I was a weird kid. I never made it through kindy as I was so shy that I refused to speak for days on end and they sent me home to my bemused mum, who listened to my chatter in the car and wondered about this ‘silent’ child. I spent much of my primary school little and big lunches alone in the library, much more comfortable with a good book than with kids my own age. I had friends on and off, and a best friend by the time I left primary school, but I didn’t make friends easily and was crushed when we went to different schools.
When I was sent to Brisbane State High School due to my high academic achievement, I was utterly lost. My little primary school had a population of less than 400 and the 2000 strong student body of State High sent me further into my shell. I had long used humour as a defense, and I kept up a light patter with the other kids while I wondered at their ability to strike up easy friendships and relax in each other’s company.
I searched hard for kids who were living on the fringes and found them in the concert bands, the drama groups, and the Theatresports workshops. My parents saw me light up in the presence of other creative kids and made the decision to send me to theatre class in the hope that light would shine more often. It must have been a nervous time for them, sending their cautious and sensitive girl out into a new social experience and crossing their fingers it didn’t back fire on them.