Name: Amy Wren
Period of time in Parsnips: 3 years maybe 4
Favourite memory of Parsnips: To be honest, my lesson was every Wednesday night, and every week I was so excited for my Wednesday to come around. I loved every single session, and when I look back I miss it now. I loved doing the shows, but my favourite was the sessions, each session was full of fun, but I learnt so much about the art and the industry. It also gave us all a chance to work as a team and gave us the confidence to voice any ideas in a really safe environment. Basically I bloomin' loved every part of being with "Parsnips"
What are you doing now?: I now live in London, working as an actress, I really do honestly feel that "Parsnips" help build my passion for acting, and helped us all become very creative.
Have you any advice to offer current Parsnips?: Have fun! Parsnips is a chance to have creative fun, make friends and make stuff your really proud off. I'm very jealous of you all. :)
(Note from Parsnips - Amy has acted in "Silk" and "Silent Witness" among others and can be seen in the films "Wuthering Heights" and the upcoming "uwantme2killhim?", check her out on IMDb for more information)
Name: Nadine Dilley
Period of time in Parsnips: Age 12-19
Favourite memory of Parsnips: There's so many but I did love the rehearsal process for the shows and the fun we all had backstage :)
What are you doing now?: Studying English, Film and Theatre at University of Reading
Have you any advice to offer current Parsnips?: Enjoy Parsnips while you still can because it's awesome, you'd be surprised how much of those sessions you take out into the real world with you. Also I'd be happy to mentor someone if they wanted it as I know having a mentor has helped me no end.
Name: Hannah McMillan-O'Brien
Period of time in Parsnips: 8 years (i think)
Favourite memory: Playing Miss Peacock
What are you doing now: Volunteering in a theatre in Florida
Have you any advice to offer current Parsnips?: Join in with everything even when you're scared to and enjoy the time you have there because it always ends too soon.
Name: Emily Woodbridge
Period of time in Parsnips: I don't remember how long I was there, you might have to help me out with this one... I'm guessing a year or two?
Favourite memory: My favourite memory is doing my first ever show and walking out on to the stage and seeing a big audience for the first time.
What are you doing now?: I am currently working at a nursery and doing a diploma alongside working.
Have you any advice to offer current Parsnips?: My advice to current Parsnips would be don't hold back, going to Parsnips when I was younger made me much more confident and I loved taking part in the shows.
Name: Jess Monk
Period of time in Parsnips?: 4 years
Favourite memory: I have so many great memories it is hard to pick the best. Perhaps teenage tragedy where I had the opportunity to play two very different roles. That play also introduced me to some Shakespeare I didn't know... in fact even after 4 years at uni I still haven't read Othello but I talk about it as if I do based on the story in Teenage Tragedy! The warm ups & exercises I learned in sessions were invaluable. I think of Parsnips and the work I did with Claire nearly every day in my current job.
What are you doing now?: I am a drama assistant at a boarding school in Essex where I have a very varied job. I help run the theatre which houses professional productions, I'm stage managing the big school musical and directing a play next term. I assist in lessons and provide private acting tuition and I also run workshops in local primary schools. My Parsnip's education is as valuable to me as my degree in day to day life. It is where I learned the respect, ambition & work ethic required in this profession. If ever I am stuck for workshop ideas I think to myself what did I love doing with Claire? And the old parsnips games always go down well! I think I knew I was lucky while I was at Parsnips to be part of such a wonderful group, but it is now in my working life that I am really able to appreciate how much my time there shaped me. I left Parsnips determined to become an actress. I went to University in Kent to study Theatre studies and spent a year in America where I realised what I really wanted to do was Direct. I spent my Masters year Directing and found I loved it. What I loved was coming up with ideas, devising, motivating and inspiring people to be the best performers they can be. This I learned from Claire. It is possible to have a career in theatre by being a friendly approachable person. You don't need to be ruthless to fulfil your dreams you just need to be passionate and be YOU.
Have you any advice to offer current Parsnips?: Make the most of your time there... enjoy your sessions. You are gaining a great education for whatever you decide to do and you will have memories to take with you forever!
