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Meet Cait Jones (issue 06 Contributor)

Meet Cait Jones, The Malu Zine’s issue 06 Contributor and writer of “Psyche and Me—.“


SR: Give us an introduction about yourself!


Hi! My name’s Cait, and I’m a seventeen-year-old actor, writer and musician. As well as reading and writing poetry, I also have an innate love for listening to and creating music on my piano. I often find that when I free-write, I cannot quite tell if what I am writing is more of a poem or a song. And that’s the beauty of it - I have the freedom to choose! 


SR: How did you get into writing and acting?


The love for acting came a little later in my life, when I was about eleven or twelve, whereas the love for writing was, and is inherent. I was writing little stories and poems from the moment I could hold a pen, and I largely attribute that to a very busy imagination that never really slowed down. Just before I got to my teens, a passion for performance started to come through, and at fourteen, I decided to audition for the National Youth Theatre to see if it could go anywhere - and turns out it did! I was accepted and invited up to Northampton to stay in the University Halls there for two weeks, and perform at the Royal and Derngate Theatre at the end of the course, which gave me a very strong sense of independence at only just fifteen. From there, I just took every performance opportunity I could. I’ve trained and worked multiple times with Shakespeare’s Globe for various projects, and have also performed as Titania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) at Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Stratford Upon Avon after winning a Drama Prize involving schools across the UK. Obviously, writing and acting are so intrinsically linked, so I feel incredibly lucky to have both in my life, because I honestly don’t know where I’d be without either of them. 


SR: As a writer myself, I was blown away and touched by your poem “Psyche and Me—!” What sparked you to write this poem?


That means the world to me! I like to regard poetry as an opportunity to understand yourself - your experiences and how they have affected you. Poetry and emotion are very much sisters, and I think this translates into a lot of my work.  “Psyche and Me-“ describes dealing with imposter syndrome as a young person, battling a society in which conforming is the safer and more secure option. I was always quite an eccentric child in the sense that I had an uncontrollable imagination, but now I look back on that only with pride, in the confidence that I was and still am relentlessly myself. This is what “Psyche and Me-“ encompasses: befriending your imagination and thanking it for giving you a unique and engaging personality. If I could sum up the poem in one word, I would choose “reclamation”. 


SR: I heard that your debut act was a play you wrote yourself! Please tell us more about “The Glass with the Glass Heart”—what it’s about, how it helped you grow as a writer, and the hardships you went through to produce your own play!


It is lovely that my professional debut was actually my own work! Whenever I write, the inspiration has to come from something that angers me, or at the very least has to move me deeply. “The Girl With The Glass Heart” was essentially written in response to some deep-rooted anger I was feeling towards the way I was seeing mental illness depicted in young women through the media. More often than not, they seem to be labelled as “mental” and beyond all rational, which I find deeply insulting, and giving them far less credit than they’re due. This play was an attempt to take back some power. Glass Heart is a story about a teenager who struggles with her mental health after an emotionally tumultuous past, but finds solace in literature and imagination. Her story was created through an amalgamation of my own experiences with mental health, as well as those of brilliant young creatives I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with since I joined the industry. It’s a little homage to those voices. Hopefully young people can watch/read the piece, and find a little bit of themselves in my character’s story. That’s the aim, anyway!


SR: What are your future plans as a writer?


Oh wow. It’s difficult because I still consider myself to be very early in my journey as a writer, even though strictly speaking I’ve been at it for a long time. I want to write a lot more poetry, purely because I feel as though I have a lot more to say, and poetry is how I can meticulously articulate myself and my emotions. I’d also love to write a book - I think I would get a lot out that, but it’s difficult to focus on one particular idea when you’re juggling so many others around your brain all at once! I have a terrible habit of writing lots of first scenes and chapters and then never coming back to them, but one day I’m sure I’ll love one idea enough to commit to it. If my work were to at some point become more well-known, I would want it to be because it touches people, and holds up a mirror to their own experiences or emotions. I want it to be a vehicle for empathy. That’s the long and the short of my ambitions.


SR: Any advice for young writers wanting to expand their writing career?


It sounds incredibly cliché, but the best advice I can possibly give to young aspiring writers is to just go for it. Put yourself out there! Write, revise, submit, repeat. Don’t fear rejection, because that is inevitable, but what’s also inevitable is the truly beautiful rewards you can receive from trusting your own voice and allowing it to be heard. I realise that none of what I have achieved so far would have happened if I didn’t take risks, and also if I didn’t experience rejection - because all it does in the long run is build resilience. I think this idea can be summarised by a quote from my favourite writer, Sylvia Plath: “the worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Everyone listen to Sylvia!


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