See Ya, Billy!


Trying to start a post without sounding really cringe after being away for so long is hard! Trust me I've been racking my brain but I got squat.

It's been too long without an explanation to where I've been and if I was even coming back to my little corner of the internet but I'm happy to say I'm back and with an explanation - so where have I been? 

The past 15 months I've been living out of a suitcase, going from hotel to hotel and theatre to theatre with Billy Elliot the Musical UK, Ireland (and most recently added) Germany tour as a chaperone! So there you have it, that's where I've been at!

As it played such a huge part in my life - 15 months is a very long time - I thought it would be nice to round up my experience in a post and share my thoughts and feelings about living on such a big show.

I suppose I should start at the beginning and how I even got on board. 

So I did casual hours at my local theatre as a chaperone for a couple of years on the Christmas shows (this was as well as working a full-time job), then one day after work I got a phone call from an old manager asking if I wanted to go down to London and interview for a role as a living in chaperone on tour. After some deliberation (like 30 seconds) and a pulling a sicky (shhh! Our little secret) off I went to London and interviewed. Let's fast forward a month or so, I was offered the position and the rest, as they say, is history.

It was a weird yet exciting feeling as I was getting to experience something I never dreamed I would get to do, I was living on the job, living with children and my colleagues 24/7 and it was strange. Sorry, I just realised I haven't explained what my job was - so in case you don't know, a chaperone looks after children under the age of 16. We make sure their working hours are adhered to and that they are safe - basically, I was the children's legal guardian as they were living with us away from their families too. 

Like any job, this one came with its highs and its lows and there were times I just wanted to throw in the towel, pack everything up and come back home but I didn't, I stuck it out and I can't be proud of myself and the children for that matter.

I have a new found respect for touring shows and concerts. Take it from me, the tour life is far from easy and I was one of the lucky ones. Living with your colleagues and the children, it fast became a family unit and we all looked out for one another.

From February last year to now - I have changed so much as a person. I have pushed myself to the limit and beyond and I've managed to come out of the other side a stronger version of myself and I have Billy to thank for that.

The past 15 months have been amazing and I wouldn't change any of it for the world. I have made friends for life and I have worked with adults and children with extraordinary talents, who have shown strength that no 11-14 year old that I know, has ever shown before. I am incredibly proud of each and every one of these children who are (even though it's all come to an end now) little brothers and sisters to me.

Thank you, Billy, for all the laughs, the hugs, the tears, the good times, the hard times, for making stronger, for making me a better version of me, for the children, for my colleagues, for corridor gate, for food club and everything in between! I am so proud to say I had a part in this incredible experience! 

See ya, Billy!


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