An interview with… Rebecca Phythian

Here we are with another interview to celebrate the upcoming publication of Changeling Annual 2023, this time with poet Rebecca Phythian!

Emmy: Hello! Tell our readers a little about yourself.

Rebecca: My name is Rebecca Phythian, I’m based in Manchester and I am an actor, singer and poet. I also run Blue Balloon Theatre with whom I produce, direct and perform.

Emmy: What inspired your poem, “Pigs”, featured in Changeling Annual 2023?

Rebecca: I bought a print of a pig surrounded by daisies for my sister’s birthday last year (it looked an awful lot like Babe the pig if I’m honest, very cute!) and because of my sister’s personality and neurodiversity, I thought it would be fantastic to write a funny poem about pigs for her to go with the print. Safe to say, it went down a treat!

Emmy: How long have you been creating?

Rebecca: I’ve been writing since 2016/17. Previous to that, I’d never pursued writing and I certainly didn’t have the confidence in my own ability to do so. I was just before I started writing that I found out I was dyslexic. I very quickly discovered that I could recieve support with writing academically. I think that was my turning point to becoming a confident writer.

As for creating art, I’ve been doing that since my late teens. I thank my lucky stars that I can do what I enjoy every day.

Emmy: Where is your favourite place to create?

Rebecca: In the theatre, without a doubt.

Emmy: Who were your favourite creatives when you were younger?

Rebecca: Peter J. Murray who wrote the Mokee Joe stories hand a massive impact on me. I remember raving about those books to my family and friends when I was young. My imagination went wild when I was reading them and I loved that.

The same went for Harper Lee and To Kill A Mockingbird. 

I was also a big fan of Idina Menzel, in fact I still am. Vocally, she had such power and control and when I was first starting out as an actor-singer, I always wanted to eminate that energy and finesse.

Emmy: Is Changeling your first time being published?

Rebecca: I’m very fortunate to say that no, it isn’t! My poems have featured in the Liminal Zine Issue 3, Buzzin Bards Anthology 2021 and 2022, as well as Natterlogue Issue 1. In February 2023, my very own poetry collection will be published too!

Emmy: What were you passionate about when you were a child?

Rebecca: I was very interested in stories and anything that involved my imagination. I’ve also had a very distinct love and appreciation for music when I was young – I’m very grateful for that.

Emmy: What would you say to encourage any young, aspiring creatives reading this?

Rebecca: My advice would be trust your gut instinct when you’re writing, creating, performing or doing anything of an artistic nature. Only by doing that will you put your authentic, unique self accross in the best way possible.

Also, listen to others. You learn so much about your craft and understanding of it when you listen to others you admire.

Emmy: What is your favourite thing about being neurodivergent?

Rebecca: The spontaneity of it! I might want to pick up a new book to read, for example, but often my mind will have other plans. Now that I’ve learnt to trust my mind a little more, I’m able to go with the flow of my thoughts/emotions and create or do things that feel right for me each day. I love doing and being interested in so many things!

Emmy: What is your favourite thing about creating?

Rebecca: My favourite thing about creating, writing or doing anything artistic is knowing that it could make a difference to someone’s life or mental health. That’s the best feeling!

Emmy: Do you think being neurodivergent impacts your creativity in any way?

Rebecca: 100%! I’m always looking for ways to create that suit my thought patterns and neurodiverse mind in general. Every creative endeavour is incredibly exciting as a result – I soak up as knowledge and experience as I can!

Find Rebecca @rebeccaphythian on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube!

Listen to Rebecca read her poem, “Pigs” below!

Changeling Annual 2023 will be published in Spring — keep an eye out for updates by following our Instagram.

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