As you might expect in a multi award-winning theatre environment, at the heart of the local community, our place (COVID19 aside) is usually bursting at the seams with talented and creative people. Here we shine a theatre spotlight on Isabelle (known to her family and friends as Izzy), one of our fabulous Jazz Hands team members, as she follows her dream of becoming a professional actress and performer.
Hi Izzy, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m 17 and a musical theatre student. I’ve just completed a year at Exeter College learning musical theatre and will be starting at South Devon College in September to do performing arts. I can’t wait!
What’s your role at the theatre?
I’m part of the Palace Theatre Front of House team and the Palace Promoters distribution team.
How did you become involved with the theatre?
I’ve acted and sung with Doorstep Arts, the resident youth theatre company at the Palace Theatre. I’ve been in lots of shows on the Palace Theatre stage and I know the building really well. Doorstep Arts use the hall, which is now called Stage Left. It’s just had a refurb and looks amazing!
I contacted Maureen, the Operations Director about doing a week of work experience in December 2018 whilst I was at Paignton Academy and loved it. I was invited back again to do some paid work and jumped at the chance!
What sort of duties do you have during a work shift?
On show nights, I help with front of house duties, working on the door, welcoming visitors to the theatre, checking their tickets and guiding them to their seats in the auditorium. In the interval I sell ice creams and sometimes merchandise – that’s usually at Christmas and New Year during panto season – one of our busiest times of year, when we have matinee and evening shows most days.
Whilst the show is on, I check the toilets to make sure that they are clean and tidy and generally help out wherever I can. I’ve also operated the follow spot during a few shows, helping Clive and Louis – the Palace Theatre technical team, which is great fun too.
I deliver theatre leaflets and brochures around my home area to help promote the shows and last summer I helped on the theatre’s exhibition stand on Paignton Green during the English Riviera Air Show.
During lockdown, I’ve been helping get the theatre ready for re-opening, sorting out crockery in the kitchen, for when wedding functions and events happen again in Stage Left.
I’ve also been doing lots of video editing with TikTok as we’ve been making short films to post on social media for our followers. I’m working on #PoemsatthePalace at the moment.
What do you most enjoy about working at the theatre?
It’s an amazing environment with some of the nicest people. If you’re looking for things to do in Paignton, it’s the best place ever.
I often get to watch some of the shows, which I love, and I enjoy seeing what passion other people have for acting.
What’s your favourite experience or memorable moment at the theatre so far?
It has to be meeting Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes, when they brought the Sam and Mark’s On the Road Show to the Palace Theatre. They were lovely!
I also loved performing as Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland with Doorstep Arts.
What one word describes how you feel about the Palace Theatre?
We’re so proud of what Izzy has achieved already and really value her contribution to Jazz Hands success. We’re delighted to help her on her creative journey and with so much talent and enthusiasm for the world of entertainment, we know that she has a bright future ahead of her.