Transcript – Bea Lee-Smith: portfolio careers

Bea Lee-Smith: portfolio careers

Bea: I decided a portfolio career because I had been teaching full time for three years, and wonderful as that was in many ways, it was all-consuming.

I had a huge number of things in my portfolio. I think at most I was juggling about 12 different things. For a couple of years I ran a performing arts school for children called Limelights. That was in both Khandallah and Eastbourne. I was teaching singing privately, I was teaching drama at a school called Hutt Theatre School and First Gear [theatre school] in town. I also worked part time hosting at City Gallery and Museum of Wellington and Colonial Cottage Museum. I ushered at theatre, I was performing, writing, singing, acting, dancing. I think that was everything. I had lots of different things going on.

I guess the thing I enjoyed most would have been the autonomy that it gave me in my life, not feeling tied to one job. I had a fair amount of flexibility in terms of what I could say yes and no to. It enabled me to use my creative skills and yeah it just gave me a feel of being able to dabble in a variety of different ways of working and expand on a variety of different skill sets.

The challenges would definitely have been having to be incredibly organised, live by the diary. No two weeks were ever the same. You do have to be very proactive, not afraid to approach people and say "this is what I do", give people your business card, kind of start to make those connections.

But it can also be extremely rewarding – you meet a huge variety of people from different walks of life.

I did it for six and a half years and it has led me to a point that I’m really happy with in my life now. With my dancing and my teaching I suffered a number of injuries and that led me to doing Pilates and working at the studio here. I eventually trained to teach Xtend Barre and have discovered that that’s what I want to funnel all my energies into. But certainly, the skills that I gained during those portfolio years have led me to this point.

Updated 7 Nov 2016