YMT blog

 

“It gave me the confidence to believe in myself and my abilities” – Annabel, 12, talks about attending YMT’s Musical Theatre Summer Camp Last Year!

12/04/18

With the summer fast-approaching, it isn’t long until YMT’s Musical Theatre Summer Camps return for another fantastic season! For anyone who isn’t aware, participants of our Musical Theatre Summer Camps create a brand new show on a fun-filled 6 day residential project – providing intense, creative training in the performing arts for ANYONE aged 11-17. This is led by a team of top theatre professionals who have a wealth of experience in West End, Fringe and touring theatre.

In anticipation for this, we thought we would catch up with Annabel, 12, who attended our Surrey Summer Camp in 2017.

“To be able to put your own piece of theatre together in just one week is amazing”

Annabel was extremely keen to give other potential participants of the course an insight into just how much she enjoyed it, and how much she learned from it.

“I would have no hesitation in recommending this to everyone who has an interest in performing or who would like to understand more about how a piece of theatre is put together. It gave me the confidence to believe in myself and my abilities. Everyone was so supportive and professional”

Since taking part in one of our Summer Camps, Annabel says it “gave me the confidence to apply for a 13+ drama scholarship, which I did achieve, and YMT certainly played a big role in this”

Annabel now has an agent and is pursuing a career in performance, but also believes the summer camp provided her with everyday life skills, such as “being confident, learning how to mix with new people, people of different ages, and those from people from different backgrounds”

Talking more about the variety of other young, like-minded people she met at the camp, Annabel told us  “What first struck me was that there not only kids from the UK but some had travelled from Egypt, Malta, France and Belgium to attend the course - that's dedication for you and also shows how valued the course is too”

Since leaving the camp, Annabel is “still in touch with many of the kids that attended the course and we still all support one another through the ups and downs of a performer’s life”

She says “YMT is like one big family and it’s great to be part of that family”

 

This year, YMT’s Musical Theatre Summer Camps are coming to Hertfordshire, Leeds, Wiltshire, Edinburgh, Surrey and London. Book now and explore your potential and develop your singing, acting and dancing abilities. As Annabel has outlined from her own experience at the camp last year, they offer fun, intense and creative training to help build confidence and essential performing arts skills.

Hamilton Performer and YMT Alumnus, Christopher, encourages Young People to Audition for YMT!

14/02/18

 

“I would describe my experience at YMT to be one of the best times I had that year”

 

YMT Alumni and current original cast member of the West End’s critically-acclaimed Hamilton, Christopher Tendai, shares his own YMT experience and audition advice to young performers. His past theatre credits also include Jesus Christ Superstar, In the Heights and Hairspray, whilst he has worked in Television for Strictly Come Dancing, The Brit Awards and Rita Ora.

“Don’t be nervous auditioning when you can show everyone how talented you are! Just be yourself!”

“For people that want to be a part of YMT is to just go for it! This is your chance to better your craft and find out more about musical theatre.”

“What sets YMT apart is that it focuses on people’s individual strengths and incorporates that. I remember I got dance captain for the show we did and I couldn’t be happier! Other people incorporated playing guitar and singing acapella. Instead of everyone being the same, they relished in peoples individuality.”

If you’re lucky enough to get tickets, you can still catch our alumnus, Christopher, in Hamilton on the West End.

So as Christopher says, just go for it and book an audition for YMT before it’s too late! This is the last weekend of auditions and our audition team will be in Belfast, Liverpool, Sheffield, Southampton, Leeds London and Oxford.

Book a slot HERE and kick-start your musical theatre career with YMT.
 

The key is always to just throw yourself into it

30/01/18

YMT participant Patrick, 19, from Abingdon has performed with the company for 8 years, since he was 11 years old, and his past productions record is quite impressive. Last summer he played the lead in our 2017 adaptation of Tess of the d’Urbervilles, at Winchester Theatre Royal; a dark love story that unfolds into tragedy and murder.

