1. Australian audiences would remember you from starring as the blonde Swedish bombshell in The Producers. What one valuable lesson did you learn from being a part of this production that you have taken with you on your career in musical theatre?
When I auditioned for the role, I was planning on moving overseas, so I decided to use the audition to achieve certain goals vocally. As a result, I went into the audition room only wanting to prove to myself that I had achieved those goals. Afterwards, I realised by focussing on achieving those goals in the audition room as opposed to wondering and worrying about what the audition panel might have been thinking, enabled me to perform more honestly and less nervously. I now try to apply this to every casting and audition I attend. It helps in my own development, as well as giving a focus to the audition that is not just about whether I get the job or not.
2. You have been described as a triple threat. What skill (singing, dancing, acting) did you have to work harder on and how did you go about bringing up that level of skill?
Dancing was my first love…I began classes at 4 years old. I sang and acted all through my childhood but didn’t start officially training in either until I began studying in London when I was 17. Whilst my dancing may feel as if it comes to me more easily than the other disciplines, I still have to work just as hard to keep my body fit and supple as I do to keep my vocal chords limber.
3. You studied musical theatre in London after school. What advice would you give to young performers who want to be educated in the arts overseas?
I didn’t plan to study overseas…a series of events out of my control lead to my journey to London. The death of my father and then a horrendous arm injury after which I was told by the head physiotherapist of the hospital at which I was rehabilitating that I would never dance again, guided me to the most wondrous path and a theatrical career I hadn’t dared to dream. I suppose I would have to say that when you think you are being thrown obstacles or set-backs, they can actually be precious gifts in disguise. Studying overseas was hard, hard work as I had to pay my way by working every night and weekend after a full day of 10 hours dance training, but it made me appreciate and soak up every opportunity then and since!
4. I saw you perform your show at the Taronga Zoo Twilight Series back in 2009 (which I can only describe as pure entertainment). What kind of preparation and work goes into putting on a one girl show?
I am lucky to have a wonderful musical director in Peter Casey. We do a lot of brainstorming together and he writes my band/orchestral charts to make our song choices unique to my style. I began preparing for the Taronga Zoo concert about 4 months before the actual event. However, this was pretty luxurious as I have created show within hours too! All things are possible if you put your mind to it and if you surround yourself with colleagues whom you trust and admire. For example, it the Taronga Zoo concerts, I knew I wanted to showcase the amazing tapping talents Christopher Horsey, so we created a special number for Chris, where to “tap scats” with the band…the audience adored it!
5. You’re also a recording artist. How difficult was it to make the transition from stage to studio?
I recorded my CD because I was being asked at gigs where they could get copies of particular songs, especially Amanda McBroom’s “Errol Flynn” and Amanda Colliver’s “Falling From Grace” so I thought I would make it easier, and create a CD of my most requested numbers!
6. You’ve been announced as joining the cast of the new production of Annie which opens in Sydney in December. This will be your second time in a production of this show. What are you looking forward to most?
Gosh where do I start? Having worked with Anthony, Nancye and Todd before on various productions and concerts, I cannot wait to create with them again. The show really is about the kids though so I am really looking forward to watching a new generation of Annies and orphans blossom. And then there is the dog, Sandy!! I am dog-mad so if you can’t find me backstage, I suggest checking Sandy’s dressing room!
Grab your tickets now for Annie!! www.anniethemusical.com.au