Ella acts up on big night out

This was it. Over a hundred people crammed into the Kino bar in Bournemouth to witness my first reading of ‘I am Ella. Buy me.’

Mutton dressed as pink leopard in cerise and animal-print, I was just about to take to the stage when my friend arrived.

‘You look nervous. Are you nervous?’

Wasn’t nervous but now you’ve said the word, you bet I’m nervous. Really nervous.

‘No, I’m not nervous,’ I replied, legs doing the Charleston and palms running with sweat.

Then, I got up and read, nice and slow, pausing in all the right places and waiting for the laughs. When I came off stage, people clapped and asked to buy the book.

Yay! I did it!

Except I didn’t. Dame Helen Mirren did.

The only way I could perform was as someone else. And who better than a multi-ward-winning actor? It’s a trick I’ll be using again.

Thank you, Dame Helen, you’ll never know what you did that night. If you’re ever called on to play an anxious, newbie writer, feel free to be me.

Me doing my thing