I was working full-time for my mum’s catering company. First she sacked me then she kicked me out of the house. I sofa surfed for three months. Then I went to a hostel, where I stayed for six months before coming to Cardboard Citizens to do a workshop in Forum Theatre. As soon as Cardboard Citizens came to my hostel I wanted to get into it. I joined ACT NOW, the youth company.
My biggest achievement is becoming England Champions for the Lloyds Money for Life Challenge as a result of our ACT on Money project. We devised a forum theatre piece called Ticks about young people budgeting their money. I learnt so much. It really boosted my confidence. Since doing Ticks, I am much better at budgeting and try to stay out of debt. I also completed a qualification in Interpersonal Skills. It has been a big step in my life to learn how to mentor someone else. I didn’t have anyone to turn to when I was in sticky situations. I would like to help someone else out who has been ‘down in the dirts’ like me.
I’ve matured a lot. I’m standing tall, instead of being in the hostel, crouching down. I wouldn’t be here now; I’d be sitting on my bed playing Xbox, smoking a fag, watching TV, getting fat. Now I’m here getting energized, getting athletic, getting committed to things that I haven’t done in years. Every Monday when I come in for ACT NOW I think to myself, ‘I got theatre, I’m happy’. I’ve got my little theatre gang. I am also doing my Silver Arts Award and have been accepted at Chickenshed Theatre on a BTEC course. I recently put my CV together and have started to be offered some paid work. As one door closes, another one opens.