© Olivia Brabbs
A Real 80's Child
I was really lucky as was born in the late 70's in Teesside! Which meant I got to grow up in the 80's when cinema was a magical experience filled with The Goonies and ET, Ghostbusters and Indiana Jones A John Williams Score as the credits started was the most exciting feeling as you were truly exported into another land.
Television only had three channels, so we all seemed to watch and get excited by the same thing... Rik Mayall in Kevin Turvey, Rik Mayall in The Comic Strip and Rik Mayall in The Young Ones. Guess who became my comedy hero?
Music was Wham and Madonna and filled with true megastars. I did fall in love with Donnie Wahlberg when I was 13, and would practice my Mrs Wahlberg signature. I went to university in 1994 when Brit-pop really exploded and so my student years were dancing to the best bands.
And theatre .... Well, theate was just breathtakingly incredible.
I remember going to see my first West End play with school, it was Willy Russell's "Blood Brothers". I sat gripped to my seat not wanting to leave and knowing with absolute clarity in my soul that I needed to do two things in my life. Act and write.
© Olivia Brabbs
The Persuit of Acting!
It took a long time to start my career although my love and passion started at a young age. The year I fell in love with acting and knew at the same time I could make people laugh was 1984. Mrs Graham put on after-school drama club and my mum signed me up as she worked late on a Monday night... which was lucky for me.
Drama class was the only place I felt I belonged. I lost my big brother in 1983 and felt so displaced. Yet here, for 1 hr on a Monday night I felt alive, free and at home. I made my fellow students laugh and instantly felt the healing effect that comedy has. I used to make sure I made my family laugh to make our small world just a little better.
At 18, instead of drama school, I wanted to learn the skills behind the camera first so I studied a degree in Drama Film and Television at St John's University in York.
Leaving University, the prospects looked good as I was quickly cast in small roles in Byker Grove, BBC drama Beaten with Robson Green, and the comedy series "A grumpy guide to romance"
Life had other plans and I had to give up my dreams... at least until I was 39!
© Olivia Brabbs
Life is Happening Now!
I may have come to acting late in life, but with a wealth of life experience behind me, I don't see it as negative. It is the one profession you can be any age. I started studying acting again when I was 39, and gained my agent when I was 40.
It came as real surprise to me that people loved my writing and so I formed First Take. A very small group of actors that would meet up and act in little plays or scenes I had written which in turn, became a short films I would produce. We needed help in knowing how to audition so I set up workshops with industry professionals which has grown in the last few years to be a wonderful networking group of actors and I am so proud of their accomplishments.
In less than 5 years since studying, I am now producing my first feature film that I am co-writing and get to play the lead.
I seem to see the world a little different and have a unique sense of humour. I've been described as a "Funny Onion". I always have a story to tell, a funny anecdote of the strange things that have happened to me. Such at the time I chased a bank robber in kitten heels. ... I was the one wearing the kitten heels, otherwise he hadn't thought about his escape very well. The stories of my family and the fact that I am such a chatterbox lends itself to why it was natural for me to start performing standup comedy.
For now, my life is finally centered around my vocation.. writing. laughter and performing.