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Archive For: Actor Testimonials

Mark Kenny – Testimonial

Mark Kenny – Testimonial

The most common reaction to either performing in or watching one of Alpha’s shows is “wow, I’ve never experienced anything like that before”.

After 3 years of performing with Alpha shows and recently directing also, I still have that reaction today. Even after doing over 50 individual shows of one particular tour, it is still exciting to get out on stage, have fun, and see how that unique audience will participate in making that individual performance one to remember, and set it apart from the other 50 shows on that tour. The thing is, that can be said about every single show that you do at every single school. Basically, every performance holds something new, whether you’ve been touring for 3 years, or it is your first week with Alpha Shows. Almost every school will leave a lasting impression on you, because when you return to that same school the following year you’ll be saying “hey I remember this school, this is where all the children learnt our finale song and sang it with us” or “hey I remember this school, this is where Mark fell over in the finale song”. Due to the amount of participation the audience has in moving the storyline along, the freedom for actors to improvise where appropriate, and the varying ages of audiences, it means that every time you step out onto the stage (or gym floor) to perform an Alpha Show, it is like the first show after a dress rehearsal. The only difference is, as you get more and more confidence with the show, the fun only increases both on stage and backstage, and of course, while on tour.

The performance aspect of Alpha Shows is only one of many parts of the whole experience. You’ll gain life skills that you never would have thought of while doing an Alpha tour. Whether it be a 2 week tour or a 2 month tour, the experience is the same – the only thing with the 2 week tour is that you’ll be sad that it’s over too soon! A lot of the time you’ll be living with 5 other awesome people, driving around the country with them, and you may even have the odd pub meal with them too. You become like a family. Personally, I have learnt so much simply from the touring side of Alpha. Without noticing, it teaches you so much about how we work as humans (deep I know!). The Alpha environment gives you the confidence to simply be yourself, be wacky if that’s what you are, or sit back and observe if that’s how you like to be – you’re not forced to “be” something that you’re not (like you might be in other jobs/careers). I believe these aspects of confidence and knowledge that you gain while touring can be taken and used outside of Alpha, whether it be in another career path you choose to take, or simply at home and around your friends.

So this is all very deep and meaningful isn’t it? I’m never like that, just ask people – this is just a great opportunity to finally write everything down, to basically say thank you to Alpha Shows and to share a bit more of an in depth experience of how amazing it is to work with such a life changing and unique company.

The crazy and uncontainable reactions from the children during and after the show is enough to make you want to keep coming back for more. Simply the satisfaction and humility you feel from seeing the constantly huge smiles and unwavering attention on their faces for almost 2 hours is just so rewarding. An example of how awe struck the students get in these shows is that dreaded moment when an actor sees a bit of spit come out of their own mouth as they are blurting out their dialogue, to see it fly directly for a child’s face in the front row, only to see that child’s face not even flinch when it hits, while his/her hand unknowingly wipes said spit off said face without a single change in the amazed/spellbound expression they originally had for the previous 85 minutes of the show.

Bottom line (I promise!), the experience you receive from working with Alpha Shows, whether it be 2 weeks or 20 years, will be such a positive life changing experience. Personally, I have learnt so much while working with Alpha Shows, from constantly improving my performance ability, while also learning how to use technical sides of theatre like sound and lighting, and I have also been given the opportunity to direct, which I never would have dreamt of doing previously. All that of course, amongst the life skills I was talking about earlier.
As a performer, I gained so much confidence with all aspects of theatre, improvisation especially. Currently, I owe everything to Alpha as I believe they were the major reason that I have just received a 1 year contract to perform at Universal Studios in Singapore. I can say with certainty that when I come back from this next life changing experience, I will return to Alpha ready for the touring fun to resume!

