I am a Stage Manager by trade, having worked on productions touring across the country as well as in the West End. It was whilst touring that I realised how difficult it was to find a reputable therapist in every town we went to that could guarantee a good treatment for the injured actors and backstage staff.
So I decided to take this problem into my own hands, literally! I trained with NLSSM in 2014, doing the Sunday classes as this was the only time I could fit in with my theatre schedule.
The post graduate diploma gave me the opportunity to work within Watford FC's medical team, initially voluntarily which accelerated through part time and then full time employment. The training allowed me to think a little differently to traditional therapists and sculpted my practice to what it is today.
I found the course well-structured, with just enough theory to fit alongside the practical per lesson. Personally, the most anatomy and physiology I had done dated back to my GCSEs in 2006, so I was concerned that I would be behind before I had even started, but that was never an issue. Within the classes you are able to ask a question at any point and are never made to feel like an idiot for doing so.
The school also has many connections to various Bodies within the industry, and it was a big learning curve for me to take part in treating the runners of the London Marathon, my whole class did it across different charities and it was a huge inspiration for all of us. After I graduated I then went on to treat the runners of the Brighton Half Marathon too as I enjoyed it so much.
To say completing the course was gruelling is an understatement! I was working a minimum of 48 hours a week at the theatre, along with the added course work, reading, practise bodies, case studies, exams, and getting home at 11pm every night. The tutors were always understanding as I crawled in at 9am on Sundays into the Annexe with an extra large coffee in my hands.
But it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
I now run my Sports Massage business alongside my work as a Stage Manager, and it fits perfectly. I borrow a dressing room in every theatre that I work in (I am freelance, so it changes every 6 months or so) and treat anyone and everyone who works in theatre in my 'clinic'. This ranges from actors, to backstage crew, fight directors, general managers, and directors. My clients have now included Benedict Cumberbatch, Kit Harington, the recently Olivier-award winning Denise Gough, Ruthie Henshall, along with casts and crews of Billy Elliot, The Commitments, Dr Faustus, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mamma Mia, Hamlet, Wicked and Phantom of the Opera to name a few.