Emma Ralston: Knowledge Is Power

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Emma Ralston (Little Red Riding Hood in Into The Woods) is currently in Steven Sondheim's UK Premiere of 'The Frogs' at the Jermyn Street Theatre. We recently caught up to talk all things Musical Theatre and here is what advice Emma has for the MT industry.

Q1. Thank you for agreeing to talk to us, firstly do you have any advice for someone in Musical Theatre College about to enter the industry?

Yes, find out as much as you can! I think knowledge is power & the more you know about the industry the better. Listen to and watch new shows, learn which casting directors cast which shows, read scripts, find songs that suit you perfectly. The more knowledge you have the more prepared you will be for a casting.

Q2. That's great advice, so how do you/did you keep training and learning once you have left college?

Well singing lessons are essential especially in musical theatre as you can get a bit comfortable with your voice and pick up bad habits. So make sure you keep your voice in good shape. Go to casting workshops and acting classes. I have been working in the industry for nearly five years and I still go to a weekly acting class (Acting Up). I think it is so important to keep learning and keep your brain working. Find a dance class that you enjoy. There are so many on offer and some can be a bit intimidating, if you are not the strongest of dancers, so find one that's fun and take your mates with you.

Q3. Great. So, looking at the differences, do you find acting through a song different than acting in a scene?

I don't think you should think of these two things separately. Essentially, you need to always remember that you are telling the audience a story. That is your main job as an actor. So whether you have a script or some lyrics and a tune, use the material you have. It's all on the page and it's your job to bring it to life for the audience.
 Q4. You are currently playing Pluto in 'The Frogs', how did you/do you get into a role?

I always try to find the truth in a character. It's so important, no matter how flamboyant and dark a part may be written, try to find a way in which you relate to the charcater and find a part of yourself in that character. The role must be believable to the audience in order for them to invest in the story. It's also so important to know how your character relates to others in the story and where they have come from and where they end up. I have spoken to some musical theatre performers recently who just learn the scenes they are in and don't worry about the rest of the show. That approach baffles me. I don't know how they could possibly give a truthful performance in that way! As I said at the start...it's all about knowledge.

I personally think Emma's advice is so important, keep learning even after college and learn as much as you can.

You can book tickets to see Emma in 'The Frogs' on at the Jermyn Street Theatre (March 14th - April 8th) here.

Thank you once again to Emma Ralston for her great advice. She will be back soon.


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