How to be fa­mous — use chutz­pah

The Jewish Chronicle - - Features -

be­come a film com­poser or ses­sion singer. Her first steps into com­edy act­ing and im­per­son­ation hap­pened by ac­ci­dent, aided, she says, by a lot of “blag­ging”.

Hav­ing fin­ished her train­ing as a singer, she heard about a pro­duc­tion of Lit­tle Voice and was de­ter­mined to se­cure an au­di­tion. the role re­quired the abil­ity to im­per­son­ate var­i­ous fa­mous singers. “i said: ‘oh yes, i can do singing im­pres­sions’. so i went home and taught my­self”.

she got the job and soon af­ter that con­tacted Dead Ringers’ pro­ducer Bill Dare. “He said: ‘ very good singing im­per­son­ations, but we don’t re­ally have any call for Kate Bush on Dead Ringers. Can you do speak­ing im­pres­sions?’ i couldn’t, but i de­cided i would say yes and give it a try. two weeks later i got an au­di­tion, which led to a part im­per­son­at­ing Bil­lie Piper. they soon asked if i could roller­skate for a teri Hatcher sketch — i couldn’t of course, but again i said ‘yes’, then spent the fol­low­ing two weeks at roller dis­cos full of 13-year-olds.some­times i need to learn to say no.” robin­son reg­u­larly up­dates her reper­toire of char­ac­ters. t he pr o c e s s o f learn­ing a new v o i c e s t a r t s with a short record­ing of the per­son in ques­tion, whi c h s h e wil l l i s t e n to over and over again. s h e w i l l then start r e c o r d - ing her­self hav­ing a go un­til she is happy that i t i s r i ght. once she has mas­tered that, she stud­ies their man­ner­isms. And while pros­thet­ics are of­ten used to make im­pres­sion­ists look like their al­ter egos, robin­son’s roles have in­volved sim­ply hair, make-up and the odd added ex­tra.

“As Clau­dia Win­kle­man, the brown con­tact lenses were the bane of my life, my eyes just wanted to spit them out,” she says. “then just by the way the make-up girl added my eye­liner, and i started to look like Clau­dia.”

robin­son has yet to come face to face with any of those she has mim­icked. nat­u­rally she would be de­lighted if they liked what they saw, but if they didn’t? “i’d say the BBC made me do it.” The Cul­shaw and Stephen­son Show, BBC1 Satur­days, 9.45pm

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.