I always loved putting on shows - when you're the youngest of seven and five are older sisters, you've got to get noticed somehow! I did puppet shows and magic shows... even ventriloquism. My doll's name was 'Dan,' and I used to write these scripts, and my schoolmate hid under the table and supplied Dan's voice.
I was 11 when a teacher suggested to my parents that they should send me to drama classes to curb my disruptive ways in the classroom. The next Saturday I was acting, and thereafter it became a ritual of my youth to see a show at the Belvoir on Sundays and, if I was lucky, another at the Opera House on Monday after school.
In all honesty, if somebody asked me the secret of auditioning for Americans, I don't know. Often, I do what's called self-taping for America. I go over there quite a lot to sit in a room and do stuff in front of people. You feel like a performing monkey. It's bizarre.