Juliette Burton: When I grow up. Heartfelt comedy from an ambitious, multi-talented girl!

Juliette Burton has chosen a topic that we all remember discussing at school as little children. We’ve all been asked ‘What would you like to be when you grow up?’ and after a long pause, most would say ‘erm don’t know’ followed by ‘probably an astronaut’. However, as adults it is easy to forget what your early ambitions were. You can be anything you want to be and many children aim high, following inspiration from their interests.

In reality, we go through education and follow a curriculum that equips us with the knowledge we need and skills to succeed in the adult working world. The problem could be that those who want to be an astronaut are never guided down the direction they need to become one. Instead, they are encouraged to do more familiar working roles.

Juliette’s show focuses on her childhood ambitions: ballerina, princess, baker, pop star, writer, actress and muppet?? It was sweet to hear how she had these childhood dreams along with seeing pictures of her as a young smiling girl. Juliette decided to challenge herself to at least try these job roles to make her younger self proud. It was funny to see videos of her carrying out this project, such as demonstrating how to board a bus as a princess (bottom first) or attending ballet lessons with students of the same ability level (pre-school children).

There was a realism to her stories that strikes a chord with everyone from her teenage issues to her despair at losing jobs during the recession and not feeling that she had achieved anything. In my own experience, I understand the situation of expecting to be in a respectable professional career with room for progression and a healthy pension. When I left university, I thought I would walk into a graduate job with a big company but when that didn’t happen, I went through various jobs, where I felt a little lost and unsure of my future.

There are videos throughout her presentation that show short interviews with others who discuss the difference between a job and a vocation. These ring true with a lot of the audience as they hear how some people tend to box themselves into jobs and limit their future opportunities and potential. It was inspiring to hear how Juliette was feeling good about herself now and aiming high once more. With a show at the Gilded Balloon at the famous Fringe festival, she is doing extremely well as a performer and I’m sure she’ll go on to other exciting future projects. Her inspiration extends further and her pop star performance with the song ‘Dreamers’ is available on iTunes with the proceeds going to Children in Need.

To book and see one of Juliette’s remaining Edinburgh Fringe shows, go to: https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/when-i-grow-up

Jon Exton


Twitter: @thesocialant

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