Amy Trigg tells Get Into Theatre what it is like to be a wheelchair user who has trained in performance and musical theatre, as well as the physical and mental challenges she faced when she first started acting. Amy has starred in The Glass Menagerie, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Doctors, and Fusion at Sadler's Wells (theatre).
My name is Amy Trigg, I'm 26 years old and I'm an Actress. I was born in Essex and I still live there now. I was born with spina bifida which basically means that my spine didn't get its act together while I was in the womb, so now I'm a full-time wheelchair user. My parents took me to theatre a lot when I was younger so I was exposed to theatre from a young age and at school I joined after-school drama clubs which then led to local am-dram shows, where I made most of my friends like I think most drama kids, and then I started thinking about going to drama school. So I did all the GCSEs and A-levels that I needed to do, started preparing, got into Mountview and got an Agent from showcase at the end of my three years there.
I faced two main obstacles when I decided to be an Actress, the first one was physical obstacles so things like steps and stairs in my case, which meant that when I decided to go to drama school I had to make sure that the drama schools I was applying for were accessible, I could actually get in the building and I could go to the toilet. The other obstacle is people's opinions. So people don't expect someone who's in a wheelchair or someone who's deaf and disabled to become an Actress, so it was me when I was 16, 17, 18 years old turning around to those people and saying 'look I'm going to work hard I'm very passionate about this and I want to be good enough'.
Some of the productions I've been involved with include Ramps on the Moon's tour of The Who's Tommy, The Glass Menagerie, Goth Weekend, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Stella, Doctors, Pas De Deux, Fusion at Sadler's Wells (theatre) and some comedic street theatre because why not? At the moment I teach acting between acting jobs but before in the past I have done some office admin jobs where I've been picking up the phone while I've been waiting for the phone to ring and I just liked staying occupied so if I've got spare time just go out and volunteer.
If you are interested in working in theatre then the three bits of advice I would give you: take a class in something you've never done before like an improv class or a stage combat class and then look into your options. If you want to go to drama school, which drama schools are an option for you and then you can start looking at your funding options. Lastly, just go and watch some good theatre. As one of the first wheelchair users to train in performance in musical theatre, it's frustrating and you can feel a bit like a guinea pig but if you're the first person then the person after you doesn't have to be, so do it for the next person.
Published: 12 March 2019