By Maryann Wright
Most people would recognise his friendly face from the inaugural So You Think You Can Dance Australia- which he won in 2008- but Jack Chambers is ready to get your feet moving to a brand new beat in the Australian revival of the musical Hairspray.
Jack is no stranger to musicals; at the ripe old age of 10 he was cast as Kurt Von Trapp in John Frost’s production of The Sound of Music in his hometown, Brisbane. Amateur productions have also seen him star as Patrick in Mame and young Cosmo Brown in Singing in the Rain.
Following SYTYCDA Jack has continued following his dream of working on Broadway by living in New York, so while he was back in Australia staring as heartthrob Link Larkin in Hairspray, DanceLife caught up with him.
What was the audition process like for Hairspray?
My audition was different to everyone else’s because I was living in New York at the time. I actually did my audition in front of the casting producers that cast the Broadway version and they filmed my audition and sent it back here to Australia.
How did you find the rehearsal process, particularly working with Jason Coleman again?
The rehearsal period was fun. It was great to be slightly re-creating certain aspects of the show- and I guess being able to have that freedom to give your own input to the show. It was fun to be able to actually work with Jason this time round. He is open for collaboration which was great for me when making decisions about how my character would move.
What do you think are the biggest challenges and benefits of working in musical theatre compared to your other dance experiences?
The biggest challenge in musical theatre is longevity. Doing eight shows a week is very demanding and of course doing that many shows every week for a long time really builds up your stamina- not only in dance but in singing also.
How do you keep physically and mentally fit to be able to perform up to eight shows per week?
Well the rehearsals helped build my fitness which was great but staying at that level without getting rundown is hard. So I make sure I’m getting plenty of sleep and eating correctly.
What is it about Hairspray that makes it such a great show for dancers?
In my opinion it’s the score! Every song in the show was written brilliantly. It’s all very uplifting and high energy songs- songs that make you want to dance.
What does the future hold for you?
I will be going back to New York. While I’m here doing the show I am in the process of changing my working VISA status to a Green Card- which can be a long process. So once that has been approved then I will head back to still achieve my dream of Broadway.
Photo credit: Jeff Busby
INTERVIEW WITH JACK CHAMBERS – LINK LARKIN IN HAIRSPRAY
By Maryann Wright