One of the biggest positive points for me about my love of theatre is being able to discover so much new talent that I would never have seen before. Because of this, my next two articles are interviews with some amazing talent that I have been introduced to through both Twitter and theatre visits!
Firstly, let me introduce you to Rosie Ladkin.
Rosie is an English actress, born and raised in Bristol. Her experiences from being very young have ranged from a lead in a Radio 4 ‘Play for Today’ to countless vocal and theatre performances.
She is enormously proud to have been one of just 14 students graduating in 2012 from the first ever BA Musical Theatre programme at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, (formerly RSAMD), a course thought to be unique in its high level tuition of instrumental music, music theory and Actor/Musicianship, in addition to the more traditional skills of acting, singing and dance.
Rosie has also been involved in several recordings of new musicals; “Watertight” written by Douglas Maxwell and Richard Taylor in which she had the opportunity to originate the role of “Claude”, directed by Phillip Howard, “Rizen The Musical” written by the writing partnership of Finn & Oakley and two new musicals, “Cafe Nation” and “Sinners” written by Ian McClusky and Chris Bush.
She has been involved in a wide range of performances both during her Studies and since her graduation. Most recently she was involved in the Landor Theatre’s production of “Hot Mikado” in which she played a Lady of Japan, whilst understudying both Pitti-Sing and Yum-Yum, the latter of which she was thrilled to have the opportunity to cover for two nights of the 3 week run.
I was introduced to Rosie through the amazing song-writing duo of Taylor Rowan and Hughes and I couldn’t get over how amazingly talented she was – one listen to her SoundCloud profile and I was blown away! And I am now so excited to introduce her to you all! Why not have a look at what happened when we sat down for a chat . . .
Tell us a little known fact about yourself – something we wouldn’t know by looking at you!
Hmmm…I’m quite an open book really…..I guess one thing you wouldn’t get from looking at me is I love travelling and am a real adrenalin junkie. To look at me, you wouldn’t necessarily put me doing a 15,000ft skydive in the Namibian Desert, but I did it! I spent 2 months in Africa after I finished school, travelling from Kenya to Cape Town, by myself, and it was one of the best times of my life. I met loads of great people, saw some incredible things and did more than my fair share of adrenalin-seeking exploits while I was there! I’d love to go back out there! I suppose the adrenalin thing is another kick I get out of being on stage and performing!
Who or what inspired you to get into the acting profession?
I suppose I was kind of born into it. My family are all quite musical. My Granddad used to be Musical Director for some of the Large Scale AmDram groups in Bristol, and my Granny performed in them. My dad also followed in their footsteps, and did the AmDram shows in Bristol – He played Billy Bigelow in Carousel and Mr Doolittle in My Fair Lady! I joined my first drama group aged 8, and within 6 months they had me singing the solo to “She Sells Sea Shells” in my first ever concert!
I think the person who really inspired me to follow it professionally (though, granted, I was heading that way anyway!) was Louise Plowright. She had performed with my dad when they were younger in Bristol, and so when she came and coached me for an audition for a school production of Grease, she taught me, in one session, to go from a quiet little voice singing Castle On A Cloud, to belting out I Hate Men….I’ll never forget that session, it changed my whole approach to singing, and the sound I could produce. She has had such a successful career and she honestly believed in me (and still does!), so I think she probably inspired me to take the final leap to doing it professionally. (Louise can be seen playing Madame Morrible in Wicked at the moment!)
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given was from a guy at my audition for the Musical Theatre course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). I was really nervous, and I knew it was where I wanted to train. I really wanted a place on the course, desperately. He was a student on the Acting course at the time, I never caught his name unfortunately, he had been given the job of ushering all of us nervous auditionees to and from our auditions.
I asked him if there was anything specific they were looking for, anything extra I could do, because I really wanted it. I remember him looking at me and just saying “Go in there, be yourself, be honest, and if its right, they will know how badly you want it and deserve it.”
I also seem to come across beautiful quotes of advice all over the place, which I have made a habit of writing down. These are from everywhere, I can’t remember where each one is from any more; things friends have said, or things I’ve come across online, or read in a book….but I like them, these are a few of my favourites:
– Nothing is Impossible – This is one that I live by, I have a ring that I wear all the time with this engraved on it!
– Never let yourself wonder “What If?”
– Life Is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
– Some days you are the Pigeon, some days you are the Statue!
– Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish on it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
– You have exactly one life in which to do everything you will ever do – act accordingly!
What is your favourite play or musical?
I don’t think I have a favourite play or musical. I like all sorts of different things for different reasons.
Of the things that I have worked on, my favourite Musical is either Into The Woods, in which I played The Baker’s Wife, and loved every minute; or Watertight, which was a new piece written by Douglas Maxwell and Richard Taylor, in which the group of 14 of us (my year group at the RSAMD) were key parts in the whole process, from workshop, to detailed writing of characters, right down to the final production. It was a process that I loved and I’d love to take part in something similar again in the future.
If you could collaborate with any artist – past or present – on one of your own or a musical theatre song , who would it be and why?
If I were to collaborate with a present artist, I’d love to work on a duet with someone like Kerry Ellis or Louise Dearman. I admire both of them for their individuality and versatility and they have both been working in career paths that I aspire to follow in the future.
If I could collaborate with a past artist, I’d love to record or perform something with Frank Sinatra. I love that style of music and singing, and it would be an incredible experience to work with someone with such a defining, individual style.
What advice would you give to young and upcoming theatre performers who are trying to break into the industry?
I’m still very much building up my career and learning all the time. Giving advice to people breaking into the industry feels a little premature coming from me.
I suppose all I can say in that respect is, if you want it, and work hard at it, you deserve it. It is never going to be easy, you are going to take lots of rejection and have loads of doubts, but if you want to make a career out of doing what you love, then you have to work for it and stick at it. Not many people get to do what they love as their job! It may take years, but if you work your backside off for it and stick at it no matter what, it will happen, and it will be so worth it. (At least I hope so, because that is what I’m counting on!)
If you want to keep up with Rosie and all the exciting things she has going on, check out her website at http://www.rosieladkin.com/ or follow her on Twitter @RosieLadkin. You can also listen to her stunning talent at https://soundcloud.com/rosieladkin
Thank you to Rosie for taking the time to answer my questions – she is as wonderful as she sounds folks!
Signing off for now,
Blue Eyed Girl Xxx