About a week after my audition in Birmingham, the WEC team emailed me telling me that I had gotten through to the heat round in the competition!! I was very happy because I got to go back to the Blue Orange Theatre to perform again! The email had all the information about the next round and a link for my family to buy tickets.
When we arrived, we were signed in by Alex and taken through to the theatre. I was in a group with about 8 other performers including one of my friends from my drama group. We put our stuff down on the chairs and then had a warm up with James the musical director. He was so friendly and made us feel so comfortable throughout the rehearsal!
The warm up included:
Different vowel sounds
Shake out of the body
After the warm up, we sat back down and Alex explained what we were going to be doing! We each got the chance to practice our song with James and he was really helpful and welcoming. I showed him my music (which I had cello-taped and cut) and he could play it straight away. I sang through the whole song and he was happy so we moved on. I then got to watch all of the other performers do their song which was great! I met Nicole who was hosting the show and she asked me some questions about what I was singing and if I was doing any other shows at the moment.
When we'd all finished rehearsing, we got to meet the judges! Our judges were:
Sarah Earnshaw - Wicked, Spamalot, Scrooge, Little Shop Of Horrors, Nativity,
Aaron Lee Lambert - Hamilton, Miss Saigon, Shrek, Dreamgirls, Sweeney Todd, Urinetown
I am a big fan of Wicked and Hamilton so to meet them and have them watch me was AMAZING! We had a picture and they gave us some tips and advice on our performance. This is what they said:
"Don't forget to tell us the story. We don't just want to hear a pretty voice, we want to connect to your character!"
"Show us your personality and try not copy someone else's version of the song!"
This was really helpful and they made me feel much more comfortable to perform. After getting a picture with them, we went backstage into the dressing room. Being backstage with the other performers was so fun! Everyone was a bit nervous but we got to chat about musicals and shows and it made me more excited.
I went second in the show so didn't have long to wait. I waited just behind the curtain and when Nicole introduced me, I walked out onto the stage and everyone clapped! I could hardly see past the first row but the audience were so supportive. James started playing and I sang my song. It went well but I felt a little nervous at the beginning which the judges picked up on.
Afterwards, Nicole came back out and stood with me while a received my feedback from Aaron and Sarah. They said I had a lovely voice and that I did really well to connect to the character. I did seem to be a bit nervous so to try and hide that if possible! I also need to think about exactly who I'm singing to in the space so I can imagine they are there.
When I went backstage, the other contestants were so nice about my performance which they could hear from the dressing room. After all of us performed, we waited for the audience vote and then all waited backstage! I was nervous but everyone was so talented so I didn't think I would get through!
When the show started back up, we waited behind the curtain and listened to the judges. They announced the people they had chosen to go through to the next round and the audience vote too! I was so happy for the 4 contestants who went through because they were all amazing. Unfortunately I didn't get through but it was such a cool experience and I made some friends for life.
Thank you soooo much to all the team at West End Calling! I had such a fun day and can't wait to come back next year to try again! :)
(Photos from the West End Calling Facebook!)