How did you start in dance/performance?
I started my performance career at an early age with the National Youth Theatre and the National Youth Music Theatre. I then toured for several years as an actor and performed in the West End.
What is the best piece of advice you have for students today?
This industry requires highly skilled, disciplined and dedicated performers who have a true passion and commitment to bringing high-quality performances to audiences here and abroad. You have to truly want to succeed and become the best you can in a highly competitive market in order to get work.
What would you change about UK training?
It is no longer good enough to just be able to sing, dance and act. You have to be equipped with lots of other skills. Understanding how to market yourself is such an important part of being a successful working performer.
What is the best part of your job?
Seeing students succeed and working in the business after training.
And your least favourite?
Seeing the financial struggle they face to access good-quality training.
Who are the practitioners you admire the most/who should students look up to?
Uta Hagen, the American actor and theatre practitioner. She originated the role of Martha in the 1962 Broadway premiere of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee (who called her “a profoundly truthful actress”). Whether it’s dance or singing, you’re always telling a story and that story must be truthful. Good, strong acting technique is essential.
What is the one skill every successful theatre professional should have?
You must be able to know where you fit in the marketplace and how you can best market yourself as a brand.
Edward Nudd was speaking to John Byrne