Passion. Do you have it? Knowing what you want to do with the rest of your life takes time. On average, people don’t know what they’re going to be doing until they’re already doing it. But if you already have something in mind, how far are you willing to go to make it? Emily Eden, a young actress from a small town in England told me her story and it truly defines passion.
I would like to start off by saying that not only is Emily an incredibly talented performer, but she is also one of the sweetest people I have ever met. She greeted me by saying that she was just so glad to be spending time with me (what a great way to start an interview!) As we proceeded to talk about her life and future plans, I realized that this girl is going to be such an inspiration to so many young people. Not just aspiring artists, but anyone who has any doubt about their future.The one thing she made very clear to me was that you always just have to believe that you can achieve your goals. Believe in the impossible, follow your dreams, and do what makes you happy.
Emily’s hometown in England was very small, typical country-like setting. She saw the same people everyday, took turns going to the same four shops everyday. She really had very little options especially when it came to her interest in the arts. At age 11, she went to a school that was very focused in the arts and it was then that she realized that performing was her passion. She loved her music classes, always had the lead roles in school plays and most importantly had a goal. As soon as she could, she was going to head to New York and conquer the world. The easiest way for her to start on her path was to start studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. This is when Ms. Eden had to face her first obstacle: money.
Like any other school in NYC, AADA is very expensive. It is a two year school, each year going for about $60,000. That did not stop Emily though. She wrote about 200 letters to everyone she could think of and got no support. Still, she didn’t give up. She stayed up until four in the morning baking cakes to sell with her friends, sang with drag queens and managed to get half of the money. At the time, she was also working at one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theaters selling champagne. They must have seen her potential and ambition because Andrew Lloyd Webber actually sponsored her to go to school for that year. As the end of the year came, Emily began to worry about not having the money to continue studying at AADA but with the gracious amounts of help and support of her teachers, she was able to stay at AADA and graduate the following year.
In coming to NY Emily had to leave her whole family behind in England. At first they were very hesitant when it came to accepting her dreams of becoming an actress. They expected her to grow up and get married, have a 9-5 job, have a stable income. It was hard for them to realize that she would have to live an unstable lifestyle for a while until she got to where she wanted to be. I asked Emily how she dealt with this obstacle and she said “Yes, it was hard because you don’t want to hurt the ones you love, but in the end, you are your own person and have to do what is best for you.”
The life of an aspiring actress is not easy. Working 5 jobs, 6am-midnight days is sometimes required. The moment you least expect it though, people will notice and they will admire you for it. That is what will keep you going, that is one of things that keeps Emily going. Emily could have gone to Oxford University, could have been a doctor or a lawyer but that would not have made her happier than she is now because she wouldn’t be doing what she loves regardless of the obstacles she had to face. Emily has already been in national commercials, has done various voiceovers, been on number one tours, has taken part in off-broadway shows and had over 100,000 hits on her webisode and also wrote a sitcom for BBC TV. She is currently auditioning for Broadway shows and well is on her way to winning an Oscar. So readers, if you ever feel discouraged, keep Emily’s story in mind and if you see a shooting star, wish on it. It worked for Emily and it can work for you too. You can do anything you put your mind to as long as you just believe.