BYT: Gwen Jones

Gwen Jones at one of her school plays

Gwen Jones at one of her school plays - Credit: Archant

Forest School student Gwen Jones talks about her passion for performing arts and chasing a career in politics

Gwen Jones

Gwen Jones - Credit: Archant

What do you do?

I’m a student at Forest School in Snaresbrook. I love performing arts, and I have been acting both inside and outside of school for about ten years. I am also interested in politics, and I would love to go into political journalism when I leave Forest.

Where do you live and what do you like about it?

I live in Hackney, east London, where I’ve lived all my life. I feel very privileged in that I have got to watch the area change so completely over the past decade. I really enjoy the atmosphere - there is always such a buzz. The diversity of east London is also something I’d really miss were I to move anywhere else. I also think it’s an amazing area for young people, there are a lot of really great opportunities for people my age and it’s definitely never boring.

Tell us about your family?

I have a very small family - I’ve lived with just my mum since I was about 5, so we’ve become a very good team over the years. We are both very independent people but we’re also very supportive of each other. We are very close and we definitely get each other through a lot.

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What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you over the past year?

I got to do a show at the Hackney Empire with my performing Arts school last October, which was a lot of work but by far one of my most rewarding experiences of last year. I’ve always loved the feeling of being on stage and to get to perform in such an iconic theatre with such talented people was really special to me.

Who are your biggest influences?

Great actresses like Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor were the reason I originally wanted to get into acting. I also really look up to people like Gloria Steinem and Angela Davis. For me, inspiration comes from strong-minded people who accomplish great things despite the restrictions imposed upon them by society, or people who defy what is expected of them.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

In five years’ time, I’d like to be at university, preferably after having taken a gap year, during which I want to have travelled all over the world. Destinations at the top of my bucket list at the moment are south-east Asia and South America. I’m hoping to study international relations or a related course at university, because I’m currently pursuing a career in either politics or political journalism.

How do you relax?

I hate being by myself, so for me, ‘alone time’ is never really something I enjoy. I spend a lot of time with my friends - if I’m anxious or upset about something, it’s the best way for me to turn my mind to happier things.

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