“Performing gives me life” – Becca & Jessica’s Story #ICMyVision

22 June, 2021

Performers are some of the most empathetic, multidimensional people. They get under the skin of characters, tell stories that are often far removed from their own. When you meet a performer, you’ll know it before they tell you. There’s a certain kind of magic they bring to this world.

This is what we love so much about life at ICTheatre, and watching our graduates flourish as they forge a way for themselves in the creative industries. Each brings their own unique expression to their craft, often illuminating something important about the human experience that has a profound and lasting impact. 

2020 ICTheatre graduates, Jessica Debenham and Becca Bindang are doing just that. Actors, singers and songwriters, this multi-talented duo love composing together, and are currently writing a musical called Sunflower in the Hurricane. They also write their own songs and perform as solo artists, and Becca has a single coming out very soon. 

At ICTheatre, we’re passionate about helping our students find their unique voice and achieve their vision for the future – whether they see themselves as performers, artists, writers, teachers. Jessica and Becca shared their story with us, told us what it means to them to be part of the ICTheatre movement, and how they’re living into the vision they created for themselves while studying.

 

When did you know you just HAD to be a performer?

Becca: “I feel like I’ve always been a performer. Any opportunity I could get as a kid, I would perform for anyone who would listen to me. I have such a strong memory of being about seven or eight, going up to two of my music teachers and asking: “Can you back me on like the guitar and piano so I can do a performance in assembly?” So we practised, had a couple of rehearsals, and then there I was on stage in assembly singing Eternal Flame by The Bangles!” And that was the moment I knew I had to do this for the rest of my life.” 

“The first time I performed was because a primary school teacher saw something in me that I didn’t necessarily see in myself.”

Jessica: “The first time I performed was because a primary school teacher saw something in me that I didn’t necessarily see in myself. I loved singing, I loved The Sound of Music, and I would just go around the house and put on little shows for my family. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”

 

Why does performing give you life? 

Becca: “Performing gives me a lot of life because it allows me to portray life. You portray humans, you portray a story, you portray characters, and through that, you’re living someone else’s life. It’s such a thrilling experience to be able to play characters that you’ll never play in your own life. For me, it’s all about the act of storytelling, whatever medium, whether it’s acting, singing, or songwriting. Performing, and being able to tell these stories is my fuel.”

“It’s such a privilege to be able to tell a story and to represent people. Acting, like art, is so powerful.”

Jessica: “It’s such a privilege to be able to tell a story, and to represent people. Acting, like art, is so powerful. And you can reach people in ways that go deeper than anything else. That’s what brings me a lot of life.”

 

What’s it like to be an ICTheatre student?

Jessica: “Studying at ICTheatre has helped us find out who we are, outside of being performers, as well as who we are as performers. That’s important because we’re all unique, and we all have something different to offer. They have really helped us to grow, in all parts of ourselves.” 

“ICTheatre has always encouraged us to completely indulge in our uniqueness.”

Becca: “They have always encouraged us to completely indulge in our uniqueness, and hone in on what makes us who we are. An actor, you can be so much, but if you don’t know who you are as a person that can be a barrier to your creativity. ICTheatre were incredible in breaking us down, for starters, then building us back up to become these incredibly individual, open-minded, passionate people. There’s also an incredible support system, which taught us that support is one of the most important things in this industry. Our year group were the biggest cheerleaders you will ever meet, we also had brilliant support from our tutors and from everyone we met in the industry. Now, we bring that with us into whatever rehearsal room we go into.”

 

Becca & Jessica’s top tips for budding performers

1. Avoid comparison

In fact, don’t just avoid comparison, take it and pelt it in the other direction. Be diligent about spotting it and not entertaining it. You can be inspired by people, but that’s different. Remember, you are unique. Your journey is unique. What you bring to a rehearsal room, what you bring to a story, what you bring to a character is completely different to anyone else. And that’s beautiful. That’s what brings diversity. What you have to offer brings something wonderful to the industry, and to the world. In truth, nothing is better than anything else. It’s just different. And nobody can do what you do the way you do it.

2. Enjoy the process

It’s okay to have goals for your future but enjoy this moment right now. Enjoy the process of learning, because there’s so much to learn, there’s so much growing to be done. That’s all part of life, and it’s great. Keeping the blinkers on against comparison is vital here too because comparison makes you look at someone and think: “Well, that’s where they are at this age, I should be there too.” Keep those blinkers on, stay present, and focus your laser on what you’re learning right now.

3. Remember your WHY

In training, there are so many technicalities you have to learn, which are important because they make you a better performer. But at the end of the day, remember why you’re doing this in the first place: to connect, to perform, to explore these incredible worlds you’re creating. You get to play, you get to pretend, and you get to have fun. As an industry, we get to shape culture. We get to shape society. That’s no small thing. It’s incredible. We get to represent people, give voices to people that don’t have voices, and make people feel heard. It’s a real privilege to be part of such an influential industry.

 

Interested in joining the #ICTheatreMovement? Book into one of our upcoming open days or events HERE.

© 2021 ICTheatre
Institute for Contemporary Theatre