YMT blog

 

Hannah Nuttall: My experience with Youth Music Theatre

06/04/17

Our brilliant alumna Hannah Nuttall could be a perfect example of a young person with a dream who made it come true through her hard work, persistence and outstanding talent. After several YMT Summer Skills Courses Hannah Nuttall was involved in three Youth Musical Theatre productions: Force 9 and a Half, Great Expectation and Winter Tale. She graduated from London School of Music Theatre and continues to build her career as a musical actress.Theatre credits include: Happily Ever After from Teatro Technis, Made in Corby and many more.

We asked Hannah to share her memories about her time in YMT with us.

What was your favourite thing about time at YMT?
I don’t think I could pick just one thing! I have so many amazing memories from my time at YMT, from my first Skills Course with Eddie Latter and Jimmy Jewell, to my final performance of A Winters Tale at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford. I remember when I got to perform the title song of A Winters Tale accompanied by the composer himself, Howard Goodall. I still to this day cannot believe I was given that opportunity, and I still have the photo! Something else very special about YMT is that you really do make friends for life. That fact that I get to see my friends from my Skills and Project courses perform in such amazing shows and venues, is something absolutely priceless.

Overall I would say that YMT allows you to work in an environment with professional directors, choreographer and musicians. They were all very keen to make sure we were professional in the rehearsal room, and respected each other, which was something I was taught at a very young age thanks to YMT. YMT definitely matured me, from a 13-year-old who had never been away from home, to a 16-year-old who understood what it was like to be in a professional environment. That is what makes YMT so unique.

 

Can you describe your experience of YMT including our Skills Courses?
The Skills Courses are very unique.  You’re there for just under a week, and create a brand new piece of theatre.  You get the opportunity to work very closely with the artistic staff.  It was my first time away from home, and I didn’t know what it would be like.  But as soon as you get there, you completely forget about all the worries you had, and just have fun!  All the staff at YMT are lovely, and are always on hand if you have any troubles.  All the participants on the course are there for the same reasons you are, and you really bond as a group.  I must’ve enjoyed it, because I went on to do five more within the space of three years! After my first Skills Course, I auditioned for the projects that go on throughout the summer. Being accepted onto a YMT Production was a very big step. Having auditioned for 3 years and being unsuccessful, once I got into my project I finally understood why it took time for me to gain a place. I then went on to participate in three projects, Force 9 1/2 in 2007, Great Expectations in 2008, and finally A Winters Tale in 2009. I then began my drama school journey.

What benefits did it bring you?
I can honestly say my performing career wouldn’t have been possible without my experiences with YMT.  Even from a young age, they taught me about professionalism.  It took me 3 years to get into a production; every year I would come back, never giving up on the dream. YMT has definitely given me a lesson for a lifetime; if at first you don’t succeed, always pick yourself up 10 times stronger.

Would you recommend it to someone else and if so why?
Absolutely! The experiences you gain whilst on a YMT Skills Course are invaluable. YMT is a family, I gained friends for life, and skills that will never be forgotten.  I am where I am today because of my experience with YMT, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing!

 

YMT National Auditions 2017

Be brave, be bold and give everything a really good go!

31/01/17

Choreographer and Independent Dance Artist Rachel Birch-Lawson has a wealth of professional experience, here are Rachel's AUDITION TIPS for all of you taking part this year in the YMT National Auditions 2017 (21 Jan - 19 Feb).

We try and make the auditions as fun and enjoyable as possible. Whatever happens, you will go away having learnt something, having met some new people and having tried something you wouldn’t otherwise have tired. 

All we ask is that you come and you are brave, and you give everything a really good go! Listen to Rachel's message here on YouTube

It doesn’t matter if you’ve had lots of performing experience, it doesn’t matter if you’ve never danced before. What we want to see is that you really try and give everything one hundred percent commitment, that’s really what we’re looking for in our company, for people who really give everything a go, because the harder you work, the better you become. 