Name: Ashleigh Ringrose
Period of time in Parsnips: 3 years – 2002 - 2005
Favourite memory of Parsnips: Coming up with ideas with my friends of sketches and then performing them in front of the rest of the group. Everyone was always so supportive and encouraging; there was always a positive word to say to build your confidence.
What are you doing now?: I am currently studying my MPhil at Plymouth University in Arctic Organic Geochemistry. Before that I completed my undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Keele University. I hope to move to Canada next year to start a career in Polar Education and Outreach, working with children and communities to broaden the understanding and public image of the Polar regions.
Have you any advice to offer current Parsnips?: Don’t be afraid of something different or out of your comfort zone. If you have the courage to try anything, for example standing on stage in front of an audience speaking on your own, you might just turn out to love it.
Name: Jazmine Dixon
Period of time in Parsnips: 2006 - 2009
Favourite memory of Parsnips: The buzz backstage on the first night of each performance / Claire just being amazing :)
What are you doing now?: I am studying for a degree in Psychology at The University of Leicester and also have a job teaching karate. I have recently come back from studying in Korea where I got to train with grandmasters of Taekwondo and get involved with Nanta Theatre :)
Have you any advice to offer current Parsnips?: Love every second guys, Parsnips is always full of brilliant hilarious characters and you will take away many fun memories :)
Name: Tegan Gladman
Period of time in Parsnips: Aged 9 - 13
Favourite memory of Parsnips: All of my favourite memories of Parsnips always included some unique new game that was awesome!!
What are you doing now?: My experience at Parsnips not only boosted my confidence but helped me in my future study of Drama and Theatre studies at A level. I am now at university studying TV Productions and hoping to continue in that industry.
Have you any advice to offer current Parsnips?: Only advice I can give is to have fun and listen to Claire, you'll learn a great deal :)
Name: Simon Narciso
Period of time in Parsnips: 8 - 9 years (may have been longer)
Favourite memory of Parsnips: First show at Parsnips doing Keeper of the Fairy Tales! It was my first proper show and I was very nervous!
What are you doing now?: I am working as a freelance assistant stage manager. Freelance means I go from theatre to theatre doing different shows and working in all different places in the UK. I am part of a team of usually 3 a stage manager, deputy stage manager and a assistant stage manager. An ASM (assistant stage manager) is in charge of sourcing the props for the show. Once the show starts they are then given cue to do during the show which might involve passing props to an actor or setting items in a certain place ready to go. Also making sure the cast are happy and on stage at the right time.
Have you any advice to offer current Parsnips?: If I had any advice it would be that there is so much you can do in theatre. From working in lighting and sound to front of house work and building sets. They are all key parts of theatre and the shows wouldn't run unless all these departments worked together. Also even if you do or don't know what you want to do try everything because in some way all the departments are linked! Theatres all around the UK do work experience or tours try doing as much as you can to get your experience up.
Name: Jake Bolton
Period of time in Parsnips: 10 years
Favourite memory of Parsnips: Getting to shout my head off every week as Barry the yoga instructor with anger issues (and an unhealthy obsession with cars!) in Standing Still Is Moving Backwards.
What are you doing now?: I'm currently studying Biomedical Sciences at the University of Plymouth. Basically, I get to wear a lab coat and fiddle about with microscopes and test tubes while trying to understand diseases. It doesn't really sound like it has anything to do with drama, but the confidence Parsnips has given me has helped me to make new friends here. I have also joined a drama group down here, so I'm continuing acting in my spare time.
Have you any advice to offer current Parsnips?: Just enjoy yourself and really go for it. Even if you decide, like me, not to pursue drama as a career, the skills it gives you are very transferable. It's a good escape for when things get stressful as well, so I'd recommend continuing during exam time. The two hour break every week did me a lot of good!
Name: Aaron Alexander
Period of time in Parsnips: 2006-2008
Favourite memory of Parsnips: Doing the Shakespeare show in Uppingham (Teenage Tragedy)
What are you doing now? I've just graduated from the London School of Musical Theatre, registered with an agency in London and now auditioning for professional west end shows and national tours.