Interviews

 
Gabriel Mokake - YMT Alumni

An interview with Gabriel Mokake

19/07/16

We chat to YMT Alumni Gabriel Mokake about his time with YMT. Gabriel has starred in The Color Purple, Dessa Rose and will soon be performing in Children of Eden and Dreamgirls.

Gabriel was part of the YMT Company from 2007-2009 performing in Rare Dreams (2007), Endangered (2008) and A Winter's Tale (2009).

I had an incredible time working on YMT projects. I was able to form a wonderful network of friends and whilst having the time of my life, building foundations to my theatre craft. Those summers taught me so much about working with others, and writing my own stuff and most importantly confidence, as a youngster in theatrical industry.

Do you still keep in contact with any YMTers?

Absolutely I made some incredible friends on these projects. And we all still keep in contact! I've worked professionally with some and even lived with some.

Why should people get involved with YMT?

Young people should consider joining YMT not only because can it build your confidence and professionalism. It can really help Influence your path into the industry whether it be performing, directing, writing, composing or choreographing YMT gives you a little taste of the Artistic World.

What would your dream role be?

I'm terrible with these sort of questions but I don't think it's been written yet... I would love to play great historical characters such as Frederick Douglass, Dr Martin Luther King Or Christopher Gardner.

(L-R) Sunny Moodie, Joshua Tonks, Jaygann Ayeh and Gabriel Mokake - Rare Dreams, 2007

Favourite Shows?

Another difficult question for Plays The Importance of Being Earnest and Musical The Color Purple.

http://micdotcom.tumblr.com/post/134892232783/watch-jennifer-hudsons-performance-from-the

Tips for auditions.

Be Positive. Smile. Do the research!

http://giphy.com/chuber

What/who should young people research in the arts?

Knee High, Punchdrunk and The National Theatre.

Favourite food?

Eastern Foods! Thai, Chinese and more.

Ideal holiday?

Maldives or Papa New Ginuea.

THE most important question: Scone (as in stone) or Scone (as in gone)?

Both!

Read more interviews with YMT Alumni here on our blog!

YMT Alumni - Sarah Gannon - Youth Music Theatre UK

An interview with Sarah Gannon

24/06/16

We chat with YMT Alumni and actress Sarah Gannon about her time with YMT in The Chosen Room.

I had the most wonderfully independent time during my two summers with YMT. We were taught to perfect our performance technique but also how to conduct ourselves in a professional environment. By mixing ages, it integrated mutual respect between younger and older students. I also adored my time away from home. It was the best fun of my young years!

Do you still keep in contact with any YMTers?

Yes! She is still one of my closest friends.

Why should people get involved with YMT?

Because there is more to this business than just learning the songs or dance moves. And learning how to work with others away from home/stage school forces you to learn new life skills. Because of my YMT journey I feel I was capable/comfortable to accept professional touring roles late in life.

What would your dream role be?

I adore musicals and always will but if I had my way I would become a successful singer songwriter… However I would adore the opportunity to someday play the role of Cathy or Eponine.

Favourite Shows?

Les Misérables is the reason I started singing in the first place. But recently I went to see my friend play the lead in Kinky Boots. And I might be biased but woah!

Tips for auditions:

Thank the accompanist. Thank the casting assistant. Thank the person that gave you a bit of encouragement in the audition room. And most of all… sometimes you might not get the part because you messed up the note, sometimes it's because you're brunette or too tall. But not getting the part isn't the end of the world. Be happy you tried because unlike many hopefuls you were in the position to attend the audition and you were brave enough to do so!

What/who should young people research in the arts?

Try to build up a wonderful repertoire in your spare time. Follow Twitter sites of casting agents. But honestly there is no right way of working in this business. It just helps to be yourself and approach people personally after shows. Attend masterclasses when possible. Ask for advice … and when you win a Tony or Olivier … Keep asking for advice, because we're forever learning.

Favourite food?

Oooooh em, I love Cadbury's Golden Crisp and a cup of tea.

Ideal holiday?

Rome. Alway Rome. Go feed your belly and your soul! But I've been all over with tour that I'm raging I never got to Asia at all so I'd like to visit the elephants.

