News • 05 Jun 2019

Living the life I want on the stage

Alison, aged 21 and based in Redcliffe, has found her passion for acting in comedy plays with the support of Open Minds.

Alison, originally from Brighton, became homeless in 2017 after a disagreement within her family.

Having depression and anxiety was something that Alison had come to terms with, but some members of her family found challenging.

After some times of homelessness, couch surfing with friends and short-term accommodation, Alison came to Open Minds in early 2019.

Having heard about the transitional housing available to help people in her situation, Alison knew this was exactly what she needed to get back on her feet and start forging a positive future for herself.

Alison said: “Living here in the transitional housing helps me to save money. I want to save for my own car, and for a holiday to Byron Bay in a few months’ time.

“My longer term goals are to be able to rent a house of my own so that I can get a dog, and maybe one day buy a place.”

For Alison, low confidence was a barrier and so Open Minds worked with her to find something she’d enjoy doing that would help to build confidence at a pace she was comfortable with.

The team suggested that she join a local drama group and Alison jumped at the idea, having done some acting in drama at school it was something she knew was enjoyable.

There was just one barrier, the drama group class wasn’t something Alison could afford.

Open Minds could see the positive impact that the Drama Works group would have on her life and therefore were able to supply the brokerage to enable her to join.

The result? Alison has landed two parts in a comedy play, has met new people, and has gained much needed confidence to increase her independence.

Louise Snelling, Program Director from Drama Works, said: “Alison was very unsure when she first started at Drama Works, and walking through the door initially was her biggest hurdle. Since attending Drama Works, the experience has stretched  and grown her confidence. Her team members are very supportive and encourage Allison by letting her know how well she is doing”

In August, Alison will make her debut acting out two parts in a comedy roadshow titled: “Bad Auditions by Bad Actors” performing across Brisbane.

Alison said: “I like acting because it’s a time when I can be someone else for a moment, It’s incredibly fun and I’ve met lots of great people through the drama club.”

There’s only about eight people in Alison’s drama group, which is the perfect sized group for her to develop her confidence.

“Now that I’ve got the drama group to go to, I’ve got something to look forward to each week.

“The team at Open Minds help me with my mental illness. If I ever need anything, I always know they’re here providing 24/7 support. I have found lots of comfort here. All the staff are so nice and helpful. They always make time to help. Their job is to help people like me and that’s really special that they have the heart to do that.

“My family are really happy that I’m here with Open Minds and they think it’s good for me.”

Alison is also completing a Business Traineeship at Redcliffe Youth Space four days per week and is looking forward to the experience this will provide on her resume.

Open Minds provides the following services to clients like Alison:

Find out more about these services here.

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