Q& A


Geelong Advertiser - TV Guide - - Q& A -

jour­ney of these stu­dents. And while I was giv­ing them cer­tain tools and in­tro­duc­ing them to peo­ple and act­ing as their men­tor through­out the ex­pe­ri­ence, it was very much me be­ing part of their jour­ney.

I don’t want to use the term ‘ lifechang­ing’ but it sounds as if the whole ex­pe­ri­ence had an eff ect on you.

I would say life-chang­ing, as daggy as that maybe sounds. I’m a diff er­ent per­son now – I defi nitely see things diff er­ently to the way I saw them be­fore the show. It was very ther­a­peu­tic for me be­cause I got to en­joy this high school ex­pe­ri­ence with peo­ple I’ve formed this in­cred­i­ble bond with.

Tell me a bit about the au­di­tion process.

The fi rst au­di­tion day was the sing­ing au­di­tions, and when I heard that was the case I went ‘ Noooo, don’t do that!’ Be­cause as far as I’m concerned, sing­ing is prob­a­bly the hard­est and the most per­sonal thing to do – you know, why not start with act­ing, which is a lit­tle eas­ier for them? And when I got there that day, I hon­estly thought no one had shown up be­cause it was so silent – I didn’t know that the stu­dents had been told to keep quiet – and then I saw that there were hun­dreds ready to au­di­tion. We nar­rowed it down grad­u­ally un­til we had our 10 leads and 15 mem­bers of the en­sem­ble.

Were you cast­ing peo­ple you thought would have in­ter­est­ing life sto­ries as well as strong per­form­ing skills?

It’s not so much a re­al­ity show as it is a doc­u­men­tary be­cause we’re cast­ing these peo­ple based on their skills and it’s af­ter­wards that we get to know them and dis­cover that they have in­ter­est­ing sto­ries. Be­cause ev­ery­one has an in­ter­est­ing story when they’re in high school – it’s just what hap­pens be­cause there’s so much go­ing on.

How did they take to re­hears­ing and per­form­ing at a pro level?

They were defi nitely en­thu­si­as­tic to be­gin with and were very ex­cited about the idea of per­form­ing at the Re­gent The­atre but as they be­gan to re­alise what it was go­ing to take … well, they got a bit scared! They re­alised they were go­ing to have to go above and be­yond what they were used to, and that this was go­ing to be about tak­ing them from good to great. In the be­gin­ning, they thought they couldn’t do it and it was up to us to con­vince them that with hard work and com­mit­ment they could.

Would you say that’s the mes­sage of the show? That you’re ca­pa­ble of more than you think you are?

Ab­so­lutely, and I think the other great part of the show is that we got all these peo­ple of diff er­ent age groups and back­grounds who have be­come the best of friends as a re­sult of what they’ve done to­gether. It was a re­ally beau­ti­ful thing to watch.

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