When I was 13 I wrote a letter to Judi Dench, asking for tips on becoming an actress. I addressed the letter to the National Theatre in London and posted it off. About a week later I received a lovely reply that had been written and signed by Judi herself.
Judi’s reply gave me the push I needed to overcome my shyness and join a local youth theatre. My confidence soared and while I was a member of the group, we won a national competition that involved performing at the National Theatre. At the after party, guess who I bumped into?
I didn’t become an actress in the end, but I still have Judi Dench’s letter (pictured below). It’s one of my treasured possessions, as it reminds me of the enormous surge in confidence I experienced when a famous actress took the time to write back to me.