Well Known Actress Tells 'Secret' Behind Stage Name

Janie Dee was a former student at ArtsEd in Chiswick


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Celebrated actress and musical theatre performer Janie Dee inspired the students of ArtsEd in her graduation address alongside fellow Patron and special guest Sir Trevor Nunn, at the 2014 Graduation Ceremony held in St Michael and All Angels Church in Chiswick (8 September).

Janie, who is about to take on the role of Titania/Hippolyta in the Shakespeare Globe's tour of A Midsummer Night's Dream this autumn revealed that her own stage name was inspired by actor David Jason, a 'secret' shared with the actor only recently.

“I worked with David in the pantomime Cinderella and totally fell in love with him, so I changed my name to Dee for David.”

Janie and her mother

She paid tribute to her mother, a guest at the event, for supporting her emotionally and financially throughout the training and the importance of parental support was a recurring theme.

“ArtsEd is respected in the business and recognised for producing genuine, wholehearted and committed performers, but it’s all up to you now, you must never stop learning. The talent is there, work hard, persevere and you will succeed,” said the ArtsEd alumna. She also advised students to take inspiration from every experience and to retain their individuality. “Don’t try to be like anyone else, you are unique.”

Trevor Nunn with with Mollie Melia Redgrave who played Eva Peron in Evita on the opening night of the new theatre. 

Student speaker Rhianon Handy, BA (Hons) Acting for Film and Television reiterated the theme of the need for parental support. “We have not picked a parent friendly profession, we know that and we are sorry,” she said.

In a tribute to the staff, she added: “We are forever grateful to you for your passion and perseverance. Thank you for taking the time to nurture us and our differences, enabling us to be the best we can be."

Professor Steve Stanton of City University, which validates ArtsEd’s courses, presented the degrees and also praised the school for its “Superlative training and prime reputation and position in the industry.”


September 9, 2014

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