Welcome to Don’t Give Up Your Day Job, a blog series where we will be asking our Stage & the City students a series of questions to find out more about their jobs. People often think that to attend one of the courses, they need to have a performing arts background or have an arts-related job, but that’s far from true. We want to show you that people from all walks of life can still enjoy the arts, it doesn’t matter if you work as a police officer or a marketing manager!
My name is Jessica Tilley – I am an Office Manager and Executive Assistant for a tax/audit/legal recruitment firm in London.
I’ve been working here for over 2 1/2 years and previously organised hen and stag weekends for a living (a little different!). I’ve always been passionate about supporting people and have always been the go-to person for organising activities. This role translated that into the corporate environment. Aside from the day to day role of an Office Manager and EA, I get to arrange networking events (most recently for female tax professionals) and help create industry publications.
I suffer from generalised anxiety and the thought of standing in front of a group or presenting would normally terrify me. I decided that 2018 would be the year where I would try to combat this and do something that would be completely out of my comfort zone in every way.
I joined the Acting for Beginners class in January, originally for the first 6 weeks as I was worried about committing to paying for 11 weeks. However, I have now signed up for the final 5 weeks and will definitely be keeping an eye out for Summer courses! Everyone in the class is absolutely lovely, and everyone has their own reasons for joining. It’s really fun and Claire is a great teacher. Any nerves were soon gone and there is no pressure and no judgement (which is perfect for me as someone with zilch experience or skill!).
I suffer from anxiety and have done for about 7 years. I believed that an acting class was impossible for me, and I’ll be honest before the first class was about to start I was looking at the door weighing up how I could get out quickly! I’m so glad I stuck it out, my confidence has grown immeasurably already and no longer fear standing in front of the group. It’s definitely helping in work with having to lead team training sessions and will hopefully continue!