Here’s your opportunity to get to know me 🙂
*** Spotlight On… Helen McWilliams ***
Why did you start ‘Break A Leg Review’?
I was contributing as a reviewer and interviewer to another online review site, I told one of my favourite actresses (during an interview) that I was considering setting up my own site, and she was very encouraging about it. I had been building up a network of contacts around the West Midlands and wanted to continue to do that for ourselves, with Garry (my husband) in tow. Garry takes a backseat these days as his own career is taking a few exciting turns. I owe thanks to Tracey Childs who was the actress encouraging me to ‘go it alone’!
What piqued your interest in becoming a writer?
I was always interested in writing stories when I was a child. However entertainment journalism became a career goal due to the vast amount of theatre shows that my parents took me to see from a young age, coupled with the fact I was a little telly addict (and still am), I was hugely inspired by many actors and actresses and the idea of being able to promote them via articles and interviews was appealing.
Who inspired you in your youth when you were first thinking about this career?
Judy Buxton, Tracey Childs, Felicity Dean, Sandra Huggett, Liz Robertson, Carol Royle and Cath Shipton were my real heroes when I was in my youth and all of them remain my heroes. They’re my magnificent seven!
I was and still am hugely inspired by Robert Daws, Sylvester McCoy, Jeffrey Holland and Derek Thompson.
What is your ambition for the site?
My ambition for this year (2015) was to include interviews with authors as well as actors and other industry-related individuals. The new ‘Spotlight On…’ page has drawn in a few more excellent interviewees from many walks of the arts. Our links with London theatres have opened up this year and I hope to expand on that, which is a huge ambition for the site. I wanted to interview as many of my personal heroes as possible, as well. That is happening and overwhelming me, constantly!
What are you writing in your fictional ‘career’ at the moment?
I’m so busy with this site and working for ‘Union Times’, ‘Theatre and Performance Magazine’, I have let the fictional work take a lower priority, for now…
What is your advice for budding writers?
Write about what you know, network with other writers and have your work read aloud to see if it works. It should always be an enjoyable experience, not a chore – and try your hand at a number of genres, you might surprise yourself!
Favourite Things (quick-fire questions):
Oh, I love so many actors – I’m going to have to say Jeffrey Holland AND Robert Daws. Both appeared in hit television shows which were a big part of my youth. They’ve both gone on to great things, too!
Nooooo, don’t ask me! Ok, Carol Royle AND Judy Buxton – I’ve loved them both since I was a little girl, seen them on television and in Judy’s case, I’ve seen her on stage many times. (I have a short list of ten favourite actresses, so this was hard!!!).
Favourite Television Programme?
This changes so often, this year (2015) my favourite play has been ‘Harvey’.
Rocky Horror Show and Phantom of the Opera. I am hopeless at choosing!