Arts Emergency

James Reynolds

Lecturer in Drama

My parents never took me to the theatre when I was young. My school even tried to hide the fact that you could do a Drama degree from me. My relatives told me I was a dreamer when I said I was going to be an actor. Since those early days when the people around me thought I was crazy, I’ve developed a colourful career in Drama education. I’ve worked as a Drama teacher in primary and secondary schools, in further education, in drama school and in universities. I’ve worked in the theatre industry as an acting coach, led a youth theatre, and directed young people in plays that have been performed on major London stages. I’ve had a lot of amazing experiences, ranging from supervising incredibly intellectual Ph.D. work, to the possibly greater satisfaction of giving severely learning disabled adults the confidence to pick up a telephone and speak. And yes, I’ve done some acting. It’s not my main source of income, but I keep my hand in. I’m volunteering to be a contact for Arts Emergency because networks are more important than ever. It can take 5-10 years to build up a professional network. A lot of people just give up before then, but you can’t really get started in the arts without that kind of environment. Arts Emergency has the potential to speed that process up, and I think that is tremendously valuable, and something I want to be a part of.