Ella Clarke Author of “Split Ends”

“don’t take yourself too seriously!”

Meet Ella Clarke


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Growing up around classical singers and artists, telling inspiring stories became second nature and has now become an integral part of everything I do. For me, a great story told truthfully can be a key to achieving a deeper level of understanding of oneself and others which I believe can be highly valuable, especially in such a high-tension social climate.
As far as I know, I’ve always had a very high standard for myself, graduating from school and an undergrad drama school with the highest possible grades in the arts, while simultaneously training in Holistic, Deep Tissue and On-site Massage and (later) Reiki 1 and 2, fueling my love of health and well-being. I went on to attend a variety of short courses at drama schools in the UK including the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, LAMDA, Oxford Film Academy and Bristol Old Vic, to train in as many differing fields in the arts as I could, whilst working as a self employed Massage Therapist and teaching (Salsa and Contemporary) dance in a few small performance companies to cover my expenses.
I am now in London, writing, directing and producing theatre and film, with my (formerly created by friends of mine) production company ‘New Fable Productions’. Other career paths I’ve explored include singing, sewing, gardening and skin care and product creator and manager as part of a Spa company. I also work in a magnificent pub in Soho and on the odd YouTube video when I find the time!
Wasn’t there a time when a musician could be a physicist and an artist could be a technician? If Leonardo Da Vinci could do it – so can we. Polymaths to the rescue!

How long have you been an Entrepreneur?

For as long as I can remember.

Did you leave a job to become an Entrepreneur?

Yes

What is the name of your current project / company?

‘Split Ends’ by New Fable Productions

Please describe for us in 1 sentence your current project.

A 40 minute play I wrote called ‘Split Ends’ due to show in the West-End this year, is a comedic tragedy, a company of 9 who tell their stories of loss and unrequited love through drama, prose and physical theatre, working with themes including Miscarriage, IVF, LGBTQ relationships and suicide, and we are soon to go into full cast rehearsals.

Where did the idea of your current project come from?

I have been writing this piece in my mind for a while but I went through some complications earlier in the year with a miscarriage and started writing prose and poems relating to it and other relationships within differing communities, and how these trails brought them closer together. I also have the first-hand experience of loved ones committing suicide (my father) and felt there was a voice missing from the picture being told about the subject so far in mainstream art.

Why do you do what you do?

I write so I can make sense of my thoughts, and hopefully inspire others to do the same, and I perform in whatever form, be it dancing, acting etc so I can play with the freedom of a child and revel in taking the risk! Adrenaline junkie!

What’s the one thing you wish you could go back and tell your younger self?

That you have all the time in the world. Everything happens at the right time for you. Honestly, I have exhausted my sense of well-being so many times in pursuit of gaining certain jobs or completing certain tasks that I become so shrouded with a determination that I forget to eat. It’s ridiculously simple, but taking the time out to make some home-made food and sit down and take some deep breaths, listen to music, whatever inspired you in the first place, just allows you to ‘check-in’ to your own body. By respecting your sanity and your body, your desired outcomes will flourish all the more because of that.

What’s the most important piece of advice would you give to someone just starting?

Well, I’m not sure how qualified I am to advise someone who is just starting, as you could say that is where I am, but the one piece of advice I would give would be don’t take yourself too seriously! The lighter-hearted you are with your pursuits, the easier you are to laugh with, and the more people want to work with you, whatever the field.

What is the hardest thing you have had to do regarding your business?

The hardest part is that morally, I would not want to charge to experience a piece of theatre or film, or even a massage, as I believe these things should all be accessible to all walks of life, no matter the size of your pay-check. They are not luxuries, they are integral to culture, social/political growth and understanding and mental and physical health. In reality, I need to pay rent. And eat.

What does your typical day look like?

Ideally, it starts with some yoga, some good food and classical music or a podcast from the History of Philosophy Department in Kings College, London. Most days, my emails often take the presidency over all that, but I try to keep my mornings stress-free. I work evenings half the week in the pub, so that often takes most of my energy, but other days, I am either rehearsing with other actors (for a showcase I am doing on June 14th at the Jermyn Street Theatre with Casting Days, 1 pm till 2 pm – shameless plug!) or I am editing a feature film that started production two years ago, which I hope to send to festivals in 2018, (called ‘Nathan’ about an orphan boy who finds his passion for dance helps him travel the world), or I am Skyping my actors for my play, ‘Split Ends’… or I am gardening. Depends on the weather, of course…

If you were to start again and could change one thing, what would it be?

I am struggling to think of just one thing! But if I changed one thing, then the rest would not have happened! I know I am not lacking in drive, but sometimes in focus, so I would change my focus regarding a few of my career ‘explorations’, before they managed to take over my creative life, as they often did, and prioritize the work I knew was the end-goal, even if to others it seemed unrealistic.

What is the most important thing in life?

That’s a big question! It varies so widely from person to person, as we all have our different needs and triggers, but I would say, for me, social interaction. The easiest thing to do, is to hide inside a bubble, become self-consumed and socially inept, so making the effort to meet up with people you know, and people you don’t know, will give you the perspective of your life that you have been depriving yourself of. Whether it is positive or negative interaction, your understanding of yourself and those around you shift, and you allow yourself to question and learn new things.

What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I can pinpoint one moment when I found out that 80% of the footage of a film I was making had been lost due to technical problems, and the first thought that came into my head was, where was the back-up? Evidently, there wasn’t one. This has become a vital method for me; always have a back-up. Whatever the project, job, travel plans, pet – always have a back-up! I overcame this particular problem, luckily thanks to the excellent cast and crew of the production’s commitment to the project and willingness to help recover and re-shoot what we needed.

Tell us something unique about yourself.

Something unique… I have a small tattoo of bear paw prints on my left shoulder. My Father used to read me the Native American saying “The bear lifted me up so high, I could see all the earth, he said I may dance among the cliffs and live forever”.