“My favourite part of the show was the music, having Pippa (the composer) present and writing new music as the show was being rehearsed was really exciting”

This project in reality started a couple of months earlier at the casting, three days in half-term, which was a great chance to meet the cast and creative team. The cast immediately clicked at this point, meaning that when we arrived in August for three weeks of intensive rehearsals we were already good friends. I was fortunate enough to be cast as Angel Claire, which was a wonderful part to develop over the three weeks. Personally my favourite part of the show was the music, having Pippa (the composer) present and writing new music as the show was being rehearsed was really exciting, and as my character was only really in the second act of the show, it was a wonderful opportunity to jump into the orchestra pit and join the band (which I got to do in all the actual shows).

Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Youth Music Theatre UK

“We had a wonderful group of chaperones, and our Musical Director Cillian was always able to offer advice”

It was great to be with a wonderful group of cast and creatives, and there was never time to be bored, we had a wonderful group of chaperones, and our Musical Director Cillian was always able to offer advice. The most exciting part of this show for me was split between the casting weekend and the opening night, where in the former there was the sense of anticipation for the show we were going to create, and in the latter the climax of the project and finally getting to show our family, friends and the public what we had been working on, which we were all so proud of.

“I remember being incredibly nervous, but I have since learnt there is absolutely no reason to be”

When I first did the YMT auditions (at the age of 11) I remember being incredibly nervous, but I have since learnt there is absolutely no reason to be. Taking the form of a several-hours workshop, you're surrounded by a group of others doing exactly the same as you and with their own strengths and weaknesses - personally I always dread the dance section, but the key is always to just throw yourself into it and then if, like me, you still look ridiculous, you at least look ridiculous but entertaining.

Throwing yourself into it, I would say, is the most important thing to do in the audition - and take risks, be the first to join in with the MD when they're trying to get everyone to talk with their tongues stuck out their mouths, don't hide behind others in the acting.

“The key is always to just throw yourself into it”

I would absolutely recommend the YMT auditions to absolutely anyone, if even one of the Acting/Singing/Dance triumvirate appeals to you, it’s a chance to give the others a go, or if you've already caught the bug for being on stage then it's an opportunity to get yourself onto one of YMT's wonderful projects or skills courses to further develop your love for performing.

Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Youth Music Theatre UK

YMT National Auditions 2018 are taking place all across the country from 14 January to 18 February. BOOK NOW and take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to work with leading theatre professionals.

Cillian Donaghy's Audition Tips

23/01/18

Cillian Donaghy, our brilliant Musical Director, whose credits include productions of The Mikado, Annie, Oliver!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, and who is on the panel for YMT's Auditions 2018, is sharing his audition tips:

For anyone taking part in the YMT National Audition Tour this year, the best piece of advice I could give is to have fun!

When you walk into an audition room just remember the audition panel want you to be the best you you can be and if you do your best, what more can you ask for?

Everyone, including professionals, gets nervous for auditions so don’t let that stop you from enjoying your experience.

When choosing something to present to the audition panel, make sure you pick something you love and are confident performing.

It is much better to pick something simple and execute it well, than something difficult that you will worry about on the day of your audition. 

So enjoy the experience and don’t forget to smile!

YMT National Auditions 2018 are taking place all across the country from 14 January to 18 February. BOOK NOW and take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to train with leading theatre professionals.

A chance that I would never have been able to partake in

09/01/18

“Thanks to the bursary scheme, I was given a chance that I would never have been able to partake in due to financial circumstances and I wish that many other young people will be able to have this experience, especially if they have a passion for the performing arts.” Tarique, 16, from Birmingham, performed in A Teenage Opera, 2017.

