Memoirs of a ‘non-musical type’

Memoirs of a ‘non-musical type’

“Ok” I said, “I’ll do it” I replied. Four words that have put me back on the boards and in front of an audience once again!

So maybe I should rewind it a little for you. Some context, if you will. Having begun rebuilding myself (tragic backstory for another day) I’ve found someone special and moved to Weston-super-Mare. She has two children, one of which is massively into the creative and performing arts in all its forms and glory and at this point in our epic adventure she is a part of a performance group in Clevedon.

So, to bring you up to speed a little quicker, it becomes apparent that said child is no longer happy going to Clevedon and is ready for a change. To which my partner and I suggest ‘The Oppitts’, to which her ‘paraphrased’ reply was ‘I’ll do it if you join too’. Right. All caught up? Good. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.

Once upon a time in the small town of Barry, a young boy lived. Many happy adventures and hilarious scenarios ensued during the course of this young lad’s growth and upbringing but performing in front of people was always his happy place. So cue lots of appearances in school productions and concerts; and this the extent of his exposure to the wonderful world of the Arts.

Having gone to an all boys school in the 90s it was sometimes a struggle to keep motivated, but when the lights came on, he felt at ease. After his schooling, the little boy had grown up (slightly) and jumped into a career in the Army. 12 years passed and after gaining a thicker skin, he left to peruse careers anew. This was the point of the ‘tragic backstory’. After massive confidence knocks and questions being asked of him, he began to rebuild, and slowly but surely pieces back together some semblance off what and who he was.

Now why am I bringing this fine tale to you? Well I suppose, it’s a setup tale. You know, like all good Disney films, sad bit to begin with, then the growth of our main character. (Up, Frozen, Tarzan, Etc.). When I said ok, I was still unsure whether or not I was capable to perform again, doubts over whether I was good enough, how out of touch from performance worthy was I? But upon my audition those fears started to recede.

So my first lesson would be to all those that think similarly. Just like I did at the beginning of our story, when you have confidence issues, or doubt yourself. Just say ok. You will most probably surprise yourself.

Now this isn’t what my tale is about. As I said, It’s a setup tale. You see, I haven’t got a single clue about musicals!! Honestly! I know about the commercial ones, Les Mis and the like but beyond that, nothing. So this small but epic tale will be about my inevitable journey of discovery about me as a performer, and about my growth of knowledge in the world of Musical theatre!

My latest audition was clearly done in a different language, cos I didn’t have a clue what anything the director or musical director were telling me I was just smiling and waving! And when the piano played I sang along! I have no clue what musical terminology is or dance phrases!! All I know is that I’m apparently ‘raw’ as a vocalist and that I have a good warm up in me.

So the journey should be fun, right?
I hope you join me next time as I find out.


Ashley Brown is appearing as ‘Old Deuteronomy’ in WOS’ production of ‘CATS’ in October.