Director and YMT Practitioner STUART HARVEY tells us what to do in auditions.
Training: I trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School on their postgraduate Directors' Course. Since then I have worked as a freelance theatre director and playwright. I spent a year at the Chichester Festival Theatre as a Youth Theatre Director and for the past 3 years I have been Head of Acting at the Wilkes Academy, a full time performing arts college training performers in musical theatre.
What are you looking for from auditionees?
Truth! All too often performers split the three disciplines into three different performance styles - the amount of times I have witnessed tight lipped, silence dancing or singers staring into a dark middle distance whilst standing perfectly still is maddening. Remember all performance is storytelling and to do that to the best capability a performer must find the truth of that situation.
Tips for auditionees:
Just be yourself, you are the best you there is and that is all we can ask of you. I like to see the audition as a workshop more than an audition, I just want to see how you work with other performers and how you use the different stimuli offered by the practitioners. We aren't there to trick you or trip you up or see what you can't do, we are there to see what you can do.
Why should people get involved with YMT?
I have been a practitioner with the company for eight years now and have worked on numerous productions with dozens of of professionals and 100s of young people. There really is no other experience like it, it is truly unique. To workshop and create a new piece of theatre is probably the most exhilarating and rewarding things you can do in this profession and YMT gives young people the opportunity to experience that. I have nothing against established pieces of musical theatre but to be able to develop new work with some of the best practitioners in the UK along with the stars of the future is brilliant.
I think the production that has had the biggest influence on me would be Complicite's Mnemonic - it really showed me at a young age just what was possible on stage through the inventiveness of cast and creatives.
What/who should young people research in the arts?
I am a huge fan of anything Simon McBurney, artistic driector of Complicite, does, his constant thirst for the new is inspiring. I enjoy the work of Punchdrunk, Headlong, Gecko and Kneehigh - all Bristish companies who are taking their influences from further afield. I am a huge fan of the theatre director Ninagawa - his work has a beauty not often seen on the UK stage.
Playwrights to look at would be Shakespeare (of course), Chekhov, Peter Shaffer, Philip Ridley, Martin McDonagh and Jez Butterworth.
Vegetarian sushi is probably top of my list but I also love tapas, Greek cuisine or Thai (all vegetarian options)
I find it hard to find time to go on holiday - the laptop is never too far away so I think it would have to be somewhere very remote so that there would be no wifi connection.
THE most important question: Scone (as in stone) or Scone (as in gone)?
Scone (gone) but would normally just order a black coffee.