One of the biggest pieces of advice that I hear being given to people wanting to pursue a career in the Arts is that you need a strong skin and you need be able to take the rejection. I think many of us have become experts in rejection from a very young age.
Despite being a sports fan and being reasonable good at a range different sports I always hated Physical Education in school. It was a one ticket to humiliation for me every single week. The teacher would always pick the most popular kids to be the two captains and they would then proceed to pick their best friends in order of popularity. I was always one of the last picks and it never got easier standing there waiting whilst every other person in your class was picked before you. I truly hope schools have stopped doing this but I am sure it still happens. My school experience was pretty similar throughout my entire time there and it amounted to a long list of rejections. Nobody would sit (or want to sit by me) in class, on the bus, at lunch and it truly hurt every single day.
I always remember putting my name down for a week long trip to an activity centre and there were only ten places available. My name was read first and it was read aloud it was booed. The truth is that I shouldn’t have gone but I did and remember the first comment when I got there was ‘why did you have to come’ and the person then proceeded to tell me that one of their friends didn’t get to go because I had taken their place. That week was not fun! Although I do remember the last day of that camp and deciding that I would play a little practical joke on them. I woke up very early and decided to change one of their watches and the clock on the wall. When they woke up it was about 7am but according to (Greenwich Dan Time) it was 9am which would have meant they had missed breakfast. I have never seen anybody move so fast running towards the dinner hall to find out that it hadn’t even opened yet!
I was a very odd child and was older than my years. I was afraid of girls and pretty much scared of my own shadow. I was torn apart for having my grandmothers red hair. I was called every kind of name you can imagine and told that I was disgusting pretty much daily. Along with my big glasses and outdated style there was no hope for me in the social climate of my youth. I will always remember sitting in class and being kicked by a girl across the table for having red hair. When I shouted out in pain the teacher told me off. I explained what had happened and the teacher did nothing. The girl did it again and again throughout the class. The teacher came over eventually and asked her to try and kick me and she pretended she couldn’t and teacher told me to stop messing around. At the end of the class and after about six kicks I showed the teacher my bruised leg which had skin missing and she hardly batted an eyelid.
Despite my career in music now I never really participated in anything musical at school. I will always remember singing out of tune to ensure that I wouldn’t get in the school choir as that was seen as social suicide. I truly feel there has been a big change in schools now and that people with musical talents are looked at so much better.
Rejection is never good and you can just become numb to it all and become experts in rejection and just pretty much expect to be rejected at every turn. It takes so much to actually change that mind set because it is ingrained in our very being. When you do not believe in yourself and enter an audition or interview and expect to be rejected it truly sticks out. You may not even notice that you are doing it because it has become a pre-set to you. Give yourself a break and know that you are worthy, valid and individual. Be strong and change that mind set and just know that you are deserving. If you have the talent and do the work then you have every right to be there and be in with a chance of getting that part or place at drama school or that new job.
I swear these roads are well traveled and you can change course but you need to believe in yourself. 2018 and every new day is a new start and I hope the year ahead is a much better one for you. If we can help you then never hesitate to reach out. Take care!

The thing I find most annoying about the arts is that no matter how talented you are there is just no guarantee that you will ever rise to the top of your profession.

The thing I find most annoying about the arts is that no matter how talented you are there is just no guarantee that you will ever rise to the top of your profession.

I always compare this with sports. If you are the best snooker player in the World then you can qualify and win the World championship. If you are a great footballer then you will be scouted and be playing soon enough in the big time. Yet you can be the greatest tripple threat out there and never be given a chance.

Always find it amusing to hear that Ronaldo had a stinker of a game. Imagine how much work you would get if you were a lead in a show and had a stinker or even better when players have a bad season. Oh they were shit all year in Phantom but we will still pay them a fortune and pick them. Would never happen!!!!

It is unfair. Truly unfair and you can be that good and never get through the system. I hate the fact that just for ease people cast or give opportunities to those they know or have used before. You may be so much better but it is easier to just use them. They also worry that you can perform consistently at that level and know the other person will deliever a decent job .You are a risk. Anything new is a risk and people have stopped taking chances. With a chance can come greatness.

Never doubt your own ability because when you do then you no longer have any chance. You are not delusional. You truly can be missed and be that good and deserving of those roles. Reality TV I detest and there have been many wonderful talents that have come through but seriously because you made into the top 32 on X Factor you are automatically more deserving? Bull*hit. A bit of autotune, smoke and s choir can make amateur seem like genius to the viewing public. Truth is nobody knows what great is anymore. That standard has been lost.

Please stick in there and there are still good people out there who want the best they can find. Be part of the change yourselves and raise the standards wherever you can. Shine my friends and blind them with your light.

