My first job: performer Danny Rogers – ‘Always have smart, polished shoes’
I always loved watching and taking part in my dad’s – Ted Rogers – shows across the country. From watching and mimicking him as a boy, whether in summer season, pantomime or on TV, I always wanted to follow in his footsteps. He would teach me to sing fast-patter songs to the best of my ability, making sure the timing and pronunciation were always correct.
My chance came when I saw an advert on The Stage app for a touring pantomime of Dick Whittington with Devon-based company Wonder Productions. I emailed the company and was given an audition.
I was very nervous attending the audition and meeting the other auditionees, because it was my first one after training. I coped with my nerves in two ways: by giving myself a pep talk and by making sure I was giving my best performance. With a lot more experience behind me now, I don’t think I would be as nervous, and I would have felt more free to be myself, while being able to put across the character when needed.
The show I am currently doing, called Bin and Gone is very personal. It tells the story of my father’s rise from a comedian and entertainer to a game show host on 3-2-1, which was huge in the 1980s. He was also a regular performer at the London Palladium, working with the likes of Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Jackie Mason. But it doesn’t shy away from the lows and how he kept going even when things were falling apart.
My advice for others is to be proactive. You get a fair amount of knock-backs in this industry but the real courage is in never giving up. As for the advice my dad might give if he were still around? He showed me how to be kind, courteous and polite to everyone I meet, and to always have smart, polished shoes.
Danny Rogers CV
Training: Musical theatre degree at University of Chichester
Theatre includes: Sesame Street’s Make a New Friend, Tree Fu Tom, Victorian Music Hall, Cinderella, Dick Whittingham, Aladdin, Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pirates of the Pavilion
TV includes: Sooty Show and Twirlywoos
Other credits: Presenter for live shows at Cadbury World: Story Time with Caramel Bunny and Freddo the Frog’s Birthday Party
Agent: Chris Davis Management
Danny Rogers was talking to John Byrne. He is performing Bin and Gone at Brighton Fringe from May 6-12 and across the UK until October. For more details go to: binandgoneplay.co.uk
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