BWW Interview: Scott Alan Talks THE DISTANCE YOU HAVE COME

BWW Interview: Scott Alan Talks THE DISTANCE YOU HAVE COME
Scott Alan

Scott Alan is a much-loved songwriter and performer in the theatre industry. A selection of his songs have been brought together into a song cycle, The Distance You Have Come, which will premiere at The Cockpit on 16-28 October.

What drew you to songwriting?

I needed an additional form of release outside of singing. When my parents got divorced when I was 18, I sat down at the piano and wrote my first song "Kiss the Air". I've been writing ever since.

What was the impetus for The Distance You Have Come?

Producers Sarah Evans and Krystal Lee came to me about the idea of for a song cycle of my work. It sounded like the perfect time to put my songs into various stories that tied together the emotional complexity of our current relationship to daily events.

Are you excited to be reunited with some performers from your concerts?

Funnily enough, only Alexia [Khadime], Jodie [Jacobs] and Dean [John-Wilson] are performers I've worked with in concert forms. This is a whole different beast. You need to be an actor first and singer second, because we have a story to tell. Just being a good singer won't cut it.

What's your favourite thing about performing in London?

The audience: they get me and let me learn and grow as a performer and writer. They always welcome me with open arms.

Do the crowds differ between your shows in the UK and the US?

Very much. My audience in London feels like family - which is not an insult to my audiences anywhere else, but it always feels like coming home.

How do you handle writing and performing such emotionally honest material from a mental health perspective?

I do it with the knowledge that it needs to be done and spoken about. I do it because people write to me on a daily basis, thanking me for sharing their story through my own. I no longer feel like there's a choice, if I should talk about my life with clinical depression - it's now a responsibility.

Did you struggle to whittle down the song choices from your albums?

Oh, totally. That was the hardest part. But every draft had more songs cut so that I could tell six stories and zero in on what was honest. I'm very happy with what remains.

What role does musical theatre, and particularly this work, play in speaking into increasing dialogues around mental health?

I think that we all have a responsibility to speak of our fight with any disease we're faced with so that others don't feel alone. If you can find a reason for suffering in helping others, it no longer feels like there's no reason for this curse.

Any advice on how aspiring writers can tap into writing emotionally honest lyrics?

Be honest with yourself. Stop caring about a perfect rhyme and just tell your story.

Why should people see The Distance You Have Come?

Theatre is meant to inspire and this show is all about inspiring others. Each performer will be telling a story on that stage and you will connect with at least one story, if not all. And they'll be doing it with grace and dignity and honour to the human spirit.

The Distance You Have Come at The Cockpit 16-28 October

Photo credit: Scott Alan

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From This Author Fiona Scott

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