THE most important question: Scone (as in stone) or Scone (as in gone)?

Eh obviously Scone as in Stone!

Read from YMT Alumni on our blog and check out how you can get involved with YMT.

Amy Gardyne - Youth Music Theatre UK - YMT Alumni

An interview with Amy Gardyne

01/06/16

We chat with actress and musician Amy Gardyne (formerly Amy Walsh) about her time in the YMT Company.

I was part of the YMT Company for four years - The Last Tango (2006), Rare Dreams (2007), The Silver Bough (2008) and A Winter’s Tale (2009). I learnt more than I could ever put into words through each of the four shows, all of which were very different. The first was based on a novel called Ali and Nino and was mostly pre-written and composed, the middle two were completely devised on-site by the company and the creatives and the last, A Winter’s Tale, was a book musical by Howard Goodall, so I was lucky to experience a more traditional musical theatre structure as well collaborate with some amazing actors, musicians and creatives to explore what we could come up with ourselves. YMT did wonders for my self-confidence, especially through the devised projects, by throwing me completely out of my comfort zone and encouraging me to use skills, instruments and techniques, which I previously been too afraid to try (in public at least!)

Do you still keep in contact with any YMTers?

Yes! There are a few people from each year who I regularly keep in touch with, although I’m rubbish at that kind of thing! But I see fellow YMTers all over the place at auditions, workshops and shows, and you inevitably find at least one friend-of-a-friend who did a project with you back in the day... You do end up with a wonderful, nationwide network of multi-talented friends and contacts.

Why should people get involved with YMT?

For those friendships and those connections, for that invaluable creative experience, for building your self-confidence and putting yourself in those scary situations! For getting the chance to collaborate intensively with a group of people who are all as madly passionate about musical theatre as you are, for being amazed by what they can do and surprised at what you can do too. For me it was also the first time I’d ever stayed far away from home for a long period of time, which was such a useful experience before moving out and going to university and drama school.

What would your dream role be?

Oh, too many! In musical theatre, I think I will happily retire once I’ve played Margaret in The Light in the Piazza, but I would also love to conquer Mother Courage one day.

Favourite Shows?

The Donmar’s version of The Threepenny Opera with the translation by Robert David MacDonald and Jeremy Sams is one of my all-time favourites, because it was the first time I’d encountered really gritty musical theatre. I’m also a huge fan of Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris. Urinetown is brilliant. But ask me next month and I’ll probably have changed my mind!

http://everythingscenic.tumblr.com/post/88796857659

What/who should young people research in the arts?

I can’t think of anything really specific I’m afraid, but what I would say is get out there and see and do as much as you can! Obviously this is harder if you don’t live in or close to London, but it isn’t impossible. Never turn down any opportunity to see ANYTHING - this includes street theatre, rehearsals, anything free. Beg and borrow (but please don’t steal…) loads of plays, soundtracks and librettos - this is what I had to work really hard on a drama school, trying to catch up with everyone else’s knowledge. Know who’s who in the industry all the time - producers, directors, casting directors, actors, musicians etc. Know what’s on and what’s about to be on in every theatre - and don’t forget all the regional houses too. The more you know before you get thrown in there professionally, the better!

Favourite food?

Avocado!! I could eat avocados and nothing else for the rest of my life and be very happy.

http://www.reddit.com/r/shittyreactiongifs/comments/3sw3pk/mrw_i_am_what_i_eat_and_i_used_to_be_a_giant/

Ideal holiday?

Anywhere warmer and drier than the UK right now.

THE most important question: Scone (as in stone) or Scone (as in gone)?

AS IN GONE.

Read from YMT Alumni on our blog and check out how you can get involved with YMT.

Adam Cooper - YMT Alumni - YMT Blog - Youth Music Theatre UK

An interview with Adam Cooper

06/04/16

We chat to Urdang graduate and YMTer Adam Cooper about his time in the YMT Company!

My YMT experience has been extraordinary. I’ve done three projects: Missing Mel (2008) at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and then London, Chosen Room (2009) and Song For Eurydice (2010), all of which were completely different and gave me totally different experiences. After that I went on to being an Assistant for Mort and then a choreographer for a Summer Skills Course!

