Congratulations on your book En Pointe, it has obviously taken a lot of courage and work to tell your story. What do you hope readers will take away from it?
Thank you so much!
I would love for readers to be motivated and inspired to keep chasing their dreams even if life throws them some tough challenges. I really wanted to show readers exactly what it is like to be inside the mind of a teenager who is fighting some pretty scary demons. I hope to give a little insight into the life of a dancer and to make people aware of the importance of blood donation. Without donations I would not be here today. I’d love for En Pointe to have a positive impact on people who need a little bit of encouragement to tackle their own struggles with their head held high.
In the early part of the book you take readers through the dedication it takes to be a dancer. Could you give us some insight into what the average day of a dancer entails?
When I was fulltime dancer I would wake at 530am everyday. I would warm up and train prior to getting to the dance studio at 730am. I would then have a full day of dancing. Taking numerous different classes such as ballet, contemporary, repertoire, pas de deux, production rehearsals as well as theory classes for music, anatomy, history of dance etc. I would finish my day at 4pm. Some days I would teach until 8pm or head to a Pilates studio. I would then go home, eat, stretch in front of the TV for a little bit. Maybe do some of my own choreography and then go to bed early to do it all over again the following day. I would live and breathe dance.
You mention that your dancing and performing is about story telling however this is your first book can you tell us how you found the transition from performing to spending your days writing?
I was surprised to find so many similarities between dancing, acting and writing. A lot of my preparation for dance and acting is done alone. I am used to spending many hours by myself choreographing or researching and breaking down scripts to create authentic characters. I loved having something I could work on everyday. I was happy to shut the world off for a little bit and write. I did however find it difficult at times because all I wanted to do was write scene after scene because I am so used to working with film/TV scripts. I found writing to be the most challenge form of storytelling I have ever done. I learnt a lot and am thankful for the experience.
Do you plan on writing more?
I would love to write more however I would want to write something that was meaningful and important to me. The inspiration to write something great might take me a while to find but when I find it, I will definitely begin to write again.
Were there any books that inspired you or lifted you up while you were on your journey to recovery?
Writing actually had a huge impact on my mental health. Strangely, writing took the place of reading at the time. I spent hours journalling and logging everything that was happening to me. My journal became my therapist and I was able to deal with things easier when I wrote them down. This was incredibly helpful in lifting me up because I could get rid of my emotions on paper and then start to focus on my goals. I wish I read more at the time. It is one of the reasons I have written this book. I’d hope that someone as unwell as I was, would take comfort in reading a familiar story and hopefully be inspired to keep staying strong.
Helpmann Award nominee and finalist in the prestigious 2016 Heath Ledger Scholarship, Chloe Bayliss is one of Australia’s finest emerging actresses. She has numerous credits across stage and screen, including her role in the TV Week Logie Award nominated drama Doctor Doctor which is now filming its fourth season and will air on Nine later this year.
Chloe has an extensive background in dance and choreography, having graduated from the National College of Dance with a Diploma of Dance and Performance. Her life as a dancer has taken her all over America and she now extends her knowledge to students and performers throughout Australia by running workshops, teaching and judging dance scholarships.
Chloe hopes to spark conversation around a number of matters she is passionate about, using her own story of overcoming hardship to inspire and bring awareness to others.