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A few years ago, while I was studying for my masters degree in Physical theatre, a fellow student and I went for drinks in Embankment, London.

She’s a beautiful, fierce Irish woman and I made her choose a glass of red wine with a plate of cheese over a piGuinnessuiness. I’ve never seen her drink wine since…

That evening, we bumped also into an old colleague of mine who seemed fascinated by her.

Maybe it was her confidence. Or the ease with which she sat cross-legged, bare feet on the couch. Or her typical Irish cool-ness.

She looked up, smiled at him and introduced herself by saying “I’m a playwright”. And I thought – “Hang on a minute, you’re not a playwright, you’re a student… what do you mean?”

That was a big lesson for me.

In fact, she’d written four plays back then already. She’d self-produced them, and had been touring them sporadically.

Fast forward to 5 years, and she’s now had her own series for BBC3, on track to writing the next big thing for BBC4.

At the time, I too had written 2 plays and a series of short films, but I still considered myself a student (and would for many years to come).

While in her head she was already the I Am that she’d always wanted to become – even if it didn’t pay all of the bills already – I was still asking for permission.

It is a something that I see a lot of artists do – and that I do myself.

Not daring to claim being an artist, not daring to say to the world that this is what I do.

That’s why I was so happy to share a discussion I had with Natalie Banna.

She is an Australian singer-songwriter based in London.

She has gone through a lot, which you can feel in her writing.

And recently, she decided to own her I Am as a musician: presenting herself to the world as a songwriter instead of hiding.

In this interview you will learn about:

  • How creative freedom comes from structure
  • How picking up a guitar was her best remedy against mental health issues
  • Why we tend to hide, and how giving herself Permission has been a major stepping stone in her development as an artist
  • How songwriting is a teachable skill & her daily practice to write

I feel so strongly about this issue.

Writing, Creating, building a career as an artist can be challenging, but the main challenge, I’ve come to understand, is us judging ourselves not good enough.

We can be our worst enemies at times.

I hope you’re giving yourself some self-love, and proudly claim your craft.

Much love,


The Very First play