When I was 14 years old, I saw a poster outside our local theatre. It invited young people to apply for the main role in a Christmas play. I was a shy girl, but the idea seemed so exciting that I decided to give it a try. I’d never applied for a part in a play before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I decided to learn a short monologue from a play I was studying at school. As the day of the audition got closer, I became more and more nervous. I was terrified that I would forget my lines on stage, and of course, I worried like any other teenager about my appearance. Even worse, on the day of the audition, while waiting to go on stage, I realized that the girls sitting next to me probably knew much more about acting than I did. Most of them behaved like big stars. But when I was finally on stage, I suddenly felt calm and all my nerves were gone. I said my monologue and left the stage. I didn’t really care what the director of the show thought while listening to me. I was just pleased and proud that I’d actually managed to do my best. I didn’t get the role in that play, but those few minutes on stage were unforgettable. It was then that I decided to become an actress.

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Man: Today I’d like to welcome Judi and her guide dog Rex. Judi, what is your guide dog
Woman: Rex is gentle and playful, but when there’s a problem, he knows exactly what to do. He’s always there for me.
Man: Does Rex know his way around town?
Woman: A lot of people think that I can say to my guide dog “Take me to the bank!” and he’ll lead me there, but that’s not true. I have to give him commands, like “forward”, “left” and “right”. I always have a map of where I am going inside my head. But if we go to a place like a park more than once, he will remember the bench where I sat before and take me straight to it.
Man: So, how does Rex help you when you are going from one place in town to another?
Woman: Rex is trained to guide me around objects that are in the way. And when I want to cross a street, he always makes sure it is safe for me to do so.
Man: Does he always do what he’s told?
Woman: Well, if there is a problem, he’ll refuse to do what I say. Once I wanted to visit a friend when it was very cold. There was ice on the pavement outside my house but of course I didn’t know about that. When we got to the front gate, I told Rex to go forward, but he didn’t move. I told him again, and he just sat down. At that moment I knew something was wrong, so I asked my friend to visit me instead.
Man: How do you reward Rex for his work?
Woman: Some people give their dogs special snacks. But to be honest, Rex doesn’t even like them, and, anyway, they would probably make him fat. So I just continually tell him what a good job he’s doing. And when we get home, I tell him that he is a great dog and I play games with him. He loves playing, just like a child. He has more toys than my grandson!

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