Botha’s Hill actress heads for stardom

2016-11-29 06:00
Photo: SUPPLIED Belinda Henwood has been part of the performing community for over a decade.

Photo: SUPPLIED Belinda Henwood has been part of the performing community for over a decade.

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BOTHA’S Hill resident Belinda Henwood has been part of the performing community for over a decade.

She is a regular face in the KickstArt shows such as Popcorn, Dangerous Liaisons, Dracula, Boston Marriage, Table Manners, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, The Wizard of Oz, Little Shop of Horrors, Noises Off, Cabaret (2011), Snow White (2011) and Annie.

She was also the Jamaican Fairy, the narrator in last year’s Puss in Boots and this year she is the good Fairy Goodmother, Celestina Sparkle in KickstArt’s Sleeping Beauty, which has an original script.

Apart from her acting career she is the accordionist and singer for the South Jersey pom-Poms.

Speaking about her acting career Henwood said: “My high-school drama teacher Andie Holborn, burst into my life just when I was finding a life-time of convent edification somewhat overwhelming.

“Along came this explosion of joy, passion and inspiration. With her came reason to believe that I had found my calling.

“Andie was also the one who could placate my anxious parents after my decision to go into the arts. After my studies, I was fortunate to get a job with the then Natal Playhouse as a member of The Loft Schools Company, touring the province with educational theatre for pupils.

“It was a great way to put newly crafted skills to work and to be making a contribution to our communities and beyond, and mostly, a not-too-scary way to introduce ourselves to the world as artists, at a time when freelance work may have been a terrifying prospect.”

Henwood grew up on a small, dusty fragment of rural Swaziland.

“Life was so utterly fascinating that I think these childhood remembrances will continue to inspire me all my life, and have definitely shaped who I am.

“I was part of a community, who lived this hard-rural life, where you quickly learn that everything is precious and even a little is abundance. My parents had a small trading store on the crossroads of this little idyll and that was the central meeting point for all.

“I am now married to the stylish bass player in our band. We have two gorgeous boys, Kai and Fen, who test their ninja skills on me daily, much like Cato and Inspector Clouseau in Pink Panther.”

Henwood said her parents are her role models.

“She [mother] is strong, gentle and hard working. She is a real nurturer, is kind and is able to care for people with so much love that they can only thrive with her attention.

“My dad never forgets to tell us how much he loves us.

“He never fails to say thank you. He never fails to be a gentleman. Both my parents have been true philanthropists and shown me that love makes everything possible.

“My dear friend Em is also a special heroine. She bravely confronts the horrors that incapacitate and dishearten our communities. She empowers and makes a difference through theatre and education.”

Describing herself as antipodal she said: “I am made up of opposites. I am shy yet I am an actress. I am dreamy yet attentive. I love company and I love solitude.”

Her message to the youth is: “Choose to do what you love.”

“You will find the support you need. Find you passion. Find your strength and go with it. You will then always able to grow, always be able to find inspiration, courage and support, and hopefully ultimately find your tribe. Work hard - it’s so worth it.”

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