1. Don’t apologise for anything you do in the audition room.
2. Be brave and be bold
3. Give everything a really good go!

And you can listen to Rachel's special message here on our YouTube channel.

YMT Auditions Rachel Birch-Lawson

Rachel Birch-Lawson is an independent dance artist, Rachel’s work spans dance, opera, theatre, and music theatre. Trained at London Contemporary Dance School, she was then selected for European choreographic programme Dance Beyond Borders.

Rachel is supported by organisations including Arts Council England, the British Council, South East Dance, and Lambeth Arts and has created works for companies including Tangled Feet, Opera a la Carte, Garsington Opera, and numerous independent projects. She has taught extensively in the UK, Europe, and Africa and is artistic director of Tall Tales Big Moves.

Step forward onto the stage and kick-start your career in performing arts with YMT. Auditions are booking now, from Sat 21 Jan - Sun 19 Feb 2017, touring 24 cities from Edinburgh to Manchester and London to Dublin and everywhere in-between. Take a look at the full list of dates and times here.

YMT National Auditions 2017

Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses - that’s what makes music theatre so interesting!

17/01/17

Continuing our Audition Tips series, hear from Musical Director, Pianist and Vocal Coach, Gemma Hawkins! She'll be on the panel for the audition workshops (21 Jan - 19 Feb) and has some great advise for all of you coming through this year.

1. Be Yourself - don’t try to be a different person. Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses; that’s what makes music theatre so interesting!

2. The panel are on your side! We’ll want everyone to do their best and show us what they have to offer.

3. Nerves can strangely be a very good thing! They’re a sign that you want to do well, and the adrenaline sometimes helps you produce things you didn’t know you were capable of.

4. Stay hydrated; it will help your energy and concentration. Sip water for a few hours before your audition and keep topping up through the session. Bananas are also a good source for energy and good for calming the nerves.

 

Audition Tips - Gemma Hawkins

Gemma Hawkins was the Assistant Musical Director for the Disney / Cameron Mackintosh 2015-17 tour of Mary Poppins, and before that the Barnum UK Tour starring Brian Conley. She graduated from the Royal Academy of Music’s Musical Direction course, having studied oboe and piano accompaniment at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Credits as MD include The Snowman (UK Tour), Great Expectations (YMT), The Last 5 Years (Barbican, London), Pippin (BRIT School), Side By Side By Sondheim (Edinburgh Fringe) and the Fingask Follies.
 
Gemma has worked frequently in several of the UK’s leading performing arts schools including the Guildhall, Royal Academy of Music, Urdang Academy and BRIT School, where she has musically directed and arranged for many projects and showcases.

Step forward onto the stage and kick-start your career in performing arts with YMT. Auditions are booking now, from Sat 21 Jan - Sun 19 Feb 2017, touring 24 cities from Inverness to Plymouth and London to Dublin and Belfast, and everywhere in-between. Take a look at the full list of dates and times here.

YMT National Auditions 2017

Audition tips from the pros! We've been talking to the experts and getting their take on it all

09/01/17

The process of putting together a new musical is a fantastic experience, and YMT works with an amazing group of top professionals each year to do this. Throughout the entire process of auditions, rehearsals and productions the YMT young company will be with the very best directors, musical directors and choreographers in the industry. We achieve the highest standards of quality in our projects and give the young company a truly professional experience.

As we move ever closer to the 2017 National Audition Tour, we've been talking to the experts, and getting their take on it all. Actor, Dancer, Movement Director, Choreographer and Teacher Vincent Manna, has a huge wealth knowledge and experience - and he's on the panel at this year's Auditions - take a look below and get some pointers!

Vincent Manna trained at LAMDA and Rambert Dance School and has worked internationally as an actor, dancer, movement director, choreographer and teacher. Prior to his acting training, Vincent studied Ballet and Contemporary dance and subsequently toured internationally with Mathew Bourne’s Swan Lake.

