t's about a year since Juls Benson came to visit us at Newport City Radio to tell us about her newly founded Reality Theatre. We're keen to find out how the project has developed since we last chatted so we've invited her to join us for The Mid Week Mix Up on Wednesday 2nd May. In the meantime, Juls has allowed us a peek into her world by taking part in this week's KnowingMe Knowing You feature.
Q.What do consider to be your best physical feature?
A. Well, it used to be my boobs, but now I’d have to say my eyes!
Q. What is your best personality trait?
A. Stubbornness and determination, I’d have to say, along with a big dose of idealism. Or is that more character than personality
Q. Do you have a bad habit?
A. Biting my nails when I’m stressed and eating chocolate when I feel sorry for myself, neither of which results in a good look.
Q. Where is the furthest place to have travelled to? Tell us a little about it
A. Furthest place in the world was New Zealand, but the furthest place in this country was Land’s End, which I loved. The rugged landscape of the place totally inspired me, looking out to sea, the huge cliffs – gave a sense of our own insignificance on this earth. Plus, it made me think about pirates and adventures and romantic heroes. Totally awesome place.
Q. What was the first single or album you ever owned?
A. Can’t really remember the first I owned, but I know one of the first albums I bought myself was Sex Pistols ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’, which changed my life.
Q. Describe the best birthday cake it the world.
A. Ooh, what a question. Would have to be two layers, first one chocolate, second vanilla with buttercream icing and chocolate flakes on top. I love cake.
Q. If you could be a cartoon character for a day. Who would you be and why?
A. Um, Spinelli from ‘Recess’ or Leela from ‘Futurama’, both of whom hang out with the boys, can kick ass and have loads of fun. Reminds me of my childhood.
Q. Do you have any pets?
A. Two cats, Blossom and Junior. Blossom is a pretty, sweet girl cat, whilst Junior is a big clumsy idiot who steals food, beats up Blossom and wakes us in the middle of the night to come through the sky-light. He’s not even ours – he moved in from the next street when still a kitten and refused to leave.
Q. Who is the teacher at school or college who inspired you the most?
A. None really, it was more the opposite. I hated school, didn’t like college, and the tutor I had as a mature student wasn’t great; these were the reasons I went into teaching, to try and make a difference, to change the system from within, so to speak. I was later inspired by my lecturers at Cardiff University – they opened up my world – and had great support from my post-grad tutors at USW. Teachers have a lot to answer for, with regards to shaping kids; as a rule, I’d say “School sucks”!
Q. What’s the best bit of advice your parents gave you?
A. My mum never interfered with my professional life, but one time I was going for an interview, she told me to be myself – not to try and impress, not to be something I wasn’t, not to practise or rehearse what I wanted to say, to just be myself. It worked, she was right, and I’ve done it ever since.
Q. What is your dream car?
A. It’s between the A-Team van and GI Joe’s Steel Crusher APV.
Q. What was the last book you read?
A. I rarely get to read for pleasure anymore, just text books and plays. The one play I read most recently that blew me away was Pirandello’s ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’ – I couldn’t believe I’d never come across it before. I thought it was genius.
Q. Cinema or theatre?
A. I should say theatre, seeing as I run a theatre company, but it has to be film, I’m afraid. I love film. I love TV.
Q. Do you play any musical instruments or would you like to?
A. No, but I’ve always wished I could be a rock star. I’ve had a go on the guitar, but I’m rubbish and I can’t sing either.
Q. Favourite band or singer?
A. I can’t answer that – it changes all the time! At the moment, favourite band is ‘The One Hundred’ – I can’t understand why they’re not bigger. They are so full of energy and passion, with a socio-political message as well. Every time I listen to them, I want to start a revolution. Or slam dance (but I’m too old!)
Q. Whose voice would you like to have for your sat nav?
A. I don't drive but it would have to be either Dwayne Johnson or CT Fletcher, the American Personal trainer and power lifter
Q. What were your favourite sweets when you were 10?
A. How can I possibly choose? I love sweets! Sherbert pips and cola squares.
Q. If I came to your house for dinner, what would you cook for me?
A. Meatballs and pasta, followed by the best trifle in the world.
Q. What piece of advice would you give your 13 year old self?
A. Don’t drink gin. Never give up on your dreams. Things do get better. Be proud of who you are.