stagecoach
The twin sisters also discussed their Stagecoach memories and both agreed that performing in London's world-famous West End was the highlight.
Lizzie was fortunate enough to grace the West End stage twice: Once at Her Majesty's Theatre in 2014 and then five years later at the Shaftesbury Theatre showcase. It was this that shaped her future path.
“The showcase at Shaftesbury was the main experience that improved my confidence. It was my turning point to show me that I can do it. To this day it’s still my favourite day at Stagecoach. We talk about this moment all the time.”
At the end of the summer term, Lizzie will be leaving Stagecoach to continue her performing arts training on the BA Music and Musical Theatre three-year course at the University of Chichester Conservatoire.
Megan would also like to go to university and is hoping to study acting for screen. She said -
“After performing on stage, I knew I loved it but it confirmed to me that I wanted to work more on my screen acting.”
Both students spoke very highly of their principal Kim Findlay and her amazing team of teachers at Stagecoach Shirley
“The teacher's are really understanding and great with mental health needs. We do appreciate everything they do for us”
Lizzie had this to say about her schools principal Kim -
“Kim is so understanding and has helped me so much over the years. She goes beyond what is expected of her and even when our classes were online we knew that she was still there checking in on us.”
Lizzie also reflected on the online classes they had during the lockdown -
“The pandemic was a big knock for us but knowing that Stagecoach was behind us all the way was extremely reassuring”
While talking about their experience at their Stagecoach school Lizzie mentioned that-
“Stagecoach was a safe space where you can be yourself and act your heart out. It is a happy environment that we cannot wait to return to week after week.”
Stagecoach Shirley will be performing at the Shaftesbury Theatre in the Autumn and Lizzie will be there cheering them on.
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