Hi Elisabeth, or may I call you Liz?
Hi - Liz is just fine.
What is your earliest memory of Coronation Street Liz?
My earliest memory of Coronation Street is being really young and wanting to be on the show! I remember asking my parents "How much will it cost to go on Coronation Street?" And when they replied, "You don't pay them, they pay you to go on Coronation Street!" I was absolutely shocked and very excited! This is what I wanted to do in my life. be on Coronation Street AND get paid! (I was very young at this point (haha).
Very shrewd for such a young child I would say! Most youngsters just want to live in one of the houses, and eat beans in Roy's Rolls! :-) This means you always wanted to be an actress?
I did, when I was around 10 years old, I did lots of plays at home with my friends. We made them up and performed them in front of our parents. I played Doc in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" at primary school, and I loved being in front of an audience! I studied drama at high school and I then had acting lessons for drama school with Chris Norris, an actor and tutor from Wigan. I learned some amazing stuff and studied lots of Shakespeare as well as being in *Equus* at Wigan Little Theatre. I also had singing lessons, as singing is a passion of mine. (Would love to be in a West End musical).
Have you sung professionally anywhere?
Oh I wish! But no, not yet.
Did you go on to drama school?
Yes, I attended Elliott-Clarke College of Dance and Drama in Liverpool in 1989 and although I absolutely loved it and made some amazing friends, I wanted to go to drama school in London.
However, before achieving that dream, I decided to go to America and be an Au Pair (as you do!) I am the type of person who always needs to be "doing something different", mainly because I get bored very easily. You would not believe the amount of different jobs I have had! Not wanting to ramble too much, but being an Au Pair was the most horrifying experience ever! I was 17, living in a huge (film like) house in Wappingers Falls near Poughkeepsie. Had loads of house duties to do which wasn't really included in the contract and it was in the middle of nowhere. There were no mobile phones at the time, and I remember walking down the road looking for a phone box to ring my parents, and it was like being in the desert. Needless to say, I came home after a month. God, that was one long month!!! So after I came home, I worked on a fruit and veg stall, a meat stall and as an egg packer on a farm (where the staff room was in a barn sitting on a haystack), so you can see I have had rather a number of different jobs (haha)
Yes you have. (I hadn't heard of Wappingers Falls, so looked it up, and it is on the Hudson River, between New York and the Catskills) I looked at it on the map, and there are some pretty big homes there.
So having tried all these other things, did you lose interest in acting?
Oh no. After that, I managed to get a place at East 15 Acting School in Loughton, Essex; which being an accredited drama school, was what I had dreamed of for years! At East 15, the fees were discretionary, which means the Local Education Authority didn't have to pay them! And they didn't, saying an acting course at East 15 didn't guarantee a job! Yet they constantly pay for people to go to University who subsequently drop out of courses all the time! So my parents paid the £5,346 fees for the year (excluding grant to live)!
Ouch! That's a lot of money.
Yes, and Kerry, my best friend at drama school, was in a similar position to me, so we decided.... (like you do)... to do a two hundred mile sponsored walk to No 10 Downing Street, London, over eleven days, to raise £24,000 for the 2 of us to stay at East 15, and to organise a petition to change funding in the Arts from Discretionary to Mandatory grants! The walk was in the Easter holidays, starting from Albert Square, Manchester. We approached newspapers, (who all gave us stories), TV companies, celebrities and West End Shows. Among those who sponsored us was Sir Ian McKellen and Maureen Lipman!
On the day of the walk, we were quite pleased as we thought a local TV company had turned up to film us leaving, and to give us some coverage......however, they had turned up to film the local bin men getting new bins!!!! WHAT? We had planned the walk so it was around 15 miles a day. Bearing in mind that at age twenty, I didn't even walk to the shops, I drove everywhere. I was dreading this, and we would stay with various friends and relatives throughout England. When we FINALLY arrived at No 10 on day eleven, our legs and feet were ready for dropping off, they *opened* Downing Street for us to walk down as it's gated! Lots of people were taking photos of us, thinking we were *somebody* haha.
We rang the bell of No 10, and we expected John Major, who was then the Prime Minister of England, to answer the door - after all, we had walked two hundred miles over eleven days! I still remember to this day....the butler answered and said..."You rang?" We said "Yes, we're the girls who have walked two hundred miles. We have a petition here for the Prime Minister!" So he took the petition from us, and said "Good bye", and shut the door! WHAT????? We have walked two hundred miles, and John Major couldn't even be bothered to come to the door? Our poor legs and feet! No tea and toast??? We raised hundreds of pounds but not the £24,000 so my parents had to pay for my next year as well, because my Local Education Authority still wouldn't pay for me, even after an appeal and doing the walk!!!! So I switched to the two year acting course rather than the three year course!
After all that, was East 15 everything you hoped it would be?
Oh absolutely, even though I didn't get the funding, I still managed to do the two year course.
What came next?
After I graduated from East 15, we used to email Granada every week asking them if they had any castings! We used to ring them too!
So you moved back to Manchester?
