Abi Brydon, actor

I always feel extraordinary when I’m standing on stage. When my mum first saw me up there, I could see a tear in her eye. I like dancing, writing and singing for fun. I take every opportunity that I get to act because it makes me feel so special. I hope I make my mum proud and get further in life. One day, I want to be a star on Coronation Street.

My family have always been very supportive and encourage me to do the best I can in everything that I do. I was bullied in school and I’ve had some bad experiences acting. Once, I tried to join a drama group and they ushered me out and told me they didn't have any parts for me to play which made me very upset. Just because some people have disabilities, it doesn’t mean they can’t have the same dreams as everyone else. It’s important that we are allowed to make decisions about our own lives and what we want.

I study drama at college and at a group called Aspire. I have a good memory and always remember all of my lines. I’ve performed since I was a teenager and I’ve developed skills in pronunciation, improvisation and monologues. It’s really improved my confidence. I love a challenge; some words were very difficult for me to say but the group has helped me so much. It feels as though the audience are with me when I’m on stage, cheering me on and encouraging me to do well.

In Downs with Love, my character is a young woman with Down Syndrome. Her name is Beth and sometimes she needs a little help in life. I’d say we’re very alike. I’ve played this part before, only this time I’ll share the stage with others who also have disabilities. The play shares a very important message, we want to teach people to accept us for who we are.

Beth has a crush on her carer but he loves someone else. It’s sad but she has to learn to accept that he doesn't love her. He worries other people will laugh if the see us together because we’re different. Although, my character is powerful; she never mends her broken heart.

Cutting Edge Theatre group gives a voice to the voiceless. There are a lot of people like me with disabilities who have big dreams too.

I want to help others find their voice. At the drama group, a lot of my friends had confidence problems. One of them was so shy and timid when he first started that he could barely speak. Now, he can sing and act in front of everyone. I like encouraging them and teaching them how to act so that they can achieve their dreams. Some people are afraid to speak up and they need someone to stand up for them.

Downs with Love begins a 10-date, Scotland-wide tour from May 24. Visit cuttingedgetheatre.co.uk