Welcome! I’m delighted you are here!
So how did I get started as a Voice and Visibility Coach? A couple of years ago an acquaintance got in touch with me because she needed advice. Her 11 year old daughter was so quiet that no-one could hear her speak; did I know anyone who could help? As an out of work actress I immediately said Yes! I can do that! And thus began my journey as a Voice and Visibility Coach, an entrepreneur and a passionate advocate of girls and women becoming more visible, learning how to confidently speak up, speak out and be heard.
Working with Maria (not her real name) was a delight. I learned as much from her as she did from me and it gave me the confidence and the push to start my own business; Generally Speaking was born.
Maria reminded me so much of myself as a child…
Using my acting skills combined with life coaching made for a unique blend of sessions, from the very practical voice and breathing exercises to long discussions about confidence, what it looks like and most importantly, what it feels like. I realised that Maria reminded me so much of myself as a child; though outwardly chatty and outgoing, I often stayed silent and rarely asked for my needs to be met. Throughout my self development journey I realised that this is SO common, especially amongst women
It’s probably one of the many reasons I became an actress. I fell in love with acting age 8, after being cast as an Oompa Loompa in the school production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Magic! Never thinking this could actually be a career choice, in my twenties I spent all my spare time participating in a variety of am-dram groups. Finally, in my early thirties I took the plunge and auditioned for drama school. I got a place at the prestigious East15 Acting School and spent one of the best years of my life training with some truly terrific people, both students and teachers. In 2004 I graduated with a Masters in Acting for Media (TV, Film and Radio) and embarked on my professional career.
Did you know that only 5% of UK actors work full time in their profession? So along with the majority, I worked many jobs alongside my acting. Highlights include stints as PA to a celebrity psychiatrist in Chelsea, Office Manager to a diamond mining company and my time with a high end catering company (oooh the parties!). I spent 4 years as a Workshop Facilitator for a drama-based training company too, travelling all over the UK and Sweden to deliver workshops on Equality & Diversity, Bullying & Harassment, Performance Management and Customer Service. Prior to drama school I had worked in a Development and Training department for a huge regional newspaper so I had experience of this kind of work already. After I met my husband in 2008 we travelled abroad with his job, leading to work as a drama teacher at International Schools and teaching English as a foreign language. But in 2017 I decided to do something for myself and embarked on a Life and Executive Coaching Course, which felt like coming home. I graduated with Distinction in QQI Level 6 in 2018 and have never looked back. Coaching, teaching, facilitating, training – it’s all my happy place.
Is it Personal Development, or Self Development? I have devoured self-help books for most of my life and have long followed coaching like Tony Robbins and Denise Duffield-Thomas. My journey started because of my own mental health. I was diagnosed with depression in my early 20’s and I believe that good mental health should be part of our everyday conversations and most definitely part of our early education. For the past 6 years, I was an active member of the actors’ union, Equity, and was very involved in providing mental health support for our industry. I am very proud to be a Mental Health First Aider and it’s my dream to have a MHFA in every theatre company, venue, and cast. I’ve also been an Autism Awareness Ambassador, having found this world when my son and husband were diagnosed in 2018. In the meanwhile, I continue to talk about my own mental health (and write about it in my blog) and I follow and support lots of organisations and movements that are advocating for more openness and less stigma.
Now that we’ve moved abroad again, I am grateful for the connectivity that our virtual world allows, meaning that I can carry on coaching and offering courses and training wherever we are. The online world has exploded with amazing people sharing their knowledge and offering insights to their world, making the most of our virtual connections. I am delighted to be a small part of that! The work continues.