Lee Carter came to performance later in life, having been a professional photographer and yoga teacher for most of her career. After discovering London International School Of Performing Arts (LISPA), Lee undertook the 2 year full-time course as a mature student. Since finishing, she has continued to study theatrical clowning with teachers including Phiippe Gaulier, Angela De Castro and Dr Brown. Lee has written and performed in many short surreal comedy sketches, including Boxey Ladies, a street impro walkabout piece, Yogic vacum at Outhere Clapton and Brenda’s Kitchen at the Paper Nautilus Show in Notting Hill, London. She has regularly performed at The End Of The Pier Show in Whitstable, had a leading role in a comedy shortlisted for Redfest and been part of a weeks performance at the Red Lion Theatre in Islington.
Lee teaches on the advance course at LISPA.
How did you come to be a performer?
It’s a long story. I got very involved in contemporary dance when I was at art colleague. I really wanted to be a dancer, but thought I was too old, so went behind the camera and became a photographer. Then 25 years later I saw a fantastic performance at LISPA , a physical theatre school, and just though it was brilliant. I went to do a week’s workshop with them, led by Thomas Prattki, the Director, and that week became a term, that term became a year, that year became 2 years. I had the fortune to carry on and do a 2 year full time course and I’ve been performing ever since.
How do you feel when you perform?
It’s a time when I feel most present. It’s the most terrifying thing, but it brings you into a state when you’re really in the moment, nothing else matters. The level of terror one feels when you’re about to do something is extraordinary, but when you’re in it, you sort of… forget yourself. It’s like doing extreme sports! It’s a moment of feeling very alive.
What is your earliest memory?
The smell of French croissants and coffee. I was cruelly abandoned by my parents in France for 10 days when I was about 2 years old (they went to see the grand prix!). I was looked after by a French family and I just remember that smell.
How does performing outside feel compared to inside?
The things I’ve done outside have been much more street based, so it’s interesting. You’re interacting with the crowd much more. When you’re on stage, you tend not to see the audience because of the lights. When you’re outside, there feels more of a connection.
If you weren’t a performer, what would you like to do?
I would love to be a director. Failing that a writer. I have written a comedy, but I don’t sit still long enough at the moment to be a good writer.
What do you like to do on your day off?
I love to ride my bike to anywhere that’s green. I love old English trees and swimming outside, I don’t mind the cold water. Listening to music and having a good old dance.