When not performing he is based mainly at LAMDA where he enjoys working with final year students on their public shows as a movement director and choreographer, and teaching those earlier in their training. He also devises movement theatre pieces at LAMDA and has created over 35 productions at the school. Vincent also sits on the audition panel every year.  He teaches on the BA in Acting, MA in Classical Theatre, Foundation Degree, and on the Foundation Diploma

Audition Tips:

1. Arrive early and bring plenty of water. A three hour session is a long time to keep physically active and mentally focused, so rehydrating is very important. 

2. Throw yourself into the stuff where you feel you are out of your comfort zone. We are interested in building a committed ensemble who will say yes to whatever task is thrown at them! So jump right in, even if you feel uncertain. 

3. Don't be afraid to ask a question or get a practitioner to repeat something if it isn’t clear. It’s easier to commit in the right if you understand fully what is being asked of you. 

4. Treat it as a workshop rather than an audition. Have fun. Be open to working with others and don’t worry about making mistakes - it's much much better to really throw yourself in and not get it quite right, than it is to sit on the fence and not commit.

Step forward onto the stage and kick-start your career in performing arts with YMT. Auditions are booking now, from Sat 21 Jan - Sun 19 Feb 2017, touring 24 cities from Inverness to Plymouth and London to Dublin and Belfast, and everywhere in-between. Take a look at the full list of dates and times here.

YMT National Auditions 2017

The YMT Experience - I've made friends for life and connected with people in a way I didn't know was possible

30/12/16

Just ahead of our National Auditions Tour 2017 we talk to recent company members and get their insider views on what it's like to be part of YMT, and the impact the experience of participating in our programmes has had on their lives.

Charlotte Emerson | YMT Performer 2012 - 2016 | "the possibilities of who you can meet and what you will learn are limitless"

I have performed in three different productions with YMT and they have all been hugely educational and great fun. One of the things I love about the company is that no two productions are the same; they are hugely varied in style, theme and rehearsal process. I've made friends for life and connected with people in a way I didn't know was possible, through a two or three week rehearsal period.

YMT Performer Charlotte Emerson | Fagin 2015

My favourite thing about my time at YMT is that you are treated as a professional company would be. Rehearsals are intense and disciplined which means that the standard of work produced is consistently high. I am currently in my first year of drama school and I believe YMT has been the single biggest factor in preparing me for the intensity of the work required in this challenging industry.

In addition to improving me as a performer, YMT has helped me grow as a person. It has changed my outlook on the world for the better giving me a more informed perspective on significant issues that face the world we live in.

Working with industry professionals has been a huge learning curve, and the support and guidance I received from the Directors, Choreographers and Musical Directors has improved my knowledge and confidence for life.

I would absolutely recommend the YMT experience to anyone who is interested in performing, it makes you a better person and performer and the possibilities of who you can meet and what you will learn are limitless. It is an invaluable, life changing experience.

YMT Performer Taha Elamin | Midnight Flower Press 2015

Taha Elamin | YMT performer 2015 | “The whole thing was like a roller coaster ride, full of excitement”

I was in the Midnight Flower Press in Plymouth, summer of 2015. What is great about YMT is they take into account all your ideas, so you feel that you are part of the making of the production. The whole thing was like a roller coaster ride, full of excitement and it helped me with my future audition in the West End as Bruce Bogtrotter in Matilda the Musical for which I was contracted from Jan to Sept of 2016. I’d definitely recommend YMT to anyone of my age group (12yrs) with an interest in performing arts, as it is a unique experience and you get the opportunity to work with like-minded talented young people.

Step forward onto the stage and kick-start your career in performing arts with YMT. Auditions are booking now, from Sat 21 Jan - Sun 19 Feb 2017, touring 24 cities from Inverness to Plymouth and London to Dublin and Belfast, and everywhere in-between. Take a look at the full list of dates and times here.

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