A warm welcome to the third and final part of our interview with Brand Ambassador Louise Dearman, world-class vocalist and West End leading lady!
CocoRio: Thanks again for joining us on our third instalment! This next question is of particular interest to our FineTunerz age group (11-15 year-olds). Do you have any tips for young people who may wish to pursue a career in the performing arts or take their passion further? Potentially even make it on the West End?
Louise: It’s a pleasure again, and that’s a good question! I would say that it’s wonderful to dream and aim high. But you also need to understand that it takes a lot of hard work. You never stop learning in the world of performing. You never stop working to better yourself or to strengthen your voice. It’s the most incredible job and we performers do what we do because we love it and have honed our craft for many years.
I would advise young people to have a little plan or a list of steps they could take to get to where they would like to be. If that’s a West End show, then what do you need to work on? Go to your dance classes, your acting classes, your singing classes…Just live it! Be around performing all the time. And when you start getting opportunities, be a sponge and take everything in. Enjoy every minute, because sometimes in this industry, you can forget to.
You can get nervous when you perform, but you’re doing it because it’s your passion. So I would tell them to keep working hard! Sometimes it’s disappointing and you will get told that you didn’t get a job or you didn’t get cast in a show. But that’s okay. Because it just means that it wasn’t meant to be – your time will come!
CR: Thanks for those really positive words! Are there any actors/musicians/performers/creative professionals whom you take particular inspiration from? What is it about them that you admire?
L: I take inspiration from many places, but growing up, I would say there were three vocalists whom I completely idolised: Céline Dion, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey! They were singers with these huge voices whose songs I would sing constantly in my bedroom. When I was younger, it was very much about pop music. But when I discovered musical theatre and people like Ruthie Henshall and Linzi Hateley, it was a real ‘wow’ moment. These were the popstars of the West End theatres!
But my friends also inspire me. Knowing how tough this industry is, I look at the wonderful work they do – juggling all sorts to keep fulfilling their dream – and that inspires me. During this pandemic, the way people have taken such a terrible situation and tried to turn it into something positive by being productive at home is amazing. Going out of their way to continue doing what they love through livestreams, podcasts, interviews, writing and recording music, teaching online… All these amazing things have been a real eye-opener and shown what strong stuff we’re made of! So all sorts of people inspire me all the time.
CR: Absolutely – we never stop learning from those around us. What would you say is the most challenging or rewarding aspect of your job?
L: My favourite aspect is just live performance. That buzz, the adrenaline you get when you have an orchestra onstage with you and a full audience. The atmosphere is electric and there’s nothing quite like it! When your heart’s thumping and you’re all dressed up for a concert – it’s just brilliant! When you’re in a musical and you’ve spent all that time developing a character and been part of this wonderful team and cast. It’s a real family vibe. I know that sounds a bit cheesy, but when you get a really strong unit around you, going to work is just a wonderful experience. There’s no better feeling than being up onstage doing a show!
One aspect I don’t like is the unhealthy competitiveness that can sometimes arise in the industry. I think you just have to accept that some things are meant for you and others aren’t, without being a sore loser. I have a real love-hate relationship with social media too. It’s a great tool for connecting with people and promoting businesses, as well as providing a platform to show solidarity with others. It’s fine for people to have an opinion. But I don’t like it when they sometimes get a little negative behind their computers.
Sometimes people forget that we put ourselves up onstage, which is a vulnerable place, and we are human beings. We take what people say, and their words affect us. Then we have to go back out the next day and perform as if nothing’s been said. We need to treat each other kindly – it’s not that hard!
CR: We couldn’t agree more! Let’s finish with a few more light-hearted questions. What are your other interests, whether creative or otherwise?
L: I’m not going to lie – they’re a little boring! I just love hanging out with my family, being outdoors, going for walks, finding nice places for lunch, cooking, reading… And I rarely do it, but I really enjoy getting into a really good TV series! I miss spending time with friends too. I’d love to say I like hang gliding, paddle boarding, windsurfing… But no, none of that, I’m afraid! Keeping it simple!
CR: (Laughing) We all absolutely love those simple pleasures too. What are some of your favourite musicals/plays/films/books and why?
L: My all-time favourite musical is Guys and Dolls, and I’ve been in it twice! For me, they got every element right. The story, the characters, the music, the choreography… Everything about it is just so exciting. As for films, classics like The Sound of Music remind me of my nan, who absolutely loved it! Grease also stirs amazing memories.
Thanks to Andrew, my partner of eleven years, I’ve been introduced to the world of documentaries. The amount of stuff that’s accessible to us nowadays just blows my mind! I love crime and wildlife docs.
As for reading, a bit of everything really! Andrew bought me a subscription for a bookshop that calls you up and takes you through a questionnaire on what kind of authors and genres you like. Every month they send me a new book in the post, all wrapped up. And it’s such a lovely gift! They pick each book for you, and I’ve had such a crazy mixed bag of stuff! Some really vivid fantasy, comedy books, thrillers, so I’m very open to reading anything.
The only time I get a chance to read these days is when I get into bed. Very often that’s just a chapter and then I’m off to the land of nod! The last book I read was Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, which was amazing. I’ve really missed that feeling of getting close to the end of a novel and not being able to go to sleep until it’s done.
It’s the same with music – it completely depends on what mood I’m in. One minute I might want to listen to Classic FM or Cinemix for film music. Then I’ll want to listen to a bit of old-school R&B, Hamilton, Lianne La Havas or George Michael!
CR: For sure! One of the things we love about art is that there’s always something to complement the kind of mood you’re in. And last but not least, what are three words that best describe you?
L: Ooh… let’s go for silly, loyal and kind!
CR: Brilliant! They cover a broad range of characteristics. That brings us to the end of our chat! Thanks so much again for taking the time to talk to us and we can’t wait to see you soon! Hopefully on the West End!
L: It’s my pleasure! Thank you for having me and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for our partnership 🙂
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