In the run up to the first performance of our new production "If I Go" we sat down with some of our cast and crew and attempted to find out a little bit about them and what makes them tick.
She was there at the beginning and as we're coming to the end of Becky's journey, meet the actress behind her - Catrin Keeler!
Q. Tell us a little bit about your background? How did you come to be an actor?
A. It all started out in the Little Theatre in Rhyl when I was 11. I had one line to say (‘Mark - there’s a cross on this bench’) which I promptly forgot. I also started putting on made up plays for the elderly people in the village where I lived in the church hall. I can still remember the tune to ‘I’m a Little Puppet On Strings’!! I’ve always had the bug, so I went on to do a degree in Performing Arts and Media, developed crippling stage fright afterwards, left it alone for a few years then went back to drama school in London and essentially started again!
Q. What actors do you admire and how have they influenced how you perform?
A. I remember seeing Leonardo DiCaprio in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and turning to my Dad and saying ‘How on earth have they got that boy to learn all those lines?’ as I just couldn’t get my head around the fact he wasn’t like that in real life. That was probably the moment acting bowled me over. I think his career has been an interesting one as he seems to be someone that always challenges and pushes himself. I’m also a fan of Charlize Theron as she isn’t afraid to cast aside her looks in exchange for a bloody good role (Monster) Way too much emphasis is placed on how a woman looks on screen regardless of the role she is playing, so that seemed like a giant ‘f#ck you’ to the establishment!
Q. What are your thoughts on “If I Go” – What appealed to you about the story?
A. I was involved from the first read through stage and have seen the script grow and change over the past few months. My first thought was that the writer had been stalking me as there were many similarities in the relationships and how Becky was seemingly a more messed up version of myself haha! I thought it was a lovely slice of life from a group of people’s worlds where these big decisions can come along and throw a spanner in the works.
Q. Tell us about your character in your own words
A. On the surface Becky is a pretty normal hard working teacher with a lovely close knit group of friends. But scratch the surface and there is a whole host of tumultuous issues and hang ups lurking beneath her skin! She has clearly been damaged by relationships in the past and essentially sees Matt as her rock and the constant in her life. She is prickly and at times struggles to hold in her temper but underneath it all she just wants to be happy.
Q. Do you have any favourite scenes / lines in the play and how have they influenced how you’ve played the role?
A. I really like the scene where Becky finally accepts that Will is someone she should be giving more time to. He has been so persistent and has never given up on her, and when that realisation sinks in she eventually realises just how special he is to her.
Q. How has the role changed since you started rehearsals?
A. In the early stages of rehearsals it felt like Becky was just angry all the time, but over time her edges have become less spiky where it was needed, and her relationship with Will helps with that.
Q. Do you have any particular rituals or superstitions?
A. Aside from trying to keep the contents of my stomach down just before curtain up I don’t really. I like to have a few minutes just to myself before cranking up an old faithful ‘energy aeroplane’ and having a good jump around before stepping out!
Q. What do you enjoy most about working with Proforca?
A. The camaraderie. It’s great to work with a group of people who all have the same goal. Also for a first time outfit they approach everything with top professionalism and it all looks very slick off stage too e.g the social media channels, posters, fliers etc.
Q. If you weren’t working as an actor – what would you be doing instead?
A. My biggest dream is to be in Coronation Street, so if I wasn’t working as an actor I’d probably be a scriptwriter on Coronation Street…….so I could write myself a role haha!
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given about acting?
A. Don’t give up! And always be true. If you’re not feeling it then neither are the audience so you have to find that connection to the character within you to truly become that character.
Q. Tell us something about you which you think people would find surprising!
A. I once lived with a tribe in the rain forest for a week, and an orangutan called Wasabi thought I was her Mother!
Thanks to Catrin for taking the time to talk to us. When she isn't dreaming on life on the Weatherfield Cobbles or disappointing an Orangutan you can see her as Becky in "If I Go" - May 4 - 7 2016 at Ye Olde Rose & Crown Theatre Pub in Walthamstow. Tickets on sale now from www.proforca.co.uk
You can also follow Catrin on Twitter @CatrinKeeler