'It's just great being on stage and I really love it'
SINGER Ruth Washington is hoping to hit the right note in a national music competition as she plots her path to stardom.
The Sneyd Green singer and songwriter has already reached the regional finals of the Open Mic UK contest.
But the talented 24-year-old will need to prove her credentials in a live show next month if she is to reach the grand final.
Former Holden Lane High School pupil Ruth performed one of her own songs, 'Devil In Disguise', during the auditions in Manchester on August 26.
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Ruth, below, who is in the over 23s category, said: "There were lots of people there and we were divided into groups of about five. The judges asked us all to perform.
"We were sent out for about 30 minutes, and when they called us back in they told the rest of the group they wouldn't be going through and took me to one side and told me I had been selected."
Ruth, a customer service adviser at Autonet Insurance, returns to Manchester on October 14 to perform alongside fellow hopefuls at the Royal Northern College of Music Theatre.
She said: "My former band, Black Violet, have recorded a backing track for me, which I will use.
"The judges want me to perform a cover this time so I will do Adele's 'Rolling In The Deep' and then that will lead into one of my own songs.
"It is all part of a show Open Mic is putting on and it will be in front of an audience."
And Ruth, who can also play guitar, is hoping the contest will be a springboard to a career as a singer.
She said: "I started singing when I was about 10 years old and taking part in shows at Sneyd Green Primary School.
"When I went on to Holden Lane High School I took part in shows and things like that and just really enjoyed singing.
"I started writing my own songs when I was at school and it was just about things like crushes.
"As the years have gone on I just write about things which affect me.
"I have performed at the Rigger, in Newcastle, with Black Violet and I go to various open mic events around the area.
"I love being on stage, it's a great feeling."
The Open Mic UK contest aims to find the best unsigned talent in the country and offers the winner a £5,000 prize and opportunities including time in a professional recording studio.
The climax of the competition sees finalists perform at London's O2 Arena.
Ruth's mum Maggie Field, aged 55, of Uttoxeter, who works as a staff nurse at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire, said: "She has a lot of confidence and is always willing to push herself forward for things.
"She is self-taught and I think she has a brilliant voice."
Ruth's colleagues at Burslem-based Autonet are also keeping their fingers crossed.
Managing director Ian Donaldson, the company's managing director, said: "On behalf of Autonet I would like wish Ruth the best of luck for the next stage of the competition. We are sure she will continue to do extremely well."