Mark Kenny: Bachelor of Arts (Drama & Theatre Studies) at Monash University 2006, Honours Degree of Bachelor of Arts (Drama & Theatre Studies) at Monash Universtiy 2007

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Actor Testimonial – Elle Richards

Actor Testimonial – Elle Richards

Alpha Shows is truly a unique and amazing experience one that usually only the likes of rockstars get to experience. Each day I got to walk out on stage to a huge audience of cheering kids eager to watch my fellow cast mates and I rock the stage! How often have you waited in the wings hearing a roar before opening a show? Not only that but afterwards have them beg for autograph…quite an ego boosting experience for a young uni graduate!

The fantastic experience that is touring with Alpha Shows is not only do you get paid for doing what you love but you get a whole new set of skills as you learn how to operate the lighting and sound desks backstage which is a great piece of extra curricular talent to add to your resume and useful knowledge for young people in the industry! Lets not forget the AMAZING Touring truck, never have I been so happy to be driving long distances! Not only is there super comfy seats but theres a tv and an xbox!

Being part of the Hercules tour was like no other show I have ever been a part of. The audiences are so receptive, and question time at the end of each show is never a dull moment! I can’t express enough what a fun time I had whilst touring with Alpha and what life long friends I made. I can just quote our theme song ‚ÄúYou create your path..‚Äù and Alpha is a fantastic path to start on!

Elle Richards: Graduate of the Ballarat Arts Academy Bachelor of Music Theatre 2009 and Graduate of the University Ballarat Graduate Diploma of Education 2010.

Elle’s Alpha Shows profile

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Actor Testimonial – Sally Pitts

Before working with Alpha I hadn’t worked in live theatre for years. When I was offered the part of Trombone in ‘Cinderella’ I was given the opportunity to get up in front of room full of school kids and make them laugh. Something I had definitely missed!

I will always treasure my time on tour; I could be myself, play and have fun and it was all part of my job! Working with our group was also a great learning experience; I have come away from the ‘Cinderella’ with some fabulous new friends.

Coming back to play Maleficent in ‘Sleeping Beauty’ has been awesome, the thrill of travelling and working towards evolving a character over the period of a tour is a fantastic challenge.

The way that Alpha takes well-known fairytale’s and spins them so that they are current for kids today is an exciting concept. As a child I loved and very much looked forward to theatre performances at school and I believe it is essential to have shows like those delivered by Alpha today. Through song, dance and story Alpha creates theatre with important values.

It is a pleasure to be a part of shows that not only give me the freedom to explore, using my acting skills but to demonstrate to kids how they can express their feelings. Working with Alpha has been the most rewarding job of my career.

Sally Pitts: Graduate of the Actor’s Workshop 2005

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Actor Testimonial – James Bodin

I first came across Alpha Shows in 2010. I watched a performance of Hercules and was taken aback by how amazing I felt after watching this children’s show. Experiencing the closed eye with Ben as Phil, Alpha gave me the life changing experience before I even became a part of the company. I then decided to audition for Alpha Shows just because I wanted to be a part of spreading the love I felt from the performance.

I got the part of Arthur in Jan ’11 which gave me the real challenge of playing a prince role. Alpha has helped me with performance blocks I have had and has also helped me handle and manage my emotions (especially my darker ones). It has also taught me how to help others.

I continued on with shows, Hercules and then into the development of the new show Little Mermaid. Helping create an Alpha Show was a fantastic feeling. Knowing that when you are on stage performing the show, getting the laughs and all the amazing smiles from the boys and girls, it is just an amazing warmness in your heart knowing that you helped be a part of this – you help make this happen. After helping this creative development I took that same ownership into every show I do and it has rewarded me every day of performing. Which moves me into Tour Managing Aladdin. This tour has been the most educating, dealing with tech problems to forgetting costumes and improvising along the way. I have had the time of my life and will continue to do these shows.

Doing the shows has given me amazing opportunity for growth not only as a performer but also as a leader and I have grown substantially.

If you’re thinking of Auditioning just go for it, you never know where it will lead you. I got to be a Massive orange crustacean and that makes me Proud to be a Performer.

