“Keep your spark burning and just don’t give up.” – Holly’s Story #ICMyVision
Not every performer starts out knowing exactly what they want to be, some need to explore and try out different practices first to find their perfect fit. This was the case with Holly Hoskison, a 2020 ICTheatre graduate turned TikTok and social media entrepreneur.
After graduating last year, Holly started posting comedy sketches on social media that rapidly grew in popularity. As her TikTok platform took off, she also established a fanbase on Instagram and Youtube.
Holly shares with us her journey to discovering her love of character comedy, the support of her online community, and advice for performing arts students looking to find their own way into the industry.
When did you know you wanted to work in theatre?
“I’d always done dance shows, but I’d never really done acting – I was so shy when I was younger.
It was in high school that I realised I liked my drama lessons. I decided to take a performing arts B-Tech, and it was then that I realised how much fun it was. I began to think, maybe I really could sing, dance and act as a career. So, I decided to do a performing arts and dance A Level at college and it all just continued from there.
For a long time, I wanted to go into teaching, because I just didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself. I thought, “I like to do the performing stuff, but maybe I’m not good enough.” I think studying at A Level made me realise I could do this, so I decided to apply for Drama School. I applied to ICTheatre, I got in, and I loved it.
When I got older, I gained a bit more confidence. I think just having really good friends around me, who had the same interests and encouraged me to be the best version of myself and do what I wanted to do.
Why does what you do give you life?
It is a magical feeling. It’s so hard to describe because some people say, “well, don’t you get scared when you’re on stage in front of a camera?” And I can see why someone would because it’s intimidating having a camera in your face or lots of eyes on you. I understand that. But I really don’t, I just love it. I just feel so at home in front of a camera or on stage.
“You just get to be anyone you want to be on stage and it’s just so magical.”
It really has a special place in my heart. That feeling when I get hundreds and hundreds of comments on every TikTok video, and my DMs are always so full. Replying to everyones’ comments, and hearing how everyone loves what I do; the reception is just amazing.
To hear so many people say that I’ve lifted their day, made them happy, made them smile, got them through lockdown, that’s just priceless. I still can’t believe that happens to be honest. And I’m so looking forward to getting back on stage when I can, and hopefully moving an audience as much in person as I’ve been able to online.
It’s so special, hearing what people have to say about your performance after it. Because you’re just in the moment, and you’re making this piece of art. Especially on stage, no one ever gets to see that again. I think it’s so lovely.
I get to be whoever I want on stage. I get to create these characters and bring these random crazy things to life. And I think it’s amazing, I love it so much.
What’s it like to study at ICTheatre?
“ICTheatre’s definitely helped me realise the kind of performer I wanted to be by giving me so many workshops, lessons and opportunities to experiment with.”
I knew I wanted to be a performer, but wasn’t 100% sure exactly what I wanted to study, because there’s so many things you can do. I came in thinking, “oh, maybe I want to do musical theatre,” because that’s what everyone wants to do when they go to drama school.
I realised that wasn’t 100% me when I started and saw the passion others had for it.
I really enjoyed the dance classes too and thought, maybe I want to be a dancer. And then again, there was something missing for me. So, I kept going to my classes, and I always did these little characters with my friends that had funny voices, and everyone always used to tell me to make it into a sketch. I didn’t know if it was just my friends laughing because they love me, though.
I then started acting and physical theatre classes with ICTheatre, and let my guard down. I thought, you know what, it doesn’t matter if no one laughs.
“As long as I’m enjoying it, and making it my own, it’s fine; and it went really well.”
When I realised what I wanted to do, ICTheatre helped me so much. You have access to so many different classes. It wasn’t just acting, singing, dancing, but comedy workshops, and physical theatre. You could do everything and then reflect on it and figure out what you enjoy doing most.
I remember I did a sketch in a Friday performance class, and it went so well. It was like a little stand up sketch, and I would never have done that before. You know, I would never have tried that if it wasn’t for that opportunity. And the reaction I got from it was so amazing that it definitely boosted my confidence in a big way.
ICTheatre’s definitely shaped me into the performer that I am today. I came in not knowing what I wanted to do, and I’ve come out knowing exactly what I want to do. I want to do character comedy, and be an actress and presenter. And I just had no idea before I came in.
So, it definitely helped me, moulded into the performer I am today by having so many opportunities.
What would you say to anyone dreaming of a performing arts career?
“I’d say set aside time regularly to do something you love, because I really do believe that if you love something enough you will make the time for it.”
If it’s your dream, do it. I will always say you have to have a burning passion for whatever you’re doing. It doesn’t matter what career. Especially performing arts, you have to love what you do so much and really want it because there are thousands of people who want the same thing as you.That should make your spark burn a bit brighter, I think.
I’d also say be consistent. Turn up to your lesson or turn up to your training. Whatever you’re doing, be there. Even if you don’t enjoy the class, or you’re having a bad day, turn up, give it your best shot. It’s such a good thing to learn to be consistent with something.
And make sure you keep doing things that you love doing and make sure your fire is lit inside of you.
So yeah, consistency, keep your spark burning and just don’t give up. Don’t give up, these things take time. You know, you see like celebrities and think, oh, they got all that overnight. But so much hard work goes into being a performer, or for me a content creator.
I have lots of part time jobs as well as doing it. And that’s never something that happened overnight. I’ve been working on that stuff for years. But it does seem like things happen overnight sometimes.
Keep at it. Put something out there. And the first thing you put out doesn’t have to be perfect. You can just keep moving and moulding and changing and developing. If you love it enough, one day, things will just click into place and you’ll be doing the thing you love. So work hard and just never give up.
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