Signature Theatre UK Stories To Tell

Do You Have a Dream and If So, Are You Following it?

July 17, 2018 | Lee Wilkinson, Artistic Director

So, after a long time working in the traditional way, you know, for other people, large and small companies, that sort of thing, at the end of last year I finished off my more traditional working life by saying goodbye to Warner Brothers. I had spent the last six and a half years as the Technical Services Manager at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour just outside London, in Leavesden to be exact. All of the Harry Potter films were shot there and the studio has long been a landmark of some historical interest.

 

It was an amazing opportunity to be part of the Studio Tour from its early days when it was just a couple of almost empty sound stages, to becoming arguably the most successful attraction in the world. But a day comes when we must all make a choice, do I see out my time there and retire gracefully or do I give my dream one more shot? Not being one to shy away from a challenge I have opted for my dream. Dreams are very powerful driving forces and can be very seductive, but follow them we must or we will forever wonder what might have happened and that, I know from past experience, is a hard pill to swallow.

 

I trained as an actor in 1996 and acted professionally for nearly ten years working my way up until I was starting to get the calls for bigger things. That was all put aside in 2004 though when I returned to England having lived in the States for 25 years.

I came home to complete my Master's Degree at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Not something you get the chance to do every day) and then head for the West End, that was the dream. Life sidetracked me though and I was seduced by two great jobs and the opportunity to have a steady income, and with a new addition to our family, that was important. Sadly, in that period of time both my parents passed away and having bought a house, and just to make life a little more challenging, the recession kicked in. So as I said, late last year I got the call again, more a yearning really, to one more time pursue my dream to Act and Write. By the time I had worked out the logistics, got my headshots and memberships to several organisations (because that's how the business works now) it was in May of this year that I started in earnest. To date, I am now in production for my first role in a film. It's a good role and it won't end up on the cutting room floor and I am halfway through my first novel. I have never felt better physically and I am getting used to my new life of pursuing my dream, not an easy task after living like Pavlov's Dog for 40 years of working life. I would never judge what others do with their lives, who am I to say what a dream looks like, but I would encourage you to follow the one you have.

 

DREAM BIG! BE BRAVE!

 

Lee

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