THIS month Olivia Fisher will play a staring role in two of the biggest performances of her life.
Not only is 17-year-old Olivia taking on the lead role of Christine in the Orange Theatre Company’s The Phantom of the Opera, she’s also one of 756 students undertaking their Higher School Certificate exam today.
While the year 12 Kinross Wolaroi School student agrees the HSC is a daunting undertaking, she said the theatre had proved the perfect distraction.
“It gives me quite a release from the stress,” she said.
“People have told me I’m crazy but it’s something I love, I want to make a career out of community theatre.”
Next year Olivia hopes to study at either the Victorian College of the Arts or Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts undertaking a bachelor of arts in musical theatre.
In the lead-up to the exams, Olivia admits she’s had to be super organised to ensure she gives both her studies and her theatre role the attention they need.
On some occasions she’s had rehearsals five nights a week, forcing her to fit her study around them.
“I’ve had to pace myself, it did get a little crazy,” she said.
“But I’ve got no regrets at all.”
While her teachers initially expressed concern, they soon realised she could cope.
“They’ve been fantastic,” Olivia said.
Olivia said she was lucky that no performances fall the night before an exam.
Living in Bathurst and travelling to Orange for school and rehearsals has added an extra level of complexity to her scheduling.
“Sometimes I’ve stayed at my nan’s in Orange or I’ve travelled home,” she said.
Olivia, who “hasn’t had time to learn to drive”, has had to rely on her supportive parents to drive her between Orange and Bathurst.
“I don’t think I’ll ever earn enough money to pay them back for all the money they’ve spent on petrol,” she said.
Despite the juggle Olivia has no doubt where her mind will be today.
“Between 11.20am and 1.30pm my mind will definitely be on English,” she said.
The Phantom of the Opera kicks off at the Orange Civic Theatre on October 18.