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Showing posts with label advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label advice. Show all posts
Thursday, 5 October 2017

In Conversation With... Jane Booker | Interview

In Conversation With... Jane Booker | Interview
Thursday, 5 October 2017
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Jane Booker has had a varied an extensive career, starring in a number of television series and films including Finding Neverland, Agatha Christie's Miss Marple and most recently in Sam Holcroft's play,  Rules For Living...


For anyone that doesn't know, can you explain a little about your career and highlights so far?

I was in a sitcom called 'Don't Wait Up' when I was younger. I've done seasons with the RSC and I did work with Johnny Depp!


Have you always aspired to be a performer or did you have a different career in mind when you were younger?

I wanted to be a dancer and for a long time- a vet!


What drew you to the role of Edith in Rules for Living?

She is a woman trapped in a cycle of behaviour and so desperate for everything to be perfect and controlled.


What can people expect when they come and see Rules For Living?

They will get a lot of laughs, some painful truths that may resonate and a lot of mess.


Can you sum up the show in 5 words?

mayhem, rules, christmas, custard, gravy.


What's your usual Christmas like? Have there been any epic fails?

I do the cooking. The turkey 'flew' onto the floor on one occassion. Sometimes I long to be on a beach with a sandwich!


What's a fun fact people may not know about you?

I am a rollercoaster nut


What's the last thing you do before you step out on stage?

I do some chewing so my mouth isn't dry


What's your best piece of advice for an aspiring performer?

Do it! Tell yourself "they'd be lucky to have me" when going up for a job!
Tuesday, 12 September 2017

In Conversation With... Marta Jorgensen | Interview

In Conversation With... Marta Jorgensen | Interview
Tuesday, 12 September 2017
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I am all about helping new writing because who doesn't want something fresh? So when Marta Jorgensen contacted me about her show which she has written and is currently trying to raise funds for, I was very intrigued and excited to talk to her about her process and what she's trying to do... 



What got you into writing?

In my thirties I was married to a songwriter who ran off with his songwriting partner. In the beginning the urge to write was spurred on by wanting to get even. But as time goes by, one realises that revenge is a dish best left in the ice box. I was ready to throw it out and just write. Screenplays, songs, a lot of political writing and opinion pieces. 

I found it nice to be published until… well you know, then you get a rebuttal. I ran for political office in the US and wrote extensively for that. Sustainability, Straight Talk and Citizen Activism. Politics is like theatre and that inspired several songs about politics and media. From those songs came the play.


Has it always been a passion of yours? 

No, but singing has been since watching tiny Michael Jackson onstage at a young age singing like an adult. I wanted to be on stage at six years old. I caught a fame bug.


Can you explain what Donny the musical is about?

Donny is done as a play within a play or a kind of Metatheatre. I use this literary device; it is Rhoda’s inner workings, her mind and her thoughts, her emotional state. Freud talks about the dream within a dream and Shakespeare used it with success. The play talks about itself and is aware of itself. In the story she brings her family into her imagination, they sing about it, she sings about how she wants to write an ending she can live with. Rhoda in her dialogue calls attention to the plot and how it is not going her way. Characters give advice to her about what others should do.

Rhoda Haynes, a quirky New York playwright has a grudge against Frenchy King and his lying King Media Empire. Rhoda and her family are suing King Media over fake stories written about them. She can’t do anything or say anything to jeopardise it. But, she wants to get even. Hubert, Rhoda’s husband tells her to write and get it off her chest. So Rhoda, sitting at her desk, starts banging away on an old fashioned typewriter. She starts a play called “Donny and the Sun King”. Here is the story as she creates it - inserting herself and her family members, husband Hubert Haynes, daughter Blaze Haynes, as themselves (Rhoda Haynes, a playwright, Blaze Haynes, Rhoda’s daughter, a famous singer and Hubert Haynes, a Congressman). Just like in real life, the character family debates with Rhoda about plot issues involving them. Rhoda wants an ending she can live with so she tries to write one.



What made you write this show?

From the 80’s to now media has evolved and taken over our lives to an extent that we have lost control of it. Standing at the checkout counter you see name after name splashed there about some affair or travesty they had, then later you read the paper got sued for writing a fake story. Now everyday it’s on the Internet. I started this play three years ago with just that in mind. Now it’s done and we have Mr. Trump in office and all anyone talks about is fake news. So I have tapped into the zeitgeist of the times. But to tell you the truth, I have a fascination with the tabloid world. I love headlines like I married Bigfoot; Aliens are Living in my Basement. Frenchy King sings about these kinds of stories.


The subject is extremely relevant, what made you choose it?

The subject chose itself. How can you not write about it? It is today’s reality. How else can you write about Perry’s Poorhouse, Rhoda’s concept of Hell, a combination of Don Giovanni and Married with children and get away with it. Tabloid media lends itself to fanciful worlds and situations.


You’re raising the money for a score through Hatchfund, can you tell us a little about that?

Yes, Hatchfund is an arts crowd funding organisation. You have to submit to get accepted. They give you an account manager who baby sits you through the crowd funding process. They have a 75% success rate. I am raising money to hire a studio in Santa Barbara CA, Hidden City Studios and its owner, Elliot Lanam, to help flesh out the play songs and other music. 

