Our guest blogger is Jade Powers. She has spent a lifetime in music and theatre, both as a performer and director, travelling the world as a result. She has been involved for a number of years with the popular Sussex Dance Studios: her latest ventures being The Broadway Players and Jade Powers Entertainments.
Jade Powers is your stage name so how did you start in the business?
Where do I begin…. Cue for a song – my life has been based on Theatre – and I guess to this day this is one of my favourite songs – back in the 60’s as a little girl my passion for performing started with the church and school choirs and they told my Mum I had a big voice – so after many years of training -in the 80’s JADE POWERS was born.
When you sang for the King of Tonga in 1990 you said it was a life changing experience. Why?
I was introduced to many local Zimbabwe dignitaries – and over my time with them I was so privileged to visit places of interest as a VIP and making friends with the locals enabled me to then teach Drama / Dance and Singing to the Outback children – this was the life changing bit seeing how they lived in mud huts and their staple diet of mealy meal – a corn meal mixed with water which tasted disgusting and added with potatoes – yet they were so happy – I loved going to see them – and I had been back in UK over a year when Zimbabwe Sun – sent me a brochure – and there I was in the middle with a huge feature on what I had done for the local children – I was so humbled.
You went from performing to teaching and producing/directing after having your daughter. What was it like shifting from one to the other? What did you learn about yourself? What advice would you give to other young mums in a similar situation?
I never gave up performing just the balance turned round more performing became more teaching and less performing which was easier when Bethany was little as I could take her to work with me – shifting my goal posts was relatively easy – because I was still totally absorbed in show business – any other young Mums facing difficulties with work and home balance – don’t give up on your dreams – if you have a good family support network they will rally round to allow you to work and fulfil yourself as a woman – my ethos has always been total organisation – thinking ahead – being prepared – and keeping calm. Now in my fifties the balance has changed again – and I now find there is just not enough hours in a day to fit it all in – but I can’t cull in any area to ease my load ………… Dedication
You started a theatre group for autistic children. What motivated you to do that? What lessons can you pass on about the skills you developed, or the awareness of what you felt you had to do?
The Power Project – was always something I had in the back of my mind – I have such empathy for those not so fortunate – I just needed to be 100% confident in my abilities and sure of myself – and comfortable in my own world to have the confidence to put the wheels in motion for this – which I felt the time was right over the last 5 years – the skills I learnt during this period of my life – were compassion for others and amazement at what families go through to look after these wonderful young challenging people – the pure joy on their faces when they learn and perform and feel INCLUDED means the world.
And then life changed direction again?
Yes, I found my Perfect Partner Pete who is so supportive of all my work – I have been so lucky to work in many theatrical fields that have made me so happy with the passion and love of what I do – 3 years ago my dreams came true again with the start of my own production company The Broadway Players – this has also swept me off my feet with the acclamations I have received as a producer and director – I have learnt so many skills over the 40 years in professional theatre – now as a collective Jade Powers Entertainments – I gig approx. 12 times a month at various dementia care homes which give me so much pleasure to see smiling faces of the elderly as they remember the tunes I sing – so rewarding, I guess I have a perfect life.
You say this is not a job, it is a very happy and rewarding life choice. What advice would you give to women who haven’t yet been lucky enough to find that?
I have spent my whole working life doing something I love – this is not always possible for a lot of people male and female – but if you have passion and drive – just believe in yourself and you CAN achieve anything – I did and look how I spend my time – I am never bored always passionate and happy – REMBEMBER you only get back what you put in.