Our Talent Spotlight feature will include anyone and everyone involved in musical theatre from Students to Amateur Dramatics to West End and Broadway stars, from Ice-Cream Sellers to Musical Directors…. everyone has something interesting to say about musical theatre.
Rebecca is a year 2 musical theatre student at University Centre Colchester who MusicalBlurb saw perform at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester.
Why did you choose a career in musical theatre?
I have loved singing and dancing for as long as I can remember. I used to do karaoke in my living room from the age of 4 and my Mum started showing me musicals. I remember being obsessed with Grease throughout my childhood. I started Stage Coach when I turned a teenager and it motivated me even more!
Which musical performers inspire you?
Actually Carrie Hope-Fletcher is probably my biggest one right now and of course I love all the popular musical theatre stars such as Kristen Chenoweth, Lea Salonga, Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Sutton Foster – the list goes on and on, and recently I have fallen in love with Neil Patrick Harris, I think he is such an amazing triple threat. Lea Michelle is also amazing!
You recently did an amazing performance of Pulled from The Addams Family, a song in which Wednesday Addams is a character in conflict between good and bad. How challenging was this song for you? Which was the hardest part to get right?
I actually found the song very challenging as I only started to work on my belting around a year ago and this song has a variety of different voice qualities that are needed to have the correct effect on the audience. The vocal stamina which is needed for the last couple of lines of the song is crazy and this is probably what I struggled with the most, keeping the belt strong and pulling off that end note! I love the fact that I could play around with Wednesday’s emotions and make her completely mental.
In your last show you sang in harmony with another performer. How difficult is it to stay in tune and is it easier to sing at a higher pitch than a lower one?
I absolutely love harmonies and I feel quite lucky to mostly sing soprano lines because I do find them a lot easier. I have quite a wide vocal range and had an assessment recently where I had to sing the middle harmony which I had to spend a lot more time learning as I wasn’t used to it and it was a bit more complex but I still found it so much fun! There’s just something really satisfying about sounding great with another person.
It’s a great skill to have… when it isn’t quite right the whole audience knows! Congratulations on achieving a great result in your recent tap exam. As well as tap and singing what other skills do you learn as part of your musical theatre degree?
We do a variety of dance styles including ballet, tap, and jazz as well as intense fitness sessions, 1-2-1 singing sessions along with ensemble singing and we are also lucky enough to have musicianship lessons where we learn the skill of reading sheet music in preparation for auditions. We have ordinary acting lessons along with acting through song and audition technique. I would definitely say that university centre colchester is the closest you’ll get to drama school without actually going to one haha!
If MusicalBlurb could cast a magic spell and give you a part in any current West End or Broadway musical what would it be and why?
Ah there are so many! Wednesday Addams (The Addams Family) is probably high up on my list along with Cosette (Les Miserables) because I got to play her in an amateur production and it was amazing! I would love to play Millie Dillmount (Thoroughly Modern Millie) , and I think Penny Pingleton (Hairspray) would be a good challenge! If ethnicity didn’t matter then being in Miss Saigon would be a dream come true.
Which musical cast recording is top of your Spotify/Itunes playlist?
Definitely Hamilton and Les Mis at the moment!
Have you listened to the Broadway Cast Recording of Dear Evan Hansen?
I have and I really like the songs but I’m not yet familiar with the storyline, I already think it’s going to be a big hit though!
Lin-Manuel Miranda is changing the face of musicals with In The Heights and Hamilton. Do like the shift from traditional musicals to hip-hop and did you manage to get yourself a ticket to see Hamilton in London!
I do love both the traditional musicals and the new ones so I’m very on the fence about this subject! I think the new hip hop songs are so catchy and are a great asset to the shows, however the storylines in the traditional musicals I find have more emotion to them so both are as amazing as each other! And no I didn’t get a ticket for Hamilton and I am so gutted!
Thank you Rebecca for taking the time to speak with MusicalBlurb and we look forward to seeing you perform again soon!
If you would like to be featured in a future Spotlight please follow us on Twitter @musicalblurb and get in touch.