Acting career no drama
IT was Lisa McCune’s mum who suggested her 16-year-old daughter audition for WAAPA’s music theatre degree, along with classical singing at the Perth Conservatorium.
She was accepted to both, chose WAAPA and has never looked back.
The academy celebrates 30 years of the music theatre course this year; back in 1988, McCune was in the fourth year of students to go through.
“I was just so lucky that it was there in Perth because I was quite young,” McCune, who grew up in Carine, said.
“When you walked in to an audition and they saw you were from WAAPA, they would sit up and notice.
“It's such a significant training institution and nothing has surpassed it.”
McCune said she learnt about absolute discipline under John Milson, who initiated the course and ran it for 12 years, and lecturer Denis Follington.
Milson died in 2013 but McCune said she recently had the pleasure of working with Follington in a professional setting.
“They were gentlemen who had such an incredible breadth of experience,” she said.
“I think the best teachers are those, particularly in the arts, who have the experience. You never thought twice about spending 12 or 14 hours a day there, which set me in good stead for doing something like Blue Heelers.
“I left with an incredible enthusiasm that naturally springs from the place and I just felt like I could take on any challenge.”
McCune was one of seven who graduated from the course in 1990.
Nowadays that number has risen to 16-18 students per year.
And that is not the only difference.
“Whenever you work with a newer WAAPA grad, the level of talent coming across is just superb,” McCune said.
“We were kind of OK at everything but now they’re really fantastic at everything. It’s great to see.”