NATURAL ACTOR: Trish Mears finds her inner joy back on the stage.
NATURAL ACTOR: Trish Mears finds her inner joy back on the stage. PAUL BEUTEL

Acting bug bites for Bundaberg Broadcasters manager

BRISBANE, Buderim, Bundaberg - that's the yellow brick road actor Trish Mears has followed in her theatre career.

The Bundaberg Broadcasters manager said she found her love of theatre as a primary school student. But at the end of high school, her first choice for tertiary studies was communications, her second, theatre. She was granted her first choice, but often wonders how her life would have turned out if her second choice had won.

Perhaps, it would not have been so different, because at the moment Trish is doing it all.

On the Sunshine Coast she spent 12 years with the Buderim Amateur Theatrical Society, BATS, acting, directing and working back stage. She was also secretary of the committee for 12 years.

She said she received the biggest buzz out of acting: "Directing was satisfying but challenging, but in acting you got to do the fun bits”.

Then she had a son, and acting took a back seat to motherhood until 2000 when she was asked to help with a play in Eumundi. "I had so much fun, but I got a promotion to Bundaberg so I couldn't continue.”

She and Will moved, and Trish let work, and more recently part-time work as a celebrant, take centre stage.

Soon it was Will's chance. "In high school he got involved in youth theatre with Drama Queens and then Bundaberg Players at 14 and did that until he left to move to Sydney to pursue a professional acting career.”

And the day Trish drove Will to the airport for his big move, was the day Trish heard she had the part of Ethel in the Bundaberg Players' most recent production Moon Over Buffalo.

She hadn't been on the stage for 15 years, but relished the challenge. "Ethel was one of those dream characters, she had it all - great lines, a character actress's dream.” She jokes, "Because I'm older than I was last time on stage it's not too much of a stretch.”

It's a big commitment for a woman who already had a more than full-time job as manager of Bundaberg Broadcasters. She estimates nine hours a week in rehearsals plus learning lines.

"That's what theatre's all about, a big commitment, but the rewards outweigh the time you have to put into it.”

And those rewards are ... "you get to do something you love. Acting is a real buzz.”

She says it's also a great creative outlet. "If you are busy and have a challenging job, it's great because you're concentrating totally on something else - not work, family or problems. You have to be totally absorbed. We also have a lot of retired people who make such a great contribution to the theatre.”

Plus it's meant meeting new friends as "the cast and crew become part of a family.”

It's easy to see Trish has the acting bug again.

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