YMT’s bursary scheme provides access for young people to receive the highest quality training in musical theatre skills from top industry professionals; enabling people from all backgrounds the opportunity to go on and fulfil their dreams of a career on the stage. Through the support form organisations such as NASUWT and generous individuals, YMT offers a bursary of up to 75% for participants to take part in one of eight summer production projects, this includes: full-board accommodation on a residential production, tuition and pastoral care, and production costs at the venue. The YMT bursary scheme is means tested and available for any young person whose household income is less than £35,000 per annum.

Over 30% of YMT’s participants every year are awarded bursaries this enables them to join the company and develop their skills. YMT’s participant Tarique, 16, from Birmingham, received a Bursary in 2017 to take part in the world premiere of A Teenage Opera directed by one of the West End’s foremost leading ladies, Julie Atherton (Avenue Q, Mama Mia).

“It is an experience I won’t be forgetting any time soon”

During my first time on YMT, I was involved in A Teenage Opera, and suffice to say, it is an experience I won’t be forgetting any time soon! I can remember arriving on the first day, not really knowing anyone there, I am usually quite reserved and find it difficult to talk to people, but soon I managed to find my feet and started to enjoy the experience.

“I realized just how much effort goes into professional shows”

On the first week, I worked hard like nothing I had done before had prepared me for it. The final week was where I realized just how much effort goes into professional shows, not just from the cast but also from the technical crew and the directors.

“The shows left everyone with a sense of euphoria”

I was most excited on show week as it was a very different scene to what I am used to, but the shows left everyone with a sense of euphoria, myself included, each performance getting better than the last. Then came the final show, where a new family, formed within weeks, were split up in moments. Everyone was hugging and enjoying their last moments together, even marking the occasion with a group photo with the script and music writers. The creative team were incredible; they were approachable very supportive with the participants.

“When I went for my audition, I was going into it with no clue as to what they wanted us to do”

I applied for YMT after my GCSE English teacher recommended it to me as I was fond of the performing arts and I saw it as a chance to experience what the industry is like and how it operates. When I went for my audition, I was going into it with no clue as to what they wanted us to do, but after the team introduced themselves, it put me at ease so that I could sing, act and dance. It seemed daunting at the time but, now that I reflect upon it, it was a chance that I may not get again. YMT is a great opportunity for those who have a passion for the performing arts and I would recommend that young people go and audition as they have nothing to lose and a lot of experience and memories to gain.

“It seemed daunting at the time but, now that I reflect upon it, it was a chance that I may not get again”

“As far as tips go, don’t stress too much about the audition”

I would say that, as far as tips go, don’t stress too much about the audition; it’s about doing what you’re best at and knowing that everyone else in the room also has an interest in performing as well. Also, don’t worry about being completely rejected, YMT will offer every participant at least a spot on a skills course that will help to improve your abilities and skills to bring the best out of you for both your strengths and weaknesses.

“Imagine that the audience is on the toilet!”

As a final note: I remember being sat in rehearsals with the director, Julie Atherson, and she gave us a piece of advice that I still remember, even now. She told us that, on stage, you will feel uncomfortable, as though there a thousand eyes watching you, but all that you can do is imagine that the audience is on the toilet! It sounds weird, but if you imagine the audience is as uncomfortable as you feel, then you start to think that they aren’t really paying attention to you and that you’re doing another dress rehearsal. Once you start to imagine it, you’ll feel more at ease and in a better position to perform and put on a show.

An experience like YMT is unique opportunity. Just take it in your stride and embrace it!

This year Youth Music Theatre UK and The Stage are delighted to announce that we are offering a Stage Scholarship to one lucky performer who auditions in 2018. The Stage Scholarship is a 100% Bursary for a young person who is successful at YMT auditions. If eligible they will receive a full scholarship to take part in one of YMT's eight summer production projects; it offers full-board accommodation on a residential production, as well as tuition and pastoral care, and production costs at the venue. More Info Here

YMT National Auditions 2018 are taking place all across the country from 14 January to 18 February. BOOK NOW and take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to train with leading theatre professionals.

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