Advertisement: seeking 18-24 year old Emerging Artists…

Luckily, within the last week of my 26th year, Vamos Theatre have overlooked this little snag in my application (which seems to catch me on the latch of every door that’s been nudged open). The majority of the industry seems to think that the two - being 18-24, and being “an emerging artist” - are mutually exclusive. But a reframing of what it means to be “emerging” seems to be taking place: and I, for one, am glad. For instance, in recent years I have emerged in the following ways:
I emerged with an A at A Level in Drama and Theatre Studies at 18.  
I emerged with a First Class BA Honors in Acting at 21.
I emerged from my phone with my first piece of performance poetry at 24.
I emerged from my laptop with my first play at 25.
I emerged as an artist with an interest in exploring mask work professionally at 26.

I’m hoping to emerge as something else soon too: but unless the doors are open for me, and those of us outside of a desired age bracket (or any other type of bracket for that matter), how are we to continue to not only emerge, but immerse, imagine, explore and evolve?

The Vamos Theatre Emerging Artist residency has been a joy of creative exploration, and an opportunity I am thankful was not capped by something as irrelevant to my talent, work ethic and curiosity, as my age. It would be my hope that theatre makers and creative companies take a note from the Vamos team: expand your search, broaden your horizons, look next door… you never know who’s life you’re about to change with each new person you invite to the stage.

Jessica Melia