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BWW Interview: LAMTA Graduate Amy Reed Goes International with First Performing Gig

Triple-threat performer heads to Beijing as performer at brand new Universal Studios

BWW Interview: LAMTA Graduate Amy Reed Goes International with First Performing Gig

The proof is not only in the performing with the Luitingh Alexander Musical Theatre Academy, as one of their first full-time graduates joins the cast of Universal Studios Beijing in 2021. Amy Reed chats to BroadwayWorld South Africa about her new venture and her time at LAMTA as she looks to the future as a performer.

BWW: First of all, congratulations on your new venture with Universal Studios! Can you tell us a bit about your audition process and what it was like?

Amy: Thank you so much! I first heard about the auditions through my LAMTA directors, Anton and Duane. Usually these auditions occur face-to-face, however with the way COVID has changed the world and our industry, my auditions were all virtual - through video submissions and Zoom. I was required to showcase all aspects of my craft throughout the process: singing, dancing and acting, even at times in a different language! It was honestly the most pleasant, positive audition experience I could have hoped for, I really enjoyed it!

BWW: Was Universal Studios always a goal for you, or did it happen by chance?

Amy: I have always been open to and interested in working on ships or at resorts although my main goal and focus in recent years has been on 'traditional' musical theatre. I was not actively seeking this opportunity before receiving the audition notice, nor could I have predicted this opportunity but I couldn't be more excited about exploring this particular world of performance.

BWW Interview: LAMTA Graduate Amy Reed Goes International with First Performing Gig

BWW: Tell us a bit about your history. What made you want to pursue the performing arts?

Amy: I grew up in a very creative household, with both my parents having been performers. Performing has always been in my blood, I truly was singing before I talked and dancing before I walked! It wasn't until the age of 10 that the bug really bit when I became involved in a children's opera at Artscape in Cape Town. I realized then just how at home I felt on the stage. After this, I pursued my training intensely and began singing, dancing and acting lessons. I joined The Drama Lab in 2016, where I was fortunate enough to be involved in two musicals under the direction of Julie Dickson. This really catapulted me as a performer and ignited a deep love for my craft, to the point that I decided to study it full-time at LAMTA.

BWW: Let's talk about LAMTA! What was your journey like with the academy?

Amy: LAMTA provided me with two of the most life-changing years. It was filled to the brim with incredible hard work, blood, lots of sweat, tears, sore muscles and so much laughter with some of the best peers, lecturers and most dedicated and knowledgeable BWW Interview: LAMTA Graduate Amy Reed Goes International with First Performing Gigmentors. LAMTA was (and is!) a place where each student is truly cared for and supported and I am so grateful for that. I feel that what makes me unique as a performer, my individuality, my potential and my goals were celebrated, encouraged and challenged every step of the way.

BWW: How do you think LAMTA has evolved you as a performer over your course? What difference do you see in first year Amy to graduated Amy?

Amy: During my time at LAMTA, I was able to grow in all aspects of my training: dancing, singing, acting, as well as in modules such as business, design, and even lighting. Every opportunity I was given to be involved in a production on Pieter Toerien's Theatre on the Bay stage and in Our Studios upstairs allowed me to learn, soak up knowledge, and become more confident. LAMTA is an academy that focuses on producing triple threat and well-rounded performers and I feel that my time there did just that: graduated Amy walks out of LAMTA with a more well-rounded, versatile performer's toolbox of skills and technique; confident in what I have to bring as a performer with an understanding of the industry as a whole, ready to learn so much more.

BWW: What was a performing highlight for you from your time at LAMTA?

Amy: One that stands out for me is performing 'Jellicle Songs' from the musical CATS which we performed in our student production ENCORE in 2019. The performing moments that are highlights for me are always the ensemble numbers, where the company has to work as a team and we get to share the joy of being on stage together. This was most special to me. Performing 'Jellicle Songs' is no easy task and finally getting to share this number with an audience after hours of hard work will always be a highlight. CATS is also the first musical I ever watched and it was quite fun being a cat for 5 minutes!

BWW Interview: LAMTA Graduate Amy Reed Goes International with First Performing GigBWW: What do you miss most about being a LAMTA student?

Amy: I miss being in the space - we really are very lucky to have a world-class view and beautiful studios where I could dance to my heart's content. I also miss the atmosphere in the Academy: students laughing with each other, overhearing singing in the studio next door, in-between-class chats with lecturers and friends. It really was a very happy environment to be a part of on a daily basis.

BWW: I've heard you sing at the end-of-year productions and you have an incredibly powerful, pitch perfect voice! What dream roles do you hope for in the future?

Amy: Thank you! My biggest dream role would be to play Anna in FROZEN the musical. I am a big FROZEN fan and think Anna and I would get along well. I would also love to do Katherine Pulitzer in 'NEWSIES and anything from HAMILTON! It would be a dream to be involved in MISS SAIGON, CATS and one day, Golde in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.

BWW: Lastly, what advice would you give other young people in South Africa wanting to go into a career in the performing arts?

Amy: As someone only just starting their career, I speak to myself and to other young people in South Africa who want to pursue the arts in saying: make sure that it's what you really want because it requires a lot of sacrifice and grit. There is always more to learn. Make peace with your weaknesses and know the worth of your strengths. You are a person before you are a performer, so always choose kindness. A quote I remind myself of often is: "Talent will get you in the door, but character will keep you in the room."

Photo credit: Supplied

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