Adam Cooper - Song for Eurydice - YMT Alumni - Youth Music Theatre UK - YMT Blog
Adam in Song for Eurydice (2010)

Do you still keep in contact with any YMTers?

Yes I do! A lot of people have continued on into the industry and it’s so good seeing so many talented people being successful in this field and knowing that they are all genuinely lovely people too. YMT friends really stick with you after that intense two-week experience.

Why should people get involved with YMT?

Because it’s enormous fun! Plus you end up learning so much about yourself and your craft at the same time. If it wasn’t for YMT, I wouldn’t have applied for musical theatre colleges, I wouldn’t have seen the things I’ve seen and I wouldn’t be living in working in Germany now. It really opened my eyes to this industry as a career choice. Just go for it. If you hold back that’s what you’re going to regret.

What would your dream role be?

I’d love to be in Cats, Singing in the Rain or Mary Poppins. I absolutely love the dancing in those shows.

http://mzlle-punzi.tumblr.com/

Favourite shows?

Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Legally Blonde and Sister Act - all musicals that were my favourite when I first came to London. They’ve really stuck with me. All cheesy but with a great heart.

http://stronzilli-blog.tumblr.com/post/41943263739

What/who should young people research in the arts?

Matthew Bourne company. If young people haven’t heard of this company I seriously recommend it. Watching Edward Scissorhands for the first time when I was younger was such a turning point for me and let me see dance in a whole new light.

Favourite food?

Working abroad I find that I’m just crazy British comforts. Yorkshire Pudding or a simple Toad in the Hole go down a treat when you’re missing home.

Ideal holiday?

Some place new that I can explore! I’ve been lucky enough to see many places previously working as a dancer on a cruise but I still need to cross Japan and China off that list.

THE most important question: Scone (as in stone) or Scone (as in gone)?

Scone as in gone when I’m not thinking about it. If i’m doing my best Downton Abbey it would be Scone as in stone.

A huge thank you to Adam for taking the time to answer our questions - have a read of interviews from other YMT Alumni!

Joshua Tonks - YMT Alumni - Youth Music Theatre UK

An interview with Joshua Tonks

21/03/16

We chat to actor and writer Joshua Tonks about his YMT experience and his favourite shows!

Josh graduated from Arts Ed and has starred as Rolf in The Sound of Music at the Open Air Theatre Regent's Park and in The Dreaming at the Union Theatre, as well as in the Alumni Choir at the YMTO Concert last year!

I only did YMT once, but it was a pretty magical experience. I was part of a devised piece called Rare Dreams (2007) directed by Kath Burlinson with original songs by Sonum Batra. The whole experience felt like I was in my own "coming-of-age" film; freeing and fulfilling and great fun!

Do you still keep in contact with any YMTers?

I keep in touch with a handful of YMTers but unfortunately it's rare that we actually meet because everyone is so busy!

Sunny Moodie, Joshua Tonks, Jaygann Ayeh, Gabriel Mokake, YMT Alumni, Youth Music Theatre UK Rare Dreams

(L-R) Sunny Moodie, Joshua Tonks, Jaygann Ayeh and Gabriel Mokake - Rare Dreams, 2007

Why should people get involved with YMT?

YMT can be the perfect opportunity to find your "people". It can be difficult to fit in at school when you like theatre and musicals, but with YMT you are surrounded by people with exactly the same interests as you.

What would your dream role be?

My dream role hasn't been written yet. I'd like to create a role in an original production.

Favourite Shows?

Spring Awakening and Into The Woods are two of my favourites. They are both immensely satisfying to sing and can be interpreted in a multitude of ways.

http://solemnlyswear22.tumblr.com/post/30826728104/touch-me

What/who should young people research in the arts?

You should research everything that is to do with your art. Become a font of knowledge; it'll give you a good well of information to draw from.

Favourite food?

Cheese. Any type of cheese.

http://marissa-mars.tumblr.com/post/45456537924/jerry-eating-cheese

Ideal holiday?

Skiing in California, or Christmas in New York.

THE most important question: Scone (as in stone) or Scone (as in gone)?

Scone (as in gone)!

Read from YMT Alumni on our blog and check out how you can get involved with YMT.

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