It’s a long process and the biggest part of producing a musical of course. I need $4000 to $5000 to meet my goal by October 31, 2017. There are 19-20 songs with names like My Story, Ratings R Us, Donny’s Lament, Hope and Pride, Perry’s Poorhouse, Babel, Ball and Chain, What’s in a Word, Lower Slobovia. The music is a mix of styles, kids have their sound, the media upper class have their sound and the Rhoda and her family have a sound of their own. All pulled together by a thematic through line.


Did you model the characters on anyone you know?

Well yes, but I might not be able to divulge that. LOL. I don’t want to be sued. That would be too much like the story acting out itself.

But I have to say there is a lot of Rhoda Haynes in me. If you want to know what parts you will have to read the play and donate to the cause. Then I might reveal it.


If you could sum the show in 5 words what would they be?

Beware of writers with grudges.
Hilarious, satirical and very entertaining.


What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring writers?

Go to school and learn it right. Treat writing like a job but be yourself. Or if you are not yourself, after you write for awhile you will find yourself. Then maybe you might want to lose yourself. 

Listen to the small still voice in your head at 5 AM saying get up I have a scene I want to work on. That’s the muse. Or it could be the TV. Most of my work comes while walking in nature. Writing is channeling the universe. A wise man once said that and I find it to be true.



Donate to Marta's campaign here.

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Friday, 21 July 2017

In Conversation With... Tyrone Huntley | Interview

In Conversation With... Tyrone Huntley | Interview
Friday, 21 July 2017
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Tyrone Huntley has the voice of an angel and supreme acting skills. He's just finished starring as CC in Dreamgirls and is currently in rehearsals to reprise the role of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Regent's Park Open Air theatre later this summer. He's already a star but he deserves even more praise for his outstanding performances and I can't wait to see what more he does!


For anyone that doesn’t know, can you explain a little about your career and highlights so far?

I graduated from Mountview in 2011 and got my first job in the U.K. Tour of Sister Act. My West End debut came straight after that in The Book of Mormon and since then I've been fortunate enough to work on other incredible shows including the Original London Casts of Memphis and Dreamgirls.


I read that you studied law and completed a degree in it whilst you were starring in The Book of Mormon and Memphis, how was it juggling the two?

It was difficult and extremely time consuming but ever so rewarding. I learned a lot and when I graduated I felt such a sense of pride and achievement. 


Tyrone in rehearsals for the concert of The Colour Purple
Do you have any other hidden passions that you’d like to pursue?

I'd love to learn to play the piano proficiently and I really want to learn a language but a real aspiration of mine is to hone my writing skills. I write songs but I'm in awe of playwrights and novelists and those who have the imagination to create entire worlds out of nothing.


You’ve just finished playing CC in the epic, Dreamgirls. Is CC anything like you?

CC has some really enviable qualities that don't sit naturally with me. Where CC is optimistic and positive thinking, I generally think the worst and I'm not surprised when things don't necessarily go my way!! That said, I like to think I can relate to his ambitiousness, his caring nature and desire to make people happy.


Have you had any funny onstage or offstage mishaps whilst you’ve been in the show? Or any other shows?

I did Porgy and Bess at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre a couple of years ago which meant, like Jesus Christ Superstar, we were obviously performing outside. In the show I had a little featured singing bit - my big moment. One evening I was just about to sing my part but as I breathed in I inhaled a massive fly so instead of singing my one little solo song, I had a beautifully underscored coughing fit! 


It’s so exciting that you’ll be returning to play Judas again at the open air theatre. What are the hardest and most exciting parts about playing the iconic role?

I'm very excited. It's a great role in a great show and I get to perform at Regent's Park again! The music is amazing and I'm looking forward to sinking my teeth back into it. That said, it's very challenging vocally which means, more than usual, I have to look after myself and make sure I stay as fit and healthy as possible which means my already limited social life will have to take even more of a back seat!!


Besides yourself, who else would you like to see tackle the character of Judas?

I'd love to see my old mate Matt Cardle do it, he'd be perfect. Or thinking outside of the box maybe Eva Noblezada... she'd sound amazing. 


What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage?

I have to go through all of my lines for the next scene. I trust my short term memory way more than my long term memory and it puts me at ease just to check the lines are still there! 

Tyrone and the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar
You have a five minute break in rehearsals, what are you doing?

Eating. 


Is there a musical or play you’ve seen recently that you loved? 

I saw Hamlet at the Harold Pinter a few weeks ago with Andrew Scott and Juliet Stevenson. I was completely blown away by everything about the production! 


What’s a fun fact that people might not know about you?

It's certainly not very fun but it's extremely important to me. I HATE coriander. It's poison!


What’s your best piece of advice for an aspiring performer?

Hard work doesn't always pay off but if you put in the work, no one can ever take that away from you and you can always rest in the knowledge that you did everything you could. Be open - every experience, whether negative or positive, is an opportunity to learn.



A huge thank you to Tyrone for taking the time to do this interview. Make sure you book to see Jesus Christ Superstar at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre this summer.

Keep up with Tyrone via his twitter
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