Breaking into the music industry…

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Everyone, regardless of age, dreams of being a world famous recording artist or a musical theatre superstar. For some people, just belting out songs in the shower is enough for them, but for others, they’re determined to do everything they can to turn this dream into a real thing.

I managed to catch up with TheOfficialBradRyan to talk about his motives for starting his YouTube channel, as well as a few members from the London cast of The Book of Mormon to get some insight into their musical theatre experiences.

EverythingStagey meets TheOfficialBradRyan

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What made you start your YouTube channel?

“I’d wanted to start YouTube channel since I was like 14. After watching different people doing their own versions of great songs, I finally made the decision that this was what I wanted to do. It pushed me to pursue a career in music.”

What aspects of the music industry appealed to you the most?        

“Regardless of what people would probably assume, it wasn’t really the fame and fortune that appealed to me the most, but simply the fact that singing was something I have been told I’m pretty good at and most of all enjoy doing. Just the idea of people listening to and enjoying my covers is what gives me the motivation to keep working hard to get myself out there.”

What do you ultimately want to do with your music?                                            

“In the long run I’d love to just have people enjoying what I do. The thought of thousands of people all paying to come and watch me sing for a few hours is pretty daunting, but I’d love to have that ‘is this even happening?!’ feeling one day, that’s what I’m striving for.”

What advice would you give to people wanting to start out in the music industry?

“Just go for it, what’s the worst that could happen?! It may not work out first time around, but what really goes to plan straight away? If you persist and work hard towards what you want to do than, then no one should be able to stop you from living your dream!”

EverythingStagey meets The Book Of Mormon

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Performers often know that being on a stage 24/7 is exactly what they want to do and many work tirelessly to make that happen. Musical theatre appeals to many people in different ways, and I managed to get some feedback from a few cast members from BoM about why musical theatre appealed to them.

What appealed to you about music theatre?

David O’Reilly- Stand-by Elder Cunningham: ‘It’s my safe place and was a hobby I really enjoyed!’

Ashley Samuels- Ensemble: ‘Truth be told, it was the only thing I was good at! I started from a very young age and if I’m honest, I think people inspire you. If you have really good drama teachers, they help you to express yourself as a child and open your eyes to the amazing experiences out there. It’s also amazing to have your family supporting you, whether you’re singing Spice Girls songs in the living room or performing on this stage they’re still rooting for you. They never stopping believing in you.’

 Dan Looney- Ensemble: ‘The buzz and the atmosphere is great! And also, my ego gets fed!!’

What advice would you give to young performers wanting to get into the industry?

David O’Reilly: ‘Technique, technique, technique, technique, risks, technique, technique, courage, technique!!’

Everyone has their inspirations and motivators to make it in the industry, but you need to believe in yourself if you want others to believe in you! Be your biggest advocate and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.

And there’s no limit to what we can do. Me and you, but mostly….. me!!!

Check out TheOfficialBradRyan on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Theofficialbradryan/1540415129548785?fref=ts 

Check out TheOfficialBradRyan on Youtube: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCXQ5pbjcjXGPnPl9aGP2EWQ

Head over to The Book Of Mormon website: http://www.bookofmormonlondon.com/tickets

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“I open at the close”

  

This quote fills me with so much happiness, simply because I know where it has come from! Harry Potter has been my entire childhood, the books and the films have been around my entire life – the first book being published in 1997, two years before I was born. For others, however, this phrase could mean so much more. To me it implies that as one door closes, an even better one opens that will help us on our journey through life. Embracing opportunities is something that we all learn to do, even if those bigger and more valuable experiences require sacrifices. Sometimes these doors open to things we don’t expect or want to handle, but they’re all part and parcel of what makes us stronger!

J.K Rowling herself is just about to take a gamble with the idea of turning her newest addition to the Harry Potter book series into a play! It is due to open in the West End around summer 2016 and will play at the Palace Theatre. The Commitments is currently playing there but is due to close in November 2015 to be replaced by Derren Brown’s ‘Miracle’ and then by ‘Harry Potter and The Cursed Child’ next year.

Another show that is due to close and be replaced by something totally different is the phenomenal ‘Miss Saigon’. Featuring the talent of the incredible Eva Noblezada and Hugh Maynard, the 2014 revival of the Cameron Mackintosh show is rumoured to be setting sail on a national tour or even possibly to visit Broadway! It is due to be replaced by a show landing straight from NYC – ‘Aladdin’! The show, based on the 1992 Disney film, is expected to open in 2016 at the Prince Edward Theatre in London.

And finally, another Broadway production definitely making its West End Debut is the outstanding ‘Kinky Boots’! With a brilliant soundtrack from Cyndi Lauper, this is a show that will most definitely have you dancing in your seats! Opening at the Adelphi Theatre in August 2015, this is one not to be missed.

Other musicals that may possibly be making West End appearances in the future include:

‘Something Rotten’

‘Finding Neverland’

‘Motown The Musical’

‘Me And My Girl’

For more theatrical information regarding shows arriving on the West End, visit: http://www.londontheatre.co.uk/londontheatre/news/rumours.html

For information about ‘Kinky Boots’, visit: http://adelphi.londontheatres.co.uk 

http://www.kinkybootsthemusical.co.uk

For information about ‘Miss Saigon’, visit: http://www.princeedwardtheatre.co.uk

http://www.miss-saigon.com

For more information about ‘The Commitments’, visit: http://www.palacetheatrelondon.org 

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Welcome to the house of fun!