Not getting into drama school or university can be a massive disappointment.

Not getting into drama school or university can be a massive disappointment. Taking up an offer which is not at one of your first choice schools can also be disheartening. After all it is crazy expensive to attend and you want to make sure the course brings you closer to your dream.

It can literally seem like the end of the World. Especially if you are dealing with other life problems. I wish you could be in the room at our concerts when this conversation has come up and you would be shocked at how many big West End stars just did not get into their choice of drama school on the first or even second time of auditioning.

Keeping the faith is hard and it is a test of your character to keep bouncing back and trying again. You might be shocked to hear that audition panels are often nervous about making the right decisions. They want to see and hear from you and using your journey as the cornerstone to your audition selections is a good idea. There is never anything better than the truth. Not the sob story but the determination part. Show them that they made a mistake last time and you have taken the year to develop through lessons, life etc. Make your journey count in your favour.

Please remember that if you don’t believe in yourself then nobody else will. You can do it and you will do it. Take the negative out of your vocabulary. We are told off by Giovanni Malacrino constantly for using words like ‘if’ so turn that into when and never doubt yourself. We believe in you and you deserve to succeed. If you need something send us a message. 2018 can be a good year. If you need a kick then yell. Don’t turn in on yourself and let’s fight again for our dreams.

Check out posts by Michael Moor for audition tips. He writes some of the best that I have ever seen.


It annoys me that people belittle pantomime. It is often the very first theatre experience that a child will have. In the age of smart phones and PlayStations the theatre can still inspire and leave children mesmerised by its magic. That pantomime they saw as a child can lead to a lifelong love affair with the stage and the arts in general.

I know that these panto runs are hard with three show days and exhaustion. Yet every single performance you are playing to the future performers, fans and supporters of tomorrow. Give all you have and set their hearts alight with the mystesim of the stage.

The theatre still amazes me and that was started from watching pantomimes. I love the fact that for those few hours you are taken away and enchanted. You never think about the hours it took to write, produce, choreograph and the rehershals, casting and even the selling of tickets and front of house staff that make every show what it is and that is what is amazing about the theatre. For those few hours that is your real life. It may be a made up World but boy it is a special one.

Look at those smiles on the kids faces at a pantomime and then dare to question the place that pantomimes have within the yearly highlights of theatre industry.

To some of us it may not be Hamilton but to them it is just that! The best ticket in town.

Remember Not To Forget

Remember Not To Forget

I always find it odd that I can remember events from my childhood very clearly when sometimes I literally cannot remember what I did yesterday. On the run up to getting married Laura decided to pick a day and purposely pinpoint as a day when she remember exactly what happened. The day was the 7th May 2011 and where as nothing extraordinary happened she can remember exactly what she did that day. It does show us that we decide in someways what to remember and there are occasions when we should all just focus and ‘Remember Not To Forget’

I was brought up by my grandparents and that made me very old fashioned from day one. I used to visit my other grandparents every Sunday and spend the day watching old Hollywood Movies and going through their endless record collection. I would make tapes of my favourite songs from that week and go to school with my walkman and listen to them at every opportunity that I could. Most people who I went to school with would have called me odd, although I did realise that singing songs like ‘You Are My Hearts Delight’ around school was perhaps not the best way of trying to fit in so I would bob my head and pretend I was listening to ‘The Prodigy’ and other artists who were popular at the time.

We spend a lot of time persevering the works of The Great American Songbook and in 2010 had the chance to appear on the BBC One Show television programme with Tony Bennett to discuss our schools projects. It is amazing how you can go into schools and teach these great songs and have an incredible response. When Cole Porter wrote the song ‘You’re The Top’ he went around the boat he was on and asked people for the name of things they loved. The song has references to the ‘Tower of Pisa and Mickey Mouse’ and what we do is ask children to re-write the lyrics with things they love so you have lines like ‘You’re The Top – You’re Lady Gaga’ but by doing this you make the song current and keep it alive.

With memories we may remember a specific way that we felt or have pictures in our mind or a photograph to help aid a memory but memories do get cloudy after time. The thing in music that is most at risk are the anecdotes about what these amazing composers were actually like in particular their personalities and what made them write in the way that they did.

If you have listened to ‘Love on 42nd Street’ you will have heard songs like ‘You Caught Me Off Guard’ which is very much in the style of The Great American Songbook and is really where my heart lies. It is lovely to know that this cannon of music is still wanted. It is those influences of my childhood that has allowed me to have that music running through me and it just feels natural.
I urge everyone reading this to set a day, an hour or a moment to remember that perhaps normally would not stand out. A moment that would have been forgotten that becomes significant because you ‘Remember Not To Forget’