When I first read the audition notice for Alpha, I thought it sounded amazing, but one of these things that was either too good to be true or not something I’d ever be able to get into. I mean, a professional touring rock musical for kids! I assumed people like me (always getting told at auditions that I’m too tall, too fat, not ‘commercial’ enough, etc) would never be cast in a show as amazing as that. But, heart on my sleeve, I turned up at the audition (nervous as hell!), and was first introduced to the Alpha ensemble. I was quickly made at ease by the happy and relaxed group, and did my pieces feeling far better than I generally do. I left thinking these guys seemed awesome, but assuming I’d never hear anything
A couple of months later, I got a call as I was coming out of a movie, saying I’d been cast as Trombone in Cinderella! Once I stopped jumping up and down screaming in the middle of the foyer, I started to slightly worry about what was coming. I’d never lived away from home for more than 5 days, and I was about to embark on a 2 month stint away from my friends and
family. What if I couldn’t cut it?
I shouldn’t have worried. My 2 months with Alpha was the best time of my life. I was welcomed with open arms (literally, I remember getting massive hugs from Ben & Katja when I first saw them!). Everyone went out of their way to make me feel at home, but didn’t coddle me – I grew as a person and learnt that I’m a lot more independent than I gave myself credit for. I can
attribute a lot of my personal growth in this time to the cast’s attitude towards personal development and the human consciousness (a little hard to explain in something this brief, but trust me, it changes you!). Also the closed eye segment in Cinderella was amazing, I used to do it occasionally backstage and am positive it contributed to me being able to stand on my
Anyway, onto the show itself – the feeling you get while performing an alpha show is indescribable. The huge wave of energy that comes to you from the kids is overwhelming, and leaves you with a massive high that lasts the rest of the day! Knowing that you’re a part of a show that is not only entertaining, but teaching the kids life skills that can change the very
course of their development is phenomenal. Plus, you get to make people laugh every day (not just the kids, teachers and parents were hanging on our every word!). I truly think it has to be the best acting job you can get.
But some of the best times I had with Alpha weren’t when we were performing. I adored my castmates, and so many times I went to sleep with a sore stomach from laughing! There was one time when we got a flat tire and the 6 of us (after some rather poor attempts to fix it ourselves) were huddled in the van, telling stories and scoffing down emergency chips… strange to say, but it really bonds you as a group and turned out to be a great time! Some
other memorable times include strawberry picking in Hahndorf, doing play readings in the lounge room of our rented house, going out to see the opening night of Indiana Jones (and singing the theme incessantly the next day!), and this awesome jam session in an abandoned school music room with the boys playing instruments & us girls dancing & singing.
- Rachel Ferris: Trained from 2002 – 2005 at Ensemble Studios, a diploma course covering acting theory, movement, dance, voice, fencing, mime, dialects, history of theatre and so on. I’ve trained in Ballet, Tap and Jazz since I was 3, and additionally done classes in Swing, Salsa, hip hop, funk, foxtrot and belly dancing. Took over as dance teacher at Ensemble from 2006-early 2007; Played Trombone, Cinderella 2008, Evil Stepmother 2009, 2010.