Aubrey Snell (46) feels most at home on stage: “I really don’t do it for the applause, for me it’s just where I should be” | Hi Alphenaar, what are you doing there?

By Peter Franken© Aubrey Snell

Megan Kimmyser

Alphen aan den Rijn

Aubrey (46): “My grandfather was a jazz pianist, my uncle a musicologist and my other uncle a photographer. Creativity runs in my family. But the love for art and culture lies mainly within myself. As a youngster I could listen to classical music for hours. I have always wanted to be a musician. I just thought it wasn’t for me. ‘Then you must be a child prodigy, like Mozart’, was my conviction. But now I perform regularly as a saxophonist. And I do a lot more”.

“I graduated from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and the Amsterdam Theater Academy,” says Aubrey. “I went to the conservatory first. I became a mother quite young and already played the saxophone, but I wanted to get better. After a period of endless practice, I was admitted to two conservatories. I chose the classical direction in The Hague. What I could what I like about classical is that you have to work very precisely to get a good grip on the technique. Discipline was of great importance at the conservatory. That’s why I found the Theater College a relief. At the Conservatory you are ready on time, tuned a quarter of an hour in advance Theater College was much looser, a completely different dynamic.

I get the most energy from playing. Saxophone or theatre, it doesn’t matter. I don’t do it for applause. For me, the stage is exactly where I belong. There I am free, I can act crazy or put myself in someone else’s place for a while.

Bremen City Musicians in Museum Speelklok in Utrecht© Aubrey Snell

Gaming has been on the back burner for the past few months. I also write a children’s book where I make my own illustrations, I teach drama in schools and I work as a cultural coach in Alphen aan den Rijn. I have been very busy with the latter. As a cultural coach, together with four other coaches, I try to bring more art and culture to the Alphense neighbourhoods. We advise, are deployed as subject teachers and develop various projects. For example, I have recently been busy making a performance about ‘t Rooie Dorp, to honor the old town before it is completely rebuilt. I also worked on Care center Zegerplasa program for young people who actually go to school but are stuck at home due to circumstances. Nursing home allows these young people to slowly return to school, for example through art classes.

I think it is important to dedicate myself to art and culture in Alphen. Mainly because I want to help people. I worked on the project a while ago My visual self in collaboration with Kwaraad Maatschappelijk Werk. Through four art lessons, we tried to help people who lack social contact, who are depressed or who for some other reason have limited participation in society, to come out of their shell. I therefore see creating art as a tool for smaller times, an outlet and a way of self-reflection. Take for example making a painting. You paint something, look at it and are satisfied or not at all. It is still difficult to look back on one’s own work. Often you will throw away the first attempt instead of hitting it. But that’s part of it. Sometimes it’s nice to do something ugly and learn from everything you don’t like so it can be better next time.

You learn a lot about yourself when you create something. At least if you dare to tackle that process. This is what I love about making art. You can lose yourself in it and find it again. If I can get people to see it, I’m very happy”.

Are you or do you know an Alphenaar who also deserves a place here? Do not hesitate to contact us via this email address m.kimmijser@mediahuis.nl

Also read: Jasmijn Boon (22) left Mexico for French Polynesia by sailboat: ‘We never reached the final destination’ | Hi Alphenaar, what are you doing there?

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