YOU ROCK ALPHA

Click here to view James’ actor profile

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Actor Testimonial – Dave Lang

“Alpha. Just do it”

I first auditioned for Alpha at the end of 2009 in Sydney and not only was it a great experience from the moment I stepped in the room, the adventure would only continue as the following year progressed. I was cast as Jamie in Sleeping Beauty and Beady/Baldrick in Cinderella. Having done my fair share of auditions and performing in lots of various forms of the Entertainment Industry, I had no idea of the overwhelming experience I would have working for Alpha, not only on tour as an actor in the shows, but personally as well. It was great working with people who share the same passion but also learning new skills and being able to have the freedom to create and try things out in the rehearsal room. By FAR the best thing about the job is the kids. Performing for children was a new for me and the amount of energy they give during the shows is amazing. Not only will you learn to think on your feet and become a role model, but the shows really are like rock shows and the kids really do treat you like a rock star, autographs and all!

Since my first 2 tours I’ve come back this year 2011 as a Tour Manager, where we took Alpha down to Tazzie for the first time and Sleeping Beauty, where we tour up to Queensland. Definitely beats making coffee and working in retail huh!!

I cant recommend working for Alpha enough, the job is great, the people are wonderful and you’ll make memories that you will cherish forever =D

Dave Lang: BTTP (Acting)- Theatre Nepean 2002-2004

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Actor Testimonial – Rachel Ferris

Actor Testimonial – Rachel Ferris

TESTIMONIAL OF AN ALPHA DEVOTEE

Rachel Ferris
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
back.

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
own.

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.

“If you’re thinking about auditioning for an Alpha show, do it – not only
will you meet some amazing people, but it might just change your outlook on
life!”

– 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.

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Actor Testimonial – Chantal Bui Viet

Actor Testimonial – Chantal Bui Viet

Chantal Bui Viet

Being in an Alpha show was a truly amazing experience
. It helped me to grow and mature both as a performer and as a person. Alpha Shows produces theatre that is both innovative and effective in teaching values to children. Not only this, it also has a profound effect on the actors involved in an Alpha production. Alpha promotes positive thinking and positive behaviour and you can’t help but live all that Alpha teaches. The Alpha environment is a nurturing one where you feel safe and free to express yourself and grow as a performer. It is a truly mind-blowing experience and a thrill to be involved.

– Chantal Bui Viet: Graduate of the Ballarat Arts Academy 2007.

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Actor Testimonial – Belinda Howe

Actor Testimonial – Belinda Howe

Belinda Howe

Alpha is one of the greatest performance experiences I have ever had!
Being a princess has always been a childhood fantasy and to actually perform two shows a day as Sleeping Beauty was an amazingly magical experience. Hundreds of excited and screaming children, the music pumping, adrenalin running high…need I say more!!

Not only did I get to perform but I also learnt how to operate the lighting, the sound, as well as assembling and dismantling the set which is priceless knowledge to a performer. Oh and the van. Yes that big orange Alpha van…the fun, the sing-a-longs, the naps after a busy day. It’s like one big road trip with the Alpha team that comes fully equipped with a chocolate coated performance at the end!!

Performing to children was one of the most rewarding experiences I had with Alpha! They are an incredibly energetic audience who are both encouraging and appreciative throughout the performance and of course during question time. I’d do it all over again just to hear that blonde little prep in the front row ask me “Are you and Prince Jamie really married?” to which I replied “no we’re just friends” to which she sat wide eyed with shock and blatantly responded “but you can’t kiss unless you’re married!”

The girls truly believed that I was a princess and for that magical few hours a day I felt just like one.

Alpha helped me grow as a performer and as a member of a team as I learnt how important it was to support my fellow performers. I made some great friends and have some unforgettable memories of my time with Alpha..1,2,3 you rock!!

– Belinda Howe: Graduate of the Ballarat Arts Academy 2007.

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