Bognor Regis’ very own Chelsie Padley heads back to her home town this Christmas for her first panto in Bognor for four years.
The last time she was her was for The Wizard Of Oz; now she’s back for Oz again, playing the part of the Good Witch.
Chelsie, who enjoyed three years in the TV series The Story Of Tracy Beaker, is 20 now and is determined to keep all her performance options open in a tough time for performers everywhere.
“I have done a few bits and bobs for children’s TV and I am auditioning a lot and song-writing, doing a lot of singing and gigging. I did study vocals at music college, and I have always sung contemporary as well as musical theatre.
“I haven’t really done the gigging before, but in the last year I have developed my own set” - an area she is keen to explore: “It’s really respected. You get known as your own artist. You start to get your own following.”
One day, she’s hoping perhaps to work towards an album: “I have got a few song-writing partners that I work with. I like a lot of the soulful kind of music, but it is definitely within the pop genre.
“It’s about keeping all the options open. It’s a very difficult industry at the moment. As well as auditioning for TV, it’s good to keep something else alongside. It’s all about having the contacts and getting known.
“It’s hard for everybody. Everybody is in the same boat. But that’s the good thing. If it were easy, you wouldn’t appreciate it. But I am young. You have just got to keep thinking what might be around the corner.”
Her first professional job was Tracy Beaker at the age of nine, a great experience which taught her a great deal over three years: “It was wonderful. I just think how fortunate I was. It’s a long time ago now, but I still appreciate how lucky I was to have done it.”
The Wizard Of Oz is at The Alexandra Threatre, Regis Centre, Bognor Regis, until January 2. Tickets on 01243 861010.