Monday, 3 December 2007

Backstage with Lisa Clarke

Lisa is the violinist in McGoozer. Having graduated from London Studio Centre in 2006, she now works front of house at The Old Vic in London, in between dancing with her Swing Company on Strictly Come Dancing, and supporting Pink in Germany!

What made you want to get into your profession?

From a very early age I always knew I didn’t want, what I considered, a ‘regular job’. My parents enrolled me in to a ballet school at the age of 6, which I attended twice a week and dancing soon became something I craved. I also joined an orchestra, playing the violin, at the age of 10 and this became a secondary passion of mine. The more extra curricular activities I did involved with the arts, the more I came to realise that there was no other industry that I wanted to dedicate my life to.

Where did you go after school? Where did you train/study?
I went to the London Studio Centre to do a degree in Theatre Dance.

What age did you start training/study?
I started full time dance training at the age of 18 at the London Studio Centre. Growing up in Belgium meant I had to stay in full time education till the age of 18. This was one of the main reasons I didn’t start full time dance training earlier but I did train part time with a ballet school in Brussels and the Brussels Light Opera Company.

Did you specialise in your current area of work, or are your skills more broad?

I specialised in dance, which is one of the areas I work.

Do you recommend to specialise?
Yes, but always keep options open. Focus primarily on the area you want to work in but don’t cut out other things you‘re interested in. You never know what skills might come in handy. For example I specialised in dance but now I am currently getting more work playing the violin.

How did you find an agent?
One of my agents I found by attending their class at pineapple studios and my other agents I got through auditions, which I learnt about through teachers, the stage and other people attempting to make it in the same profession as me.

What makes you come across well in an audition?
Confidence and having something different to those you are auditioning with, whether that’s a different look, a unique skill or just an ‘easy to work with’ personality.

Are you ever out of work?
I would have to yes when it comes to paid work, which is why it is always useful to have a flexible part time job. But if you work hard enough and love what you do enough, you will always be busy with something to do with the industry your trying to make it in.

Are you selective about the jobs you choose?
I am. Because at the end of the day I don’t see the point in taking a job that I’m not going to enjoy doing. I got into the profession because I love to dance and I don’t want to loose that!

Do you have any words of encouragement for us, or top tips for being successful?
Just that if you love it enough you’ll find a reason and a way to keep doing it no matter how hard it is. Get out of this industry what you want and just remember your doing it for yourself not for others.

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