There are a busy few weeks ahead for young actress Eva McKenna.
The 23-year-old, who trained at the School of Creative Arts at Blackpool and the Fylde College, has chosen to work in one of the most competitive industries.
There’s no escaping the fact that it’s hard to make a living professionally in acting
With thousands of aspiring actresses chasing a relatively small number of jobs, getting paid work in theatre, TV or film is not easy.
But since leaving drama school Eva has managed to get work and this week she is due to appear professionally in the premiere of a new play written by a young North West writer.
Eva, whose parents John and Lynda McKenna are well known in Fleetwood, is appearing in the lead role of Kate in the play A Walk in the Park, by Warrington writer Emily Chriscoli.
It is being staged at the The King’s Club in Warrington this Friday and Saturday night.
Next up is a competitive Monologue Slam event at Manchester’s Contact Theatre on November 27, and then she is on a North West panto tour with Jack and the Beanstalk throughout most of December.
Eva’s dad John is the lead singer with Fleetwood band Monkberry and runs McKenna’s Tool Hire in the town, while mum Lynda works in the office of Fleetwood Sheet metals.
Eva, who lives on the Pheasants Wood estate in Thornton, said: “There’s no escaping the fact that it’s hard to make a living professionally in acting.
“There are thousands of female actors in my age group, all trying to make it.
“But if it is really what you want to do and you believe you have a chance, it’s worth going for it.
“I would advise any young aspiring actress to get themselves out there, try and get roles in amateur shows and listen to the advice you get if you go to drama school.”
Eva admits to being nervous about this week’s play, about a young couple’s relationship being tested by a terrible secret.
The writer, Emily Chriscoli, is only 25 and has struggled to get the work put on, so she is also producing and directing the production herself.
Eva said: “I very honoured to be involved in the very first production and that it is on a professional basis.
“Writing new plays is another difficult area because people don’t always want to risk money on un-tried work by an unknown writer.”
The interest in pantomimes is showing no abate and Eva says these festive shows are a great opportunity for actors to perform in front of large audiences and meet the sort of showgoers who may not go to other types of plays.
She said: “I’m lucky to get a chance to perform in shows as varied as a new drama and a popular pantomime. That’s the kind of challenge you want as a professional actor.”
Oh yes it is!