Actress and YMT alumna Charlotte Ritchie chats to us about her experience with YMT as well as what it's like working in television.
Charlotte appeared in YMT's production of Red Hunter back in 2005 and can now be seen on Channel 4's comedy series Fresh Meat where she plays Oregon. Since leaving us, she has gone on to receive a degree in English and Drama at Bristol University as well as being part of the pop-opera group All Angels (who have sold over a million records).
Tell us about your experience of YMT
I distinctly remember the auditions being terrifying and fun at the same time. At the time I found it quite scary, the idea of meeting and working with people I’d never met before, but you really get into it if you throw yourself in, and end up having such a good time.
Did YMT help you at all, and if so in what ways?
Yes, it did. I just finished doing my first professional play and I only realised when I started the dress rehearsal how useful all the preparation before - in organisations like YMT - had been. I didn’t go to drama school, so YMT was my preparation and I have learned a lot about stage craft from the creative teams there.
Do you still keep in contact with any YMTers?
I do! Every now and again we meet up, and I often bump into ex-YMT members on new jobs.
What have you done since YMT?
I went to Bristol to study Englsh and Drama. I fell into music after YMT, singing in a group called All Angels for 6 years, during my A-Levels and Uni. I got properly back into acting professionally a couple of years ago, just as I graduated and started Fresh Meat.
Could you tell us about how you got your role in Fresh Meat?
I auditioned for the programme about 3 weeks before they started filming – I was really lucky to get in at the last minute. The audition came from my agent at CAM. I got my agent after being seen in a short film I acted in when I was 15.
What’s it like working in television?
It’s very, very different from stage, both in the way you act and in the way it's made. I love doing both, I think! TV is great especially because of the speed you work, and the extra production values that you come into contact with like cameras and crews. And the free Lunch is a real bonus...
Who would you love to work with?
I’d love to work with…. Lots of people! But possibly one of the pythons from Monty Python? Or someone like Julie Walters. You’d learn so much just from being in the room with them.
What is your dream role?
My dream role would be to go back in time, change sex and re-shoot Back to the Future where I could play Marty McFly!
What advice would you give to our young people interested in a career in television, film, or theatre?
I would just say get as much experience as possible. The more you act, and sing and train - even in a non-professional environment, or with a brilliant organisation like YMT - the better you’ll be when you get a role you audition for. In addition, put on your own work if you can, at fringe venues, with your friends, and invite people along to see you. The main thing is just doing as much of it as you can.
We wish Charlotte the best of luck with the new series of Fresh Meat, which is on Channel 4 on Mondays at 10pm!