Actually, I had intended to live in London, but I moved back to Manchester purely by chance! I was doing a bit of promo work and completely by accident, a friend of mine told me she worked for an agency as a Supporting Artist (Extra, but I hate that word) and you get loads of different featured work. It's not standing in a field with a hundred other people, as I had previously thought. I decided to sign up and see what it was all about. Best thing I ever did!
Within a month, I had my first job. It was a dream come true. Since aged ten, I used to imagine my agent ringing and saying "You are going to be on Coronation Street" I got that exact call. It was going to be a Walk On 3. This means you're featured with a line of dialogue. I arrived at Corrie and I had a character name. *June Daley* I was a new assistant in the bookies so I had a line with Sean Skinner in The Rovers! Following that, I auditioned at Granada for Moll Flanders, and I got a small part as *Kitty, the Swell Mob Leader* in the prison scenes so I got on the credits for that!
I also worked with a couple of friends touring primary schools at Xmas. I played Pocahontas and we did this for four years. Also, I did various ballets for a few years, e.g. Romeo and Juliet. We were the actors and actresses you see on stage, when they need other people in the scenes.
Did you get any more work on the cobbles?
Yes, in the next few years I was a WPC in 'Coronation Street', when Deirdre was arrested (in the airline pilot story), a WPC in 'Emmerdale' several times, I was also a regular WPC in 'City Central' and 'Mersey Beat' and a regular maid in 'The Grand' for two series. other programmes are 'Shameless', 'Hollyoaks', 'At Home with the Braithwaites', and many more.
Have you done any commercials?
I remember once going for a casting. I was told, "It's for a hair mousse commercial Elisabeth, so do your hair really nice". So I had visions of running my fingers through my hair etc. like you do! I spent two hours curling my hair, dressed up really nicely, and was very surprised when I turned up for the casting that all the other ladies were wearing jeans and had short hair....rather odd! So I went in for the casting, flicking my hair (as it's for hair mousse), and the director asked me to to start scrubbing the floors! The commercial was for '1001 Carpet Mousse'! Needless to say, I didn't get that casting! LOL
So did these jobs take you up to landing the permanent position in The Bistro?
No, in 2004, I got a job in direct sales, selling Sainsbury's Energy in-store to customers, commission only, so I came out of the TV Industry as I could earn unlimited money and I was a workaholic. I did this until 2010. I advanced to Sainsbury's Energy Manager, and had two teams of people in Yorkshire and Manchester, so I was busy, busy, busy, working seven days a week. This wasn't an easy job, because people sometimes would shout at you in the store, so you needed a thick skin!
Sounds like a good job, although pretty tiring, what made you decide to leave?
It was was slowly going downhill ...I am a workaholic, but wasn't earning enough commission to pay the bills, so I decided to go back to TV work. Within months, right place at the right time, my agent rang me and said Corrie would like me to be a regular Barmaid in *The Joinery Bar* which was destined for demolition that year for the 50th anniversary when the tram derailed. It was a fabulous six weeks of filming! I was gutted I wasn't in the live episodes, when they had the tram crash but obviously this was a good thing.......as I didn't want to be killed off. So, when the bar opened again under the name of Nick's Bistro, I became the regular waitress, where I still work! I have been there for four years now, you'll see me serving customers in the background with my little note pad.
Oh yes, I see you there all the time. In fact we have put your photo up before, as you were seen very clearly in one scene that also featured Graham Burton, so it is on his page. We will have to put it up again in your gallery!
When you are not working, what do you like to do?
Well, I have a partner, Tim, whom I met in 2007. We had both just come out of relationships and we moved in together within six months. We now have two little boys, Callum aged six and Charley aged five!
Those boys are adorable, we have to show them to everyone in your gallery too.
They certainly keep me busy, but as I said, I thrive on being busy, so have two home based businesses as well. The first is called 'Love Elisa Bags', which can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LoveElisaBags I am hoping to have a regular website for them as well before long. They are hand made jute bags, made to order in any design you wish.
They are very cute, and would make perfect gifts too.
That mascara especially looks really interesting, I have never heard of 3D mascara. I just might have to order some.
Christine, you will LOVE the mascara! It's 3D Fiber lash Mascara which means no more false lashes. If you have very small, thin lashes it will extend and thicken up to 300%. You basically put on a layer of gel (which is in a mascara bottle and is black, add a layer of the fiber lashes which again is like mascara and then seal with the gel! There is a 14 day money back guarantee too. Don't put it on close to the lash line, start half way down and if you're able to curl your lashes, you can do this first and also put on a layer of your regular mascara prior to putting on the first coat of gel. May take a bit of practice at first. Don't put on too much either as you can always add more again and seal with the gel for thicker lashes! My website converts to Canadian dollars, USA and New Zealand (in the top right hand corner, press on the countries flag for your flag to convert!
Thanks Liz, I think you just talked me into trying it. I will put some photos of your products into your gallery too. Speaking of your gallery, why don't we take a look right now. Thank you so much for giving up your time, and letting us into what makes the regular waitress at 'Just Nick's' tick. (Just like Eva when she met Gavin, I'm a poet and don't know it! Ha ha!)
You are very welcome, it was fun.