EX - LIVEWIRE MEMBERS...

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ADAM, 19
JOINED: 2011

"Livewire has helped me achieve many things, but mainly improving as a person… without Livewire I wouldn’t have been able to learn so many things about communicating with new people- people skills, being able to sit down and have a laugh properly without worrying about anything else- that really helped me achieve something because I’ve always struggled with being able to relax and just enjoy being in the present moment…

Livewire has helped me achieve one of the biggest and proudest moments of my life so far: that I’m currently training to be a professional actor here at East 15 Acting school… without the fun, and games that we’ve played that taught me how to relax and how to enjoy the arts and how powerful it can be to other people…

I think Sam’s guidance throughout the whole thing has been absolutely incredible… I’m so grateful because without the experience I’ve had- performing in schools on the schools tours, performing for free at a venue three times a year - without that experience I would never be able to be where I am today. Which is why I’m studying a BA in acting and community theatre- because I believe that now the community has given me something, they deserve to get something back, and this is something very important to me."

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MOLLY, 21
JOINED: 2009

"I joined livewire in 2009, 8 years ago when I was in year 8. I had quite a hard time in school, I didn’t really make that many friends, but Livewire gave me a place where I could leave all of my problems at the door and I could be myself and I could be accepted for myself, which I am so grateful for and I’ve never looked back…

You mix with a lot of people of different ages and different interests and for 13 year old Molly to have 15 or 16 year olds, even though they’re not that much older than you, to have them to set an example and almost lead the way and almost give you hope for your future was really valuable and really what I needed. I learnt a lot about myself, I learnt to like myself at Livewire; I also learnt a lot about life and about other people… doing the interactive theatre with the primary schools, taking in such big topics and discussing them, working with them and seeing how it affects them, and passing on your skills and what you’ve learnt on to them is really rewarding.

Livewire teaches you how to support yourself and other people which is just so important, especially if you don’t have support at home or at school or wherever it is that you need it the most… getting up and performing something that you have made, with a group of people, for the sake of making something, is so wonderful and so fun, and is what growing up and being creative should be about… you’ve put so much of yourself and your friendships into it, it really is a place to express, if you want to express.

Livewire is a place for you to get out of it what you want to get out of it… for me it was a place to express and to have a voice and to have that voice heard and that was so important… Livewire was the first place that I performed with a live band doing original music, and I’m now at LIPA studying music, I’m in my third year, but I have a mad alter-ego persona and I don’t think she would have happened if it wasn’t for Livewire- if I hadn’t had that place showing me where so many different kinds of art and social commentating can come together and become something so much bigger, and beautiful and so expressive, i don’t think my career would be the way that it is."

MICHAEL, 24
JOINED: 2010

"‘What Livewire has given me is the ability to do the things I want to do without fearing rejection, without fearing what could go wrong.

Livewire gave me a sense of confidence, a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging that no other theatre group or youth group in Harlow or any place I’ve been has been able to replicate… performing shows that aren’t just general shows but mean something to you, that have been created by you, with pieces of drama and pieces of music that have been made by you is an experience that cannot be replicated in any other group that I’ve seen.

Without Livewire I would not have been able to get to where I am now: training to be a music teacher and performing in bands and generally joining in with everything that’s given to me, in any given moment. I can only thank Livewire for the confidence, for the friendship, for the banter and for the joy- the sheer joy, and the acceptance… that sense of belonging I can never thank everyone that’s been to Livewire enough for.’

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JESS, 21
JOINED: 2010

"I was given the opportunity to join Livewire because I was part of a youth group called PAYP (Positive Activities for Young People) because I had, sort of a really rough start… we collaborated with Livewire and I got to be in a play...everyone at Livewire was so friendly and so inviting and literally made you feel so welcome, and I was like: I want to be part of this- I need to be part of this community because these people are amazing, so I started going to Livewire and made some of the best friends I will ever have.

I used to be quite a big girl, I didn’t really have any confidence, I didn’t really have any friends- it sounds really sad but I came to Livewire and I was accepted, for exactly who I was- the bumbling, fooling, loud idiot that I was, and it helped me grow into who I am today. The most important thing I would say about Livewire is that it’s a family, it’s a place of safety, a place I would go where everything that was wrong in my life completely dispersed and I felt so happy to be there- my mood would completely change.

‘Unfortunately a few years ago I went through a really hard time and I lost my dad, and on the day that I lost my dad, it was a Monday, and I thought: the best thing I can do right now, is to go to Livewire and be with my ‘family’ - be with the people who will support me through the hardest times… it was really good and I was so glad that I went to that.

‘Livewire has given me so many opportunities as well, I left college and I didn’t really know what to do, and I was approached by Sam and he offered me the chance to teach in primary schools, for Livewire, tutoring them and doing confidence-building for people with low self-esteem. Which is really funny- it’s like a complete circle because I had the worst self esteem as a kid, then for me to go into schools and teach drama to give people more confidence and self-esteem, was really, really rewarding.

‘And also now, I can’t attend Livewire any more, much as I want to, because I live in London, because I went to university, which- honestly- nobody ever thought I’d be doing… Livewire really helped me with that because of the guidance, and seeing the other people, the older people who were in the group go on and achieve what they wanted with their lives was just so inspiring that I had to do it!

‘As I’m no longer a member going and getting involved with the drama, I’ve now been honoured with being a Trustee, which is great, which means I get to go and see all the other trustees and members of the Livewire team every 3 months and we can discuss how to make Livewire better, how to fundraise, what we’re doing and what we need to do to make Livewire so much more than it already is. So that’s a great honour, I was so heart-warmed when Sam approached me."

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REBECCA, 24
JOINED: 2009

"Livewire is a safe haven. It is a place where there is no fear of judgement, no fear of failure. It is a positive place for young people to express their imagination, their emotions, their creative sides, and they’re able to do that in one place, with friends - they can build valuable friendships for life… a place where young people celebrate one another and want to see others do well!"