I AM NOT AMANDA HALE the Welsh-born actress daughter of Irish immigrants, famed for The Crimson Petal and the White (2011), Ripper Street (2012), The White Queen (2013), and more though coincidentally I am Welsh on my mother’s side and somewhat Irish on my father’s side. My maternal Grandpa was born in Aberystwyth and we spent our childhood summers at his house in Wales. My first boyfriend was a Welsh sheep farmer and I really should have married him; my life would have been much simpler and closer to the earth. My step-father said I could do better; he was wrong.
A further coincidence is that I started out my career as an actress. I auditioned for RADA and was rejected; because I wore too much blue eye-shadow and looked like a tart, my mother said. She was right, but in truth I was not a good actress as I found out while training at the Italia Conti Stage School in London in the 1960s and working in repertory theatre for a couple of years. Amanda Hale the Welsh-born actress graduated from RADA in 2005 and is enjoying a brilliant career.
In retrospect I believe I went into theatre in an attempt to fulfill my maternal grandmother’s frustrated dreams. She disliked me. I was a great annoyance to her and longed for her acceptance. She was an unhappy woman who drank and took drugs. She had frequent operations for ulcers and ‘women’s problems.’ But the thing about Granny was that she would occasionally come to life and entertain me over our lamb-chops-on-a-tray lunches together when she was watching me for my mother while Mum did Granny’s chores. She would sing and dance and tell me stories about Lily Langtree, the famous Jersey Lily, and other music-hall stars of her day. This was the side of Granny I loved and she charmed me every time, though her other facets were frightening to me. Later I realized that those animated lunchtimes were brought to us by Dexedrin, the amphetamine of the day – or speed as we called it in the 1960s/70s when I myself was addicted to it.
I don’t suppose Amanda Hale the Welsh-born, very successful actress has ever been addicted to speed. She was on her way to Oxford to read literature but decided at the last minute to become an actress. She had choices. I was paralyzed by my choices, none of which seemed viable, so I left the country and brought my problems to Canada where it has been easier to resolve them than it would have been in the UK. I have become an award-inning writer with 4 novels, 2 collections of Cuban stories, and 2 poetry collections to my name and blog postings about my upcoming novel Mad Hatter
So, Mr. Google, please don’t confuse me with my namesake. She is way younger than I, way more successful and, despite our coincidental similarities, quite a different person. I wish her well but would definitely enjoy having my share of the Google-light.