This is a different article than usual.
You don’t know this, but I knew Annabel Scholey before she got famous. Greenhead College, I sat next to her for two years in English Lit.
At the start of the first two years, I thought there were more attractive girls in class. She had braces.
My usual seat got changed though, and I ended up sat next to her. The more I looked at her, the more attractive she became. She was different to other girls. Deep brown eyes and chestnut hair, she was actually gorgeous.
The time I really got besotted though was when I heard her sing. She was the lead role in Cabaret. I was coming out of another drama group and saw her standing on a table, singing. I just stood with my mouth wide open. I had never heard anyone sing like that before. I haven’t since.
We actually flirted a bit in English Lit. After I heard her singing I said “You’re a really good singer”. “Anyone can sing like that”. “Yeah right... anyone can sing like that!” “Just... let it drop boy.”
I asked her if she wanted to be a singer. She said she wanted to be an actress.
I’d done some acting, and knew how tough it was to make it. I never thought about being an actor, but knew that just a tiny fraction of people made it.
I wasn’t sure Annabel had it in her to be a successful actress. She didn’t say that much in English. You could describe her as quietly determined, but she also had very good social intelligence.
Anyway, I ‘asked her out’. She said she was “Too busy for boyfriends. No offence.”
I cried and never really got over it for years.
I didn’t realise it until after, but when I finished Playing to Win I saw that the novel was partly about me trying to make things better in my mind. In Playing to Win Natalie and Tom live happily ever after. That never happened with me and Annabel.
Annabel Scholey made it as an actress. She’s been on the BBC and has acted with some of the most famous actors in the world. Google her if you’re interested.
I talk a lot about ‘pushing your comfort zone’. Well Annabel Scholey is a real life example of how much you can achieve when you push your comfort zone and believe in yourself. Just a girl from Ossett, she made it when thousands didn’t.
I’m finding this quite hard to write but sometimes the hardest things to write are the most meaningful.
I actually cried again but I haven’t finished.
For female readers, this is a good example of success because I know I talk quite a lot about ‘male success’ here. The last time I saw Annabel I wrote her a letter saying I hope that she made it.
I don’t know if she even read it.