NL: the original dutch story (click)
This is my story about dreams, sacrifices, study and making a career in: Performing arts. Performing Arts is a collective name for everything that can take place on stage or in front of an audience. So the more obvious is singing, dancing, acting, but also making a painting where the audience is present, falls under performing arts.
I knew I wanted to do this when I was only three years old. That was not entirely coincidental because my mother has her own musical school.
I would like to invite you into my life and the story behind why I chose this, what it means: what I want to achieve with it and how I want to do it.
As I said, my mother has her own musical school. As long as I can remember I have been working in the Performing Arts. It started dancing later singing, playing the piano, acting and also songwriting.
When I was 5/6 I wrote my first songs. Later I often found out that these songs already existed and I had rewritten the lyrics in my own way, but what do you expect from a 5 year old;).
My first talent hunt (on TV)
When I was eight my mom and I participated in a talent show on Nickelodeon. Extra nice because we also won (If you want to smile, look up my name on YouTube, it is easy to find).
It was then confirmed that I was really doing something right, and perhaps I should do something with it.
After that I thought it would be nice to go to another dance school for a while away from my mom. I did high level ballet 3 hours a week and also competition teams. Later I also did gymnastics.
When I was nine, I took piano lessons. Definitely recommended to learn to play an instrument. You get a completely different angle for music and you learn to really understand it, which will also improve your other musical skills such as singing and / or dancing. I started writing crazy songs and found this a very nice side to discover.
My real life FAME school
When I was ten, the audition came. My mother told me that there was such a thing as a FAME school in the Netherlands. They hired new people every year and you had to audition. You would just go to high school and then on the weekend you would go to FAME school. Violent but I didn't know what I heard. I HAD to go here.
The audition had 3 parts:
The first part was ballet. Fortunately, I already had an advantage for this because of my selection training.
Then a choreography that you had to learn on the spot, as quickly and as well as possible. Then you were divided into small groups and you had to show the jury what you had made (as if everything was not unnerving enough).
Round 3 consisted of singing if I am correct we had to sing Tarzan's "human child". All in half circle around the pianist and then take turns. Sometimes after 1 sentence they already heard and said loudly "YES NEXT".
Six hours later, the audition was nearly over. I was exhausted and completely shaking.
Many children around me had sat down on the floor with fatigue, but I didn't like myself. I wanted to show that I am a go-getter, I should and should not. to go. to sit.
A week later I was told that I had been accepted for the day training.
This would mean that as an 11-year-old I would have to go to Amsterdam every day to go to secondary school and train after the regular high school courses in the afternoon until the evening. My parents thought it was violent but let me know that I could decide what I wanted to do.
After a long doubt, I decided that I just wanted to go to my "normal" middle school and then follow the training on the weekend. To this day, I am happy to have had a normal high school.
Don't get me wrong, my job is great. But too much of it and your whole passion can disappear.
Then the real work started.
Even though I was 11 years old. At the FAME school they did not like those who came late, did not wear the right clothes and did not properly implement the teaching material.
I was supposed to be there half an hour in advance so that I could stretch and go through the exercise material.
The correct outfit was:
White ballet tights, white shoes, a black leotard and your hair TIGHT in a braided bun. In all other boxes tight black clothes. Nail polish and jewelry were also not appreciated.
Were we not quiet or serious: push-ups or planks. It was no joke at times but what a discipline I gained from it.
For six years I gave EVERYTHING what I had.
In high school I studies the most difficult courses (atheneum).
Which was something that took me a lot of effort. I also participated in optional and cultural courses such as theatre plays, music competitions and many more. And (luckily) I also had friends who deserved some attention and love.
When the hectic days of the school week were over, I hurried to Amsterdam after the last hour on Friday because my school weekend started there. And due to this busy schedule I sometimes struggled to finish all my homework, go to birth day parties or visit my grandma.
"It is difficult to understand how much someone with a dream has to give up."
Some will see it as disinterested or even selfish.
But when you are so full for six years you really start to set priorities and sorry, some things just don't really belong. All the parties on Friday nights, birthdays of best friends, important moments that I couldn't attend ...
It's really more than I would like but I'm afraid that's really part of the road to my dream and I know the people who really know me will understand me.
Unfortunately I had to stop taking piano lessons because it was too much. However, I immediately bought a guitar for myself. Later, a ukulele and drum kit were added.
I've always kept writing songs. Nothing is better than writing. Make up a story or simply write down how you think about something.
The dream I had of the past 6 years had come true: I had been accepted at the senior courses of my FAME school. Nothing would stop me from doing that.
There have certainly been temptations.
Moments that I REALLY wanted to go to that party with that one nice boy and then just wouldn't train for a weekend. But if you're as far as I was then that's just NOT a choice. I liked that there were indeed people who understood. For example, I still have three very good friends from that time in high school and natural friends from the weekend course. The band that creates training and dancing together cannot be described, but it always remains.
Dealing with doubts and fallbacks
YES there were setbacks. The moment that you are 16 your dream translates very differently to your life then when you are only 11. You start thinking more about your future, your financial image.
"How long will my body be able to maintain this kind of training? Am I what they are looking for and do I have any talent at all ?!"
Trust me on questions like these you don't have a quick answer.
To be honest, I still had doubts in my 6th year, just before the exams. And those are moments where appreciation but especially self-confidence play the main role.
The year before I had participated in a musical performance at school. I had got the leading role and we participated in an interscolar tournament in which all schools in Haarlem and surroundings participated (HIT).
Our performance had not only won ALL (except 1) awards, I had also won the award for best female lead and was also nominated for the best female lead of the Amateur Musical Awards in the Netherlands :)))))))) ))))).
This sounds very boastful and it is a bit. What I'm trying to say with it. Count your wins. Store them, breathe them in and remember them. Because it is therefore within you. And never doubt yourself, because you are even FURTHER now than you were then.
When I got the green card for HBO a year later (I was hired at once without having to audition) the decision was made for me. After years of hard work, I had just done it. I had to and would follow my dream. I had to go to college.
And there I am. Super grateful for everything I have been allowed to learn.
After almost 17 years I master:
Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Spitzen, Tap, Showdance, Jazz, Horton, Graham, Urban, Floorwork, Heels, Musicaltheatre, Latin, Fosse, Riverdance, Acting, Choreography, Teaching, Singing, Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, Drums.
I have been in Ahoy, Rai Theater, Carré, Stedelijk museum Amsterdam, Van Gogh museum, De scenic barn Haarlem, Patronaat Haarlem and three times in the Ziggodome.
I do what I love every day and I want to share it with people.
I have always felt that I want to share a lot.
At this point I feel and know I have a lot to give, tell and share. I want to let people know that they are not alone in their feelings or events. Through my performances I want to explore new options and offer solutions.
Now that I am in the final phase of my studies, I know better how to make art. I learn new things every day and also look for new perspectives and challenges myself. I always said that when I get known later, I want to be because I am sharing my story. 100% my story from my experience. I don't care if it's 2 people or 200 million. The point is that they listen to me and that I can offer these people something in the form of art. That is really my biggest dream.
If after this super long story you are still curious about me and you have questions, I would love to answer them!
Editor's Tip: check out little Mabel winning her first tv show.