Honley actor Ben Turner talks about life on stage
THESPIAN Benjamin James has a double identity.
The Honley man, who is treading the boards throughout the UK, is better known to family, friends and theatrical groups in Huddersfield as Ben Turner.
But to get his Equity card he had to choose a different name as there was already an actor of his own name registered.
The 23-year-old has returned to his home county after a stint in London as part of the cast in a UK tour of Annie.
He’s also understudy to a number of other roles – which means he had to learn 10 songs from the hit musical.
Ben has been on stage at the Bradford Alhambra all week, finishing tonight.
Parents Jillian and Simon and sisters Emma and Molly were in the audience.
Ben will then move on to Dublin as the four-month tour continues.
He said: “I’m known as Ben Turner to all my family and friends but anyone who has met me since 2009 knows me as Benjamin James. If they hear me say my actual name they ask who it is.”
Ben, a former Longwood Amateurs, LBT and Thongsbridge theatre school pupil, left Huddersfield for Arts Educational, a Chiswick theatre school.
After three years of hard graft he was signed by an agent and began performing at London’s fringe theatres.
“My dream is to appear in a West End musical, but there’s so much competition,” Ben said. “I’m taking different roles, learning as much as I can and getting all the experience I can.”
Ben is a jobbing actor. While the tour with Annie has secured him work until New Year’s Eve, he’s back auditioning for roles come January 1.
“I’ve taken other jobs while I go for other roles,’’ he said. “I work as a property manager and it’s really flexible too so I can still go to auditions. A lot of actors do the same.”