Life in the performing arts, Life at Lifeways
Lifeways own Bryony James balances life as a theatre performer and HR Compliance Coordinator.
"Before my employment at Lifeways, I trained at Birmingham School of Acting, completing a BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre. After I graduated, I worked within the industry for 6 years, touring the country with various pantos and plays. I was also in several adverts and short films. A highlight of my career has to have been performing at the Swan Theatre with the RSC in Henry V.
Having worked in the unpredictable world of theatre, I did several temping roles across London in between acting jobs and I reached a point where I felt I needed the security of a permanent position. I found this permanent position at Lifeways in 2011 (almost ten years ago) as a Head Office Manager. During that time, I was seconded to Property Admin for six months. After having my first child in 2013, I moved out of London, so I joined the HR team as an HR Officer. I then joined the compliance team in 2016 and was recently promoted to HR Compliance Coordinator at the beginning of this year. The Compliance team is responsible for the onboarding of new employees. We work with a high volume of candidates ensuring that their right to work and reference checks are completed in a timely, efficient manner.
When I started with Lifeways, I felt that although the Company was spread across the country, there was always a sense of togetherness and family. It was important to me to be working somewhere that made a difference in people’s lives. I love that I have an input in providing the services with new amazing employees to ensure that our service users are well looked after. The compliance team is incredibly supportive, and I am lucky to have such wonderful colleagues to work with.
I stopped acting completely for a number of years due to having 3 young children and continuing to work full time. I have recently however found the love of performing again and have been in many musicals over the past couple of years. Unfortunately, because of COVID, our production of Shrek the Musical has had to be put on hold, but we are hoping to be able to put this on in 2021. I think it is important to have a good work/life balance and I love being able to have a creative outlet. I usually rehearse evenings and weekends so apart from show week, where I would take annual leave, luckily it doesn’t interfere with the day job!"
Bryony recently performed One Day More with Lockdown Cornwall, inspired by the loss of live theatre and music. This video was an opportunity to perform and make a whole new musical community during the lockdown. See the full video.
To see how you can balance working life and your passions, visit our careers page.