 
 A week after West End Live ended, what better way to cure the post gig blues than to go to another one?! They often say that going to concerts and music festivals gives you more of an insight into the human race than anything else. By this I mean, you see some rather interesting people when jumping around and singing at a gig. I literally went from one side of the spectrum to the other within only a week….
West End Live was full of calm, considerate people who all had a passion for the theatre world and were totally in awe of the talent in front of them. No one caused any trouble and people were soaking up the atmosphere like a sponge. However, the Madness concert couldn’t have been any further from that! People jumped around but some just took it too far. People were drunk, some were high off goodness knows what! And the smell of wacky backy (weed!!) lingered in the air for the majority of the concert. Both of the experiences just open your eyes to the crazy people that share this planet with us! But as much as these people are negative and can ruin experiences for others, they sometimes become laughing stock, especially when you’re on the front row and people are being dragged out in front of you!
The entire music industry is ridden with musical references, after all, the main reason I knew those Madness songs so well was because of the Our House musical! A fun loving show that I’ve performed in and had the pleasure of watching! The show tells the story of a young boy Joe Casey and gives us glimpses into his life when he takes the right path and also when he takes the wrong. This story is one that people empathise with and it represents many dilemmas and decisions that people face. 
The concerts I have experienced in the past week have shown me how diverse the human race is and has helped me to be more understanding of people’s life choices. Ultimately, if they want to act that way, who am I to stop them! This weekend was an interesting one, but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world!!
“Madness, Madness, they call it Madness!”

  

Whip Crack Away!

  Calamity Jane is undoubtedly one of the most loved all time classics there is! When watching it, you can’t help but sit there and fight the urge to start doing a hoedown up and down the aisles, but it also portrays a wonderfully inspiring tale too. This tale is hidden in one of the supporting actresses rather than Calamity Jane herself, but it could be regarded as one of the most important messages for young performers to hear. It shows that if you have an intense enough passion for something, you’ll do absolutely anything to make your dreams a reality. The character of Katy Brown demonstrates this exact trait by pretending to be an A-list celebrity just to be able to perform on the stage for once in her life. She does whatever she has to do to make a name for herself, even if it means she has to pretend to be someone else.

This inspires budding performers to carry on working hard and not let anything stop them from doing that. The actress leading the production- Jodie Prenger- had her fair share of troubles whilst working her way to stardom, but despite harsh comments from people such as Cameron Mackintosh during her time on ‘I’d Do Anything’, Jodie persevered and eventually landed at the top where she was always destined to be. 
Upon speaking to Jodie and asking her about what inspired her to become a performer she told me ‘there is no way to explain where the passion comes from. It’s a love that is always inside you.’ Jodie grew up in a B&B with her parents and used to watch people entering reality shows or people singing on the telly. She said to me ”I watched them and always knew that was what I wanted to do, so I willed myself to do whatever it took to make that happen.” Leading ladies and men who have experienced the harshness of the industry are the reason that young performers are so inspired. Watching people who know what you’re going through fills you with that hope that says ‘why shouldn’t that be me one day?’. 
If you want to do something bad enough, you don’t let anyone stop you from doing it. Remember what Calamity Jane once told us all, “I figure if a girl wants to be a legend she should just go ahead and be one!”

  

“You’re only as good as your last performance!”

I cannot put into words how untrue this statement is! We all have good days and we all have bad days but that’s what makes us stronger. No one ever goes through life without hitting a few rough patches- probably more than they’d like to admit- yet nothing good ever comes out the other side if they let these get them down. The professional performing arts industry isn’t very lenient when it comes to making mistakes and that’s why they’re so hard to deal with when all you know is a stagey life. Knowing your career, reputation and future is on the line can be a mammoth task when you step out to perform, but the one and only thing that overcomes this is the overwhelming passion and love someone has for the stage. As long as you are doing what you love and doing it as well as you can, no one should be able to bring you down! Everyone comes off from that stage thinking about what went wrong and what could be better next time, even Ramin Karimloo and Barbra Streisand walk off disheartened by their performances sometimes, but nothing good ever comes from beating yourself up about something you cannot change. Learning to be proud of yourself and what you achieve without always being so pessimistic is one of the most difficult things a performer has to do, but it’s all worth it in the end when you stand their and take your final bow as leading lady or leading man and realise how many people support you, adore you and love what you do and how you do it! 
If you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t expect anyone else to believe in you! Remember to keep telling yourself ‘hey, I’m fabulous baby!’

Let’s start at the very beginning…

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So, why did I start a blog? After visiting West End Live 2015, I realised just how many people there were that share the same passion as I do for musical theatre. Last years audience contained over 500,00 people, so I do not doubt that the number was exceeded this year. The experience of West End Live is one I would certainly recommend to anyone who loves a good theatre trip. I believe that musical theatre is something that can be enjoyed by absolutely everyone and allows people to be who they want to be. It allows people to make friends and I know that the friends I have made through performing arts are the friends I will have for life!

 I decided to start a blog as a way to share my love of theatre with the world and to share my musical theatre experiences, so here’s to ‘EverythingStagey’!