Gina Hunt talks about her Best journey...
When I joined the Best’s First Class Holiday in 2005, I had no idea where the journey would take me. I was just 6 years old, and easily the smallest person on the stage. My timing wasn’t great – when we sang ‘The Bear Necessities’, I was the only one facing in the wrong direction.
Undeterred, I joined Best Theatre Arts for 3 hours of singing, dancing and acting every Saturday morning. I also became a regular at the Summer Academies. At the time, it was about having fun and making new friends. In hindsight I also about learnt how to ‘let go’ without worrying about looking silly. I stayed with Best Theatre Arts for 6 years and performed in lots of shows as well as developing my knowledge and skills through the weekly sessions.
By 13, I knew I loved acting the most, so moved on to Best School of Acting and The Byte. I also progressed through my LAMDA exams with Best from Grade 1 through to Grade 8, getting a distinction in my gold. LAMDA really helped with me with GCSE and A level drama, giving me practice at performing under exam – pressure and learning lines quickly.
The highlight of my time with Best was performing with the Byte at the National Theatre in 2015. Our production of The Boy Preference for the Connections Festival required a huge amount of teamwork, personal commitment and willingness to push the boundaries. We all supported each other and the creative group experience was something I will always value and remember. The performance experience was incredible – but the friendship and camaraderie was equally important.
I don’t know yet where my drama journey will end. It might become a career – it might remain a hobby. Either way, it will always remain a passion. I auditioned for the National Youth Theatre earlier this year because I knew I’d enjoy the audition day – the drama games, teamwork exercises and monologue audition were all activities I’m used to thanks to my years at Best. I wasn’t worried about whether I would succeed or not; I just wanted to have fun and benefit from the experience. Being selected was a bonus. This now gives me the opportunity to join NYT for 2 weeks over the summer. I hope that unlike my first Summer Academy, I am no longer the one standing with my back to the audience – and if I am, at least I know that looking silly is half the fun!
Gina, 31st May 2016