Ballerinas, actors and nuns: Did city folk grow up to do their dream jobs?

Norwich folk tell all about how they made their childhood dreams come true. 

Norwich folk tell all about how they made their childhood dreams come true. - Credit: Lynn Rudd

Every child has a dream of what they want to do when they grow up. 

For many reality gets in the way - but some in our city are living out their childhood wishes. 

Cathy Wilson who lives in the city centre always hoped she would be a dancer. 

Cathy started doing competitions with United School of Dance.

Cathy started doing competitions with United School of Dance. - Credit: Cathy Wilson

And now you can regularly spot the dancer treading the boards at shows in Norwich and modelling for dance brands all over the UK. 

She said: “I was privileged to have support from my family and friends. My parents and my friend's parents used to take turns taking is to dance classes every Saturday - the costs and time commitment is huge.” 

She also believes that to allow dreams to become a reality people have to be flexible with their goals. 

Cathy Wilson can often be seen treading the boards in the local theatres. 

Cathy Wilson can often be seen treading the boards in the local theatres. - Credit: Cathy Wilson

She explained: “I made my dreams come true: I’m still dancing. But I’m not touring the world dancing anymore - your priorities change and your dreams evolve with them.” 

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And that's because Cathy is now on to her next challenge and is studying for a PhD.  

Cathy now models in dance shoots also. 

Cathy now models in dance shoots as well. - Credit: Lynn Rudd

“Honestly I think you have to realise that you will make so many sacrifices to realise some dreams,” she added.  

Paul Andrew Goldsmith also dreamed of taking to the stage, but as an actor.  

He said: “It was all I was good at. But being from a working-class family without much money I never thought it would be something I could achieve.” 

Paul Andrew Goldsmith really enjoyed doing drama as a boy. 

Paul Andrew Goldsmith really enjoyed doing drama as a boy. - Credit: Paul Andrew Goldsmith

But he still performed as much as possible: “I used to do magic shows for family and friends. At primary school I used to be asked to get up in front of the school assembly and do mini-sketches.” 

Paul's teachers always believed that he would become a professional but there was time that he had to stop acting because there was no money for drama classes.  

Paul Andrew Goldsmith now gets to perform and teach full time. 

And now Paul, a theatre company owner and actor, gets to perform and teach full time. - Credit: Teele Dunkley

“I thought it just maybe wasn’t for kids like me and I didn’t believe I could make it into a career,” he said.

And over time Paul did try lots of other things - though the passion for being on stage still drove him.  

“In my early 20's I eventually did a couple of amateur theatre shows and realised how much I loved it.  

“I enrolled for an adult acting course and did lots of workshops and read anything and everything I could find on acting,” he explained.  

Paul Andrew Goldsmith has had the chance to perform all over the country. 

Paul Andrew Goldsmith has had the chance to perform all over the country. - Credit: Alex Lyons

He thought this would be a hobby, but having begun to pick up small paid work he eventually began to earn enough to constitute a second income.

“Eventually I made the decision to go full time. Now I’ve now worked all over the UK, I have my own theatre company and I can inspire the next generation,” he said.

Likewise, Kenny Moore was always putting on shows for his family when he was growing up.  

Kenny Moore always knew he wanted to entertain and was always dressing up as a child. 

Kenny Moore always knew he wanted to entertain and was always dressing up as a child. - Credit: Kenny Moore

“I knew I wanted to entertain; I didn’t care how,” Kenny said,  

And now he is  a popular drag queen who has appeared on the X Factor and in venues all of the UK while also working as a radio presenter.  

Kenny Moore feels he has been lucky to be able to entertain for his whole life. 

Kenny Moore feels he has been lucky to be able to entertain for his whole life. - Credit: Kenny Moore

“I was able to do it because my mum and dad always supported me. 

“No matter what it was that I wanted to try they supported me,” said Kenny.  

Laura Watling wanted to be an author.  

Laura Watling lost her job during the pandemic whilst pregnant and is feeling exhaustion trying to juggle everything.

Laura Watling lost her job during the pandemic while pregnant and is feeling exhaustion trying to juggle everything. - Credit: Laura Watling

She said: “I kind of made it work. I’m not an author, but I am a writer.” 

And some people decided to change their plans entirely but are happy with their decisions. 

Kerry-Ann Cross from Norwich wanted to be an actor or a teacher but now works as a carer for the elderly.  

She said: “It wasn't what I thought I was going to do. But don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my job."

Elizabeth Marlow added: “I was sure I was going to live out my days as a nun when I was little girl – I did not.”  

Did you become what you always thought you would be? 

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