“…I prepare…I have to prepare for everything in my life!…”

Hearing Carolyn Steyn speak about her love of theatre, her determination to be on stage; how by slipping into the role of another character as an actress, rescued her from the awkward shyness she experienced in her formative years at school and university, you understand how acting liberated her. It was a determination that got her roles at PACT, touring with their school’s programme; important roles like a year on the road with Poppie Nongena.

That drive took her to Los Angeles, where for five years  she studied at the Beverly Hills Playhouse under acting coach Milton Katselas. In her class were fellow students Kate Hudson, Giovanni Ribisi, Tony Danza… She appeared on TV, among others Melrose Place,  on stage in Private Lives and Harold Pinter’s Betrayal.

When her mother became ill, she returned to care for her and met her future husband Douw Steyn on the flight home. She has used this turn of fate to charitable and philanthropic causes, some that she has never spoken of until this interview… amongst others giving to out-of-work theatre technicians.

Her name is linked to ballet, classical music, radio but the charity for which she is most proud of is 67 Blanket for Nelson Mandela Day. In Part 3 of this interview, she speaks of this and quite literally bursts with pride at the role she has played in knitting a fractured nation together.

For her work as an arts patron, for her generosity as a philanthropist and for her role as a cultural ambassador she has been awarded the French Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Mérite, for which we applaud her.

Take a bow Carolyn Steyn.