Thursday, 1 December 2011

A real Billy Elliot

My name is Freddie Huddleston. I’m a straight twenty one year old guy and I'm a singer/actor/dancer. I’ve been training for a total of five years, two years at Peterborough Regional College and three at Tiffany Theatre College. I graduated in July 2011. I'm writing this to give an insight into to a performers life from my point of view.

When I first started dancing I had no respect or professionalism. I would sit at the back with my mate and chat rather than doing the class properly, the fact that I was a male dancer I used to think I was unique. Another thing thinking back was how alpha male I used to try to be. Being one of the only guys in the class made me feel that I had to somehow compensate for all the girls in the room.

Ballet changed everything for me, it’s the single reason that I have such a respect for the industry. I used to feel like “ballet was for girls” or “only gay’s do ballet” when really once your surrounded by a room full of “only ballet people” there isn’t anyone making those remarks and no one notices you’re wearing tights. There’s just a room full of like minded people who want to improve. For me it wasn’t just a new dance style, it was a discipline. I could go into a class shut myself off from the outside world and focus single mindedly on controlling my body which is ridiculously hard to master. After every class you would take a Reverance (a bow) and clap the teacher thanking her for her class. This appreciation and respect transferred into every other dance style and actually made me a better all round dancer as well as a more respectful and mindful person.

From this point onward everything in my life changed, I no longer cared what anyone thought about me or what I did anymore because I realised I didn’t need to care what they thought. I was completely comfortable with who I was and proud of what I was doing. I would do what I wanted do to. I laugh now when I see those alpha male guys who are so closed minded to everything and so insecure in themselves that they have to wall off anything outside of their comfort zone.

One thing Ive realised about auditioning is that being talented isn't enough. From people that graduated last year to people that have been out for 10 years and then to me, and we are all in competition for the same jobs. I was recently at a closed audition for a West End musical and out of a room full of 100 boys they needed 2. It didn’t matter to the casting panel if you were any good, they needed two people who looked right and fitted the costumes of the people that had just left. This is what it all boils down to. I can’t stress enough that a lot of the jobs especially in the commercial industry are based solely on “look” not talent at all. You can walk into a room, dance rings around other people and get knocked back purely on the height or the colour of your hair. The phrase “Its not what you know its who you know” couldn’t be truer. All the work Ive done since I left college has been through people that know me, they know how hard I work, how reliable and easy I am to work with. Being reliable and friendly to work with is just as important as being talented.

The plus side is I have fun every day, I’ve had the chance to see the world for free even though I’ve been knocked back. Would I recommend a new person starting out to go down this route? Absolutely. It may seem on paper that its unfair and hard, but when you really love what your doing, the positives are so great that the other stuff just seems to fade away and not be a problem. So one bit of advice if you’re thinking of doing it is make sure you really, really love it. Whoever you are you have to go to “work” to earn and I don’t think that anyone has it easy … but how many people can truthfully say that they love their job? I can, and for now that’s all that matters.

Written by Freddie Huddleston.
Edited by Emma Davies

For any comments, compliments or contact please e-mail

No comments:

Post a Comment