Waiting for God's Stephanie Cole

Tea Time Tidbit for the week of March 12, 2018

Tea Time Tidbit

Stephanie Cole

Thank you for your patience last week while Afternoon Tea took a fundraising break in order that we can continue to bring you the British series you love. One of those series is Waiting for God, starring Stephanie Cole as the formidable Diana and Graham Crowden as her retirement home friend Tom Ballard.

Waiting for God ran in the UK from 1990-1994, when Cole was 49-years old and a long way off the age of the retiree she plays in the series. Crowden on the other hand was twenty years older. If you’ve seen Cole in other shows MPT has aired over the years, such as Tenko, Open All Hours and Doc Martin, you’ll know that she always plays the no-nonsense, confident type. So you might be surprised to learn that Cole reportedly suffers from performance anxiety.

Cole discussed her anxiety in an interview she recently gave with Equity magazine. “Performance anxiety affects people in different ways,” said Cole. “The symptoms are often similar, such as dry mouth, forgetting lines and fear of going on to the stage, but the reasons a performer can feel these can vary greatly.”

Tea Time Tidbit

Cole and Crowden in Waiting for God

In Cole’s particular case, her anxiety stems from not wanting to let her fellow actors and crew down. On one occasion, Cole said in the interview, she was appearing on stage when her “mind went blank”. She ended up apologizing to the audience, shouting out to the wings for the line and then carrying on.

It’s because of experiences with stage fright such as that one, that Cole has taken it upon herself to become an advocate for actors who find themselves in similar positions. She feels that producers and directors need to understand and support performers who might, like herself, suffer from performance anxiety.

“So when performers require the extra help of [prompt] boards or ear pieces it is simply accepted as the norm,” said Cole.

Cole knows that having stage fright can "destroy a career". By opening up about her own anxiety issues, she hopes other performers will do the same and in doing so be able to put an end to the stigma which surrounds it.

You can see Stephanie Cole weekday afternoons at 2pm in Waiting for God on MPT.

To contact Heather:
E-mail: heather@mpt.org
Address: Afternoon Tea
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Blvd.
Owings Mills, MD 21117

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Afternoon Tea is Maryland Public Television's weekday presentation of British programs.
Our host and Tea Lady is Heather Sanderson.
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