When people ask me what I do for a living and I tell them that I’m a musical theatre performer they ask “so what exactly does that mean?” Well, it means I do all 3 disciplines; singing, dancing and acting all at the same time!
I have been lucky enough to be working professionally in the musical theatre world for 10 years and there is so much that I have learned along the way. My credits include TV show Doctors, Bend it like Beckham (West End), and I am set to star in Peter Pan at the Park Theatre later on this year. I now do lots of teaching alongside performing which I love because teaching gives me the opportunity to pass on some of the key tools that I have picked up!
Being a musical theatre performer is definitely something I would never change in the world, however, the constant rejection and unpredictability is not something for the faint-hearted. I have now learnt how to treat work as work only and not to think of it as my “be all and end all” of life. It’s the only way not to let it be at the heart of everything you do and the root to your happiness otherwise, you will never get over the fact that 8 times out of 10 the team WON’T PICK YOU!
Often, when you haven’t got the job the creative team won’t contact your agent to let them know, so I try to forget about it the moment I smile and walk out of the audition room. This is easier said than done but it’s the only way to ensure you preserve your sanity!
Keeping up with classes is vital to your progress as a performer. To anyone who is interested in pursuing it, I would say do as many classes as you can! Practice is key and I still sing for at last 4 hours a week to keep my training up! Just singing out loud is a brilliant thing to do on a weekly basis.
Picking up dance routines can be tricky for lots of performers but again going to as many classes as possible and learning a range of styles is the way to go! I often get asked how I learn so many routines and lines. I can honestly say that the only answer is PRACTICE!
If this is something that you really want to do and are passionate about you need to understand how your voice and body works and get to as many classes as you possibly can. Oh and practice, practice, practice!
Good luck and also always do what makes you happy!
– Harveen Mann