RUBY ROSE, ULTIMATE SCHOOL MUSICAL
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.