We asked Molly Browne, a former member of our Young Actors’ Company a few questions about her time with us. Molly (far right above), now 19, works for the London Fire Brigade. She is South West London’s Youth Prevention Fire Cadet Co-ordinator. Fire Cadets is a personal development scheme for local young people that can lead to BTEC qualifications.
Did her time with us spark her interest in youth work? We’ll let her tell the story.
How long were you a member of the Young Actors Company (YAC)?
I joined YAC back in 2016 and finished in 2019, so quite a while.
Can you describe your time with us in three sentences?
I would describe YAC as…
1. fun, 2. a safe environment to be yourself and, 3. a place to push your personal boundaries and develop.
Any highlights of your time with us?
My main highlight would have to be the people. Everyone I did YAC with holds such a special place in my heart and I love them all. It created such a safe familial unit where there was no judgement and all the activities were solely about pushing each other to be the best versions of ourselves we could be. Learning from the older people in your group and the experienced directors was great too. They were excellent people to be around.
My favourite performance has to be Richard III. I loved the intricacy of it. To be so young, yet learning how to perfect Shakespearean English was fantastic. It was amazing to see how the hard work and determination of everyone involved created a brilliant performance!
What lessons have you taken forward into your professional life?
Although sadly I’m not on stage, everything I learnt at YAC still directly supports my current job. All the interpersonal skills I developed with you, I carry with me every day. A great example is confidence. I have to have massive amounts of self-confidence in my job. I could be speaking to, and having meetings with, very important people within the London Fire Brigade, doing assemblies in schools in front of 600 young people or teaching and training young people in Cadet sessions. All this requires significant amounts of self-belief.
Other examples include active listening, teamwork and patience – all key skills that you need in the professional world. I developed them at Young Actor’s Company mainly through the devising process. Strong leadership qualities are important to me too as I coordinate Fire Cadets across a large area. It’s a challenge, especially as I’m still relatively young.
I definitely owe YAC a lot. The safe environment I had around me during my teens allowed me to develop and become the best version of myself. That’s the YAC process. It all works out the way it’s supposed to.