Bethany Simons

Bethany Simons
Bethany Simons

You're about to put on your first play, you have no idea how to produce it and this move could make or break your career.

What do you do?

'Waiting' is not a word in Bethany's vocabulary; even though it turns out that she is rather good with words. This 'small town gal' wanted to hit the big time, and acting is notoriously the hardest profession to get into.

Instead of waiting for the right part, Bethany wrote 'The Weather and Your Health' for herself. Inspired by her grandmother's life, it paints a touching portrait of regional Australia through one woman's stories of young love, war times, local dances and homemade sausage rolls.

It was incredibly important to showcase her work at the right venue. She had her eye on Melbourne's La Mama Theatre, famous for supporting home-grown talent. So of course she moved to Melbourne and set about marketing it by writing letters and calling the theatre herself. Eventually, the play was on.

Houses filled and extra chairs were set. Critics came, giving it rave reviews. Bethany was soon nominated for Best Independent Female Performer and Best New Writing for the Australian Stage in the 2009 Green Room Awards. As if that weren't enough, she sat behind Geoffrey Rush at the awards ceremony.

In her words, "those nominations got the ball rolling," but in truth, the nominations just gave it a bit of momentum. Because of Bethany alone, her nan's stories will be influencing the whole nation for a generation. She's not only taking her play on a national tour either, it's also part of the Victorian drama syllabus. Impressive stuff.

Bethany's dream was to become an actor. But in order to 'do' acting she had to 'do' writing, 'do' producing, 'do' promoting and 'do' marketing. What she's taught us is that you have to 'do' a lot of different things if you want to get your dreams.

"Those that do are brave. Those that do have realised the worst people can say is no".

Click here to find out more about Bethany and her shows.